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
Positives And Negatives
by Russell Turner - 17:29 on 02 May 2021
Another 18 miles, another unimpressive run, although this time it’s mainly my fault. Or all my fault: I could blame some Willow-disturbed sleep (she’s a duvet hog), or the lack of sun and warmth, or a route that became too repetitive after 13 miles (although I chose it, so I’m to blame for that too), but the biggest contributor to today’s disappointing run was the amount of Tailwind I had left at the end of it. That I didn’t consume much more than during last week’s half marathon says it all.
My schedule called for 20 miles, and that’s what I planned to do. As a further challenge, I intended to run it all – or as much as possible – with no walk breaks. Recent runs suggested that this wasn’t a pipe dream, if I stuck to a sensible pace of 10 to 10:15min/mile, especially as my back-and-forth route had no hills. What could possibly go wrong?
What went wrong was that I didn’t drink enough when my Garmin beeped its reminders. This didn’t matter for a while, but once I’d passed 13 miles I knew I was going to suffer; by 15, energy levels were becoming seriously depleted.
There are some positives: I ran, without walking, for a record 17 miles, all of it at roughly the same decent pace; after a 2min walk I completed the 18th mile at a run; a half-mile unrecorded walk to and from my start point meant I could claim 19 miles done today. You’ve got to find the positives where you can.
The negatives included ending the run at an exact mile, which proves my mental toughness was lacking: if I could run to 18 miles I could run to 18.1, and beyond, but chose not to. I could have made 20 miles, even if I’d walked the last two, but again chose not to. It was cold and I was fed up. Poor me.
Next week calls for another 20-miler before the three-week taper begins. I’ll see if I can do better, although the 6:1 run/walk is certain to return. Let’s hope the sun does too.
Come Virtual Marathon Day, I may have a running partner. Not Matchgirl, who still prefers solitude: the plucky first-time marathoner is Squirrel James, late of the Black Isle, who’s been inspired by my exploits. He had also entered the real Edinburgh event and after its cancellation continued training in the neighbourhood of his Clydebank home. He’s already faster than me, but I forgive him.
His target is a sub-5 hr debut, although if he can maintain his current pace past 20 miles – which he’ll try for the first time next weekend – he’ll be closer to four hours. His race plan is to run as far as he can before walk/running; mine is the less flamboyant 6:1 run/walk. Whether we can make them compatible remains to be seen. We’ll find out in a couple of weeks when he’s up north on what would have been Inverness Half Marathon day, when we intend to run 13.1 miles together. It could be interesting.
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