This week I have run 45.03 miles. That’s 7 hours, 1 minute and 28 seconds of running, not to mention a couple of hours of stretching, foam rolling and weights. Yes, you guessed it – marathon training peak week is complete!
Edinburgh marathon is on the 26th May. That’s 5 weeks after the London marathon and 4 weeks after Manchester… I feel like a student who’s still studying for finals when all of her friends have finished and are out on the piss. My Twitter timeline is full of marathon photos, results and post-race revelry. I’m still diligently training, ticking off the sessions and heading to bed at 9pm every night. But now I’m giddy with the excitement of my taper.
Yesterday I ran 22 miles, my longest training run. I wasn’t planning on doing a 22 miler this year, mainly because I did one last year and it wrecked me for a couple of weeks afterwards. All the aches and pains I’d been carrying were amplified after 3 hours and 48 minutes on my feet.
This year, however, I’ve been niggle-free and my legs have been feeling much stronger, so I decided to head out with the intention of 3 and a half hours running. The run itself was uneventful – just what you want from a long run. I ended up doing 5 loops of Hyde Park – extremely boring, but plenty of toilets and water fountains. I felt pretty good until about 17 miles, when the little voice telling me to stop and lie down started to yell.
The last 1.5 miles of my run took me along Kensington High Street. At midday on a Saturday the street is packed. Dodging shoppers and tourists is difficult at the best of times, but 20 miles into a 22 mile run it’s just plain dangerous and requires every single bit of brain power you can possibly muster.
I managed 22 miles in 3:28:32, an average 9:29 minutes per mile. By the time I pulled up at my front door I was aching intensely. My boyfriend asked me if I felt like I could have kept going for another 4 miles, and I replied “only with a gun to my head”.
I spent the rest of the day rehydrating with wine and cocktails – a foolish move which saw me waking up at 4am desperately thirsty. I managed about 2 hours sleep in total, my achy legs weren’t going to let me get any rest.
The day after last years 22 mile run I could barely walk. Today I am remarkably un-achy. Very tired, but my legs are feeling pretty good. I went for a very slow recovery run this morning, which seems to have helped loosen everything up a bit.
Now for the taper! Just 3 weeks until the Edinburgh marathon and I cannot wait. After much deliberation I’m not going to attempt sub-4 hours this time, but I’m pretty confident that I should be able to take a good chunk off my current PB.