Managed a second marathon. Just. My plan this year was to do two. Because of daylight/weather issues this meant a shorter training plan of twelve weeks instead of the nineteen I did last year; However, I was running 30k offroad (harder) before I started so thought I’d be ok with a shorter training plan. Things did not go so well.
Work has been mental (and still is this whole first half of the year). Chores around home seemed to increase. I injured myself: First my knee which affected two weeks of training (because I ran on my injured knee rather than rest which meant recovery was longer) and then towards then end my foot (At a gig! Sober! For fucks sake!). With a twelve week schedule there is not a lot of room for picking up slack. The weather also didn’t cooperate towards the end so my last ditch effort to catch up on a backlog of missed long runs by getting up at 4:30am everyday and running halfs was thwarted after the first run by subsequent days of rain; Although to be fair I was knackered from getting up so early so it was doubtful I’d have been able to repeat it three or four days in a row.
In the end I got to the last week of the training and had missed three long runs (a 33k, 25.5k and a 23K) and two tempos (a 6.5k and a 6k). But I had a weather and time window so decided to just chance it.
The majority of the first half of the marathon actually went ok. I was off last year’s pace, but not by too much and everything felt good and comfortable with some sections where everything was just flowing. But then just before half way my knee went. I had to stop and put my knee support on (which I carried with me “just in case”). And things just didn’t get any better after that, sadly. I thought about quitting at half way as I was back near home, but decided I’d give it longer to see if it cleared up. Soldiered all the way on, getting slower and slower until I finally cracked at about 36k and stopped for a good bit. At that point I should have finished based on last year’s time and could either go about 3k home or the planned route and finish it. Thanks VERY much to my wife who gave me the encouragement I needed (who I’d messaged when I stopped) I managed to continue. I walked for a good bit to stretch things out and then decided to walk a song (needed music by that point to motivate me) and run a song. It worked and took me a whole other hour, but I made it to the end.
I’d really hoped I’d be able to get last year’s 4.5hrs time for 43k much nearer to 4 hours, but in the end I took 5 hours 34 mins to do 42.5k.
One more attempt nearer the end of the year to see if I can do better. I was thinking about doing the second one as a more offroad based one, but now I’m not so sure as I kind of feel beaten by the road route and want to see if I can beat it again.