Just a brief blog before bed. 3 days off (glorious, it’s felt like a holiday, I don’t want to go back to work tomorrow) and I’ve found my mojo again.
On Sunday I did some running on the treadmill, I forget what. Monday I set out to up the bar on my 3 mile best time. I managed 2½ miles at 6.20 m/m then cracked like an egg. To make up for it I went out and did a cold 10 mile run. My legs didn’t want to play, my breathing was tits, I thought I was going to have to turn back in the first mile. It got better in the second mile and then I found my rhythm. A shit slow rhythm, but a maintainable one. At the 5 mile point I was a minute off my default pace of 8 m/m so I girded my loins and upped the pace on the way back. One mile was 8.05, but I still managed to get back dead on 1 hour 20, ie 8m/m pace. I’ll take that.
Today I tried again on the tready, but broke after 1½ miles. I did a few more minutes at different speeds then reset the machine to 7½ m/m and went for 10 miles. This is different to outdoor running. On the one hand you don’t have to worry about your pace dropping off, but on the other you aren’t running to the next mile marker, you just have an hour and fifteen minutes to endure.
At the hour point I thought I’d better check what exactly ten miles is in French (stupid km/ h machine) and to my horror found it was 16.09 k’s. I was only at 11 something. I ramped up the speed to a sub 7 m/m pace and went for it. It nearly killed me but I battered the next mile and a half before realising I’d set it too fast and was going to easily make it. I slowed it down to just under 7 m/m for the last half mile. I finished 16.01 (slight confusion over where the ‘1’ was in my mind, so 80 meters short) in 1.12:54
I’ve just battered my brain working out that the .08 of a K is 80 meters, and at 7m/m pace that would take 20 seconds, so call it 1.13:14.
My target, on tired legs, was to do 30 seconds per mile faster than yesterday, which would have been 1.15, so I battered that and did a heroic and apparently unnecessary, catch up on the last two miles.
I’m happy with that.
I’ll give it two days to rest my legs a bit and then I’m going to raise the bar on the 3 mile pace. I’ve done 6½ m/m, this time I’m aiming for 6:15. Then it’s only 15 seconds per mile off starting that bloody evil training plan.
I’ve found the ideal race for getting me started on Mission Improbable. The Manchester marathon, the UK’s flattest. There are only 56 meters of elevation change on the whole course. It’s flat, it’ll be cool, and it’s local. The only downer is it’s in April, so it’s pretty early in the year (April 6th.) I’ve decided that’s going to be my first sub 3 hour marathon. It’s a tall order but they all are. I’ve got to get to 3 miles at 6 m/m ASAP then start the 20 week plan. As the race, I’ve just worked out, is 21 weeks this Sunday, it’s going to be an epic tall order. Rise to the challenge, fat lad.
This means I now have 4 marathons, the Warrington half marathon and the Outlaw triathlon next year.
I have been eyeing up GPS watches. They are a great tool. They can tell you your distance, speed, and even remember your last run so you can race against yourself. They have a cool little display of two runners, you and past you. Or you and someone else’s data from that run. Or you and a pace setter. That is all kinds of groovy. They are also programmable to give you Heart Rate Monitor data. So you can run at a given exertion level, in a given HR ‘zone’, (supposed to be how to master your max effort. Mine only ever says “SLOW DOWN, YOU FAT OLD FOOL, YOU’RE GOING TO DIE!” That’s normal, right?)
As always, with great desirability comes great big price tag.
The top of the range, triathlete friendly one, is £300! There are others specifically for running, but they aren’t waterproof for swimming. I’m still torn on which one is most suitable. It’s not like my swimming is any good, and on an actual race would I wear it in the water? Actually, I suppose yes. If you’ve got a GPS watch you wouldn’t want to leave it in a bag overnight, with people coming and going and bags getting mixed and looked in.
Anyway, Wendy has said I should get myself one as an xmas prezzie. What a spiffing good egg.
Well, that was a boring entry. Sorry. It’s just that I’m glad to have got my finger out and got back into the mindset of ‘how hard can I push it? I can do better tomorrow. Call *that* pain? Bring it on!’
Right, to sleep. This new gig is early starts.