Sunday, August 18, 2013

First LSR for Murcia...

There´s no room for negative thinking when you´re training for a marathon. So when my alarm went off at 6:50am this Sunday morning, I jumped straight out of bed and put the chicken broth on to heat up. I drank that, got my magnesium down me, unplugged the iPod from the Mac and headed out the door for 2 and a half hours. The reason I had to go out so early can be summed up in two words: Alicante & August. Any later in the day and I would have shrivelled up like a snail in a salt bath.

It seemed like I just couldn´t get going today. I suppose it´s a consequence of my first rugby session on Friday after a couple of weeks holiday, but I felt stiff and lethargic, despite the raucous support from the drunken Alicantino´s going home after their Saturday night out. But I carried on of course. Although I was stiff, none of my niggles started protesting sufficiently for me to consider cutting the run short, and my new ankle support seemed to be doing the trick. So I headed down to the centre of town, up the coast road towards San Juan Playa, across Cabo de Huertas and back again.

Here are some pictures of Cabo de Huertas...

Two things were significant about today. First, I made the crazy assumption that filling up my iPod with 80s classics would help me along, so last night I purchased an 80s compilation album on the cheap. Then, without really checking the songs in great detail, I put them on the iPod. When one of the first songs to come on was Sabrina´s ´Boys, Boys, Boys´, I realised I may have made a mistake. When Luther Vandross started his drivel, I knew I´d made a mistake. Time to search for some iPod editing software.

Second, Cabo de Huertas is obviously a place when gentleman of a certain persuasion like to meet other gentleman to get to know each other better, albeit in a very fleeting manner. Funnily enough, this is going on among all the other runners, fishermen, sunbathers and yes, nudists. Now I´m as open-minded as the next person and each to their own and all that, but let´s face it, there were no A-list models on display. No wonder most runners stare straight ahead. I´ll continue to do so, probably after changing my schedule around. After all, I wouldn´t want to be a nuisance to anyone.

Garmin data for whomever is interested:

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cricket grounds and ankles

As it's hammering down with rain today, I thought I'd write my blog as opposed to do a 2 hour LSR. This is not good for my marathon training but I don't have waterproofs and I'm used to running in sunshine, so...

On Tuesday this week, I managed a 1:20 LSR going up and down the Taff Trail. It was fantastic. I was running through beautiful countryside, next to a river that doesn't smell and enjoying the rabbits crossing my path. Dog-walkers said a cheery 'good morning!'. For the first time in my life I also ran across a cricket ground before crossing the railway bridge at Radyr and heading up to Castell Coch. I kept going for half of my allotted time before heading back down the trail. In the end I didn't come back down exactly the same way because I stayed on the other side of the river, so I got lost. I ended up asking two people for directions, one of which was a runner who, while sprinting past me, claimed contrarily, 'I can't run today!'.

The great thing about this run was that I managed two kilometres, both under 6 minutes, at 130bpm. This is a major improvement for me proving that my aerobic capacity is improving considerably. I have to say it's probably because of the rugby. This bodes very well for my marathon.

What doesn't bode well is my ankle and the tendons in my lower leg. I have a bit of chronic soreness there at the moment. It's ok when I walk but it's just niggly. I'm worried that with the upping of intensity it's not going to recover properly and it's going to have to be managed between now and November. That's not ideal. So now I'm caught between cutting down on some sessions or sticking to the training programme as best I can, maybe taking a rest week along the way. The reason for doubt is that I've had this injury before so I don't think a rest week will necessarily make it go away.