I went for the sensible option on Thursday and owing to my foot still being sore and my calves still screaming from a week of nothing then 9 miles, I didn’t run.
Seems the last couple of weeks has caught up with me, though. While my foot behaved itself remarkably well and only hurt after it had rested a bit after the run, the same can’t be said of my legs. From the off, my legs didn’t feel 20 miles fresh. I guess in a way it’ll be good practice assuming I recover properly during the taper for the race but I felt sore all the way and tried to keep the pace down for the first few miles to have any chance of finishing.
I took the reverse route from my 17 miler, getting the hills (slopes) and furthest points from home out of the way early. And as I stopped to empty my bladder at 5 miles, I was feeling a bit better. The weather held off and at just short of 10 miles, I started eating my banana at eat a third, run a bit, eat a third, run a bit style. It was finished at just short of 12 miles. I always worry about eating like it but it was again fine – I felt far fresher and the effect on the average mile pace is surprisingly small. The effect for the next mile was amazing – 15 seconds quicker. Mile 13 would’ve been the same but I stopped to give directions for a minute and that upset it. Probably more than I know because after that, to be honest, I struggled.
The next 4 miles were damage limitation making sure I didn’t pull anything or do anything stupid and I nearly went home at 17 miles, things were so poor.
A quick stop and stretch focused me on getting through a bad patch – 26 miles will surely be tougher, after all, but my times for the last 2 miles were hideous with the amount of walking I did.
Still, the aim was another big run, something i’ve failed on too often, so all in it was fair. My legs now rested feel surprisingly ok. My foot hurts a bit but nothing too bad and now i’m intent on a good week next week and focusing on doing a good 20 miler in two weekends as final preparation.
I’m excited and, having struggled but pushed on, know i’ll be there in April and without the fear of injury stopping me taking part, am confident I can bury myself and achieve a good sub-4 hour time. It’s all in the right direction, just needs a bit of luck.
Well done Phil for the Reading Half. If you fancy Hastings next year, i’ll join you. I fancy seeing how torturous it’ll be at a proper pace without injury unlike two years ago.