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Showing posts from February, 2019

Post long run happiness, pizza, and wine

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After last week's failure of a long run I am delighted to report that yesterday's went just fine. Perhaps it was the glorious spring weather (anyone else fear a backlash in the form of snowstorms and howling gales coming soon?) or perhaps it was breaking the run into chunks.

It's all very well trying to do that in your head but this time I actually programmed the whole thing into my watch. 40 minutes easy, three times eight minute hill efforts with four minutes easy recovery in between, then another half hour easy, then half hour marathon pace.

It was only at that point that I gave myself permission to even look at what the mileage was - over 18 - which meant just a few to go. Hooray! I spent those last few deciding exactly what I was going to have on my post-run pizza (still working on sponsorship by Franco Manca, by the way) and whether wine, or beer, would taste better with it.  For reference, a number 3 with extra wild broccoli, and wine. Much wine.

While it was hardl…

It's all in the head

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I seem to have been giving a lot of advice about getting through long runs recently: shame I don't seem to be able to take it myself. Breaking it up into smaller parts in your head, adopting mantras to get through the tough bits ... I know all the tricks but can't seem to actually use them at the moment. Yesterday's attempted 20 miler turned into 16 when for some reason I just went out with the most negative attitude from mile one. I can't really work out why - perhaps it's because it's been a while since my last marathon and therefore since I ran these kind of distances.

Perhaps it's a kind of equivalent of a virus - once the negative seed is planted in your head, it multiplies and won't leave you alone. At any rate, by mile eight I was having something of a meltdown. I knew it was in my head, my legs felt fine, my lungs felt fine, yet somehow knowing that did nothing to stop it.

One strategy to counteract this I've used in the past is to run a rac…

Tired legs and marathon slogs

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Does anyone else ever feel like long runs are a continuous con trick you play against yourself?Yesterday I set off to do something around 17/18 miles. After about 800m I though, "God my legs do not want to do this" After three miles I was mentally trying to calculate if I could sack it off, go and rest and fit in a long run today, and what repercussions that would have for the rest of the week, timing-wise. The rest was just a constant mental dialogue of "Ok, well, get to 9, that's halfway. Well, ok, 10, that's over halfway and a decent run in itself. Well, ok, half marathon distance. Ok, so just get back to Putney Bridge then you can get the tube home.. Oh well but then you might as well jog as it's about the same time as waiting for the District line...." And so on, seemingly ad infinitum. Or to just over 19 miles, anyway. I've definitely run marathons that went passed a lot quicker than that trudge.

But then that's part of the point of marat…

Wolf packs, polar bears and cold winter running

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Ha, so what was I saying last week about the wonders of technology? Should have listened to my own advice and actually looked at that wonder of modern technology, the watch. I ran yesterday's Cancer Research Winter 10k without looking at it once. I like doing this: you can run entirely on feel. And the feel yesterday was "good grief this is a bit nippy". Now I know minus 2 is nothing compared to the temperatures in Chicago for the last week, or plenty of other cold spots, but minus 2 in Trafalgar Square is pretty cold for racing - and indeed for Central London generally.

So I found it a bit of a struggle to get my legs going, and by the time I was locked into a pace, there didn't seem much point checking on how much slower than I'd like it was. I did think I'd probably check at halfway, but I didn't. Then I thought I'd check at 9k, to see if I could scrape under 40 minutes, but I missed the 9k marker. The result? 40:02. Ooops. Oh well, another sub 40…