Sunday, 20 April 2008

Time out...

So this week with partially broken legs I have reacquainted myself with life beyond that of the pool, the bike and the road and it's been fun but because my long term goal is now edging it's way closer every day I'm itching to be 'back on it', re-focused and raring to hit it hard. Time out is as important as time in so a break at this point is probably a good thing. Time to reassess, rebuild and get to the start line in tip top shape.

I can't believe that this time last week I was running towards 3hrs and 20mins of glorious marathon running round the streets of London. I was utterly convinced that I would struggle to break 3.30 what with my injury and then all of my long runs being so slow and so hard. What I hadn't accounted for was the effect of a higher training volume in the lead up. I was doing my long training runs on tired legs, meaning that what I was building up were quality endurance sessions. I thought it meant I was just running badly but because I could get a quality speed/tempo session in on the treadmill with Tom & Tony B on Tuesdays my running was getting the best of both worlds.

I can't tell you how comfortable the whole marathon was. I thought last year was good but this year was even sweeter, to be running so within myself and enjoying it is just one of the best feelings and I know there's more in there.

I got to the marathon feeling a little non-plussed about it to be honest. The focus was for Tom, he really wanted to PB and had been working hard on his run sessions while I focussed on my bike. This meant that I had no pressure at all (usually pressure that I place on myself may I add.) I was apprehensive but more because I thought I was going to find it such a struggle, how wrong could I be.

On the start line I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen so when the gun went I was cautious. One thing that stayed with me for the whole race however was the fact that Liz (Yelling) was out there running her way to Olympic qualification, something that she truly deserves after such a bad run of luck with ridiculous weather conditions in her previous two marathons. There was pressure for her to perform and so knowing how much she was giving out there on the same road that myself, Tom & Ozzer were running on helped me immensely.

I couldn't hold myself back enough, I had planned to run 8min miles but actually averaged 7.38's, running the last 10km (and definitely the most challenging part of a marathon) stronger and faster than the first 20miles. Maybe my old dream of reaching 3.15 is not such a distant one.

So this whole week has been spent recovering in preparation for the next 8 week block which is the final run up of hard training before taper starts and that water in Germany is calling! I've been in the pool every day though and that has really helped my legs. Ran for the first time on Wednesday and then ran yesterday and today, just a light easy 8-10 miles.

What's been nice about not training so much has been the fact that I've spent all weekend with my niece Kelsey (see above pic.) Kelsey's my brother's daughter and they were both part of our road trip to Austria last year and have been amazing support crew on the side lines for a lot of our races. Instead of dragging Kelsey to another race or cold finishing chute in the middle of nowhere, I thought it would be nice to do 'normal' things. Tom's off on a stag weekend, sailing in the wet and rainy seas somewhere down South so Kelsey and I shopped all day in Leeds, searching in fact for some bridesmaid dress ideas (non of which we found) but there's loads of time for that yet, and it gives us the chance to do the whole weekend again a bit later in the year. My training which is usually endless on weekends has been reduced to an hours 8mile run yesterday and a 10mile run this morning. Plenty of day left to do loads of things, lovely!

However, as much as the break has been nice I do tend to loose focus, nutritionally and mentally and I'm starting to bite at the bit for tomorrow and the next 8 weeks to begin.

I'm ready to train hard, train smart (as the Yellings always say) and let the games begin... Germany here I come!!!

H. x

P.s I must give a HUGE congrats to Liz for her brilliant performance (& now we want to come and watch you race in Beijing!!!) and to the biggest believer and positive light in my life, Tom who ran his socks off for a blinding 2.49!!! and of course to Ozzer who has joined a gentleman's club of true grit and inspiration, going sub 3 (2.58) and pooing in the streets of London (must be at least a couple of mins lost there Ozzer) and to everyone else that we know that ran on Sunday, WELL DONE!!!

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