Pulling My Finger Out
2014 was seen off with a mediocre run as part of a well organised Marathon.
I returned to Portsmouth Coastal marathon with absolutely no agenda, other than to run and see what sort of marathon state I was in. It was has been over a year since my last marathon (without being part of an Ultra)
It was all going well enough until the 10 mile mark when my foot tendon started to hurt. By 12 miles I was on painkillers and was seriously thinking about stopping.
Perhaps I should have. The pain increased and the wheels totally fell off at 16 miles as it hurt to take a step. I had to walk/run the last 5 miles through gritted teeth and it was the only time I have ever had to walk in a marathon. The marathon itself is a great one, scheduled 2 days before Christmas it has a huge sense of fun about it.
Feeling a bit down about my result (I scraped just under 4 hours) I consoled myself in the fact that other than the foot pain it was likely I could have sustained the pace well enough as my legs felt fine (this might have been the drop in pace due to the foot) It’s hard to tell.
Pace. I need to try to run a bit faster. With Boston and my 100 mile race only 11 days apart – my approach to training has been a little bit erratic. I have lost all my fast pace and have been feebly trying to chip away at it. It’s not been easy. In fits of slightly repellent self pity, I have been rather miserable about it. Lamenting old Garmin stats, and frankly, not really doing much to address it. My run confidence has taken a huge knock as a result and I have felt incapable of running fast, avoiding shorter races and making excuses for my slow legs.
I used to tell myself “there are no such thing as a junk mile as an ultra runner”
However I have realised how lazy I have become in my approach to running. I just go out and get miles done without pushing myself and not really thinking about it.
There are 3 months to get into shape for Boston Marathon and my 100 mile race. Whilst it’s brilliant to even make it to the start line of Boston, I can’t be at the start line of such an iconic race and not give it some beans.
….But not too many beans, not ALL the beans. I need a few of them for the Thames Path 100 the following week.
I am hitting the training hard now. No more lamenting! Embrace the teeny-tiny incremental improvements!
Weekly speed work is now on the schedule. It’s a love/hate thing. More pushing myself each time I get out running. More miles. Faster miles. Pushing harder at cross training at bootcamp. Pushing harder at biking. More sweat, more chips and bread, more knackered.
Even if I don’t scrape the minute miles of old, I know I will have tried hard.
It’s always a good feeling at the finish line knowing you gave it your all.
No one can deny that that is a good result.
Next up – Pilgrims Ultra 2nd of Feb. Its going to be muddy!