No, I didn’t run but I cheered on all of my fellow club runners (and lots of other people), both at 12.5 miles and 22.5 miles. With the sun out I think it was probably far warmer than many had anticipated (which is what happened 2 years ago) but nevertheless it was a great day and all being well I will be one of runners being cheered on come April 13th 2014!
The 2013 marathon journey has now officially ended, not in the way I would have liked, but at least I can carry on training and concentrate on some cycling over the coming months whilst I sort out my foot injury. It will all start again towards the back end of this year and fingers crossed for a better outcome!
After much deliberation and taking on board the medical advice I received, I have reluctantly withdrawn from the 2013 London Marathon. It’s probably the most sensible decision and considering I am supposed to be going to a triathlon training camp on 12th May (which obviously involves some running, and which has been paid for), I don’t want to make things worse.
I have still travelled to London as a hotel had been booked and will cheer on all the people I know running (and everyone else!) and will also use the weekend to visit some attractions and relax. I will also be popping along to the Garrick Theatre for another fun time at the Rock Of Ages show!
I wish all the best to everyone running on 21st April!
I visited a Foot & Ankle specialist today in an attempt to better understand what has been going on with my foot. After 20 minutes of discussion and prodding, the conclusion was “this is an odd case”!
So, I have an MRI booked for next Friday but how does this leave me for running on Sunday? The consultant explained that medically he could not find anything (yet) that suggested I should not run but the fact that something “odd” was going on led him to believe that to prevent any further injury or to prevent secondary problems occurring, it would be sensible not to attempt it.
It therefore looks like my marathon journey for 2013 is over although I will still be travelling to London to cheer on my friends (and all the other runners obviously). I can leave it until Saturday to defer my place to next year and I can always take my running shoes… just in case!
Today was to be the big test. A steady run of around 90 minutes to determine whether running the marathon next week might be a possibility.
I joined my usual training group and the first 7 miles went flawlessly although at times we were probably running a little quickly! However there was no hint of any problem and with each mile that passed, I was ever more hopeful that things would be ok. As we were running mid-morning, the temperature was rising quickly and with the sun out it was definitely vest & shorts weather which is a big change from what everyone has been used to over the last few months.
Unfortunately, and in a repeat of of what happened during my last attempted long run, a long (up)hill caused my foot to start seizing up and by the time I reached the top, I had to stop running. From there I basically ran/walked back to the start point to complete a total of 11 miles.
This is not the outcome I wanted and the thought of having to struggle another 15 miles with a painful foot leads me to think I probably should not even attempt 26 miles worth of running next week!
Interestingly I tried running faster over the last mile (ranging from 6m/mile to 6m30s/mile) and whilst I am not (running) fit enough to maintain this pace over a long distance, the foot was fine with the quicker pace!
Of course, there are also no hills on the London Marathon course….
It’s been another tough cycle orientated week with 6 spinning classes and (at last) a good 3 hours outside on the bike in addition to the usual Body Pump, weights and gym-based cardio work. There is not much else to report other than managing to run another 5k during the week pain free, and at a slightly faster pace.
Based on this, I am going to attempt a steady 12-13 miles tomorrow to see how the foot holds up over a longer distance. If I run into trouble again at around 7 miles and have to call for assistance then I think the decision around deferring my marathon place will be easy to make. If however I can run for 90-100 mins without any problems, then I might just give it a go next Sunday!
This Sunday was to be the last huge training session and as I only swam on Friday I decided to kick off with some rowing, hand-biking and cross training which were all medium intensity to prepare for the hard first hour of cycling. The first hour of cycling was probably at a higher intensity than I should have been training but I wanted to push my legs hard so that the second hour in some way emulated the last 6 miles of a marathon.
Last week I did attempt a gentle run but had to stop after 12 minutes. I thought I would give it another go today but this time set the pace at 6m50s/mile (3hr marathon pace) and didn’t touch it. I was sure to really concentrate on my posture and form and managed to run 5k without any discomfort. In fact running at 6m50s/mile (even after 90 minutes of exercise) felt very easy going although it will be a very different story running 26 miles!
I finished off with a second hour of hard cycling but as I had been careful with my nutrition this morning (including carbohydrate/protein drink during training), I felt tired but still strong at the end. All in all it was a good 2 hours 50 minutes of training, 2 hours of which were at a far higher intensity that running at 6m50s/mile!
The big day is creeping up now and whilst I had come to the conclusion that I would have to defer my marathon place this year, I think I am fit enough to complete it if I can get round without my foot injury causing trouble. I won’t even attempt to get close to my original target time of 2 hours 50 minutes or indeed sub-3 hours but if I can get round in under 3 hours 15 minutes, I should secure myself a “Good for Age” time and therefore the chance to go for a quick time next year, should I want to.
The last week has been another cross training week with a heavy emphasis on cycle training to keep working my legs. I have completed some really tough sessions and on Friday combined a 3,000m swim with some rowing, hand-biking and cycling which felt very hard going after the high intensity sessions over the previous days.
Although I am not clearly as “running fit” as I was, I feel more fit generally in terms of strength and power with my traditionally stronger disciplines (swimming & cycling) coming along very well again. I think in the future I won’t concentrate on any one discipline to the detriment of the others and I am sure this has what has helped prevent injuries throughout all the years I have been training.
2 weeks to go…..
Despite the lack of running in todays “endurance” session, I undertook the following:
33 Mins – 1,900m swim (Half Iron Man Distance)
12 Mins – Handbike
60 Mins – Tough Cycle
12 Mins – Run (See Below)
08 Mins – Cross Trainer
60 Mins – Tough Cycle
Total training time 3 Hours, 5 Minutes.
My original plan was to try a 5k run in between the cycle components and the first 10 minutes went really well. I ran at 6m50s/mile (just under 3 hour Marathon pace) and experienced no discomfort or pain whatsoever and I thought that perhaps everything had sorted itself out. However as soon as I upped the pace (only 4s/mile faster), the same discomfort returned and rather than continue, I decided to stop after 12 minutes.
It really is looking bleak for the marathon now because it’s a long way to try and run when I can only manage 10 minutes at a time only 3 weeks before the big day. On the upside, my swimming and cycling are both coming along very nicely!
There is nothing of significance to report this week! Lots of cycle classes, cross training, hand-biking, weights & Body Pump. Much the same as last week and still no running….
If I can’t do long runs, I have to do long gym sessions! Whilst the others from my training group went out and ran for 2hr25m, I rowed, handbiked, cross-trained and cycled for 2hr45m. The cycling part consisted of 2 very tough, high intensity 1 hour spinning sessions which hammered my legs more than a steady 20 mile run would have. It’s fair to say I was ready for a rest at the end of it all. It doesn’t mean I can run for 2hr45m though!