Day 97: Notts20

A pick up from Colin’s house courtesy of Nick, a detour to collect Eloise and we were off to Nottingham. The sun was shining, the wind wasn’t quite as bad as yesterday and I was looking forward to my last long run before Manchester.

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It was a good route, a few challenging hills and lots of puddles that couldn’t be avoided but well organised and scenic. I tried very hard to keep to around 10.30 for the first few miles but kept clocking up 9.30mm, so didn’t get the slow start I’ve been used to. Nevertheless, the sub 10mm kept coming and until around mile 10 I was feeling pretty good.

At around mile 11 or 12 my sacroiliac pain started and just got worse as the run went on. By about mile 16 it was really quite painful so I took a few short 20 second-or-so walk breaks to give it a chance to ease off. I think it must have been a very strong field of runners as I was the only one walking, but I was too knackered to care. Despite this I managed 16 sub 10mm miles (I can’t count the last one as the course was slightly short of 20 miles) and another PB, about 3 minutes faster than last week, so if I can forgive myself for walking, I can clock it up as a good run.

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This was the second long run where I’ve had to walk because of the hip pain and unless the taper works its magic, I might have to be prepared to do the same on the Marathon. It won’t be the end of the world if I do, especially if I can keep up the pace I’ve been doing, but let’s hope I don’t have to.

Looking forward to pinning this one on my shirt on the 7th:

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Day 96: parkrun

A really enjoyable parkrun today. With the Notts20 tomorrow I decided today was not the time for a pb and decided to take it easy. No rushing to the front to get an early start but instead a relaxed chat with other KHRC runners way back in the start line up. I kept to a steady pace throughout and came home at a modest 27.40. A nice chat before and an even longer one at the end – I nearly forgot to get my barcode scanned – made for a lovely morning.

In other news, I bought myself a a Nike Slim Hip pack. Trying to get gels out of my Flip Belt with cold fingers is a real bugger and I want to avoid any undue irritations on marathon day. It just about holds 4 gels so should do the job nicely.

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Now it’s all eyes on tomorrow. Got my plasters and vaseline at the ready to keep the soreness at bay and been filling up with carbs all day. It is flinging it down outside and the forecast has gone from 11% likelihood of rain tomorrow to 34%. It would be nice not to have to run in the same conditions as last week.

An early night.

Day 94: Thursday Social

Decided against a pre-run tonight and settled for a straight 10k, which turned out to be a short  5.4 miles. I spent the first couple of minutes faffing around with the Garmin, which presumably accounts for the shorter run.

But the main thing is I got round without any issues to speak of. The sacroiliac pain, or whatever it is that’s unhappy, was there or thereabouts but nothing too concerning and the knees were fine.

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So I’ll be doing the Notts20 on Sunday and praying in between times that the wind calms down and we get a dry day. I’m also hoping that Anna decides to do parkrun this Saturday so I can run with her and rest my legs! If not maybe a last minute volunteer session?

Day 92: Tuesday club run

The IT band and back pain weren’t as bad today, perhaps a sign that they were a result of the pummelling they took on Sunday rather than an injury.  Hopefully, doing one more 20 mile run on Sunday will prove to be injury free and I’ll finally be on the taper.  I’ve read that the runs during the last 3 weeks should be around 1 to 2 minutes slower than marathon pace, which would mean around 11 to 12mm. It will certainly be welcome to have a few weeks taking things easy!

It’s not quite taper time but I set out tonight to try slowing it down. However, a gentle pre-run on my own of around 10.5mm seemed about as slow as I wanted to run and it soon sped up once we all set off. A nice run with Sean, a bit windy but the rain held off. The sacroiliac pain is there but only a niggle and the IT band pain was hardly noticeable.

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I’ll be taking it easy on Thursday and then the Notts20. Several people have said that 3 x 20 mile runs on the trot is heavy going, especially for a first timer like myself. But I’ll see how things go on Thursday and if there’s no further damage it’ll be Nottingham for number 3!

Day 89/90: Wonderful weather

Day 89 was parkrun day.  A cold, wet and windy morning at Cannon Hill. Another big turnout (a thousand is surely just around the corner), Anna joined me once again and lots of KHRC running buddies to chat with. I was conscious of my run the next day so didn’t go mad and was happy with 24.41. I got home and enjoyed watching Stella finishing off Anna’s brilliant birthday cake.

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Sunday (Day 90) started early at 5.30. I wanted to get out by 6.30 so I could get back in time to cook the grub for Anna’s party. I’d hoped when I opened the door that the weather forecast had got it wrong – not this time. It was pouring with rain, blowing a gale and bloody cold! The thought of running in that for three and half hours wasn’t exactly appealing but it had to be done.

I don’t know if it was the weather, underlying niggles or mind games but I found this one much harder than last week. By mile 8 the legs were feeling a bit heavy, by 14 my sacroiliac pain came back with a vengeance and soon after the IT band on my right knee started playing up. I eventually decided to walk for a few seconds and try to keep to sub 10mm by increasing the pace when I started running again. This seemed to work well as I managed 16 sub 10mm and the short walks allowed the pain to subside a little. In fact I managed a 9.49 pace and came home at 3.16.46, almost 3 minutes faster than last week when I didn’t walk at all.

I convinced myself during the walk that doing another 20-mile run next week was bonkers, but I’ve mellowed since and we’ll see how the shorter runs go during the week. I may have run too soon after seeing the physio on Friday or maybe the weather was to blame. Let’s have a nice sunny day next week for the Notts20, please!

Anyway, Happy Birthday for tomorrow, Anna!

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Day 87: Thursday social run

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I set off tonight a little trepidatious about the social run. A few niggles have emerged over the past day or two, probably a result of Sunday’s run. I was a bit concerned about a pain in the back of my knee that appeared out of nowhere and felt like a hamstring. A bit of heel pain and those IT bands as well … nothing really painful but niggly, if that’s a word.

So I’m very pleased and relieved that tonight’s run was pain free. I added a mile and a bit at the beginning so clocked up 7.2 miles at a 9.33 pace. One of those really enjoyable runs that clear your head, get you in the zone and leave you feeling upbeat and loving running.

Stella’s macaroons were waiting for me when I got home. Nice one Stella!

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Day 85: Belatedly

It’s actually Day 86 now, but who’s counting. I decided to avoid the Tuesday night pre-run and just do 4 miles. (Nothing to do with the last minute pancake I had before leaving the house.)

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I also thought it best to take it easy and went out with the 10mm gang. I think it was a wise decision as I could feel the IT band on my right leg almost straightaway. Nothing very serious but a sign that my legs are working overtime.

I’ll be doing the 10k on Thursday, possibly with an added mile or two each way and I’ll see how the IT band feels. If it’s at all painful I might re-think the 20 mile run on Sunday. At the very least, a bit of Jeffing (running/walking) might be the order of the day.

In the meantime I’ve booked a session with the physio for this Friday.

Day 83: 20 miles!

For the first time during my training I didn’t feel like getting out of bed this morning. It was a murky day outside and I wasn’t feeling the love. But with just a few weeks to go before the big day I didn’t really have much choice in the matter. So it was up, a quick bowl of porridge and banana, a dog walk and off I did trot.

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It was the same route as previously, but with an added couple of miles taking me through Knowle and Catherine de Barnes. This one hurt from about mile 10 but good marathon training I reckon. On several occasions I really could have stopped and walked. Nobody would have seen me (except Strava of course). But I found some determination I didn’t know I had and got round in 3 hours 19 minutes at a 9.57mm pace.

The sides of my knees (IT band I think) are very painful but I’m hoping its just general aches and pains rather than an injury. But it has made me question whether I want to go to 22 miles. I don’t want to run the risk of injury and I’m pretty close to marathon distance – something to consider during the week.

Day 82: parkrun with Anna

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Another huge turnout at Cannon Hill today with one very special participant. Anna hadn’t done any running this year so to turn up for a 5k was asking a lot. But once again, she showed her mettle and got round in one piece. I joined her towards the end and was really impressed with her determination to keep going and her speed up the hill. She’s been suffering with a sore knee for a some time now but luckily it doesn’t seem to have got any worse after her efforts today. Well done Anna. I’m dead proud of you. I’m sure we can get Stella out on a run or two this year.

As for me, I managed 24.30, and didn’t feel too bad at the end. I possibly could have pushed a little harder but I was conscious of my 20 mile run tomorrow and didn’t want to over do it.

Day 80: Thursday 10k social run

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I wanted to hit 120 miles this month and needed to do 8 miles tonight to reach my target. So I parked up a mile from the school and with a run there and back, managed 8.2 miles and a grand total for February of 120.7 miles.  The 10k was a nice run; a bit social a bit solo, and no niggles to speak of.

I’ve been wondering which camp I’m going to find myself in after Manchester. Most people I’ve spoken to who’ve completed a marathon say ‘no more’, in most cases because of the amount of training needed to maintain fitness. Then there are the minority, those who no sooner finish one marathon are getting ready for their next one. I like the idea of multiple marathons. I’ve enjoyed the long runs and I’m looking forward to the 20 mile run this Sunday. I’ve spent some time today looking at marathons taking place in the summer.  If Manchester goes well and I manage to escape injury, I’d like try another around June. Liverpool clashes with Stella’s birthday so I’ve got my eye on Worcester. We’ll see!