Sunday, March 30, 2008

Auntie Em Tapers

10 miles in the sunshine - so much nicer than last week. A simple looping course with as much climb as you can get in Zone One. Through the deserted City, up the Angel, through Kings Cross and Euston and down through Covent Garden, past the Marathon store. Got a frisson at the sight of the countdown clock reading 13 days, 20 hours and some.

Nothing to do now but avoid injury, sleep well and maintain my fitness for a little under two weeks. This time 14 days from now there will be blisters and aches, pizza and champagne and an enormous sense of achievement. And Shelter will be at least £1,600 better off.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Auntie Em Runs 20 - in the snow...

My last long run - I planned a valedictory 19 miles before the taper. I hung on 'til the Monday for the extra day of recovery and in the hopes that the weather would improve. Ha Ha:

(Photo from Mahesh F on Flickr)

Still - I managed 20.33 miles - 1.33 miles beyond my target, and in to the mythical >20mile zone:

You can see the speed fade away at the end - I was going about 30sec per mile too quick at the start (in an attempt to stay anything like warm) and about 20sec per mile slower than my target at the end. One more Gel would have helped - it seems that a lot of energy is needed to keep warm in those conditions! I'm impressed that I didn't resort to using my Oyster Card.

Here's the somewhat astonishing route. You'll need to zoom out a couple of times to see it in all its glory. It's amazing how much of London you have to cover in order to run 20 miles!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Auntie Em runs 15 - badly

Today was a nasty one: the iliotibial band is playing up again, and I've ruptured a tendon in my right foot.

The second half of my run was agony - and not helped by police cordoning off two sections of my route. I don't know where last week's half-marathonner has gone, but she didn't come out to play today.

Retail therapy this afternoon, with a trip to Decathlon for some compression leggings, some rebound insoles and a patella strap:

I have a 17 miler planned for next Sunday and a 19 after that - then the taper begins. I'm hoping that with a lot of rest, some massage and my new kit I may just make it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Auntie Em Runs 13.1: the Milton Keynes Half

It was sunny, with a refreshing breeze. Network Rail did their level best to ensure I didn't get to the start on time (thank goodness for chip timing). After being told by my sports masseur to consider dropping out, in order to save my knee for the big one I decided to start out slow and steady.

I suffered a few twinges around half way, but could tell that the strengthening exercises seem to have ironed out some of the irregularities in my gait. The course was largely flat (with a few short but sharp climbs towards the end - thanks!) and it's nice running with a field instead of dodging wandering tourists and sleepy commuters.

At about 10 miles in I saw David, and I started to realise that not only was I going to finish this, but that I still had plenty in the tank. At 11 miles I encountered some entertaining climbs and - although my pace dropped right off I do remember passing quite a few people who just seemed to blow up on those inclines. From 12 miles on I raced all the way home.

I came in with a time of 2:08'36", which is an average pace of 9:50 per mile. I also recorded a personal best time for my last mile (8'48"). From which I can only conclude that I haven't been trying hard enough in my other long runs :)

My (detailed) Nike+ record of the event is here and my official race result is here.

It's still not to late to sponsor my marathon, which I'm running on behalf of Shelter.