This morning, despite loads of things on my mind, I sprung out of bed earlier than is sensible for a Saturday with the view that 12 miles weren’t going to run themselves and people were coming to view the house at 11.30. I didn’t think a sweaty short distance runner would be very pleasant thing to be escorted by, for some reason.
So I ate a hearty breakfast, put the washing out, tidied up, disturbed Cathy from a dream in order to offer her tea (“No. I just want to get back to my dream. Why aren’t you running. Go away” I think she wanted some peace!), checked my route and set off.
Just before the half marathon start time, so I guess it’s as good as practice gets. I started by concentrating on keeping my pace slow since both knees are sore for some strange reason and I didn’t want to flare anything up and that’s pretty much how the run continued, really. It was cold for the first two miles – goosebumps and everything, but by mile 5, things were as hot as usual and bouncing glasses, sweaty eyebrows and the rest started annoying me just like they have all summer.
Good job i’m getting my hair shaved off before the race – that should make a bit of difference.
Sorry, did I say getting my hair shaved off? That should say shame i’m not cutting my hair before the race since I don’t want to be single and Cathy likes it long, even if it does make me slower and as hot as hell as soon as I exercise. Still, guess it’ll mean I can keep the heating turned off for a couple of months yet!
Still, as the miles ticked on, everything started to stiffen up, I started changing my running style to accomodate this, sped up to ease the pins at around the 7 mile stage, got stopped at two junctions to make imaginary water stops in the race and rolled home with little drama for an average pace of 8.03.
So, the race plan is to do a slowish first mile, then settle into 7.35 miles as the route clears and see how things feel. This should allow me to assess things at 7 miles and up the pace as I re-enter the park if I feel fresh enough to drop 10 seconds a mile and finish just under 1hour 40 minutes. That allows for a bit of extra mileage (I did just over a tenth more on the Garmin at Reading) but also allows for having a bad day, dropping the idea of a sub 1.40 time and allowing me to enjoy the race without having all sorts of problems. Much as I fancy going at a pace I know I can handle, my training times have indicated a sub 1.40 is possible, so i’ll attempt it.
Next week will be a normal start, cycle to work 3 days then an 8 miler at the weekend (I seem to be a bit early with my 12 mile run – the beauty of not having a fixed training schedule – hope I don’t regret it) then a taper during race week to include two short runs and only one cycle to work on the Thursday.
If that doesn’t leave me fresh, I don’t know what will.
Just about fresh enough to get a cold and balls things up some other way, I suppose!