Monday, 2 November 2009

Park Run 2, NY Marathon

The weather was forecast to be truly awful for the Dundee 10 miler on Sunday and I'd got my teeth into the Park Run thing and wanted to go back again on Saturday so that's what we did instead. The forecast said windy but it was a calm, beautiful morning and I felt much much better than I had the week before.

Gordon's session on Wednesday (uphill sprints) was still in the legs but they felt a lot better than they had done.
More Porties around this week.
Got more of a warm up though I still think 3 miles or so would be a good idea before a 5k just to get the motor running properly. Still to be tested.

I set the Garmin so I could only see heart-rate so I would judge what I was doing on effort and nothing else. I went out what I thought was a bit steadier than last week but actually it was 10 seconds quicker. No sore belly this week; the limiting factor seemed to be my wheezing lungs. I was making a fair old racket but was actually okay and I got to the left turn along the wall before the leaders had come back this time. There's not much to say about a 5k! The last mile along the prom. is so so long and that's where the mind games were going on - "its such a long way", "no its not its a mile", "I can't stand it", "You're just a bit uncomfortable, you're not really even in pain",
etc. etc. I guess this is something I might get a bit better at if I keep doing the 5k and I'm engaged in the challenge. At last the path branched to the last wee finishing bit. I had no idea what time I'd done until the last mile flashed up 7.24. Not great but also better than last weekend. In the end a guy in a blue t-shirt gave encouragement as he passed and I managed to pick it up to the line. 22.18, 25 seconds better than last week and I felt a whole lot better too.

Plenty of room for improvement and that's what makes it interesting.

I had a slightly stiff neck that morning due to burrowing my head under the covers in an awkward way as Peter was snoring and wouldn't stop. I compounded the damage by going climbing with Peter and Amanda after the 5k. It made reversing a challenge. It eased up drinking a bit of halloween wine with Ben and Alison but came back with a vengeance and a headache come Sunday morning. Peter had bravely agreed to go with Ben to the Pentlands at 7.30 so they were out there in the beating rain. I got up at a more sedate 10.30am and couldn't turn my head or bend my neck at all without pain. My cunning plan had been to watch the NY marathon on the internet if I could get it on, and see how Paula did. The idea didn't seem so appealing if I couldn't get a run in myself first so in the end, with some paracetamol and ibup0rofen in me I went and knocked out a 6 miler round Arthur's Seat where I met only other runners, bedecked in waterproofs with their faces screwed up against the driving rain. It was actually quite nice and the emptiness of the park was pleasing. All the autumn leaves lay like thick golden carpets between the trees (near the Halls of Residence) and my neck felt a whole lot better for a ton of painkillers and some fresh air.

Back at the flat Peter had discovered that we could watch the marathon on telly if we pushed the red button despite the Radio Times not bothering to mention this, so we sat immersed in the women's race and tried to ignore the irritating commentary of some French woman who came across as stilted but also stridently defensive. The commentators weren't getting good information about the timings and couldn't do kilometers so they were struggling. We watched poor old Paula drop back into 4th place at the last and were glad the cameras didn't home in for the inevitable display of disappointment. Give the woman a break! Since Paula couldn't win I was pleased to see thingmy Tulu bounce into the finish looking fresh as a daisy. I'm sure the men's race was good but the commentators didn't seem to really know who was running til late on so it was hard to get into. I had hoped Ryan Hall would do well because he seems insane but in a very nice wholehearted way, and he did do well obviously but was not amongst the leaders.

The commentators had said it was ideal conditions at New York but the times were kind of slow so we thought that maybe it was windy. I think the papers said later on that it was quite windy.

In the meantime Jacqui Ramsay from our club was running her 1st marathon for which she's been training for a good while. I had updates of her times sent to my e-mail and she set off at a good pace - going through 5K quicker than I had the day before. (Damn!) and 10K faster than my pb (Double damn.) but her times slowed and slowed and though we were hoping it was a tactical continued. Jacqui was clearly walking for the last couple of miles. Obviously she had a problem on the day. We were a bit sick about it. Jacqui's a really good runner and has been training super-hard for this marathon - but loads of things can go wrong in a marathon and even more so when its one you have to travel to. We hope whatever it was its something you can get over quickly and that it doesn't put her off marathons for life. (Or running.)

Anyway, it seems like Peter is up for doing the Highland Fling next April which I'm delighted about because it gives me something to focus on all winter and it'll be much more fun having him on board than doing the training just for myself. I think that no more multi-lap ultras would be a good thing as Draycote water nearly robbed me of my will to live. (Which would seem to be located in the right heel.)

I've got 2 more days annual leave so I'm off to get some kind of longer run in today even though its a bit blowy. 14 miles or so would be fine.

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