Monday, 3 June 2013

Marathon Training - Weeks 9-14 (Lichfield Half and Silverstone 10k)

Team photo at end of Silverston 10k
The weeks are flying by and I can hardly believe how close the marathon is now! This week starts the beginning of my 2 week taper.

Other than a few ongoing issues with tight calves and Achilles, I appear to be keeping the injuries at bay (touch wood) and have got in a great 14 weeks of uninterrupted training. My weekend long runs have gone well - I’ve done two 18 milers, three 20 milers and one 22 miler in total. I managed all of my long runs in the approximate times that I wanted, so I feel confident that these are now behind me. The weekday training has gone well too, with lots of tempo, track and mid-week longer runs.

I’ve done a few races in the last couple of months, the first one being the Lichfield Half Marathon

With the half marathon barely out of my legs, and a 7 mile ‘slow’ training run on Tuesday, on Wednesday, 8th May I headed down to Silverstone with lots of other Striders to take on the Silverstone 10k. I didn’t have any expectations for this race. I was treating it as a training run, and would just see how it went. After the beautiful sunny weather of the bank holiday weekend, Wednesday night started off rather cold and damp. That didn’t put off all the Striders and other club runners there and we started on mass along the race track. Having run the half marathon there only 2 months previously, and having been there to watch actual motor racing the month before, I felt like I was getting to know the place pretty well! On this occasion it was a 2-lap loop. I set off at a good pace alongside Dawn. My legs felt tired but not as bad as I had expected. I maintained the pace and despite feeling like I was a bit fatigued from the weekend, I still felt strong. The advantage of marathon training is that 10km of running now feels short, and no sooner had I got into the flow of things, I was thinking the race only had a few kilometres to go. I felt strong in the last mile and where previously I may have slowed, felt I had the strength to carry on. I even managed a sprint finish and came through in a time of 40:49. Looking back at my times I think this is one of the quickest 10k’s I have run, and encourages me that I have some speed in my legs despite all the miles I’ve been putting in them. There was a good bunch of Spa Striders all finishing around me. We all went straight back to the finishing straight to cheer on the rest of the team. I was so pleased to see Dan coming in at a great time of 43:59 on his first 10k race – brilliant! A team photo was had and lots of fast times from the Striders, some PBs ahead for all this summer I feel!

A few weekends later was the Hilly 100. A fantastic day where a hilly 10 miles on leg 2, was great practice for the hills I will be experiencing in San Francisco. A win for our Ladies A team made it a fantastic day!

So now I'm in taper mode - easier training and I will be spending lots of time on the roller to keep my legs loose and some stretching. 12 miles this weekend as my last 'long' run. I can feel the anticipation of race day building.....

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