Sunday, 30 March 2014

Half marathon win

Last week was a slightly lower mileage week (82 miles) following 108 miles the previous week.  At the end of the week I had my first half marathon in 2 years.  My PB was 1.34.08 on this course but it was measured short.  I was fairly sure I could get a PB based on recent training and liked the idea of sub 1.30 but when I worked out the pace a few days before I realised that was out of the question! Then the day before I starting thinking maybe I could with the wind in the right direction, an easy day the day before and everything else going just right.

In the end I decided to just run hard and hope for the best. I cycled to the start and although there was a bit of wind it wasn't as bad as it had been.  However, I had been misled, on some parts of the course the wind was very strong.

I had no idea how to pace this so just went for it, the first mile was far too fast trying to duck and dodge around people to get into the right position.  My splits were all over the place as the course was quite hilly, much more so than I remembered.  It is not the best course for a fast time due to the hills; crossing of roads;  narrow bits where it was hard to get past people.  There was even a nasty off road part where loads of people went past me as I am rubbish off-road.

Despite these problems  I had a good run and surprised myself with a new PB (wasn't surprised at the PB but was at the time given the course) of 1:30:28 and first lady.  Was also first V35 so ended up with £75 vouchures from Nottingham runner. Makes a nice change to win something rather than to just get a trophy or nothing.

The half took longer to recover from than I expected, most likely from pounding down hills which I am not used to.  I have been doing lots of hill reps on the treadmill but they don't include downhill so need to do some reps outside as I really don't want to spend several days recovering every time I do a hilly race! So it was just easy running until Thursday when I did an interval session at lunchtime - 4x4min hard where I did my fastest pace ever for that session then hill reps in the evening.

This week I had two exciting deliveries of kit, one from Skechers with some long and short sleeved tops and another was my England kit.  I did not order the pants, someone obviously thought it would be funny to include them in my package!

Yesterday I did a 40 mile long run.  I used this as an opportunity to test a few things ..

England shorts - they were OK, rode up a bit but not too bad

Sunwise sunglasses - got these with my vouchures; normally wear oakley but thought it would be good to have some cheaper ones I didn't need to worry about it I was taking them on and off in lapped races.

S!caps electrolyte tablets - in 24 hour races I struggle to get enough electrolytes from fluids so trying these tablets - took 4, had no issues.

Inside out calf guards - from the championship start at VLM only tiny logos are allowed, my calf guard all have massive compressport logos so I wanted to make sure inside out didn't chafe - they were fine

Gorun ultra shoes - wore these for my last 40 miler.  They are totally fine, really like them but am still torn as to which shoes to wear for 100km and 24 hours.  The extra cushioning would probably be better for my legs but I prefer the lighter Gorun ride.

It was a warm day, and guess what, another windy one.  It was shorts and vest weather but I decided to go with my new long sleeved black top from Skechers just to make sure I was hot and to make the run harder as London and my 100km could be hot so it's good to make use of these warm days to try and acclimatise.  

On my long runs I call home a few times for drinks/food but always carry some with me as well.  At 15 miles I was almost out of water and some way from home so had to buy some coke from a chippy with my emergency £1.  That was a much needed and really nice can of coke.   For the last 6 miles I went round and round a very hilly loop near home to practice hills on tired legs ready for the 100km.

By the end of the run my black top had loads of white sweat marks! I had drunk around 3 litres (had to call at the gym for a top up) instead of around 1.5 litres last time and I still felt dehydrated even this morning.  It was a hungry run as well, ate - 3 9bars, 2 powerbars, 2 bags of crisps, 2 funsize crunchie, 2 Jaffa cakes, funsize bag of maltesers and some coconut mushrooms.  Before you call me a pig bear in mind I was running over lunch so lunch is included in that lot!! 

This morning I did 8.5 hilly miles on my little loop, Was going to run longer but had bad stomach cramps (too many post long run white chocolate maltesers) so decided to split the run into two.  This evening did 11.5 miles to take me to 20 miles for the day and a 60 mile weekend.  This is my longest ever training week of 115 miles and 400 miles for the month with a day to go.

London in 2 weeks.  I wont be doing a proper taper as it is not my A race so I don't want to be missing much training time but I will not be doing any more long run.  Just need to try to do 10-14 miles at some point to test out my race day shoes (gorun3) which I have only worn for short runs so far otherwise all other runs will be no more than an hour. 

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