Spring Marathon Training – Week 12

I woke up late this morning, and despite the fact that it would not have been late two days ago, I still felt a little jet-lagged. A little bit groggy and spaced. And I didn’t even have any drinks last night.

I know most people love the clocks going forward in Spring, when the evenings are suddenly longer and brighter, but, as a morning person, it does take me a little time to adjust. One plus side that I noted last night is that I won’t need to take the head torch to Tuesday night’s club meet. Not that I’ve been for a couple of weeks owing to my niggles and my running setbacks. But I will go tomorrow. I’m ready again.

As I said in a previous blog, I’m in the middle of reading Richard Askwith’s ‘The Race Against Time’ – I’m quite a slow reader. However, I’ve got to the bit where he decides that this whole running as you get older business can only really be done from the existential viewpoint that ‘All your striving is doomed to failure’. We’re more likely to have curve balls hit us as we age, we will all get slower, weaker, and eventually we’re all going to die. How on earth does that realisation make you feel better?

Well, if you take that philosophy fully on board, then the illness or injury or situation that you may be experiencing, will not get you down (for too long). You will accept that reality as a part of life, and not take it personally, and when you can, you get up and try again anyway. Like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the hill, knowing full well it will only roll back down again and his task is perpetually repeated, you take life’s curve balls on the chin, or the knee or the hamstring, and begin again. A bit like Kipling’s triumph and disaster quote.

So essentially I’m saying that I’m feeling a little more positive than I was last week. My funny niggles have not gone away, and my 13 miles yesterday was still a very slow slog, but my breathing was better and the recovery from this ‘long’ run is quicker than last week’s so, it’s all good. I’m pushing the boulder up the hill again. Yesterday, as I crawled through my miles around my neighbourhood, my nephew (decades younger than me) got a cracking 1:44 in his first go at the Liverpool Half (an hour less than my effort), and my mate Salena (one year older than me) knocked out a superb 3:44 on a 20-mile race in her training for London. A more despondent me might have sobbed in my own post-run chocolate milk that my efforts didn’t match theirs but I was genuinely pleased for them, especially Salena who’s been a friend since my school days and introduced me to running in the first place over a decade ago.

During the four days off running, Tuesday to Friday last week, I popped to the swimming pool a few times. I only did a few lengths here and there, but mainly enjoyed chilling in the steam room and jacuzzi. I did wonder at times why I was putting myself through all this marathon training effort when I could spend more time wallowing in the bubbles. But after ten minutes pondering that I realised I was bored and had another swim.

I also did Nigel’s strength and mobility class on Wednesday, where he lent me a 10kg ball to roll over the tight parts of my legs. I could barely lift it but I think it is doing the job as there are fewer knots.

On Saturday I dipped my toes back into the running pond and had a gentle go at Parkrun. I had intended to set off with Ian C but he had shot off ahead at the beginning, and by the time I’d caught him up, two-thirds of the way into the first lap, he didn’t want to talk and my legs had started to warm up. There were a lot of honking geese as we all trundled past the lake twice. I hadn’t noticed them before so they must have migrated from somewhere. I am not a twitcher so I haven’t a clue as to what all these birds get up to. An ebullient marshal was singing away to the runners, and as I went past her a second time she shouted that the 30 pacer was in sight. He’s a guy who runs Birkenhead regularly and dons the blue 30 shirt to help hopefuls across the line close to that mark. In the last year I’ve been ahead of him regularly, and fairly easily. Today, he seemed to be pulling away. I was also passed by a young girl holding her dad’s right hand while he kept their dog on a close lead with his left, and carried a pink ruck sack on his back. The girl was running, sometimes skipping and always chattering away happily and I was just reminded of the joy and fun of running again. I also realised that the aches and pains I’d felt when I started the run had disappeared in the main, and my breathing was beginning to kick in. I started to lengthen my stride and reeled Mr 30 man back just before the final straight. I even squeezed past the girl and her dad (which is always good for the ego) and had a sprint off with guy who pushed me to put a spurt on right at the end. What a joy!

So, yes, I had hoped to go a little longer than the 13 miles I did yesterday, and I could have carried on a bit further, but decided to break myself in gently, and try for another long run later on in the week. I know I’m into the official three-week taper but I reckon, at the slow speed I go, I can knock that down to two weeks and have another crack at a long run next weekend. We will see.

DayWhat I Did
MonA very slow and painful not very long run
13 miles [20.9 km]
Avg speed: 12.52 min/m [7.78 min/km]
TueYoga with Adriene
(just missing that nice glass of prosecco)
Strength Class
ThuYoga with Adriene
FriSwim (but mainly the steam and sauna)
3.2 miles [5.1 km]
Avg Speed: 9.12 min/m [5.67 min/km]
Yoga with Adriene
SunA slow but less painful not very long run
13 miles [20.9 km]
Avg speed: 12.35 min/m [7.67 min/km]
Total Miles: 29.2 miles [47 km]

3 thoughts on “Spring Marathon Training – Week 12”

  1. I always did a two week taper for the marathon so I think you will be fine doing another long run this week. Think positive and remember all the miles you have already banked. You may still need your head torch for the last part of the Tuesday run for another couple of weeks.

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