Sunday, September 1, 2019

Marathon Training on the Isle of Wight before racing a 10 miler

Marathon Training on the Isle of Wight 

before racing a 10 miler

Abingdon Marathon Training - 7 weeks to go! 

Both of us - Blue 
John -Orange 
Kelly - Purple 

Monday 26th August 2019 

It's holiday time! 

We woke up super excited this morning ready for our holiday to the Isle of Wight. John had booked this for me to celebrate my 30th Birthday (back in July). We had already packed so left ahead of time and arrived in Southampton an hour earlier than planned! We had hoped to sneak onto the earlier ferry but...there was fog which caused a 2 hour delay. We now had 3 hours to kill in Southampton. Never mind, time for breakfast and a cheeky drink in the local Weather spoons!

Eventually, we made it onto the ferry and had a glorious sail with the sun blaring at 25 degrees. 

We arrived in our home for the week - John did good. The 'corner house' was lovely with a great little kitchen, living room and upstairs, a bedroom with a roll top bath in - perfect for recovering in after our running this week! 

I didn't actually run today but we did do quite a bit of walking, first around our local town of Ventnor and then up the hill to Bonchurch where we ate dinner- lots of pasta which was perfect prep for our run tomorrow morning. 

I ran :-) Up early - Recovery Run - 5 Miles @ 8:42MM Pace - Good to get it done and being that it was 6AM and bank holiday Monday was eerily quiet out and about!

Tuesday 27th August 2019 

Can you spot Kelly?

After a bit of a lie in ...we are on holiday after all! We got up and headed out to explore the coastal path. It was supppper hot so I was really pleased that John packed some water for us. The coastal path (like all others I've ever ran on) it very bumpy but we were rewarded for our efforts with beautiful views. 

We ran 8 miles at an average pace of 10:40 but with 995ft of elevation! 
We saw our first ever red squirrel! He posed for us!

We spend the rest of the day on the beach! 24 degrees and glorious sunshine. Luckily, we could cool down with a swim in the sea.

John swimming

As KD has explained, we ran 8 Miles @ 10:32MM - very bumpy up and own coastal miles! Tough in the heat but nice to explore.

Wednesday 28th August 2019 

Today John had planned for us to get our long run in as we had a race at the weekend. I was keen to do 20 miles but slightly apprehensive as my legs were definitely still feeling the Severn Bridge Half only 3 days ago...

Knowing me very well, John researched the whole Island and found a stretch of 3 flat miles that went from Shanklin to Sandown - perfect! He knew that there was no way I'd be able to do 20 miles using the coastal path! It was a beautiful stretch of beach with a dead flat prom between the two towns - similar to our very own Weston Prom! 

We started off and got into a good rhythm of  7:35 - 7:50 minute miles. I was feeling pretty happy with this pace. I was working hard; my legs were tired from the weekend. But I was able to maintain the pace and I was looking forward to keeping this pace going for the whole 20 miles. John had other plans however. He wanted to add in 2 blocks of 3 miles each at marathon pace (MP - we are targeting around 6:40s). I instantly went into denial and declared that there was no way that I could do that so soon after legs just couldn't. John gave me a bit of a talking to - telling me that it was all in my head. 

I supposed I could at least try. So I did. Although, when we turned around after 4 miles ready to start our MP, we realised that the wind was now in our faces and really quite strong...quickly reading my mind, John suggested that we do our MP in the other direction. Great. Although that did give me another 3 miles to mentally panic about the fact that I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to hit the pace. 

After a quick drink (we'd sneakily hidden our water bottles under a bench at one end of the prom...we don't normally drink for long runs but it was already about 18 degrees at 8 am and getting hotter by the second) we turned around and set off for 3 miles of MP. Surprisingly, it wasn't too bad...maybe I'm adapting...or John is right and it's all just in my head! 

The first mile went past quite quickly 6:46mm pace - not bad. And the best thing, I felt like I could do two more miles. The next two were even quicker - 6:42 and 6:45. The pace felt hard but ok. Although, the second my watch beeped for the end of the 3rd mile, I was desperate to slow down and it took me almost a whole mile of recovery to get my breathing down. 

So, 3 miles done but I knew that, after another 3 miles of recovery, I had 3 more to go...I just focused on recovering at this point and tried to put the other miles out of my mind. Again, we had a quick sip of water and then we were off for our next 3. These were harder. 6:56, 6:46 and 6:48. Slower, but close enough for me. I had to really dig deep to get those done and as soon as I'd finished I pretty much collapsed onto a bench (handy the bench was right where my watch beeped!). John was looking incredibly strong so I waved at him to push on and gave myself a couple of minutes to sit and recover. 

By this point we'd done 16 miles. Just 4 miles to go...4 tiny miles...which felt like such a long way. I sneakily popped into a cafe and grabbed a glass of water; half of which I drank and the rest I poured over my head. By now it must have been well over 20 degrees and I was feeling the heat. My legs had had enough and I was really tempted to walk the rest...but I calculated that it would take a very long time. Instead, I gave myself a good talking to and pushed on. The last 4 miles were slow and painful (around 8:40 pace) but I did it. I got them done. Great mental training for the marathon. 

I rewarded myself with a swim in the sea. THE best way to end a long run. I felt like a pro having an ice bath - although it wasn't that cold...just refreshing. 

20 miles done with an average pace of 7:44. Running on tired legs it hard but hopefully it's got to be good training. 

A great confidence booster! 
20 Miles @ 7:23MM Pace - 2 x 3Mi & 1 x 2Mi @ Marathon Pace <6:45MM
WELL CHUFFED! The run felt pretty straight forward throughout (Heart Rate was 142BPM average) and as long as it's not 20+ degrees come October marathon pace on rested legs SHOULD be straight forward - typically for the first 20 miles anyways...

We spent the rest of the day visiting a vineyard and tasting wine - perfect recovery! 

Thursday 29th August 2019 

Just a recover run today. We decided to explore the coastal path in the other direction. We found a lovely route with a rope swing and a wishing chair. 

5 miles at 10:30 mm pace. 

Knackered after yesterday - very steady running - 5 Miles @ 10:32MM Pace - nice to get the legs turning over but we were on holiday so 5 miles was more than enough.

Then, we walked alpacas and llamas! 

Followed by a visit to the Needles, a trip on a cable car and a spot of crazy golf. John won by 1 point! 38 - 39! ...But I got a whole in technically...I won right!? 

Friday 30th August 2019 

What with the Oldbury 10 miler on Sunday, today was just a recovery run...and also, our last run on the Island. 3 miles at 9:19 pace. It was another beautiful day so I finished it off - as has become a custom - with a swim in the sea! 

We visited Osborne House today and saw the bed where Queen Victoria died! A beautiful house with stunning grounds and a private beach! 

5K Plod - 3.1 Miles @ 9:25MM Pace - Time to go home... :-(

Saturday 31st August 2019 

No running for me today. We were back at home so spent the day chilling...oh and visiting our local running shop - Moti - and trying on pretty much every pair of shoes in the shop. I've had a major dilemma in that Brooks have discontinued the Pure Cadence range which I have been wearing for 5 years. This meant that the poor men in the running shop had to listen while I explained all the things I liked about those shoes and how I'd bought up every pair of size 5.5s on the internet and now I needed something exactly the same...

After at least an hour, I chose the Saucony Kinvara helped my decision that they were also GWR blue! Amazingly, and - in my opinion - quite romantically, John separately chose the exact same pair in the mens...although they didn't come in blue sadly. 

We spend the rest of the day with our feet up before having our new favourite pre-race dinner of gluten free (animal shaped) pasta bake. 

I went for a run :-) parkrun for me - 
8 Miles @ 7:29MM Pace - Ashton Court parkrun - 7th place with 19:02
500+ people running Ashton Court - great atmosphere and great to catch up with friends. 
Needed to go running as would have struggled with keeping my feet up all day. Took it reasonably steady what with having a race tomorrow.
Was nice to go shopping and spend some money on trainers - first time this year!

Sunday 31st August 2019 

Today was the Oldbury 10 miler. Being completely honest, I wasn't expecting much after working myself so hard last weekend and then again on Wednesday. But, it was only 10 miles and I was determined to give it a good go. 

My target - well I came 3rd two years ago and got a fabulous gift I was pretty keen on trying to place. I looked up my PB from 2 years ago - 1:07:27. I knew that to beat this, I needed to average less than 6:40s. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to keep that up for the whole race as, in previous visits here, I'd ran almost a perfect regression run (each mile slower than the one before!). What I really wanted was to pace this race well. To go out at 6:40s and try and hold that pace for as long as I could. 

Looking around at the start, the women's field was strong. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to podium...The gun went off and the first mile is downhill. I knew I had to control the first mile and not get carried away. Speedy Susan from Weston (who won last weekend's race) stormed off again..and whilst, again, I wanted to chase her, I knew I had to run my own race. Luckily, I quickly found myself in a lovely little group with 2 lovely Westbury ladies and a few men. 

Working really hard!
It quickly transpired that the Westbury ladies had the same plan as me as our first few miles were all around the 6:40 mark. We got into a great rhythm and the miles were passing quicker than I'd expected. My legs were tired and did hurt but I just tried not to think about that. I kept telling myself that they'd hurt with 6 miles to go in the marathon too - so I tried to imagine that I was in the closing stages of the 26.2 miles. 

Channeling my inner Laura Muir
After we hit the half way point, I knew I was going to be able to hold the pace until the end. In fact, with 3 miles to go, the 3 of us, clearly eager to try and shake each other off, picked up the pace. I grabbed a jelly baby from a kind supporter which gave me an instant boost! We were starting to overtake the men that went off to quickly (he he). With 1 mile to go, Sophie couldn't quite hold on so we were left with just two of us. We were clearly trying to drop each other; taking it in turns to surge a little and see if we could drop the other. The last mile is also uphill which wasn't ideal for me. I was working really hard but the effort felt controlled and I was eager to keep something for a sprint finish which I was pretty sure was what it was going to come down to! 

We reached the top of the hill neck and neck. There were no other women close to us. It was going to be a sprint finish for 2nd place. With about 200 meters to go I decided to go for it. I pushed as hard as I could and...felt like I'd got it...I couldn't hear her...I started counting down from 20 ...20 seconds of pain left...but with about 50 meters left she came past me. I'd given everything...I'd gone too early and she took the 2nd place. But...I looked at my watch...PB! 10 mile PB by almost a minute! 1:06:47. Average pace of 6:38 (10 miles quicker than MP! Hooray!)

It wasn't 2nd...but I still got a gift basket! 

Great skills from KD - awesome bagging a PB and just reward for 10 weeks of decent marathon training :-)
Similar to Severn Bridge Half Marathon last week - my current shape and the weather somewhat dictated my race strategy.. Having not (purposely) run particularly fast throughout the marathon campaign I wasn't going to go out full pelt and with the weather making the temperature warmer than 10 degrees I was also wary of going out too hard.. My plan was to hope that there would be a group aiming for around an hour and hang on to them... that I did! I was in a group of about 6 through half way, all of us working hard but within ourselves... with 8 miles gone there was just two of us left working together and I had a bit of energy held back.. so I went for it! Good job I did... 
6th place with 59:46... not many seconds left to spare! A decent tempo session :-p and overall a great result.

Total for the week: 

Kelly -  47.8 miles 

John - 61 Miles

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