The final long run a week out from the big one and a last chance to test out all of the kit, including eating what I intend to and starting at about the same time. This was just 50 minutes of marathon pace after a quick 10 minute warm up and followed by a 10 minute cool down.
It was just enough time to squeeze in the 10k version of the Zombies, Run! spring race, which was confused by Staple Hill tunnel again, but which awarded me a time of 48:13 for the race portion of the mission. I also managed to finish off the rest of the 5k mission (the race part was already over), so I can open up my goodies now and hang my medal.
Trying not to think about next week too much now, I have put the training in but don’t want to get over anxious or over excited before I cross that start line and see what I can do. Fingers crossed the weather holds much as it has been today, not too hot.
Sleep-deprivation mounted up over the week of the BJC, but after reuniting with the kittens and unloading the car I still had a threshold interval session to do so I headed out to the good old railway path which has been much neglected while I have been away. The zombies, run! Spring virtual race was also live so I decided to start the 5k race after my warm up.
Today’s session was 6 reps of 5 minutes at threshold (heart rate zone 4) with 60 seconds recovery. The first rep was a bit ropey as my legs seemed somewhat uncoordinated, but I soon warmed up into the session and my pace improved going from 4:40 min/km to 4:30, 4:25, 4:31, 4:24 finishing with 4:20. The Zombies, run! app always gets confused when I go through the Staple Hill tunnel so I actually ran further than 5km to finish the 5km race, but was given a race time of 23:47 (though I stopped the mission at 30:12, after I was instructed to stop running). I’ll try and do the 10k race on Sunday in my final bit of marathon pace before London.
Most marathon plans don’t have a fast 5k the day before the big race, but it was the only chance to squeeze in the virtual Zombies, Run! race before a very long run indeed tires me out. It was made extra exciting by running it in the rain, in the dark, on paths with no street lights but with plenty of slippery fallen leaves. At one point (around the 14 mile point tomorrow) I switched from the pavement to the road as the path is overhung with bits of bramble and I wouldn’t be able to see them before they hit me in the face.
Oops, went a little too fast on my tempo run this morning. I blame the new watch. It is much more sensitive than the old one, so that when you check and see that your pace is behind your target and so speed up, you suddenly find that you are going far too fast.
I finished off Season 4 of Zombies, Run! with the final two missions: Bed Of Lies and Choice. Just in time for a week of tapering and then a lot of minimum distance 5km recovery runs.
I totally overdid it on Wednesday, and have been suffering with DOMS ever since. But the training plan said I had a 10 mile tempo run to do today, so I had a stretch and a bit of a roll and headed out. Since it was mostly squats that had ruined me, running wasn’t actually that bad, and I was pleased to be able to keep to my marathon pace (no heroics this week). It only hurt when I stopped. I managed to polish off another two Zombies, Run! missions: Cherish and The Game Has Changed and tested out another shorts/skirt combination. These are the shoes I will be running in and I am now pretty happy with what my lower half will be wearing (my upper half has already been tested out).
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.
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.
It was back out with the zombies again today and it was hard keeping up the pace. Hopefully this is just tiredness from the half, but there was no way I felt like I could continue that pace for another 17 miles. I may need to work on a marathon playlist to help me through. Two Zombies, Run! missions today (and they have fixed the website): Got My Mind Set On You and Tower Of Song.
I met my 2015 distance target of 2,015km last night, but it was out with the zombies again this morning, with the update coming through just in time. They have closed the Staple Hill tunnel again, so I was diverted round the houses (literally) which should be interesting when I try and do my tempo run tomorrow. I got through the season four missions Monster and We Are Golden. I finished up at the Royal Mail depot to pick up my latest additions to the lycra wardrobe.
Another 8 mile tempo run, and strava tells me that I kept my heart rate in the ‘threshold’ zone for 92% of it (which is good, I think). I got through two Zombies, Run! missions to get me completely up to date: Hit Me Baby One More Time and Honey Honey, though I had finished my run and was walking for the last few minutes of Honey Honey. The website is still not registering the runs against the missions.
I went out in all animal print today, but with a bit of a twist: bright pink leopard print on top, with tiny flourescent yellow giraffe print booty shorts. I also used my 10k playlist to keep my pace high (some tracks you just can’t run slowly to). I did have to take a slight diversion around a hedge cutting machine towards the end, which took me into some twisty residential roads, but I found my way out in the end.