Sunday, October 13, 2019

Tapering and recovering...just in time...

Abingdon Marathon Training 

It's Taper time!

Both of us - Blue 
Purple - Kelly 
Orange - John 

With only a couple of weeks until race day, I decided I needed to do something about my hamstring niggle. Last weekend, I pulled out of the Kingston Half as I could feel it pulling with every step. On Tuesday, I booked in to see Matt one of the Physios at Comfort Health in Clifton. I've been seeing him and Jenny there for a while so all I had to say was 'I've got less than 2 weeks until the marathon - give it everything!' He did just that. First, I had another round of dry needling followed by a deep tissue massage and lastly -and for the first time - I tried out Matt's new toy called a 'massage gun'. The gun had a tennis ball sized sphere on the end which vibrated. I'm quite tempted to buy one myself to use at home! Matt and Jenny recommended that I take a good few days rest now to let all of the treatments do their magic. 

Rest is my least favourite thing to do. However, I needed to get my hamstring as good as possible to give me a chance at the marathon, so I had no choice. I rested for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, I ran 1.2 miles with the kids at running club. My leg felt tired and heavy but not too bad. 

On Saturday, I headed out for 4 miles to see how my hamstring felt. I could feel a dull ache for the first mile but, after that, the pain got less and wasn't too bad at all. On Sunday, I wanted to give it a bigger try so I planned to go out for 1 hour. John and I ran together to start with, he then pushed on to try some marathon pace and we met up again later. 

I had a BRILLIANT run. I felt like I had loads of energy, my legs felt fresh and light and my hamstring didn't hurt at all! It felt amazing. To give myself an added extra boost before the marathon, 

After last weekend, I wasn't sure how the marathon would go. After this weekend, I've decided I'm going to be my usual positive self, I'm go for it. I'm going to go out at sub 3 pace and see how it goes. Positive thinking; it's amazing how much of a role the brain plays in a marathon. 

I got home and put my birthday pressie from The Maestro and Nat on my shoes...

A good week of tapering for me: 5 Miles steady recovery on Tuesday, 11 miles with 3 @ marathon pace on Wednesday with the Maestro and 4 miles steady recovery on Thursday. Day off on Friday. A busy weekend of running! Up early to get a run in - 4 More miles of recovery running - making sure to finish in time to watch Kipchoge break 2 hours running a marathon distance. A phenomenal achievement and a masterclass show in running. A fantastic spectacle - very inspiring! A science experiment in many ways but watching Kipchoge celebrate in the way he did really did set a good example for the happiness that comes from the reward for working your hardest at something. 40-something <13min 5K runners in one place doing pacing duties was pretty cool as well! 

The rest of the day was spent travelling to and organising our clubs cross country adventure. Race 1 was at Llandaff fields in Cardiff. A relatively flat and fast course. With the marathon next week there was no racing for me. Was great to be a part of it and watch all of our guys and gals run really well. There were a fair few elites taking part as well - doesn't quite compete with Kipchoge but watching men and woman a similar age float along the ground at 5 minute mile pace is really something there in person. We were really lucky with the weather and had a really good time. 

Back home and straight back out to celebrate my friends recent engagement - congrats Max and Frankie (Max has had a few mentions before - he convinced me to sign upto my first ever 10K back in 2010 - I ran 46:19...) an evening of beer and pizza - proper carb loading whilst tapering!

Sunday - the weekends events so far were taking their toll so we opted for a lie in... Some lunch with KD's auntie and family, a few hours of napping and tele watching - massive congrats to Kosgei breaking the women's marathon world record - a stellar run and more great running entertainment - we were really spoilt this weekend! Come the evening we went out for a run... with 7 days to go until race day there's no need to do any sort of major workout but just keep ticking over. I was keen to test out/reassure myself with a few miles at marathon pace as well... 
8 MILES WITH 3@ MP (6:37, 6:33, 6:33) Easy - as it should be!

With all the great and inspiring things that happened in the running world this weekend and in an attempt to match KD's positivity - next weekend I too am going for it... 2:55 is the target - 26.2miles @ 6:40 Pace. Why not! I might do it or I might PB anyway (<2:58:05)... Worse case scenario I have a good run, bank another marathon campaign and eat my body weight in pizza! :-)

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