I am however feeling for the first time somewhat overtrained. Yesterday I completed 24 km in the hills, and on a gentle tarmaced down-hill section could only just manage 4:17 for that kilometre toward the end. I just felt so weary. It's time to back off, and it's time to taper anyway, but I must find ways of keeping the wheels in motion, I don't want to be rusty a week on Sunday (my word that sounds close!) I hope to still feeling up for a final 10 miler on Sunday.
Other recent long runs have included:
- 36 km in 2:42, adopting a 4:45/km x2 4:15/km x1 strategy throughout, and attempting to hold this in the last couple of K.
- 29 km, inc. 1 km warm up, 15 km 4:45/km, 4 km 4:15, 4km 4:10, 4km 4:05. "Fast Finish". That's how to knacker yourself!
- 2 x 18 km with 1h30 break between. Not too difficult really.
2 days before the marathon: Switch to high-carbohydrate diet.
I was intrigued by this (and generally love eating fatty products!), but was quickly scuppered as I am also battling chronic stomach issues, which are gastritis, but are caused neither by gluten or bacteria. Advice is against a fatty diet. I shall be emphasising rice and bananas in my last two meals.
I am also undergoing a couple of heart checks as I sometimes get heart palpitations. Quite satisfying to hear the cardiologist make a comment about me having a "sportsman's heart", around 50 bpm, sometimes less! Something must be going right. I have another check in another couple of days...
Taking it a bit easier is also an opportunity to reflect on those bigger why do it questions. It's great teaching some PE to a local christian class, where we focus on the fact that running, and functional bodies, really are amazing and quite a privilege to be appreciated in recognition of who made them, gave them to us. We certainly didn't deserve them or ask for them! I still want to run for Him.
What's on the horizon?
I still feel that my longer term plan is to steer away from marathons to off-road long-distance stuff, it's just so much fun! But I'm not abandoning it yet as I still can't wait to experience what London 2014 is going to be like. Apparently Mo Farah will be making his London marathon debut there too, so it's a head-to-head there! I wonder what he'll do? My vote is for a new British record, finally breaking Jones' 80s record. Of course I won't be too far behind, just an hour or so ;)
Otherwise, I have two more off-road events scheduled, one around 24 km with 2000m positive ascent and a 55 km ultra later in June with similar climb (i.e. a "quick" ultra, pacing shall be an interesting one).