I'M RUNNING ANOTHER MARATHON.
Emphasis on the 'running' there, because although I'm extremely proud of my achievement in Paris, I'm aiming to complete this next one to the best of my ability.
Bring on Valencia!
My training plan commenced on August 13th (because everything has to start on a Monday to be taken seriously, right?) following a lovely, relaxing holiday away in Portugal with my family. I've kept up with consistent running since the marathon in April and have started to challenge myself more and step outside my comfort zone.
Amongst the sessions included for Week 1 was an easy long run of 14 miles. When I saw there was a local half marathon race the day before my 'official' training started, I thought I'd swap my plan around and sign up for that instead - at least then I'd be rewarded with a medal for my efforts!
Newark Half Marathon
I decided to run this at my target marathon pace to give me a gauge of how it would feel. I set off and ran comfortable and consistent splits until Mile 10 when it occurred to me that if I picked up the pace to sub-10 minute miles, I would be on for a new Half Marathon PB! I noticed that I was running faster than those around me which gave me confidence to start picking people off and overtake them - something that I have never experienced before. I finished in 2:10:57, shaving seven minutes off my previous PB! I didn't find it overly challenging so I'm going to persevere with 10:10-10:20/mi as a goal marathon pace for now.
Here's how Week 1 of Valencia Marathon training shaped up:
MONDAY: 3 MILES
The week started in a rather anticlimactic manner with a recovery day, after the Newark Half Marathon the day before. I popped out for three very slow and very gentle recovery miles in the evening, but this was more for my sanity than anything else!
TUESDAY: 8 MILES
I managed six miles before admitting defeat and walking the last two. I had next to no energy. I realised I hadn't carb-loaded for the half marathon at the weekend, nor had I refuelled properly afterwards. Not all was lost, however, as I came to the conclusion that I need to up my daily calorie allowance. I guess marathon training isn't just about the quality of your runs, is it?
FRIDAY: HOTPOD YOGA
Alarm clock was set for WTF-o' clock and I left the house at 06:20am to meet my friend for a gentle stretch in 37deg heat. It was a lovely way to begin the day and I resolved to incorporate more yoga into my weekly routine.
SATURDAY: 14.5 MILES
I ran from home to the gym and I've got to admit the first six miles were horrid. In spite of it being summer, I was running along uninspiring country lanes into a strong headwind and boy, could I feel it! Once I hit Lincoln and the wind subsided, I was fine. The session was 6 miles MP (marathon pace), 1 mile 10km pace, 4 miles MP and then final 1 mile 10km pace, with recovery jogs in between plus warm up and cool down.
I was happy to have hit all my targets and the overall average pace came out at 10:48/mi which would put me on for just shy of a 4:45 marathon time if I'd carried on. I wasn't so happy to discover that I'd lost the toenail that has faithfully been regrowing since it last fell off in Paris, but hey - who needs toenails anyway?!
We travelled down to London for a christening on Sunday and I started out in my Russell & Bromley heeled pumps with my posh frock... then swapped unapologetically to my OOFos flip-flops! Comfort > style. Who even am I?!
TOTAL MILEAGE: 26.5 miles (39.6 miles if I include the half marathon miles from Sunday's race!)
HIGHS: Confidence that I can achieve my goal if I work hard.
LOWS: Feeling like a saggy bumhole because I hadn't fuelled properly before or after the half marathon. I also miss strength training, but as it is the summer holidays I don't have the capacity to run and go to the gym.
Onwards to Week 2!