Ease off the gas

Posted on: 04 Jun 2018

This blog entry is more for self-reference than anything else.  It’s not here in a negative capacity.  May and into June have been fabulous running months.  I’ve really found my motivation again and, by my own standards at least, the performances have been getting better and my times getting quicker.

PBs over 5k and 10k.  Up to five runs a week and distances up to half marathon.  A 15 day (and counting) streak with a minimum of 10,000 steps logged…  It’s been amazing.  But it’s getting a little addictive.

Case in point.  Last Monday, as you know, was the Vitality 10k.  The next day I resumed marathon training and got the miles done early in the week so I could rest and recover ahead of Sunday’s planned event, the Great Midlands Run. 

Then I found out I was going to be free first thing Saturday morning.  Despite having completed my programme miles, I jumped in the car and went to Sandwell Valley for a parkrun instead.  Why?  Because it’s a slow course with only around 100 runners and I reckoned I could notch up another achievement and get my first top ten finish.

I did, by the way, p7 in fact with a 22 minute run, first in my age category.  And Sandwell is a tough, hilly course.  Heck, I was running in p3 for over half the race!  Satisfying as it was, that isn’t good prep when you have an 8.5 mile race the next morning.

Nevertheless, up and at ‘em early yesterday morning to drop Izzy off (she’d be spectating with my dad and step-mum) and then into Sutton Coldfield to line up for the 11am start.  This is a challenging route, famous for its mile-long ‘cardiac hill’ through Sutton Park.  I was determined to beat my 2016 time and, despite the heat, I managed it – 1:04:38, a two minute improvement, averaging 7:41 minute miles.

I was absolutely chuffed with that, and it was great to get a cheer off my family at mile 7 (a rare treat).  The only thing really spoiling the party was the high pollen count.  I was OK on the run, but a few minutes after the finish my eyes were stinging and streaming something rotten.  It made for a difficult drive home!

And then last night I started reflecting.  The fast times and PBs are all good, but I’m definitely feeling the effects in terms of tiredness.  My body is holding together well enough – however, keep pushing it like this and I’m in danger of spoiling any plans for a summer marathon and, worse still, Snowdonia come October.  Marathon training is supposed to be steady and slower than your intended race pace.  I’m simply not doing that!

Hence the blog title.  Hence the note to self.  No more heroics.  I have nine weeks remaining on my current marathon training plan.  The distance doesn’t concern me, the pace I’m running at does. 

It’s time to focus on the job in hand.

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