Day 277/365

My final long run before the marathon. To fit in the 16 miles called for by my training plan I ran to Ashton Court, then did the 10k group run (which was closer to 13k) and ran home again. My speed running out was considerably faster than my return speed, but it averaged out at what I was supposed to run. Hmm, not sure that’s quite what you are supposed to do, but nevermind. A couple more 10 mile tempo runs and some long 10-milers, but nothing of this sort of distance until 3 weeks’ time.

I tried out another combination of under-shorts and shorts, but wasn’t happy with them either. I might have to ditch the runderwear as I think it is that seam that is the problem. I have some other seamless running pants that I can try out over the next three weeks.

Day 276/365 – Ashton Court parkrun, and a bit

I cycled to Ashton Court this morning, getting there in time to run a quick loop of the deer park before diving into parkrun (got to get the marathon mileage in). I did it all as one run on my watch, so had no idea of my time when I crossed the line. I had been trying to keep Becci in my sights as she was 2 points behind me in the points table, so I needed to keep either just behind her or with no more than one person between us. I was passed by another lady with about 1km to go and stayed on her tail, but couldn’t quite overhaul her.

I finished 53rd out of 372 parkrunners, was 3rd lady, first in my age category and got a massive pb with a time of 22:02. That ties me in second place with Becci in the points table (though I am listed as third, probably because my surname is alphabetically below hers), but she isn’t running next week and I am volunteering.

Day 275/365 – You Win Again & Back In Black

Today was my longest tempo run to date, a 10-miler, and I ran it at faster than my target marathon pace, to see if I could. I didn’t get a London Marathon general ballot place, so it looks like the best bet to run in London (aside from getting a club place) is to run a good for age time elsewhere and get a guaranteed slot that way for future years. For my age grade that would mean running sub 3:45:00. I’m currently training on the basis of a 3:40:00 pace on the flat (but Bristol to Bath is not flat), so think that I could achieve that at somewhere like Manchester. I will wait until after Bristol to Bath in case I never want to run another marathon again, but the prices for Manchester don’t go up until the end of this month.

Two Zombies, Run! missions completed, and I managed to get them to run back-to-back without having to stop, so I am up-to-date with missions having knocked off You Win Again and Back In Black.

I also tried out a Lululemon pace setter skirt over a pair of Under Armour compression shorts, to see how they felt over the distance. I like the skirt for all of the pockets which I can stash gels in, but the built in shorts are a little too short so need something else to prevent chafing. It was a little tight where the integral shorts rode up a bit, I might try the compression shorts underneath a different pair of shorts.

Day 274/365

It was not difficult to run slowly this morning after yesterday’s efforts. Nice and easy with Tim Minchin for company. I definitely would not have managed a tempo run today, but am looking forward to a 10 mile tempo run tomorrow, trying out the shorts and skirt combo I plan on wearing for the marathon. I got my notification that I was unsuccessful in the London marathon when I got back, so this may be my only marathon, which should give me extra focus. As I donated my entry fee I also got a training top to soften the blow.

Day 273/365

Today’s schedule got thrown a bit out of whack this morning when I got a call 15 minutes before I left for my Body Pump class that my nephew needed picking up from pre-school but his mother was in London and his father wasn’t picking up his phone. So I put on some proper trousers instead of the lycra I had been wearing and went out to get him. This meant I didn’t get my 5km run in until after he had been picked up (after many hours of playing with cars, playing football, and watching monster truck videos on youtube). I had to run it faster than intended so that I would have enough time to change my shirt and then head straight out to track, and did get stuck crossing a couple of roads.

I just about made it to track in time and it was 2 sets of 1,500m followed by a 400m recovery, then an 800m effort, with 300m recovery between the two sets. I was pretty happy with my times for the efforts given the fact that I had run reasonably hard then got straight into a car with no proper recovery (and no proper lunch).

Day 272/365

An easy 7-miler as I am not racing Aztec West this evening (though I will be helping out), and my last run in this pair of shoes. They have managed over 400 miles since my first run in them at the end of May this year. It’s my third pair of New Balance 1080v3 shoes that I have owned. The previous white pair are being held for use in the Sodbury Slog, and the previous blue pair went for recycling. This pair might go to Kenya but will need a bit of a wash first (and may be too far gone). My last pair of the v3s only has another 30 miles or so left in them, then I will have fully transitioned to the v5s (skipping out v4).

I finished off my podcasts on this run, so have started listening to Welcome To Night Vale (yes, I am behind the times). Not one to listen to before going to sleep, but rather spooky to listen to through the Staple Hill tunnel, I think I am going to enjoy it.

Day 271/365

There is a definite nip in the air and running gear is tending more towards capris than shorts. The trees are just starting to turn too, but it was a lovely sunny recovery run along by the river. I needed it after a tough running schedule over the last few days.

Day 270/365 – Mells Scenic 7

Today was Jim Plunkett-Cole’s 1,000th day of running at least 10k a day (with no breaks). So to support him I rearranged my training schedule slightly by doing my long run yesterday, and headed over to run the Mells Scenic 7.

It’s not a flat course, and it’s both on and off-roads, with some of those ‘running along the side of a hill’ moments on freshly cut fields. Plenty of stiles to clamber over, gates to squeeze through and single-file tracks through high grass and nettles.

I was just the wrong side of the hour, but finished as 5th lady and 2nd in my age category. The lady who was first in my age category (Clare Prosser) was also first lady overall, so the organisers gave me the age category award, which was nice.

Day 269/365 – Ashton Court parkrun and then some

I am planning on running the Mells Scenic 7 tomorrow as it marks Jim Plunkett-Cole’s 1,000th day of running at least 10k, so had to get my long run in today. This meant running to Ashton Court, running the parkrun (my 100th at Ashton Court), then running home (via the bank). You therefore get to spot the Ashton Court parkrun course in the middle (hopefully there is an uptick in pace). This means I had no idea what time I ran the parkrun in and had to wait for my official result to find out.

I was 57th out of 305 parkrunners with a time of 23:19, 3rd lady and 2nd in my age category. With the 100 points from volunteering last week, this puts me 3rd in the points table.

Day 268/365 – One Of Us & Who Are You

I am being almost constantly surprised by what my body can achieve at the moment. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get up to my marathon pace, or maintain it after last night’s hard 5 mile effort. But, I asked my body to do it and it did it. The zombies helped, though for some reason the second mission ran longer than scheduled so it ended up being part of my cool down walk home. That’s me up to date with Zombies, Run! missions again, completing One Of Us and Who Are You.