Friday, 26 March 2010

Days 324 - 326 accidentally almost there

Type - steady run

Distance - 23 miles

Time - 3 hours 17 minutes 52 seconds

This week I was supposed to up last week's 19 miles by running 21 miles. The route would have been an extension to that run, just adding another mile along the Embankment and back. But a couple of events conspired to make me run an accidental 23miles. But it felt pretty darn good to have done this distance without too many complaints.

It almost didn't happen at all. I had woken up on Saturday feeling pretty awful - a deep and dreadful lethargy combined with a sore stomach. I decided to postpone the run until Sunday, and got ready to go out the next day with a touch of trepidation. If I had known I would come back 3 and a half hours later having run 23 miles in a decent enough time I would not have believed you.

But I set off in the normal fashion. This time I did an intentionally slower start - averaging nine minute miles for the first three miles. This is something I am going to integrate into future long runs, perhaps even taking longer for this first stage to emulate the frustratingly slow start as 30,000 other runners try to get out of the London Marathon course.

After the first few miles things picked up, and I was running at a steady and enjoyable pace for the first third of the run. And then came the first upset to my plans. Ironically, my training was interrupted by the Sports Relief events that were being staged in Central London, along the Embankment. The usual route for my 8 - 10 miles were blocked by thousands of people running their mile for charity. So I had to take a detour, heartbreakingly up hill to the Strand and then along to Trafalguar Square and then down Whitehall.

From this point the run along the Embankment went well - solid, paced and steady. So well, in fact, that I managed to forget quite where my turnaround point was. I was looking out for a specific street name that didn't ever turn up. I ended up turning around at Lots Road, knowing that I must have overshot, but not knowing quite how much.

Everything else was going well, and the sun had come out. The temperature was climbing, and I was getting a decent dose of vitimin D from the welcome exposure to the spring rays.

The final section was tougher, but, having already run 21 miles, it should have been. It was reassuringly not at the limit of my abilities, however, and even when I rounded the corner for 22 miles I felt I still had plenty inside. Which is good news, cos I need at least 4.2 miles left inside by this point!

The recovery from the run was quick and faultless. No mechanical problems, and a steady pace throughout and the combination has restored a lot of my shaken faith in the marathon to come.

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