London marathon blog – month 3
Week 9: How has it go to week 9 already……Anyway March is a really key month in my training as the East Hull 20 takes place on the 18th March, whilst my weekly mileage is relatively low compared to others I feel my general fitness, engine, grit & a strong mental attitude gets me through. Strava kindly reminded i was due a new pair of road trainers so I upgraded my Asics GT 2000 v5 to the v6, grateful for the discount we receive from sports shoe £90 of my hard earned money left my account. With the forecast looking bleak from Wednesday onwards I decided to head out for a 10 miler, I’d roughly calculated a route from my house through Willerby on to Skidby then back through Cottingham, I had to add on a loop at the end to make it up to the 10 but an enjoyable run in the light snow was had. With the Golden Fleece coming up at weekend I decided not to run again til then, however as it’s been well published the event was cancelled & rightly so I thought I wouldn’t fancy standing around in the cold for 8 hours, but that didn’t stop us hardcore harriers running the route, I opted for the short course to familiarise myself with the route should it be rescheduled, I tagged along with Alison, Ann, Graham & Alan Smith for the first 10 miles, then once I knew the way back to the start point myself & Alan kicked on adding on steep hill at the end just for laughs… A few of the high points had deep snow but other than that the course ran well & the cyclone wind had dropped which increased the temperature slightly so it was defo short shorts weather. All credit to the lads who did the long course of 27 miles a few tired legs & funny facial expressions as they made there way back to the car park to meet us. Afterwards we went for coffee & enjoyed my birthday cake in costa’s it was so blumming moist….After a heavy night on the Saturday night I was still keen to test my trainers which had arrived on the Friday, I waited until 4pm when I had sobered up a little & did a five mile loop around Cottingham new trainers felt good.
Total miles – 29.9 miles
Week 10: On Tuesday night I tagged along with the suicide squad for their usual 10 miler, when I say tag along I lasted for two miles…..finding the pace a little too tasty for me at the moment not be undeterred by this I carried on & completed the loop grateful to Danny W & Frosty for dropping back to join them for a couple of miles. Whilst I may not be able to match the pace it’s certainly beneficial as it challenges me to push as hard as I can. I had planned on doing hull parkrun but traffic congestion on Friday evening prevented me from getting to the gym on time so did a 4 mile loop around Cottingham. Sunday – long run day – having done the ten mile road on Tuesday I opted for an off road long run using the Rudolph’s Romp & Golden Fleece routes, a fresh morning greeted me with the temperature much improved from last weekend & very little wind, the plan was time on my feet rather than a paced run & adding the hills on route for stamina. All the snow had disappeared but the ground was heavy going at times but managed to stay on my feet all way round 🙂 At 10 miles I picked up the Golden Fleece route for about 4 miles before getting back on the Rudolph’s route for the final bit, as i approached the little wold plantation & with Depeche Mode on full blast a big f*ck off Alsatian short sided me & started barking at me, needless to say I shat myself… Having composed myself I made the descent towards to steep hill & devils staircase these never get any easier & after 18 miles it was a killer, a little respite followed before the final hill of the day near the farm at woo dale, approaching the top there was a few families on a Sunday walk I had to chuckle to myself as one bloke nearly went base apex :). A nice road section to finish to get back to my car, just over 20 miles done.
My biggest mileage week of the year, next week – East Hull 20.
Total miles – 34.3 miles
Week 11: The week didn’t start off good as I started to get pain referral in my calf & foot again, i hastily made a physio appointment for the Monday afternoon & he offered me some acupuncture, after hearing some good reports about how acupuncture can help with sciatica I agreed. Waking up Tuesday I felt so much better now I’m sceptical at the best of times so only time will tell but maybe a regular acupuncture appointment could be the way forward. I also think more stretching is required so more back extensions are a must as they seem to be the best stretch for herniated discs. Anyway having rested up for a few days I went out for a steady 5k on Thursday morning, think I was asleep for the first mile I was proper zonked out but once I’d woken up & got in to a stride the legs felt OK which was pleasing, Saturday morning I went out early before the winds came for a 4 mile steady leg turnover in preparation for the 20 the following day. Now as we all know due to the adverse weather conditions the 20 was cancelled, Nige & the team worked so hard in trying to get the race to go ahead but sometimes a decision has to be made for the safety of people. Wanting to still get some in miles in before the week was through I did 11 miles taking in the hill route plus the quarry loop in South Cave, a windy start in the exposed part before getting some shelter in the woods, the snow had settled quite a bit but wasn’t that deep at this point & the ground was very soft underfoot. As I approached Beverley clump I felt the full force of the beast from the east it was proper howling, I was grateful for the switch back & back wind towards little wold plantation, heading down the hill towards the road crossing to steep hill I went arse over thankfully no one saw me so it didn’t happen. At the top of devils staircase the snow was at its deepest up to my knees in some parts. Having waded through that my legs started to feel the cold maybe it wasn’t a day for short shorts 🙂 With the final two hills out of the way I quickly made my way back to the car to get warm. After a worrying start to the week the last few days despite the weather have been encouraging.
Next week we try again for the East Hull 20.
Total miles – 18 miles
Week 12: With the 20 more than likely to happen at weekend i opted for a quiet-ish week, Tuesday morning usual 4 mile route then Wednesday morning a new route of 5k, was nice to run in some warmer temperatures now the beast had departed us. Due to heavy traffic on Thursday night i arrived late club so did 7 on my own, the plan was to do a controlled pace run averaging around 6.55’s which was somewhere around what I wanted for the East Hull, I ended up with 6.54’s ranging from 6.49 to 7.00 a bit of a boost for Sunday just another 13 miles to add on!!! – East Hull 20 – With London now only 4 weeks away this was going to be my biggest test & would be an indicator of how well my training was going, having had a few days rest i was feeling fresh & good to go. A lovely spring morning greeted us giving almost perfect running conditions. After helping out on registration for a bit I had a warm up & got myself in the zone. My target was between 2.15 & 2.20. At 10am we was released & club president Richard Alsop nearly got mown down by the eager runners. I was conscious of not setting of too fast but as per usual I got sucked in & the first mile was 6.18 – I thought to myself don’t be so f*cking stupid there’s another 19 to go!!! I reached 5 miles in 32.42 which was a little quicker than anticipated but I thought it’s a bit of time in the bag. As I approached the half way point my sciatica started to kick in a little but was grateful for some words of encouragement from Jif. I went through 10 miles in 67.10 so thought sub 2.15 was possible & sub 2.20 was defo on. For the next 7 miles I managed to keep the pace around 7 minute miles & despite the pain in my calf I still felt quite good. The support along the was a big help as from about mile 5 I had been running on my own. As I made my way on to the track miles 18 & 19 were the toughest by far I felt like my pace has dropped quite a lot but somehow I grinded out a couple of 7.15’s. Just one more mile to go !! Once I’d got to the top of Dunvegan road I knew it was downhill all the way, it was good to see Mike Jackson at the top of Dunvegan who encouraged me to dig in for sub 2.20. A healthy crowd greeted me at the finish line crossing it at 2:17.59 which was later confirmed as 2:17.55 as my chip time. I’m not known for my long runs so was really pleased with my time, the sciatica issues are a bit of a worry but I dug deep & battled on. Some notable performances from East Hull Harriers far too many mention but a couple I will are: Mike Hargreaves for coming home in first place in an amazing time of 1:53.10 & Tony Cross who made a bigger comeback than take that, in the weeks leading up he’d had a bit of injury but I’m not sure he wasn’t just after Facebook sympathy by laying it on thick 🙂 anyway a cracking time from TC of 2:13.48 which sets him nicely up for London. A great job by Nige & the team to get the race on after the previous weeks cancellation & also big thanks to the all the marshals on route. A good drinking session was had by all in the afternoon / evening celebrating everyone’s good runs.
Total miles – 34.8 miles
All in all its been a good month, with some decent mileage weeks for me, hoping I can contain the sciatica issues & keep the training up as London gets ever closer, next week Tuesday night racing returns.