Unexpected prizes

Winter half marathons. Well, at least it didn’t rain. Actually, it wasn’t too cold, but the wind blew like a demon. I wasn’t sure where I would be. I’ve missed a few speedwork sessions recently and was unsure if my legs would remember how to turn over.

I went off at a nice pace, not too fast, which is quite unusual for me. I slotted quickly into a steady pace with another woman, and we fell into a fantastic rhythm, ticking off the kilometers at a fairly steady pace at around 6:50 minute miles. I felt good. At the ten mile mark we were passing people, and still going at that steady pace. Then the wind. The final five kilometers were into a very strong headwind, and included a few steady uphill climbs. This took the pace away from me a bit and I slipped into the 7 minute mile range. I finished in 1:33:50 – not a PB, but not at all bad considering the conditions.

Much to my surprise, I was part of the winning ladies team prize. Plus I happened to be standing by the prize giving area when it was announced. I had no idea. So I’m the proud recipient of an engraved glass. All in all, a good day.

Back to marathon grind!

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Long runs and frozen tracks

7 weeks into Marathon training. One part is going well: long runs. I’m nailing them. Distance feels fine, I’ve even started putting a bit of pace onto them, and feel quite good. My feet are still not perfect but they are holding together. A physio visit last week, some ultra sound, and lots of kinesiotape seems to have helped. However, the so-called good foot developed a whopping blister during my last long run. Apart from my feet, everything else feels pretty good. I’m definitely fit, and the gym work has made me strong. After four years of marathon training, I have finally learned how to actually do a recovery run that is a recovery run. Probably because for the first time I actually need to recover. I am doing slow runs as part of my programme and I’m not afraid of the slow miles.

Speed, however, is a problem. I don’t have it. My track sessions have not been consistent due to the weather (a frozen ice rink of a track does not allow for any kind of session), and due to this damn foot pain. I’ve been trying instead to put some paced segments into my longer mid week runs to keep my legs turning over. I’m racing a half marathon this weekend, which will be a good test of how I’m doing. It will not be fast. But I’m hoping it will not be completely awful either. We will see.

In truth I cannot wait for this training block to be over, and after the marathon to get into the mountains. I’m planning a trip back to the Canaries in May or June for some decent mountain training. Something to look forward to as I pound these icy roads.