Well what a strange old week it's been!
Last weekend I was moderately content with my long run but was looking forward to today's run. Today I was doing 16 miles of the Manchester Marathon (i.e. stopping at a tram stop so that I could get back to my car). I didn't want to do the full marathon as my training has taken a hit and I am doing London in 2 weeks so this would be a good training run to finally see where I am at.
Stepping back a bit last weekend's long run and meet up with HOBS was in the midst of the most ridiclously busy Easter weekend which included going to a gig; having family round for dinner; meeting up with an old friend and rolling in at 2.30 a.m. after a night's clubbing! This is not good marathon training preparation and my lesson is well and truly learned.
I was back at work on Tuesday (which is also very busy) and when I got home on Tuesday night the last thing I wanted to do was go and run. But David rightly persuaded me to get on with it and so I did. I decided that I'd just do a steady 5k and would do a 10k on Thursday when I was less knackered. As it turned out, going out for a run was the best thing I could have done. It cleared my head and completely energised me. And I did each mile below 9 minutes with an average pace of 8.47 for the whole thing. A big smiley face on my training plan.
Then on Wednesday the lurgy struck. Hardly surprising really with the week I'd had. I didn't feel too bad on Wednesday but by Thursday I felt like crap. There was was no way I could run on Thursday or Friday. I'm pretty sure I've had a bit of a chest infection - I'll say no more as it would be too much disgusting information.
Saturday morning David and I had to debate who was the least crocked to take the dog for a walk - I was the one who got to stay in bed! I spent most of Saturday drinking hot water and honey (with the occasional splash of whisky!) which seemed to help clear my chest a bit. By last night my symptoms had changed to that of mainly just a head cold which felt like a move in the right direction towards being OK to run today. I dosed up with 'Night Nurse' (only one tablet - I made the mistake of taking 2 once and it completely wiped me out into the next day too!) got an early night and woke up this morning feeling much better than I had in days.
So off we headed to the Manchester Marathon. It was a strange feeling being around the athletes village. It felt that there was something missing. This was probably down to the fact that I knew I was only doing 16 miles. I felt somewhat fraudulent wearing my number and lining up with all of those nervous people. I also felt gutted for david that he wasn't running. I know it was hard for him to be there and not be running.
My plan was to try and run just under 10 minute miles for as long as possible. I managed this very comfortably until 8 or 9 miles. The miles were ticking off really quickly. One thing I found after just a mile or two though was that I was too hot. I had long sleeves and legs on (plus a pair of shorts over the top). Note to self: it's no longer winter time to get the T-shirts out!
I went over the 10k timing mat at 1 hour and 1 minute - bang on target.
After around mile 9 I started to feel a little weak. My legs didn't have the power to do what I was asking of them. It's hardly surprising with having been poorly all week. I drank as much water as possible; took on a bit of fuel and took a few walk breaks. I crossed the half way mat at 2.15. A bit slower than I'd hoped but OK all things considered.
What a great feeling it was to cross half way in a marathon but have less than 3 miles to go! I found the next 3 miles tough but the good news was that nothing was hurting. The calf and hips were fine - it was just general tiredness that was holding me back.
I was very happy to see David right after I'd stopped my watch at 16 miles. And that was it - I was done.
My average pace was 10.30 minute miles accross the whole run. It was the best long run I've done in a while but my only disappointment is that I wish I'd not been poorly this week. I knew that I had nothing to prove and that this was after all just a training run but I'd love to have felt fitter today and had a slightly better shot at it.
I'm getting so excited now and can't believe that London is only 2 weeks away. I have absolutely no idea what I'll be capable of on the day but my main aim is to enjoy it. I know for sure that the prospect of seeing the 22.5 mile cheering squad will pull me along through some of the dark miles.
Happy tapering everyone!
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