Saturday, 29 March 2008

The longest one

Yes, I promised a rededication. And ... well ... there was a missed run in there. And a dog waking up in the middle of the night that led to a second missed run. So: I think, given my current pace, 6 miles before work is the longest I can do, and next week I'll take the scheduled 8 miles down to 6 so I can do it. Unfortunately, 5:15 is just not a time that my body will tolerate.

Anyway, I did my longest ever run today-13.1 miles! [Yes, it's 4 weeks from the marathon and the longest I've ever run is a half. It'll just have to be ok.] I felt pretty good, but the IT band was a bit sore by the end. Out to the marshes, both of them, then back along the canal. Honestly I can't tell you what I thought about, but I listened to The Brief History of the Dead, which was great company, but I need new headphones as only the right one works anymore. I tripped at mile 2 and almost quit but didn't. I decided at about mile 11 that I would just run home and however far that was would be far enough. I was what turned out later to be about 2 miles from home and getting sore and dehydrated and without any more money, and I saw the bus. Not my bus, but I thought this one went by my house, and it came before I could check the map [on Saturdays you take what you can get] so I got on. Unfortunately it obviously didn't go by my house and I think I would have been home faster if I'd just kept running. I was, however, able to turn up the pace a (very little) bit for the last half mile, and (a little) more for the last 1/10, so I wasn't totally knackered.

Clothing news: the new favourite bra still kicks ass. My underwear, not so much. Major chafage. I think the next installment of the Double D review has got to be on good running drawers.
The good news is that I feel pretty good tonight, and I think I'll be ok at the marathon. Meg made a lovely dinner which I scarfed down, I'm drinking wine and not getting totally trashed, and I'm still contemplating a run tomorrow to practice the "run when f*ing exhausted" thing. We'll see. 2 long runs left, and a taper, and then the marathon.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Running errands

My last 3 runs have been of the "I'll run to X that I have to do anyway" variety. It's been a great motivator for me. From the trip to the ATM, to the camping store on my long run well over a week ago, to my attempt to buy new knitting needles today that provided the impetus for me to get off my cozy couch and out into the hail/snow/rain/cold, these have been good ways to ensure I run even when I might not exactly want to. Which is good - because the marathon is now 5 weeks away, and the last month has been less than ideal in the training department. But 5 weeks is long enough to make a difference (I hope) but short enough to make me focus, so I'm re-dedicating myself to the training: 3 weeks of hard training and 2 weeks to taper. I think the 16 week training program was too long for me, and although I'm already thinking about the next couple of races I want to run, I think I'm planning to do a shorter program. I'm planning a 10k with my office in early July, so my tentative plan is to take a month after the marathon to recover, run when I feel like it, etc, then take 8 weeks to get myself ready to run a <1 hour 10k - from a 11-12 min/mile base, I think this is feasible, right?

Today's run featured quite a bit of the mantra, and a lot of time thinking about why I run, who I run for, etc, and a small bit of running "with" all my blogger friends. I had quite a long conversation with Marathon Dude Bill, in particular.

Apologies that I haven't kept up with everyone lately - I've felt guilty about my lack of running and that's translated into guilt about reading about running. But I'm back on the roads, and online.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

It just takes one

Neither Meg nor I had any money in our wallets last night, and our housekeeper was coming today. So I said I'd run to the bank in the morning to get cash - not quite 4 miles which was my scheduled run for the first run of this week. And the alarm went off, and I contemplated not running as I have for the last several days, and then I remembered that we needed cash. And I made it out the door. Not a great run, but I'm feeling more inspired to do the training somehow.

In other news, I'm also inspired by someone else running his first marathon this spring.

Finally, thanks for all your comments and continuing support even when I'm not running, or blogging, as regularly as I should be.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Week 8: I'm (mostly) still out there

No, I haven't disappeared. Things at work are insanely busy, and I don't even have time to think about my running, let alone blog about it (or keep up with the rest of you - I'm coming back, I swear!). I am mostly still running, though I cut my long run short today for a reason you gents don't want to know about. Next week should be better, I hope! In the meantime, I'm having an amazing Roasted Carrot Soup for dinner tonight (no, that's not my CSA but I did get end-of-season carrots in my box this week).

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Week 8, Day 1: Breaking in

After far too long lazing about, I got back on the road this morning. I was also breaking in my new shoes, which I bought in the interest of alternating to give my feet/legs a breather, reducing the incidence of blisters, and making my shoes last a bit longer. I set out for the Islington 4-mile course I usually use, but you may recall I haven't actually run this course properly in quite some time. I actually forgot that I had done it for 4 miles before, and so I'd had the park in my head as a turn-around point, but when I got there, I was only at 1.6 so very clearly not to halfway. I carried on, winding my way through Hackney (my favourite borough!) without managing to get lost though at some point I stopped to look at the map and pushed what I thought was "stop" on the Garmin and it said "timer started" so somewhere in there I'd run for a while without either timing or following myself along. I'll try to recreate the lost miles somewhere and add my true total distance and route but in the meantime I'll just go with the reported time and distance. 4.2 miles, 47:32. But then I finished well over 4 miles and was still most of a mile from home, and in the interest of not overdoing it today and needing to rest/recover too much the rest of the week considering I'm 8 weeks out and took most of a week off, I decided to just walk home.

Which brings me to a thought on the training plan I'm using. It's a nice gradual increase, and considering it's designed to take you from barely able to run 3 miles to a marathon in 16 weeks, I see the wisdom of the approach, but there are NO CUTBACK WEEKS. I don't think I need it physically - the mileage is pretty low, overall - but the mental break is nice too and I think that's why I took last week off - because there wasn't a prescribed method for kicking back a bit. Lesson for next marathon.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Completely unrelated to running: I'm in "print"!

My first short story has been published in an online literary magazine! You can download the whole issue. I'm very excited.