Day 103: parkrun

Another Cannon Hill parkrun  with Anna this morning. She took me up on my offer to pace for her and with the Coventry Half tomorrow, I was happy to have an excuse to take things easy.

It was a great atmosphere with the KHRC C25k people attending their first parkrun and loads of support from the club. Me and Anna set off with 12mm planned. This would get her round in 37 and a bit minutes. Once again she was a real trooper and stayed with me all the way round, even managing a sprint up the hill at the end.

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We ended up doing a 12.10mm pace and finished in 38.06, a good 40 seconds faster than last week. Well done Anna!

I’ve been loading up on the carbs this afternoon and it’s an early night for me and the girls and up at 6.00 for Coventry in the morning.

Day 101: C25k

Well, that was fun! I volunteered to join the C25k (Couch to 5k) group last night on their last run before their very first parkrun on Saturday. This group of novice runners have been meeting for the past 8 weeks (I think) and gradually building up their distance to the point that last night they ran for 30 minutes. I ran with one person who managed an amazing 13mm pace and without stopping for a breather once. Well done!

The group will now meet up on Saturday at Cannon Hill to run their first 5k! Apart from the fantastic organisation of the C25k programme led by Lee, KHRC will also be organising a running buddy for each of the group members to help them complete the parkrun. It’s really wonderful to see two fantastic community initiatives coming together like this, without a penny changing hands and all thanks to the kindness of volunteers.

Eeek! Just noticed on the right – 16 days to go!

Day 99: Club run

Another thing I’d never heard of that I apparently suffer from: ‘knee valgus’. I went to a sports physio yesterday and he quickly identified that my knees tend to collapse inwards when I squat on one leg – a result of weak glutes and other hip muscles, the names of which I can’t remember. He sorted me out with some stretches and exercises, which I intend to do on a daily basis. I’m pleased I’ve identified the cause of my hip pain and according to the physio, this can all be remedied with a bit of hard work.

And two days after the Notts20 I managed a gentle 4 mile club run tonight without any significant issues and a nice chat with running buddies as well.

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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!