Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
A Plan Comes Together
by Russell Turner - 16:01 on 25 April 2021
I couldn’t resist it. Just six days after my disappointing long run, today (which in a non-Covid world would have been London Marathon day) the training programme instructed me to “Run a half marathon”. I’d planned to simply run an easy 13 miles but the sun shone, the breeze was light and I felt recovered from whatever had ailed me on Monday – with hindsight, possibly setting off slightly dehydrated.
Yesterday, I’d tested the new hydration pack again and decided it was still a waste of money, so I drew up a flat route with several out-and-backs centred on Newhall Bridge, where I sited a halfway water station where I could swap 500ml bottles of Tailwind and have plain water for when I finished.
Setting off, I was still not certain that I was bidding for a new PB. I needed to average 9:10 to hit two hours but would have been happy to be above 9:30 for the first couple of miles then play it by ear. Remarkably, the first mile concluded in 9:08 and turned out to be the slowest of the day: by chance or good training I’d found a rhythm straight away and was able to maintain it for the rest of the run.
At halfway I was just under an hour. The second half was even better, with every mile between 8:54 and 8:58, bringing me to a 1:57:39 finish: I’d knocked almost 7mins off my PB and broken the two-hour barrier. Bonuses were a 10-mile PB of under 1:30 (by 4secs, but it’s there) and a second-fastest 10k of around 55:20.
All things considered, the run couldn’t have gone better. I’d had to dig a little deeper on the final two miles, but not desperately so: there were no thoughts of stopping or even of slowing. For next week’s 20-mile long run I’ll be aiming for 10:15-30 pace, which I hope will feel like walking around after today.
It’s five weeks until my virtual Not Edinburgh Marathon. So far, so good.
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