Another 2 weeks have gone by, and I have had my first sick leave from marathon training. Fortunately it was not the flu or anything worse, so only a couple of days of. But lets take it from the beginning of Easter week, where I left you last time.
After my 12 miles on Sunday I decided to rest 2 days, hip was tired and body also felt tired. On Wednesday I decided to run home from work, it's a lot more pleasant now when daylight has return to us. =) Left work very late, 18:30, but it was still light all the way home. I decided to run by feeling only and not look at the watch as a change and it went very well. 7,8 km in 52 min, average 6:41 min/km, I think it's my fastest time on that run so far. =)
Then it was time for easter weekend, we went to my parents in the family summerhouse on Thursday after work. Finally we had our car back, very happy. Also very happy that the insurance covered the broken part, that saved my pocket money for London haha. So rest on Thursday and Friday due to traveling and boring weather.
On Saturday I went for this weeks long run, and my longest run so far. 24 km (15 miles) from my parents place (sort of) to my in-laws. I have had this run in my mind since I started marathon training in 2014, but I have never managed to fit it in to my training plan before. The route goes on the old highway which now only serves as a local road, so it has a good roadside to run on, and not a lot of traffic. Perfect for running and biking. I met some bikers but seemed like I was the only runner. =)
Hubby droped me of at my starting point at midday (wanted to avoid the first part of the route which had lots of traffic because of easter holiday), and I knew it would be around 3 hours to run. It was lovely weather, sunny but not too warm, a little wind but not so much it was cold. I had felt like a cold or something was coming, but since I felt ok in the morning I decided to go anyway, but taking it steady and stop if I started to feel unwell. First 2 km was not the best and I started to fear that I should have to stop right away. Breathing was heavy and my left foot/ankle started to hurt. Walked a hill and then stoped to loosen my shoe laces and after a while it started to feel better. The breathing also felt better after about 4-5 km.
I had no strict run/walk plan but walked up hill, and tried to drink around every 30 mins/4 km. Also stoped to watch a swan breaking the ice to be able to swim around, and another pair of swans trying to land on the forzen sea. They slipped around like a pair of curling stones haha. =) I had my headset with me but decided to start without music or podcast, and instead I listened to the birds singing. It was such a lovely time out there, just me and my thoughts. Running really clears your mind, doesn't it?
I managed to keep pretty close to target pace, first 8 km (5 miles) in 1:02, 16 km (10 miles) in 2:06. Since I wasn't feeling at my best I was very happy that I could still do that. Of course pace slowed at the end of the run but I passed 21 km (13 miles) in 2:45 which is the perfect half if you want to run a 5:30 marathon (If I can manage to keep the pace).
Military fortress from WWII. Sweden was not in the war but this is close to Norway so they had to be on look out for the Germans.
When I left the old highway I had 5 km left to the in-laws, and legs felt very tired. I plodded on and hoped to meet a lynx (they have them there for real!!!), but only saw some horses and cows. The in-laws live on an island so when I finally reached the bridge there it felt really good. Some math in my head told me I would end up short of 24 km though, so had to do a little detour to get the correct distance. Must have looked very peculiar, running around the parking outside the local school. =))
I finished my run, 24,1 km (15 miles) in 3:09, pace 7:41 min/km. Close enough! I have never run that far this early in training before, I have a good 2 months left to Stockholm, so I have time for more of these long runs. I would like to have at least one run of 4 hours under my belt, and hopefully 2 more 3 hour runs. Endurance is my weak link, so I hope I will do better this year when I'm at the longer distances with lots of time left.
Unfortunately that feeling of a cold coming was just as spot on as my running. On Sunday morning I woke up with a sore throath and a blocked nose. =( Well, at least I was happy I had my long run done before that happened. =) I tried to go to work on Tuesday (Monday was bank holiday) but had to go home at lunch and rest. So stayed home Wednesday and Thursday, just to be sure I was really getting better, and on Friday I felt as good as new again.
So what do you do if you feel well on a Saturday? You go parkrunning of course! This weekend Sweden saw the premiere of parkrun #6, in Malmö, far south close to Denmark. I have a friend who lives about 50 mins from Malmö so I decided to go visit her and introduce her to parkrun. About 80 runners turned up for the inagural event, a good turn up, especially considering it was 3 other races in Malmö that day.
Since I had been sick I decided to not push it too much, and not look at the watch a lot. Just run with a good feeling. I had some good people to follow, that helped me staying at a decent pace and not rush it. The course is very flat, the only "hill" was a 3 meter climb, so it has very good potential for fast times. Close to the beach so could be affected by wind, but also so beautiful. From the course you can see the bridge to Denmark, and Turning Torso, the tallest building in Scandinavia with 54 floors.
My run went ok, I felt my breathing was still affected by the cold so tried to take it easy. But you know how it is when it's flat and you are in good shape, it's hard to be smart. At the final stretch I decided to try and get sub 32-mins, so ran faster and easily passed a few people before finishin. Annoyingly in 32:04. Oh well, next time I will be faster. =)
After we had fika at the nice café nearby, chatted a little with the manager of parkrun Sweden, before we headed back home again. A lot of traveling for me in 2 days but well worth it.
Sunday was another fine day, the spring really is here now and the termomether said 15 degrees outside. Didn't want to run but instead took out my bike again. And also, first cycling to work this morning, how wonderful it was! Had forgotten how refreshing it is to cycle in the morning. Will start doing that a few days a week from now on.
So that's that for these past weeks. Many busy weekends coming up so have to start planning my long runs on weekdays some weeks. But it's a pleasant problem really. This coming weekend I will visit my family, my grandmother turns 87 years old, and me and mum will go parkrunning again. Next (whoa, NEXT!!!) weekend is LONDON BABY! Planning parkrun followed by long run there, hoping I don't get sick this year. The weekend after that I go to Greece for a week in Rhodes with a friend, so lots of time for running then. =)
Well, we'll see if I manage a blog before London, will try and do so, but you know how it is. If not, good luck runners, and see some of you soon!
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