Torturous Easter puns aside, it’s going to be a fairly quick blog update this week. What I’m looking forward to is having some free time on Easter Sunday to take part in a local 10k race around the Chasewater reservoir in Staffordshire (twice around it in fact in order to make up the race distance).
My brother is running too, so I’ll have some company at an event for a change. And it will round off a busy few months of building my strength and stamina back up post-injury, as well as shedding a bit of excess timber from Christmas.
You may recall last time out I was planning to increase my long run distance again. That plan was put on hold courtesy of yet more bad weather and snowfall, but normal business was resumed a few days later.
Total weekly mileage went up to 39 split across four runs and, he said optimistically, with no ill-effects, aches, pains or niggles.
OK, that’s not completely true as I did get some foot pain and a small blister, but that’s only because I’m bedding in a new pair of trainers and the same thing always happens for the first few outings. I’ve stuck with what I know and upgraded my trusty Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes from the 17s to the recently launched 18s.
Brooks have made some notable changes between the two models, especially around the overall weight of the shoe which feels much lighter (well, as light as a heavily cushioned support shoe for over-pronators can feel!). And, not that it matters all that much, but I also prefer the updated design and colour choice.
So how far did these nice new boots take me on last week’s long run? Just over 19 miles as it happens, or exactly three hours on my feet, after which I stopped the clock as home was in sight.
I ended up taking a day off to get the run completed as squeezing in a three hour session before work is far beyond me, even if I do have a tendency to be an early riser! I also had a night out planned with friends that evening, so it made sense to use up some holiday.
I hit the road at 8am, hopeful of better weather after my previous long run ended up being distinctly damp. Armed with another audiobook, a protein bar, jelly babies and the biggest drink I could realistically carry, I headed off at what would usually be marathon pace for me – low nine minute miles.
The first 15 of those were amazingly consistent and really quite enjoyable – splits were within seconds of each other, 9:07… then 9:08… back to 9:07… 9:01… and so on. It was only when my route took in some sharp hills that things started to derail a bit, the first arriving at mile 16 and the next at 18.
A bit of walking was called for, dropping me back to 11-minute miles, but pleasingly I was able to pick things up again once the pavements and paths flattened out. Three hours running in total was enough – more than enough – but with a bit more grit and determination I reckon I had a few additional miles left in me.
Into this week and the only thing bothering me is a cold, courtesy of my daughter and the dreaded classroom germs she’s unwittingly shared. I’ve cut the mileage back and am dosing up in the hope that Sunday’s race won’t be spoiled. Still, I managed a steady five miler this morning so it can’t be that bad.
Previous blog readers might remember me mentioning Chasewater before as I do a lot of my training in that area. It’s a lovely setting and only a few miles from where I live, but it also bit me last summer when I went over on a rock coming down one of the trail paths.
My ankle suffered a nasty twist and I was still feeling the effects of it when I took on the Birmingham marathon in October. So much as I’d like to get a decent time on Sunday – sub-48 minutes would be particularly satisfying – I’ll also be taking egg-treme caution once we get off road…
(I’ll get my coat)
Happy Easter all and good luck to those of you in the final stages of spring marathon training.
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