Today was all about nailing a pace for the upcoming marathon, can’t believe it is only 4 weeks away, so the plan for the day was to do five miles easy before the start and then run the HM at marathon pace. I got myself down to the sports centre and registered before eleven, once I had done that I did the five miles on one of the many jog Scotland routes I do, of course there had to be a hill, so a wee stroll up Godsdman brae to get the heart a pumping, got the run done in under fifty minutes and met up with a few folk from the group, some of them spotted me out and thought I was completely nuts going for a run before a race.
We were led down to the start a bit too early in my opinion, the lady taking the warm up finished around ten minutes before we were sent on our way. Eventually we were off, it was a bit congested at the start and a few runners cut across me and almost sent me flying within the first mile, this did irk me a little, none the less I settled down into a comfortable pace and tried to keep myself out of mischief. After the first mile we turned down the riverside and along Island Bank Road, as per usual I got chatting to a fellow joggie for a bit and I did let the pace slide a little (8:42, 8:47, 8:51). Took on board some water at the aid station and the route climbed gently out of the city towards Torbrek, I was feeling strong here and I push on up the inclines overtaking plenty, perhaps I got a little carried away, what a difference a year makes at this point last year I was feeling awful and had a stitch, managed to up the pace considerably in this part of the course and got to six miles in fifty two minutes (8:39, 8:37, 8:18). I took on some more water just past the six mile marker and took a gel, I was still feeling strong and the breathing was under control and felt comfortable so decide to stick to around 8:30mm pace for the remainder of the run. During the eighth and ninth mile I noticed the wind for the first time it wasn’t particularly strong but I knew it would come into play in the closing stages down by the river (8:27, 8:34, 8:46). Only four to go and it was back down onto Dores Road, got into a good rhythm along here and I was still picking off runner ahead, which was good for the confidence, there was plenty of support passing by the Islands and with fewer than three miles to go you could hear the music on the other side (8:08, 8:32). Two miles to go we were back into the city centre turning back onto the opposite side of the river I started to feel fatigued, but I continued to push on past Eden court and then we were alongside the Bught and thankfully into the last mile, a familiar stretch of road that I’ve run many times, finally the sport centre was in sight as I passed the ice rink, “Not long to go now” came a shout from the crowd, don’t you just hate that saying! (8:32, 8:29). The finish was on the track and of course you have to put on a show for those that were watching, crossing the line in 1:51:52, and much too my surprise a course record(0.07mi, 6:38).
The main lesson I’ve learnt from this run, 8:30mm pace is probably a bit out of my reach for Lochaber even though it felt ok, the last two miles were harder than they should have been, so I’ll look to run in the range of 8:45 – 8:50 in a month’s time.
Lee, a consistent pace throughout your 20 mile run and a quick one to finish. I'm sure Emmy will be around to offer advice with fitting in your runs over the next week or two.
Next week is the last hard one it will be around 65 miles with my final 20 to finish I'm tempted to do 22 but I'll see how I feel, then it's time to taper, the mileage drops to 50, 38, 18 + race, which is a little less than the plan states
I got an easy 4 miles in and managed to get to the body balance class last night afterall . I did an easy 5 this morning, the legs were feeling lead like, which made the run a little tougher than it should have been, looks like my MP run tomorrow is going to be interesting