Current PB's

  • Marathon - 3:54:26
  • , Half Marathon - 1:27:41
  • , 10K - 42:32
  • , 5K - 19:47

Friday, 11 February 2011

The (stupid) Appendix

The stupid appendix. A completely redundant body part that has no discernible use in the human body....... apart from getting infected 9 weeks before my spring marathon.

On Thursday of last week I actually cut my run short by a mile as I felt like I had a bit of an upset stomach. A bit of the 'gingerbread men' if you will. Well the upset stomach didn't go away and got gradually worse over the weekend until I had to call NHS24 on Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon I was lying on a hospital bed hooked up to some IV antibiotics awaiting a slot in surgery to have my (stupid) appendix removed. I finally had the operation at around lunchtime on the Monday and now I'm going through the slow process of recovery from abdominal surgery.

For the next month or so this blog probably should be called Running Less.

Thankfully I had the less invasive, laparascopic, procedure. According to the surgeon I should not expect to be back running for around 4 weeks. I'm fully prepared to take this time out but depending on how I get on I might try something a bit sooner. I know the perils of coming back too soon after a lay off so won't be doing anything silly though.

As I was writing my last blog post I compared where I was this year in relation to last years training and was commenting on how good I was feeling. I had managed to avoid all the bugs that had been going around and my use of the gym had meant that the really bad weather didn't affect my training much. I was really looking forward to the next 6 hard weeks before I had start my taper for Lochaber.

So the problem now is what to do about the Lochaber marathon. If all goes well I could theoretically be back running for 4 weeks by the time it rolls round. Should I just run it with no specific goal time? Should I set a modest goal for it? Should I bypass it all together and find another marathon to focus on? Should I give up running and take up knitting?

You see, I'd kind of set my self a two year target of running a sub 3 hour marathon at London in 2012. The first stage of this was to qualify for London next year by running under 3:10 for a marathon by August of this year. This would secure me a 'good for age' entry which would give me a pretty good chance of running a fast time at London as I would get to start right behind the elites.

So what to do? What to do? Over the next couple of days I'm going to have a look at what alternative marathons I could consider and take it from there. If anyone had any advice I'd be really glad to hear it.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Lochaber Marathon Weekly and Monthly Review

So January has come and gone and I'm right on target with my training for the Lochaber Marathon. Here's last week's planned and actual numbers;

Monday - Rest - Rest
Tuesday - 4 - 4.13
Wednesday - 7 hills - 7.14 inc. 10 hill reps
Thursday - 6 - 5.80
Friday - Rest - Rest
Saturday - 8 - 19.05
Sunday - 17 - 5.99

I'm quite happy with the week's training. A last minute realisation that I wouldn't have time to complete 17 miles on Sunday led to me swapping the weekend runs about meaning that my long run was on Saturday this week. There's a good reason that the long run is usually on the Sunday. When it got to Sunday I really couldn't be bothered with a run but dragged myself out for six miles. Two miles shorter than planned but then again my long run was two miles longer than planned.

My long run on Saturday turned out to be a great run and was probably the highlight of the week again. It should have been rubbish for so many reasons but it wasn't! I missed the train I was going to get to the start of a route I'd mapped out, I was wearing my new hydration belt for the first time and it kept riding up so I had to keep stopping to re-adjust it. I managed to get a small stone inside my sock that I had to stop and remove. But none of this seemed to matter. I knocked out 5 miles in the middle of the run at close to 7 mins/mile and it didn't kill me. Just to prove the point I picked up the pace again for the penultimate two miles and managed them at round about 7 mins/mile as well. I also didn't set out to do 19 miles, that was down a miscalculation! One other pleasing thing was that I managed the 19 miles and felt like I could have done a bit more if I had to.

In terms of the month I'm quite happy with where I am. I ran a total of 133.72 miles in a total time of 16:44:51 for an average pace of 7:30 mins/mile for the month.

I've been looking back over last years training log and I'm much further ahead this year compared to last year. In January 2010 I covered 96.25 miles and it wasn't until the 7th of March that I would run over 18 miles in a single session. My pace is also much quicker this year. The 18 miles I ran on the 7th of March last year took me 2:32 and my 19 miles last Saturday only took 2:26 in comparison.

One of the main reasons for the increase in mileage and faster pace was my decision to join the local gym for a month. In January alone I had 7 runs on the treadmill and I know if I hadn't joined the gym then it would have been all too easy to skip some sessions due to poor conditions. I actually grew to like the treadmill throughout the month. The quality that you can get for sessions like half mile or mile repeats is excellent. So much so that I might even consider continuing attending the gym for these sessions, although probably just on an ad hoc basis.

So here we are in February and it's only 9 weeks on Sunday until I'll be toeing the line in Fort William, which also means that it's only 7 weeks until my taper starts! The main challenge I see for February is that I'm going to Disneyland Paris for 5 nights. I've juggled things about a bit so that I only need to run twice when I'm there; a 6 miler and a 12 miler. However, I'm not sure how keen I'm going to be to get out running early in the morning when I know I've got a day of walking round the theme parks ahead of me!