Running High

I pretty much spent all of Monday and Tuesday in bed with a raging sore throat and the sort of headache that makes you want to hit your head against a wall just to make the pain go away. Now it wasn’t a case of full on Man-Flu like my mate Dave the ex-spartan has right now, more just a virus giving me a swift kick in the bollocks to remind me that although I like to imagine myself as invicible I’m not !!

Thought I was a bit better yesterday, although I felt very stiff walking to work, so I decided to run home as it was raining – figured I’d get less wet that way. The warning sign was there when I was getting changed in the gents at work ( well it wouldn’t be the ladies would it !? ), my heart rate monitor was showing me a rate of 172, and I was sat down putting my socks on. 172 to the uninitaited in these things is usually racing heart rate. BUT I wasn’t racing, I wasn’t even walking, I was sat down !! I should have thought sod it and caught the bus but being a man I figured it would calm down, so on went the running gear and off I set. Within seconds my heart rate was 202, and I was moving slower than the cogs in Vikings head. I stopped. I feel much stronger and fitter today, so I’ll attempt to run home again tonight, hopefully with a much lower heart rate.

I don’t have time to be ill, I have a marathon to train for, and more importantly an Ironman. I don’t want any more germs between now and August thank you very much.

I’d started feeling ill on Sunday, Saturday I’d felt strong and had actually done 2 hours in the cellar on the turbo trainer. Now 2 hours on a turbo trainer is no mean feet, as any cyclist/triathlete will tell you. Turbo training is dull, the scenery doesn’t change, and I always seem to ache more than I do when I’m out on the roads. I passed the time watching the 2003 Ironman World Championships, made the time pass much quicker, and I got inspired watching Peter Reid storm his way to his 3rd championship. Felt very sorry for Tim DeBoon had ws rushed to hospital whilst in second place in immense pain on the marathon – turned out he was passing two kidney stones !! How unlucky is that? You train all year, and that happens. How pissed off would you be? I’d be livid.

I’d not done a lot of training the week before because of family commitments, managing to squeeze in some running and biking here and there, the highlight of which was catching up with Andy H after what seemed like six months. I was feeling stiff still after my exploits at the Trimpell 20, and Andy was running strongly, it was the furthest he’d ran ( 5 miles ) since he was given the all clear from the physio at the start of the year.

Trimpell 20 was a race of, go on have a guess at the distance. If you said 20 miles, give yourself a pat on the back, if you said 3  miles are you related to Viking ?( see earlier comment )

It wasn’t a race I was looking forward to at all, I didn’t ( and still don’t ) feel I’m in racing shape but racing 20 miles is kinda essential for racing London next month. It was a nice morning, cold, but sunny. It would warm up after the 11am start. Mike ( my cousin ), Lesley and a few people from COLT were all running, along with about 500 others.

I didn’t really have a game plan, didn’t concentrate on pacing, just went for it in an attempt to get round as quick as possible, and hopefully under 3:15. Amdy H is always telling me that the last 6 miles of a marathon will take you at least an hour, and from experience I’d tend to agree, so I knew if I wanted to crack London in under 4 hours I’d need to set a decent benchmark at Trimpell.

I felt good through the first 12 miles or so, but had probably gone off too quickly as my garmin has since told me that the first 8 miles were done around 7-7:15 pace. I still felt ok at 11 when I saw my parents and Em, and managed a little banter as I ran past. By 12.5 miles I was slowing drastically. Lesley came past me at this point and quickly disapeered, I’d been telling her for weeks that she’d finish ahead of me but she wouldn’t have it.

My slowest mile came at 15 miles when it took me over 17 minutes, mind you I knew by then that barring a disaster I’d finish in under 3 hours, so i stopped to walk with my Dad for a bit and then had a chat with Em and my mam. All very sociable for a sunday by the river.

I was aching though, my knees have been troubling me of late, probably a result of the extra weight I’m carrying. The good news is its coming off – by August I’ll be a racng snake, which for me means an Anaconda ! Coming into the last mile I was passed by my mate Chris from COLT, I dug in and chased him and when we hit the running track for two tortorous laps I really went for it as the family and COLT’s cheered me on. Unfortunately I was 10 seconds to late to catch him, but I’d ran the last mile in 6:50, the fastest of the day. I was over the moon at that, but on the verge of throwing up.

Mike had an amazingly strong race to finish in 2:15:14 which should hopefully see him get round London in around 3 hours, or under. Lesley ran really strongly and crossed the line a full 11  minutes ahead of me in 2:44:25. She’ll go under 3:45 at London easily, see could if it’s a good day even get close to 3:30 which would get her a good for age place the year after, being a female veteran and all.

I finished in 2:55:30, which I’m very pleased with. Personally I think I could run that faster with a bit more pace intelligence, something I’ve been working on since. I need not to go off too fast and run like a metronome, thus conserving energy in the later part of the marathon. I’ll be doing this in London, we’ll see where it gets me.

So London takes place 4 weeks on Sunday, I’ll be glad to get it over with and move forward towards August and the Outlaw. It’ll be good to ditch the pavement pounding and burn some rubber.


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