I booked a day off work for today to run the South Cheshire 20 (a local 20 mile race near Crewe.)
I swapped the weeks on my training plan so my long run would be a 20 miler instead of 16.
I started to look into it late yesterday afternoon. I am not big on planning and preparation. Just before bed I looked up where it was on Google maps, wrote out the landmarks I’d need (Jct 16 M6, A500, first exit Shavington, left opposite some pub, right at crossroads, left.)
I set off this morning a bit late. I still reckoned I had about 20 or so minutes to park my bike, change, pick up my race number and amble to the start line.
I got to the pub turning but they’d renamed it from the one on Google maps, so I rode past, just to make sure it wasn’t around the corner. It wasn’t. As I was running late I thought I’d just follow the road around and cut across to pick up my lost route.
I ended up riding around Crewe. At 09.25 (race started at 09.30) I was lost in Chorlton.
Then I had to ride home. I wasn’t really layered up for a nearly 2 hour ride. I was expecting 40 minutes there, run and shower, 40 minutes back, all toasty.
By the time I got home I was freezing, miffed, and really angry with myself.
This isn’t the first time. The whole of the journey to the Outlaw triathlon was a stressed out nightmare, trying to put my wetsuit on 3 minutes before the start of the race, missing the start, etc.
Well, no more. I’ve had enough. I know I’m a last minute, wing it, sort, so in future I’m going to sort everything first and give myself plenty of spare time. If I’d have had another 10 or 15 minutes this morning I could have turned around and gone back to the pub, or pulled over, checked maps and rerouted.
If I have to stand around for 30 minutes before races, at least I’ll be relaxed getting there, and I’ll be there in time to actually do the race.
I regrouped and went for a run on my own. I’ve got a bunch of run routes locally. Some really nice ones down the canal (flat as a pancake, obviously) and a 10 mile road route which is also basically flat.
I decided to punish/ redeem myself with a hilly 20 mile run towards Frodsham. There are the rolling hills along Walton drag, and some proper steep hills further on.
I set off to try and do a good pace. Not even. It was blowing a gale and those hills! I managed the 20 miles but it was pitifully slow and painful. (8.28 m/m average.) Something else that’s going to change, I’m incorporating hill runs into my training.
That’s the fail out of the way. Oh, apart from one other thing.
I was sat, minding my own business in the front room. Bike locked up on the pavement outside the front room window.
As you can see someone had parked across the way from us. Wendy didn’t have the room to swing into a parking slot, so instead of just parking the car diagonally across both our parking bays, she reversed in. STRAIGHT INTO MY BIKE!
My bike rocked back, I thought she’s smashed all my fairings for sure. They are difficult to source and way dear to have resprayed. I ran out, but thanks to the angle, she’s just hit the footpeg. No damage to the bike. She’s put a dint in her car, but that’s just karma for attacking my bike. The divorce lawyers are sorting that out.
That’s definitely all the fail.
The good news is my foot is holding up, even with the increased mileage and speed required for my new training plan. And I don’t have to buy new shoes or do anything tricky or expensive, just slacken the laces as far as they’ll go and job’s a good ‘un. (And apply lots of ibuprofen gel and wear a compression bandage full time, but that’s no big deal.)
The new training plan I’m following, (from the Advanced Marathoning book) is tough and demanding but I think I’m already seeing results.
My mid-long run this week was 15 miles at marathon target pace (6.48 m/m) +10- 20%. Roughly 7.30- 8.10. I wanted to be hold it to 7.30, obviously. I did the first 8 miles in 1 hour and 1 second, almost exactly 7.30. I faded a bit after that but still kept it going. Averaged at 7.36 for the 15, a new PB, and only 7 seconds off my half marathon PB on the way. I’ve jumped into the plan halfway through as I want some results before the Chester marathon next month, but then I can start the plan from scratch and work up to the Manchester marathon in April.
Oh, and I found the pictures from the Outlaw online.
Cracking the flags, as you can see. The thing that surprised me was my face looks skinny. I still think of myself as a bit chunky.
While I was digging through my pictures I found these, which make me laugh.
Right, that’s enough.