Sunday, 22 April 2012
MK Marathon - decided for sure
Remember me telling you I was a little uncertain about doing the MK Marathon? About a month ago as part of the training I did a 20 odd mile run, thoroughly enjoyed it, but I managed to pick up an injury that has bugged me ever since. I've tried to treat it by easing off running but not completely - still need to keep my hand in but I've done some cross training (for me only worthwhile if made to be really hard work - just boring otherwise) and a bit of cycling.
I think I'm mostly recovered and yesterday morning was the self imposed "test" with a gentle 9.5 mile run. I ran at roughly 10 minute / mile pace (6mph) which is which is the pace I hope to average on the marathon itself as a "get around". Already I'm thinking I'll be in better shape for a Cheddar Gorge event in September!
Everything was fine, mostly. Consistent with runs over the last few weeks, my leg was very painful and stiff to start off with. Being aware I was running along the edge of my foot I consciously made myself run a more even form in making my foot land flatter. Seems to work and aside from the odd twinge, I was good when I got back. Not too fatigued so I'm cautiously looking forward to the marathon!
As ever the run was uplifting. I enjoyed running through some country lanes that are now springing nicely into life. The fields reminded me of how I like to run in "England's Green and Pleasant Land ". No hugely inspired ideas, no weighty problems solved, no burdens lifted. Just a pleasant run, enjoying the scenery and knowing I could do it.
After breakfast I happened to speak to my mother on the telephone. She is horrified at the thought of me trying to run a marathon. "At your age as well! You should know better, I should rest and take it easy if I were you. What happens if it rains, won't you catch a cold?". All the more reason to do it. Can't wait to next Sunday and then to tell you all about it afterwards
Really enjoyed it. Got lost and what made it worse was having strayed off the edge of the map! That is not cool. As I was on the side of the road trying to figure out where I was, a car pulled up and started talking about directions. I thought my luck was in, perhaps they were offering me some directions. Turned out they were lost too and had no map at all.
You can see from the above photo, I was just inside Hertfordshire and a jolly nice area too. "Very Hertfordshire around here as well" I thought. The clouds were rather heavy looking and I was probably in store for a deluge but it didn't happen for me - a shame! I know this probably sounds weird but sometimes it's really nice being out in really heavy rain - it's so refreshing and exhilarating.
I was really encouraged and pleased to see plenty of other cyclists out. Mostly MAMILs* in pairs, whizzing along briskly, though nobody over took me! There were a couple of mountain bikers and a woman plodding along - enthusiastically dressed in the Lycra gear and on an expensive-looking new Trek hybrid bike. She wasn't going fast, in fact it looked a bit of a struggle for her, but the important thing was she was out there and having a go. Seems there really is an explosion of new cyclists out riding decent road bikes in order to keep fit and lose that city bonus. Brilliant.
So there y'go. A "reassuring run" before breakfast and a nice bike ride after breakfast. On that ride I covered 22 miles and, astonishingly, I hit 42mph as a maximum speed - I had no idea I did that yesterday!
*MAMIL = Middle Aged Men In Lycra