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Sunday, 15 February 2015

London Marathon 2015 (Week 2 of 12)

Week 2 of 12:

So onto week 2 and the theme of this week was the difficulty in finding windows of time to fit runs into!

As a result there was just a single run on each of the weekdays, which isn't ideal but overall it was still a decent mileage week at 73.5 miles.

Continuing along the normal theme, all midweek runs were just relaxed 8-9 mins/mile runs and then the weekend contained a couple of runs at a bit swifter pace:

Week 2 (Mon 9th Feb - Sun 15th Feb)

Mon 9th Feb: 8.0 Miles @ 8:31/mile
Tues 10th Feb: 10.0 Miles @ 8:36/mile
Weds 11th Feb: 10.0 Miles @ 8:30/mile 
Thurs 12th Feb: 6.21 Miles @ 8:33/mile
Fri 13th Feb: 8.0 Miles @ 8:25/mile
Sat 14th Feb: 4.0 Miles incl. Widnes parkrun 17:55 (3.1 miles @ 5:46/mile)
Sat 14th Feb: 6.21 Miles @ 8:24/mile
Sun 15th Feb: 19.0 Miles incl. Stamford Valentines 30K (19th) 1:57:07 (18.63 miles @ 6:16/mile)
Sun 15th Feb: 3.1 Miles @ 8:33/mile

Total Weekly Mileage: 73.52 Miles

Sat 14th Feb - Widnes parkrun (17:55)

Widnes is a gem of a course for people like me who take ages to get going again each time they lose momentum. It is a 3 and a bit lapper which flows well on smooth wide paths.

The run itself felt quite perky for the first two laps but then became a bit laboured on the 3rd lap, which is not at all unexpected in the middle of higher mileage weeks. It was encouraging to get back into sub 18 shape at this stage anyway.

Meanwhile, Hannah was closing relentlessly on the final lap to record an 18:08, her second fastest ever parkrun so the mileage isn't doing her too much harm either :)

Sun 15th Feb - Stamford Valentines 30k

This is a tough unforgiving race with it's constant undulations around the Lincolnshire countryside. Yes, a lot of Lincolnshire is pan flat but not in the Stamford area, someone forgot to iron this particular bit!

Having run 2:03 at this event in 2014 and having suffered due to poor pacing after assuming it was going to be flat, I was determined to use last year's memory to run a more sensible race this time around.

The race had an unusual (if not unique) lead vehicle:

At 10k I was hoping that, for the effort level put in, ie strong but controlled, a time somewhere in the 40:00-41:00 region would be about right. It was actually 39:19 and things were feeling good.

So onto the second 10k and the legs seemed to be enjoying the hills rather than struggling on them. Through the halfway point at 15k in 58:39 was a bit of a surprise since 60 minutes at 15k would be 2:48:xx marathon pace. Still feeling good so time to get stuck into the second half.

At 17k there was a bit of a heart stopper as we ran down a lane which was tree lined on both sides. With no warning a stag with an impressive set of antlers burst out of the hedges to the right not far in front of me. You might expect such things in Richmond Park but this was totally out of the blue.

20k was passed in 1:17:38, so the second 10k had taken 38:19. A bit quick?

The kilometre markers in the final 10k seemed to tick off pretty quickly, it was very pleasing to be passing points that involved lots of suffering last year whilst still feeling connected to my limbs and not blowing out of the exhaust pipe too badly :)

Through the finish in 1:57:08 which equates to 18.63 miles at just under 2:45 marathon pace. That certainly wasn't expected at the start of the day, especially on this course.

Hannah also had a cracker with 2:02:15 or about 2:51 marathon pace for 2nd place. This compares to 2:13 for this same event last year.

As a novelty element to this race, there is a 'couples' competition based on combined times. It turns out that Hannah and myself ended up 2nd. This was a nice bonus as the prize involved a box of chocolates but, more surprisingly, there was also some beer tokens handed over too to go with Hannah's booty for her 2nd place. A nice day all round :)

10 weeks to go to London now and next on the list of 'lots of races at a wide range of distances' is next Sunday's Rhyl 10 Miles.

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