Since my last blog last week, I haven't been sticking to the 'Angus Plan' as work has taken a stressful turn & it simply has not been possible to stick to the schedule. I knew that time was still on my side, but I was becoming increasingly worried about my cramp issues & the fact that things wern't going to plan with my LSR. I felt like I was falling behind & hitting 18 miles was even a struggle at times.
I managed to squeeze my routine 10 miler in last Wednesday & the same again on Saturday to keep me ticking over & tried to speed up each mile to push myself. These were good sessions & I felt that using the stress from work made these 'angry' sessions. It's always good to blow away some cobwebs & push yourself. Average pace was 8.03 & 8.04 respectively.
Today I decided to bring my long run forward to today & see if I could finally hit a 20 mile run. I took all your advise on board from my last blog & set out slower than my marathon pace. I knew I had to do this as I didn't want to blow out before the end & regret my fast start.
The conditions today were perfect with a slight breeze. I had decided to go out in a long sleeved top with my 'Children with Cancer UK' t-shirt over it. This turned out to be a sensible idea as the route I had planned was very open & the breeze at times was chilly.
The route was the same as last week but in reverse, I was hoping to have the wind behind me going out & then an 8 mile head wind on my return, but this wasn't the case & for the first half of the run I was faced with this chilly breeze, nothing like we have had over the winter, but still enough to make me work harder than I wanted to.
As I settled into a steady rhythm the miles flew by, I was really concentrating on my breathing, pace & form, I really wanted to achieve this & prove to myslef that last week was a blip. Listening to Marathon Talk really kept me focused & before I knew it I was half way.
I took my gels at miles 7,13,17 & made sure I kept well hydrated before the run, taking my High 5 drink, & having one of my SOS Hydrate sachets throughout.
I managed 13 miles with a positive split which I knew would happen, as my virtual partner was over 30 seconds ahead of me on my Garmin. Now was the time to start to increase the pace & see if I could finish with a negetive split & hit my 20 mile target.
As I approached my local town of Spalding I increased the pace further to get through the conjestion through the centre, still feeling good I kept this pace up through the next few miles. I passed my Mum who was out & about in her car, along with my brother -in- law, who was parked up in the layby in his lorry, & my father-in-law, all in the space of a few miles. This gave me the extra motivation I needed to push on for home. The support on marathon day will do the same when I really need a lift.
As I hit 17 miles the legs still felt strong & at this point I decided to concentrate more on time than distance & took the decision to run for 3 hours & see where I ended up. As I hit 20 miles in 2 hours 54 I decided to push on for one last mile. I even managed a Kenyan style finish.....sort of, & finished my longest run of 21 miles in 3 hours 2 minutes & 23 seconds with an average mile pace of 8.41. Here is my run in more detail:-
I couldn't believe that I had done this without any cramp, from my nemisis, or other problems & felt that I could of pushed on for a few more miles, but I didn't want to overdo it at this late stage.
So after an ice bath, protein shake & something to eat in the way of a Banana then an Egg & Chicken Sandwich, the body seems in pretty good shape. A slight niggle in my left IT Band, but nothing the foam roller can't fix.
As London is on the horizon I look forward from here & not what I didn't achieve last week. I am only as good as my last run, let's just hope I have more long runs like that. I feel I have the momentum with me & a good strategy to tackle London head on & I really believe on this form a sub 4 hour marathon can finally be achieved.
We are nearly there guys, best of luck with all your long runs.
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