And just like that, we’ve hit the final week before taper. I’m not sure if I’m relieved or petrified, but there’s not a lot I can do about either! Although this is another 50 mile week, the intensity will probably be less than the previous couple. I’m deliberately tapering late and hoping that it works as well as it has in previous cycles. I’m just not very good at doing nothing. Or at least feeling like I’m doing nothing. So as there’s still work to do, let’s get stuck in.
30 mins stretching
I wasn’t even going to try and go to the gym after yesterdays 22.5 miler. I felt like I’d been hit by a bus! So instead I fuelled the day with plenty of good food, a lot of sitting and a good stretching session. Then topped it off with a rock and roll early night.
10x800m with 90 second jog recoveries (9.5 miles in total)
Before I start, I have absolutely no idea how I pulled this session off. My legs were sore, I felt weak and I was petrified that I was going to bomb big time and destroy any confidence I had built. So I procrastinated a bit, drank two coffees, debated swapping it for an easier session and then decided it was now or never, or at least now, or in the rain, so out I went.
I was meant to be aiming for 3.30 800m, but I’d already managed my expectations and decided that I’d be happy with 3.35’s. It turns out that I’ve got much better at hurting. To be honest, I think after a while my legs went numb and didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter. The headwind in one direction was still wicked, but somehow, despite all the odds I managed to string together all 10 800’s inside 3.30. To be exact, 3.25/ 3.26/ 3.24/ 3.27/ 3.23/ 3.25/ 3.24/ 3.25/ 3.24/ 3.23. I am beyond proud of my legs, and man did I need that!
1 hour body pump
I almost wimped out, but still on a high from hitting my intervals, I dragged myself to body pump. This was my first attempt at the new release. I both like and don’t like it. I love the lunge track. It’s completely different to any other release, but I’m not a fan of the back stuff. Anyway, I’m excited for a 10 mile waddle Wednesday tomorrow…. not!
10 miles in 1:24:01 (Average 8.24mm pace)
Oh, hi spring! What a gorgeous evening for my final midweek 10 miler. Apart from getting lost on a golf course with nobody but some pheasants for company, needing to stop for a wild wee for the first time since childhood, and getting bitten to death by mosquitoes along the river, I feel this run went well!
I’m pretty sure grit strength would have done more harm than good this morning. Plus I’m starting to feel a bit like I’m living on borrowed time. So I took a rest day and ate pizza instead!
7 miles with middle 5 at MP- 55 min 51 (Average 7.58mm pace)
This was a bit of a tentative run as my left hip was feeling quite tight. It didn’t really bother me during the run though and my splits were probably a bit too fast in 7.35/7.50/7.34/7.42/7.34. Whoops! It also felt really odd to be ONLY doing 7 miles on a Friday! I can feel a taper coming on!
1 hour body balance
Time to stretch out my hip, and everything else!
Bournemouth parkrun in 26.45 (Average 8.47mm), plus run too and from. 6.31 miles in total
I’d debating running parkrun hard. PB kind of hard. 2 weeks before a marathon is a good time to do this, as it’s a last minute confidence boost that doesn’t take you too long to recover from. But, as my left hip flexor was still feeling a bit tight, the potential risk was just too big. So in the end I bumped into a friend at the start and trotted round. With only 2 weeks until race day, it’s definitely a case of better safe than sorry. Wow, there’s a risk I’m becoming sensible in my old age!
19.2 miles in 2.42.48 (average 8.29mm pace)
And that, as they say, is a wrap! I didn’t think today’s long run was going to happen. I woke up with a really swollen left tonsil (wtf?!!) that hurt to swallow, and worse that that, I was convinced my hip was still hurting. Thinking I’d be lucky to get to 10 miles, I set out with no expectations, and none of my usual gels or water.
So when the miles starting ticking by and there was no pain, I figured I’d just roll with it. In the end I somehow clocked up just over 19 miles with no fuel! I did stop at a local coop at mile 17 for some water and was met with the MOST disgusted look from the cashier, who held it together just long enough to ask if I had a dividend card before muttering ‘oh god’ under her breath as I handed over my £1 coin! Not sure she’s a runner! She even followed me out of the shop to make sure I left! And actually, it’s a shop that is usually full of people in their pyjamas because it’s in the middle of a residential area. Each to their own I guess.
So there, we have it. Another 52 miles this week to conclude 14 weeks of some of the toughest training I’ve ever pushed myself through. All that’s left is to sit back, and enjoy the taper. Said no marathon runner ever!!!
See you next week folks!