Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Finally getting out for a proper long run

On Sunday despite my niggling big toe injury I headed out for a long run and managed to complete 29.3Km!

I was so relieved to be able to get a good distanced long run in before my fast approaching marathon in two weeks on 3rd August. I was also thankful my toe allowed me to complete the distance and has showed no signs of worsening since the run.

My aim was to try and cover 20K and then if my toe held up to try and push into the higher 20s towards 30.

My long distance stamina isn’t where it should be as it has been two weeks since I complete 20K and three plus weeks since I completed anything longer.

I did find it a struggle and my legs started to wain a little around the 14K mark but I dug in and completed a distance I was really pleased with.

I was also able to successful practice my race preparation and race strategy. My pre-race schedule looked something like this on Sunday morning:

My carb loading strategy worked well and I felt well fuelled throughout the run, I was also able to get some much needed experience of using my new hydration pack on a long run.

I also took along a fee energy gels and took four during my run which helped maintain my energy levels. I was happy with how they helped my performance and was satisfied I was able to digest them with no stomach issues.

The run has to go down as one of the most enjoyable runs I can remember. Firstly the relief at being able to run after injury, secondly with not being sure how far I would be able to run being able to run such a good distance felt great!

It was also such a great summer’s morning, warm and bright even though the sun hadn’t quite pierced through the clouds fully at 8.30am when I started out.

It was the kind of day where summer felt in full peak after a few days of really hot and humid weather, the grass was all sunburnt and straw like and the ground mostly dry and crisp despite some heavy downpours a few days previously.

Running through fields in the country park I was often running through a vibrant cacophony provided by what seemed like a million grasshoppers/cricket providing at times an ear piercing backing track to a lovely summer morning. At times it was a relief to leave a fielded area to get reacclimatised with the silence and you then realise how loud the cricket orchestra had been.

Post run I feel great although I have painful blister on my right heel and sore, damaged nipples which will take a few days to heal over. The run has reconnected me with why I love to run, the feeling of pushing yourself towards your limit and the physical and mental excellence you are rewarded with as a result.

I can’t wait to get out and run the marathon on 3rd of August and am looking forward to many more long runs as I train towards the following two marathons after that.

Thanks for reading, I hope you are enjoying your running and your training is progressing well.