The Eleventh Commandment is not ...
... “thou shalt always do the long run on a Sunday” (said Nick and Pheobe from runningwithus). Family commitments dictated that Sunday was not possible for the long run this week, so, since I still have leave to use by the end of this month, moving this week's “long run” to Friday was the answer. I had decided to transition across to Nick and Pheobe's “Improvers” plan for these last few weeks, since:
1) Its planned half marathon coincided perfectly with Bath
2) It looked a tad easier than the Runners World Improvers plan for these last few weeks, and the last thing I want at this point is to risk not making it to the start line.
This was actually the longest run on their plan and was a run to time (click here for Garmin log), with two hours slow being followed by an hour at “marathon pace” (hmmmm – wish I knew what that was). I also decided this would be a good chance to experiment for the first time with gels on the way around. The first two hours was pretty comfortable, at which point I decided that a trip into Asda was needed (not to make any purchases you understand, but I feel I've spent enough there down the years to justify the incursion). And after that, time to speed up, as I headed off along the length of the old Weymouth to Portland railway (the Rodwell Trail) over to Portland, and then back home.
That last hour went pretty well and I was able to keep to a pace comfortably inside four hour marathon pace, getting back home having covered just under 32 km (about 20 miles). It was good to know that I can get into the second half of marathon distance running strongly. Another good confidence giving run.
April 13th will be something of a leap in the dark, and I guess this is to a degree unavoidable. Surely the biggest lessons learned from my two half marathons so far are DONT GO OUT TOO FAST and if I can (not) do that maybe my original dream to get inside four hours is still a possibility. Certainly if I can go out at Bath pace (forgetting the last 5km when I really pushed it) I am capable of getting to half way in under two hours and with a something left in the tank. But also REALLY IT DOESN'T MATTER. Just to finish will be a great achievement, and would equally justify all the wonderful support from so many people :-)
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