MK Marathon – Week 10 Training – I’m still an idiot

Week 10 of 17
This week was about snagging another marathon on the way to 100 and getting some decent pace work in.  Looking back it also shows I never follow my own advice…..

Monday – Rest (well actually drive to Glastonbury, stand in the rain for a day for work and driving back).

Tuesday – 6:40 session. 6:51 pace for 4 miles Fourth attempt at this club session. Should be one mile at 7min pace and three at 6:40min pace. For less effort it was only a second per mile slower than previous attempt.  Training is working.

Wednesday – Rest – As much as the 5am Tempo run up a hill in the dark has been a key part of training for the last 18 months it’s great to lie in bed (especially on your Birthday) and have a guilt free week off as the next day is a marathon.


Thursday – Eton Dorney Marathon – Marathon 93 – Organised by a relatively new running event organiser, Running Miles,  it’s a 6 hour timed event doing 2.62 mile out-and-back laps along the Olympic Rowing lake.  Do 1 lap, get a medal.  Do 10 laps and get a marathon.  As it’s laps you see other runners regularly and can support and encourage each other.  Plus the other advantage of never being far from aid station or toilets and no getting lost.

Having run the course last October and getting an accidental second quickest marathon only 4 days after running Bournemouth marathon I had high hopes for a decent time.  It’s a flat and quick course.  A month since doing the Quadzilla (4 marathons in 4 days) I hoped to be recovered and ready to do a decent time.

This is where my years of experience of running marathons kicked in.

Perfect race day preparation, as covered in the previous blog post.

  • Rest well the day before.  Get to bed early once all final checks have been made.
  • Get your kit on and make sure to protect nipples etc.
  • Leave plenty of time to get to the event in a calm manner.
  • Drop off bag, final toilet stop and get ready to race.
  • Run the event at your chosen and proven pace (averaged 7:42 min/mile last time so target was a smidgen faster and try and pick up pace after 20 miles).
  • Finish strong and collect medal.

So naturally I –

  • Went out on a leaving do for a colleague the night before.  Hydrated with beer and fuelled with pizza, stumbled into bed at 12.
  • Didn’t leave enough time to get to the race.  Pulled onto the lake to see the runners setting off into the distance.
  • Sprinted from car, grabbed race number, and attempted the fastest portaloo break in history of athletics (I got a PB I’m sure).
  • Dropped food and drink bag by tent.
  • Ran to start line about 5 minutes after everyone else had set off.
  • Set off like an angry, startled hare and tried to chase the pack down.
Here’s what it looks like when I actually get to the start line in time…

Starting from the back does give you an incentive to push and I gradually reeled people in. Setting off at a suicidal pace that felt effortless I wondered if I’d suddenly become Mo Farah.  Then at the halfway point turned around for the return section and was hit by a horrendous headwind.  Sadly I hadn’t woken up with Olympic quality legs, just been running with the wind at my back and blown most of the way there.

By end of first lap I was close to top 10.  Somewhere through second lap I passed 5km in a near-PB.  Probably not ideal.

On third lap I’d pulled a bit further and was just outside 10k PB.  Passing a pack of runners I slipped into the no-mans lands between the 6th place runner at around 3:15-3:20 pace and the pack at around 3:30.  Logic said I should have hung with the 3:30 pack but I pushed on hoping to reel some people in.  It didn’t work.  The beautiful spring weather felt like an oven compared to the sub-zero months we’d endured in the UK and I was wondering if I should have put some sun screen on.

By HM distance I was already regretting the early pace and as I gradually slowed over the rest of the race I lost a few places.

The final few laps I struggled to keep under 8min/mile pace and was bleeding profusely from my nips.  Bloody amateur.

Comedy value was provided on  the final lap when I deftly flicked my headphones out with a dodgy wrist slap, they fell to the floor and tangled around ankles bringing me to a complete stop like a lassoed steer.

Finally crossed the line to complete 10 laps and marathon distance in 3:27:43 (unofficially).  My 16th time under 3:30, but my 11th quickest was not the fast time I’d hoped for.  Official finish time was 3:31:00 which satisfied my OCD for round numbers.

All that was left was to collect my shiny medal and get to work (luckily we have showers in the office).

Two weeks until marathon 94.  Lets see if I can turn up on time for this one.

Friday – Recovery Run – 6 miles at 8:35 pace – Don’t normally do more than a few miles on a recovery normally but legs felt OK and dog face wanted more.

Saturday – Rest Day

Sunday – 14.6 miles at 7:53 – Joined some club mates doing an unofficial marathon by lapping Caldecotte Lake.  The thought of getting up to join them at 6am in the rain was just too hard to resist and I duly stumbled out of bed and ran four laps before heading back for breakfast and Sunday morning cuddles on sofa with the kids.  Pleased to hold a decent pace so soon after a marathon and on no breakfast.

Weekly total mileage – 51.15 miles – back to the right side of 50 after a few weeks of recovery and being lazy.

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