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
Let Down By The Shoes
by Russell Turner - 15:32 on 15 September 2021
This time last year I’d completed my final 20-mile long run ahead of the Virtual London Marathon. I’d even inserted 100k into the training so I could do the Virtual Race to the Stones. Lots of miles, legs fine, and I knocked 52mins off my PB.
It’s a bit different this time. The furthest I’ve run in one go during this training plan is 14 miles; the furthest this year was two 18-milers, back in April, when I still thought I was to run the Virtual Edinburgh Marathon. Fair to say, this time it’s not gone to plan.
Yesterday saw my final long run when I set out determined to cover at least 18 miles, even though the recent fresher, cooler weather had reverted to warm and humid. Despite that, and despite putting in a couple of stupidly steep hills, all was fine for the first half of the run. But the further I went, the more discomfort I suffered from an unexpected source: my shoes.
On short runs the Glycerins had felt fine; on longer ones I was less certain but put that down to me getting used to the new feel and them bedding in. However, yesterday I had to accept that size 13 Glycerins feel smaller that size 13 Adrenalines. I did the sensible thing and cut the run short at 13 miles rather than risk wrecking my toes less than three weeks before Loch Ness. What a nuisance.
I did get back out again, in the Adrenalines, in the evening when I ran the final five miles on a flat route, at a deliberately slow pace (the one I should do all the long runs at, but often don’t), so I managed the full 18 miles after all. Coach Matchgirl assures me that splitting the long run is perfectly acceptable, although I’ll probably not try it on Marathon Day.
I would have welcomed the psychological boost of doing the distance in one, of which I felt capable, but it is what it is. To add to the fun, my sore ankle had returned with a vengeance by the time I returned to The Rural Retreat. Fortunately, the offending joint had loosened off by this afternoon, encouraged by cautious use of the massage stick and the spiky rollerball.
Matchgirl reckons I could do no running between now and Marathon Day and still finish in a decent time. I hope she’s right – I’ll delay tomorrow’s run to give my ankle another day’s recovery then pretty much make up taper training as I go. There are no gigs this weekend (although a rehearsal has been mooted) but next weekend we play on Saturday and Sunday, and on Monday night I’ll be in Glasgow with my gig wife, Carol, to see Steve Hackett, returning on the Tuesday, five days before the marathon.
As for the Glycerins, thanks to the Brooks 90-day Run Happy Promise I can return them for a full refund. Size 13.5 is not made; 14s might be worth a try but there’s no rush. Maybe I’ll risk it next year.
So, 18 days to the Loch Ness Marathon and I’m not feeling at all optimistic. Maybe having coped with adversity will help on the day? We’ll see.
Finally, I almost choked on my tea while listening to Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir, on the Runner’s World podcast, declare that, for her, a long run is a maximum of 75 minutes, probably at her easy pace of 6min/mile. It’s all relative.
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