365 days ago I was entering Brighton Marathon and booking my accommodation for this forthcoming weekend. 366 days ago a return visit to Brighton was not something I had planned, but because on that day I had walked off the course at mile 12 to go to the pub instead of running the remaining 14.2 miles and finishing the race, I had unfinished business! At the time I know it was the right decision to DNF which I will not dwell on again, so even though I ‘Did Not Fail’, I do have demons to banish!
So how has my training plan gone for banishing the demons?! Well there are a few things that ‘I am not’ at the moment; injured nor unduly worried which is all good! There are a few things I should sort out; race plan, kit, gels and hydration so nothing important! The race plan however is a difficult one as I truly have no idea what I can do on the day. Brighton has only been a target as in finishing the marathon; pace and time have not been part of my training. My long-term goal this year is the Long Course Weekend in July, more bloomin’ unfinished business, so training has been based around this as all the cross training will still provide me with the fitness and endurance needed for Brighton, well that’s the theory! I am confident that I have both the fitness base and the mind-set to finish, it is these new uncontrollable elements; asthma and Fibromyalgia that are my only niggling concerns for this weekend. However barring something major happening I will crawl across that finish line if I have to!
So as my taper begins I’ve been looking at what I have been doing since the last Beast from the East and my last Blog! A week after my snowy escapade in the New Forest I was out for my last 20 miler of this training run which was our organised club run along the canal from Devizes to Bathampton and what a difference a week makes; trainers and t-shirts for this run! It was just a steady run; time on legs and miles banked. As always the canal run was a fabulous social run, great support from our pop-up water station and a pub at the end! For once incident free, well apart from helping the poor lady who’d ended up in the canal along with her electric bike! I told you this biking lark was dangerous!
Following on from previous sentence I am still having a go at this biking lark but I seem to be inside more than outside at the moment! Due to the inclement biking weather I haven’t ventured out on my bike since the 60 miler I completed, without incident I might add, on 10 March! I was meant to have taken part in a 100km Sportive on Easter Monday but decided at the last moment I was too inexperienced to cycle on slippery, muddy and flooded roads in the rain. I am still in two minds to whether I made the right decision but I’d slept so badly worrying about it that it probably was the right decision based on just this sleep deprivation as I would have been exhausted before I’d peddled 1km! I ended up despondently and quite shattered cycling for 2 hours non-stop on the Watt Bike in the gym instead, still listening to the same talking book where I am now on chapter 104! On a plus side I can see that my fitness, power and endurance have extensively improved with my twice weekly Watt Bike sessions, I just need to transfer this to a road bike! However I have refused to go on my road bike within 2 weeks prior to Brighton as my track record for falling off is not exactly faultless!
Swimming I still really enjoy and have continued with both endurance and swimming training at the pool. However with the opening of the lake for open-water swimming I couldn’t resist dipping my toes Easter weekend! I seemed to be the only person to dip their toes Easter Sunday, I can’t imagine why as the water was a barmy 8 degrees! I was sensible and spent time acclimatising and stopping to see how I felt as however far I swam out I still had to get back, after 800mtrs I decided that coldness was starting to set in so called it a day. Who needs Botox when your face is so cold it doesn’t move!
On the way home from my wonderful weekend with the Bolty’s I stopped at the lake last Sunday for another swim. Again I was the sole swimmer and with the temperature having gone up by over 1 degree I managed to swim 1600mtrs before the cold hit. Just as I got out, 3 hardy swimmers got in so I am not the only idiot!
So back to running and therefore my weekend at Chez Bolty with the Realbuzz legends Gerry and Mandy! I think we had been trying to get a date in the diary for the last 365 days but finally last weekend I made it to Shropshire after a picturesque drive across country with no snow or rain but plenty of potholes! I think the conversation was non-stop from the moment I arrived Friday afternoon until I left late Sunday morning and one reoccurring theme was the friendships forged through the power of social media/Realbuzz, sadly you normally only read about the downside not the positives! Saturday morning and of course a run was planned, the weather again was testing but we were not to be deterred, so off we set!
This was Mandy’s first run for the new Snowdonia training plan so the first few miles were a mixture of run/walk which I was grateful for as the hills and asthma were not playing nicely, I think the pollen was doing its bit too in the whole mix up! After a couple of miles we split off and Mandy went to investigate what forest clearing had been taking place and Gerry took me off to run up and down some more hills, run through some big puddles, say hello to lots of frolicking lambs, nearly slip over on some mud and take in the wonderful Shropshire countryside as the rain had finally stopped!
Just over 9 miles later and non-stop conversation we were back home. What a wonderful last taper run before Brighton.
So there is nothing much else I can do before Sunday, just a sports massage, swim and gentle 3 mile run to go and then I am Brighton bound Saturday. Time to complete marathon #49 whatever!
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