Month: October 2014
Monday 27 October, 07:34
13C, mild and windy. Off work today so did this run after sunrise for a change. Planned to do a 7 mile run, depending on how the right heel behaved. Started off with a nice bouncy forefoot landing gait, hardly noticed the heel. Was doing a faster than planned pace and noticed a niggle in my back on the lower right side. Between 4-5km the back niggle turned into a sort of cramp or spasm and the outer muscles of my right thigh didn’t feel normal. Slowed a lot and thought about cutting the run short to 4 miles. The back discomfort wore off a bit, enough to make me think running the second lap would be fine. Pace picked up again and worrying about the back niggle took my attention off my right heel. Finished feeling a bit sore in the lower back.
It stiffened up and I’ve spent the whole day shuffling around like an invalid. Can’t put any weight on my right leg, can sit OK but trying to walk is difficult, I’ve strained the muscles linked with walking/running. Think I’m facing a couple of weeks resting from running and hope my back improves enough so I can go to work on Wednesday 😦 Know now that I should have stopped and walked after the back spasm, instead of pushing on, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Would probably still be laid up.
Avg HR: 151bpm
Avg pace: 5:44 min/km
Saturday 25 October, 07:01
5C, clear skies, cool. Set out for a 4 mile run but did 7 miles 🙂 Wore lightweight jacket, which was OK for the first lap but warmed up a bit later on. Right heel was tender again and by the end my back and hip were niggly, due to running gait being affected I suspect. Plan to do lots of foam rollering and step lifts for two weeks to see if I can improve it and avoid a trip to the physio.
Avg HR: 148bpm
Avg pace: 5:43 min/km
Friday 24 October, 06:21
13C, mild and breezy. Went for a 4 mile run. Right heel/Achilles was a bit tender for the first km. Saw a large fox cross the path a short distance ahead of me, in the light from my run torch. Another easy run to get back in my stride.
Avg HR: 149bpm
Avg pace: 6:00 min/km
Thursday 23 October, 06:23
11C, mild, breezy. Went for a 4 mile run, the first since completing the Yorkshire marathon so kept it easy. Could have run sooner but erred on the side of caution and let my body rest properly. Wore run light and found it easy to see where I’m going, but need to find a fitting that’ll minimise glare and is comfortable. A few slight niggles here and there but that’s understandable after ten days off. Need to plan/book my next race…
Avg HR: 143bpm
Avg pace: 6:02 min/km
A foggy, cold start for this race. Stayed in York for the weekend, so we had a comfortable walk to the start line. Apart from feeling the usual stress and aggression from the taper I didn’t feel particularly well prepared physically. A slight Achilles niggle was bound to come on at some point, and I felt strong but not bouncing with energy.
Of course, I ran with Jeff, my twin brother. We were interviewed by a reporter at the start. Better start line music this year, not opera like 2013. Set off at a steady pace, around 5:40 min/km for the first part. A cameraman on a motorbike filmed us at 9km, and at 19km he passed us again and asked us to talk to camera for a minute. Wonder if we will survive the editor’s cut this year?
Felt reasonable at halfway, but I knew two out-and-back sections were coming up that would test mental strength. Another chap started running with us, and this distracted me and passed a good few miles. Jeff went through a quiet patch of internal focus, but said later the chat had helped him through. Leaving the out-and-back section at about 18 miles I thought I was going to finish OK as long as I could keep the rhythm I’d settled in to. Our running friend from Northallerton stopped to stretch at 22 miles, we carried on.
One part of the race I recall a bunch of runners following quite closely behind, like we were a pacing team. For fun I started chanting 1-2-3-4 marine yomping style. Afterwards someone said they had followed us for a bit and we’d helped them through a tough patch.
The last six miles were tough and a from a long way out I was wishing for the left turn up the hill to the university. The crowds and stewards throughout were great, the support really helping when it got tough. Two miles out my left foot began to feel quite sore. After miles and miles waiting for the left turn I was surprised when it was actually there, a bit nearer than I’d expected on that stretch of road. And the hill, though steep, wasn’t as bad as I remembered from last year. I didn’t have much left for the last part downhill to the finish so couldn’t sprint. Just paced it to the end, smiled for the cameras, and felt relief at getting round running it all and not destroyed.
Walking round the finishers area I started to feel stiffening around my right hip (adductors?) which made me walk oddly, dragging my right leg a bit. Otherwise just tired and hungry. Drank water at every water station, just a gulp of sports drink, and had gels at the start, 8km, 17km, 25km, and 33km. Think I managed hydration and energy levels quite well, stopping for pit stop 3 times and not suffering a big energy fade. Because of that, while I had tough spells noticing aches and pains, I avoided the severe internal focus I had for the last six miles at London. I also avoided emotional extremes like the end part of Berlin, Manchester #1 and to a lesser extent London.
So pleased we both survived and finished together. We had set out to just enjoy this race (like we always do) but it also resulted in a PB for me – 4:14:34. My best marathon previously was 4:25 and last year at Yorkshire my time was 4:40. The conditions helped – cool, no wind, bit of moisture. Actually got a bit of sunburn on shoulders, arms, back of knees and solar panel, from the last hour when the weak sun broke through. The fog also meant we could only see a limited way up the road, hiding the long stretches of road which can be demotivating. Overall, I think we paced this race well, easing off slightly where necessary. Also, we avoided weaving in and out of slower runners. Experience counts. Now I need to decide which race to do next Spring….
Official distance: 42.2km
Official time: 4:14:34
Garmin distance: 42.45km
Garmin time: 4:14:33
Avg HR: 153bpm
Avg pace: 6:00 min/km
Thursday 9 October, 06:13
8C, cool, clear skies. Wore lightweight jacket but would have been fine in just a tshirt. Plan called for 40 minutes at HR zone 1. I did one lap of the main lake, 3.6 miles, easy pace. First use of new run light; very bright, comfortable. Might need to play with the adjustment slightly. Drank 300ml water. That’s my last taper run, next up is the Yorkshire Marathon 🙂
Avg HR: 139bpm
Avg pace: 6:05 min/km
Tuesday 7 October, 06:15
9C, misty and cool. Went for a 4 mile run, one lap of RV. Did some pick-ups and kept it steady. Slight Achilles niggle (right). Drank 400ml water.
Avg HR: 152bpm
Avg pace: 5:51 min/km