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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Chester Marathon - Week 8 of 10

Chester Marathon - Week 8 of 10

Week 8 (Mon 17/09 - Sun 23/09)

Mon: Rest Day
Tues: 10.0 Miles Easy @ 8:36/mile
Weds: 18.0 Miles Easy @ 8:18/mile
Thurs: 5.0 Miles incl. Ron Hill's 74th Birthday 5K 17:59 (7th/1st Vet) (5:47/mile)
Fri: 10.0 Miles Easy @ 8:38/mile
Sat (am): 6.0 Miles incl. Marple parkrun 18:24 (2nd) (5:55/mile)
Sat (pm): 6.0 Miles incl. Northern 6 Stage Road Relays (3.8 miles) 21:35 (5:41/mile)
Sun: 22.0 Miles Easy @ 8:18/mile

Total Mileage: 77.0

It could well have been a struggle this week after the big effort at last Sunday's Great North Run but even though the legs are now feeling tired I am pleased with how they have dealt with this week, the last full week of marathon training.

In the seven days since GNR there have been two long runs of 18 miles and 22 miles along with 3 shorter distance races where there has still been a bit of speed under the bonnet despite the tiredness.

Ron Hill's 74th Birthday 5K

Well what can I say? The start of this race scares me!

After a minute's silence it was time to risk life and limb by charging towards a blind corner littered with street furniture, posts, electricty/telephone/post boxes etc etc. It really is a wonder how 250ish people get through without serious injury to someone.

In the name of self preservation I tend to be ultra cautious around that first corner but it is still terrifying. As we got out onto the road I was outside the top 30 but at least I was still in one piece. Uphill for the first mile in 5:55 and now in 28th place.

Now time to start working through the field during the 2nd mile and after getting up to 12th and then to 8th a little spanner was thrown in the works as a level crossing barrier with its flashing lights came down to block our way.

As you're going uphill anyway at this point breaks in rhythm are not overly welcome so to get directed down into an underpass and then up some pretty steep steps was a bit of a shock!

I managed to get up into 7th after the diversion and that was it in terms of position. The second mile had taken 6:07 and I'd managed to go from 28th to 7th....which tells a story in itself.

It was then just a case of having a strong run for home at 5:22/mile pace for the last mile and a bit for an overall 17:59.

7th overall and 1st vet was about as much as I could have hoped for so not bad at all in the end.

This is a photo of me receiving my prize from the legend that is Ron Hill, the marathon world record holder in 1970. However, the photo is from last year's prize giving, it would have been this year's but lets just say that John Broom makes a better runner than photographer :p


Marple parkrun

I got this one all wrong by not looking too closely at what terrain the course consisted of!

So after a few days of heavy rain I turned up to a predominantly grass/mud course with just a pair of racing flats on my feet:

Suffice to say I spent as much time going sideways as forwards but did actually end up getting to the finish without hitting the deck at any point, a minor miracle.

The time at the end of 18:24 came as a bit of a surprise. How that run came out as sub 6 minute miling I have no idea and to only get beaten by 7 seconds by another 1:18 half marathoner, who was equipped with far more appropriate footwear, will be deemed a good morning's splish splash sploshing :)

Northern 6 Stage Road Relays (Leigh)

My legs are starting to feel on the heavy side now after the efforts of the last 7 days but I figure there should still be a good strong run in them as long as sufficient warming up is done.

As the name suggests this is a team relay event consisting of 6 legs of what turned out to be 3.8 miles. However, for a road relay event there was a distinct lack of road. It could more accurately be described as a confusing, twisty, convoluted multi-terrain (track/trail/mud/road) course with an identity crisis.

There were several disqualifications for 'going wrong' but luckily due to some advance course reccying the Barnsley Harriers A team survived the confusion, our B team was not so fortunate.

I enjoyed the run, which in contrast to the morning's parkrun, was run in bright warm sunshine.

The overall time for the 3.8 miles was 21:35 with splits of 5:48, 5:36, 5:52, 5:22 (0.8) for a 5:41/mile average.

I have to be happy with the pace at the end of a tiring 7 days especially considering the twistiness of the course which included three points each lap (six in total) which involved coming to a virtual standstill.

However, the nature of these events is such that you always feel slow in comparison to those around you but it is still good to get a direct comparison with the fast boys on a like for like basis.

Next Week.............

Training for Chester is now complete so it is just a matter of ticking over for the next couple of weeks.

Tues/Weds: I'll be looking to do something like a 2 x 5 mile session on Tuesday/Wednesday at 6:15-6:20 ish pace but with the emphasis on feeling relaxed at pace rather than being too concerned about the actual pace itself.

Sat: As long as the legs are feeling strong again I think I'll have another crack at the all time parkrun PB of 17:25 at Hull on Saturday. Of course the last time I had a go at it I ended up with another 17:25 but that was only 7 days after the 20 x parkrun Challenge so the big goal will be to have an all out attempt on sub 17.

It was nice to have a 16:59 on my Po10 listing for a few days in August before it got well and truly discredited, it would now be nice to have a genuine version of the same thing. A tough task though......

Total mileage for the week will be around 45-50 and based on last week's experience I'm going to have a double carb depletion experiment in the lead up to Chester, ie 3 days this week and 3 days next week, just to see what happens.

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