Half Marathon on Sunday.
I’m pleased with my training. I had COVID in January and it took me until mid March to feel like it wasn’t affecting my running anymore, but since then I’ve kept the mileage and intensity up and felt pretty strong. I held it around 70km per week for six weeks, with two long runs per week between 16km and 23km, one tempo (30-60mins) and one 5k threshold (Parkrun) which has been steadily increasing in pace. I started tapering a bit early because my calves felt too tight for the one last short tempo last Wednesday, but I’ve done a couple of 5km progression runs since then. I bought some calf compression sleeves and have been wearing them for the last few runs, though I don’t know if they make a difference. All that remains now is a shakeout Parkrun tomorrow and then I’m done.
That’s the good side. The bad side is that my calves still ache a bit, I woke up last night because my knee was aching (seriously? I do all that training and then when I knock my mileage way down, that’s when you decide to ache?) and I had to get up and stretch my hamstrings out to get it to stop, I feel a bit rough possibly because my hayfever is starting, and the weather is becoming muggy which I will definitely feel on Sunday. Oh, and all my easy runs feel hard and suddenly I have no confidence in my training.
I hate tapering. You get into a rhythm with training and then suddenly it’s all gone. You have much more free time and you don’t know what to do with it and I start waking up really early because it turns out I don’t need 10 hours of sleep a night when I’m not running much.
I’ve decided that I’m going to take it a little bit conservatively. I’ll be looking for sub 1:40 and then to build on that for the next one. I feel like I need the experience and confidence boost of a half marathon going to plan for a change. Something we need to bear in mind is that the half marathons involving me are cursed. I haven’t run a good half marathon since before COVID. I counted them all up and there are 7 of them; some of them were cancelled, some of them I just did terribly. Most other people would have taken the hint, but not me. So here we are. 8th time lucky?
Also, I’m toying with the idea of a full marathon early next year. So I need this to go well, or at least, better than the last 7.