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The Lingering Darkness...
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28th-Mar-2010 11:59 pm - Week 10 Day 7
Training for today: 15 miles long

OK. So I figured that my standard "long run" pace would probably be OK, as I have been feeling no pain the rest of this week. Didn't have a  chance to go out while it was light, so I decided to skip the canal towpath and just do 5 laps of the neighborhood 3 miles course. Starting at 8.30 pm was perhaps a little unwise, but still, my choices were limited.

It went OK, mostly. I had to stop to re-tie my right shoe a couple of times, and once I took it off completely and started from scratch in a attempt to get it to sit comfortably. I am not convinced that this new shoe is sitting properly on my foot, and it makes me lack confidence in it.

The last lap was quite hard - up to that point I had just been cruising, but for the last 2 miles I started to feel the effort and it got harder and harder to maintain the pace. Which makes sense, I suppose - I've never done more than the 13.1 miles of the half-marathon, and never at this speed.

2 hours 49 minutes 53 seconds, pair of shoes number 2.
25th-Mar-2010 11:34 pm - Week 10 Day 4
Training for today: 4 miles slow-ish

Back to doing the loop the easy way this evening. Seemed just as pain-free as yesterday, even keeping up the slightly faster pace. This is good. I think I cause myself more discomfort in the tendon by stretching after my run than I do running, at the moment. Long may this continue. Next week I may try upping the pace again for my Wednesday run, assuming that the weekend long run goes OK.

41 minutes 25 seconds
24th-Mar-2010 11:59 pm - Week 10 Day 3
Training for today: 7 miles slow-ish

Went out tonight doing two laps of the "hard" way around the long loop. Felt remarkably easy, with the exception that my right shoe got a bit loose and started rubbing my heel, just where the blister was. Tied it up tight and carried on, no damage done. Phew! I wonder if this is a general failing of this particular shoe - maybe it just isn't broken in enough.

1 hour 15 minutes 13 seconds, pair of shoes number two.
23rd-Mar-2010 11:59 pm - Week 10 Day 2
Training for today: 3 miles slow-ish

OK, over the half-way mark! Less than 9 weeks to go to the marathon. Blimey!

Last week's tactic of taking everything slow and easy seems to have worked - my tendon is much improved. So this week I'm going to up the pace a little and see how it likes that. This morning I started out by avoiding the big hill-climbs and just doing circuits of the estate, at a speed somewhat approximating my long run pace. It went well, only a little tenderness in the ankle afterwards.

29 minutes 35 seconds.
21st-Mar-2010 10:16 pm - Week 9 Day 7
Training for today: 1 mile slow (Sport Relief Mile)

OK, so not quite the cross training I'm down for, but in a worthy cause. All the family went out for a run - MiniMe and I ran the whole way, SWMBO and LittlePrincess ran some, walked a bit. Fancy dress for all. MiniMe as Red Power Ranger, LittlePrincess as a cat, I went in my pirate outfit (with the addition of a fine fake beard!) and SWMBO...a pirate wench! Huzzah!

11 minutes 55 seconds, pair of shoes number 2.
20th-Mar-2010 11:59 pm - Week 9 Day 6
Training for today: 10 miles slow

Went for walking and drinking breaks every 15 minutes today, with energy gels every half hour. Tried to do some stretching of the left calf and right quadriceps whenever I stopped to reduce the build up of pain. Didn't really work for the knee, but I tried something else I had read about - apparently that sort of knee pain is usually associated with unbalanced quads (yup, got those) pulling the kneecap out of position due to repetitive slow running. So mixing the speed up should help, which is what I tried. May have worked, hard to be sure.

2 hours 7 minutes (with a 7 minute food/drink/stretch/toilet break at the turn-around)
18th-Mar-2010 09:35 am - Week 9 Day 4
Training for today: 4 miles slow

Crikey! Even my easy runs are getting longer now. I've definitely been infected by one of my loving family, I have the makings of a minor cold. So I'm going to blame that for my utter lack of energy.

The tendon was more or less OK this morning, only minor swelling. My right knee was  painful however, although stretching after the run made it go away. Not a good sign, I think.

I did get stopped by another lost Eastern European, this one wanting to check whether the nearby bus stop would take her to Princes' Street, and not quite managing to handle the idea that our buses travel on the the left side of the road rather than the right...

45 minutes 46 seconds, pair of shoes number 2.
17th-Mar-2010 09:12 pm - Week 9 Day 3
Training for today: 7 miles slow

Not really supposed to be a slow day today, but there you go - still trying to take it easy for my poor ankle. It has been 4 weeks now since the injury, and I'm hoping that I can actually take it easy enough for it to subside completely. Otherwise I think I will really struggle to manage even the long training runs, let alone 26.2 miles on race day. This is not good. To add to my woes, my right knee was hurting again by the time I was half way through my run. Bollocks.

1 hour 17 minutes.
16th-Mar-2010 11:59 pm - Week 9 Day 2
Training for today: 3 miles slow

Went out quite slow today, trying not to irritate my poor Achilles tendon. The run went OK, I guess, though I felt like I was labouring to get to the end. Not very impressive - this is supposed to be so easy I feel better at the end than the start. Bugger

37 minutes dead. Pair of shoes number 2.
14th-Mar-2010 11:59 pm - Week 8 Day 7
Training for today: 13 miles long

OK, back to the canal towpath for this week's long run. Carefully measured on the map, Meggetland to the Bridge Inn in Ratho and back is 13 miles and some very small change. And it hasn't rained in ages, so the tow-path should be nice and dry.

I took some lessons from the half-marathon last week, and had a walking break every 20 minutes or so to have a couple of gulps of energy drink and/or an energy gel sachet. This might have slowed me down a bit, or it might have given me a nice rest to keep my energy up. I dunno, and frankly I don't really care.

Not too bad on the way out, with the exception of badly needing the loo after about 45 minutes of running. I eventually managed a toilet break after about an hour, at which time I realised that my left calf was starting to ache, probably because my tendon was a bit sore. Unfortunately I had taken the car, so there was no way SWMBO was going to be able to rescue me. I carried on, doing stretches to try and ease the muscle every time I had one of those walking breaks. By the time I got half way back, my right knee and calf were getting sore too, probably because they were compensating for the left leg. Argh!

Still, I made it back and even managed to drive home afterwards. Had to walk a bit slowly for the rest of the day though.

Oh, and my whinging about the muddy state of the tow-path seems to have psychically stirred forces into action. British Waterways (the owners of the canal and towpath) have tarmacked the section from Wester Hailes Road all the way out to the cottages at Hermiston. Result!

2 hours 34 minutes.
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