Ah thank god it is taper time. 2 weeks today I will have finished my 3rd (technically second…) marathon.
You may have seen on the news about a lot of courses in the North West being measured short – the biggest one of these being the Manchester marathon from 2012-2015 being 380m short. I had a pretty rubbish day at Manchester in 2015 and thought that I had just snuck in a PB by a minute with 4.32. However, it now turns out that it wasn’t a PB at all and they have adjusted the times based on your average pace for the final 6 miles and my 2nd marathon was 4.35, with my first being 4.33. I am glad in a way that I had such a bad day out there and can just learn from the experience, but it was very disappointing at first to hear that you haven’t technically ran a marathon after months of training. I just feel for the speedier ones who achieved good for age times (although I hear that London are allowing these with the adjustments) and those who set club records, which now won’t count as they aren’t on Run Britain. However, this can surely only motivate everyone to try even harder in their next marathon and see what they can do on an accurately measured full course!
I am still saying I’ve ran 2 marathons and will be doing my 3rd in a few weeks – it’s not everyday that you run 25.9 miles is it? And I’ve still got the medal to prove it!
Anyway, onwards and upwards to my next (hopefully accurately measured!) marathon. I have completed all the long runs (three 20 milers this time around) and now all that’s left to do is finish the damn thing.
One of the best things about keeping this blog is that I can go back to my training for Manchester and re-read where things seemed to go wrong. Hydration and eating during the taper weren’t quite spot on, so I am going to focus on that in the next fortnight. Also, external stresses from work weren’t great during that last fortnight. Luckily, I’m now settled into a routine with my job and won’t have to work any evenings or weekends so that is another thing I can relax about.
Anyway, onto my taper. I ran my last 20 miler last week in scorching weather and I’m glad in a way that I had a run in the heat during my training as it could well be hot in 2 weeks times (although I am praying that it is typical British bank holiday weather aka raining!). I planned out my route in 5 mile loops so I could come home and have a drink that I kept on my door step. It was tough but my pace was only slightly slower than my other two 20 milers so that was a confidence booster.
The Tuesday after that it was the first Mystery 5k of the summer season which I didn’t want to miss at all. I told myself that I’d ‘take it easy’ but instead I ended up bagging myself a new 5k PB! Oh dear – this is why I don’t enter races during the taper as it’s too hard to ‘take it easy’ in the race atmosphere. I finished in 23.08, 13 seconds taken off my PB and 46 seconds off my Mystery 5k course record from last year. Not bad on tired-ish legs!
I love the Mystery 5k because there is always a good turn out from Penny Lane and great support around the 3 laps of the park.
A rare shot of me with both feet off the ground! Then I ran with club on the Thursday and ran 10 miles today as my ‘long’ run – which was quite a refreshing change from the usual 15+! My legs have felt really tired and heavy this week though and the start of every run has felt difficult. After my 10 miles today with the Happy Bus, I ended up going back to bed until lunch time which I haven’t done for a long long time – I guess it’s just the cumulative fatigue catching up with me. It was very enjoyable today though to run with the Happy Bus again, which I haven’t done for a long time as I’ve been trying to adjust to running my long runs alone so I don’t struggle in the marathon.
My plan for the coming week is more of the same – easy runs to keep the legs ticking over. There is a local 5 mile race on Tuesday which I may go and support (I resisted the temptation to enter it – going to wrap myself in bubble wrap instead), then some short, easy runs during the week too. Lots of early nights and staying hydrated are on the agenda too. I feel really ready for this now – just the next 2 weeks to get through until race day!