Monday 28th October 2013

Workout Soundtrack: Metallica – ‘The Black Album’ (twice)

25.01km 2:06:13 (Pisa Marathon, session 23)

Today marked the first run of my 30s and also, undoubtedly the toughest run I have ever completed thanks to last night’s storm!

I had intended to run a half road, half trail mix this afternoon but I soon found myself bogged down in ankle deep mud and flood water – the trails where I planned to begin my run were completely washed out and there were a few fallen trees I had to navigate around and sometimes over! 8km of mainly uphill slogging later and my legs felt trashed – there were a number of times when I nearly allowed myself to stop and cut the route short but my mantra of “Keep on keeping on” kicked in and kept me going through the worst parts. I managed to get out onto a stretch of road and decided that, even though my legs felt like they’d ran 14km instead of 8km, I would push on and head towards my goal of 15 miles! So, with trainers soaked, heavy legs and feet numb off I ran…

The first half of the run certainly hadn’t gone to plan but my Garmin told me that I was running at a fairly decent clip for most the route – most of it from about 10km onwards until I began to slow in between 18 and 20ish km. There were a number of stops I had to make for road crossings and one so that I could get into my PowerGel at 18km but I finished with an average of 5:03 per kilometre – with no road stoppages, and a better on-the-run feeding system I can finish my debut around the 3:20 mark which would be pretty good considering how horrendous my training has been for the last two months or so!

A few things of note on my run:

  • I need to be more mindful of Vaseline…forgot to put any on my legs on a very wet, windy and muddy day and the end result is not fun!! Chafe – enemy of pace!
  • I love my Asics Gel Fuji Attack. They are the shoe that just keeps on keeping on – run them through ankle deep mud and water and then make them get out on the road! They drain well and they dry fast when they have the chance. Also, very good traction considering the mud!
  • I need get some handheld bottle straps. My OMM pouch is good for carrying a rain jacket, gloves, gels and other bits and bobs but it can only hold one bottle – this makes it bounce unhelpfully on one side. I’d envisage using the pouch and handhelds for marathon up to 50km – maybe even 100km on predominantly road/flat.
  • To improve feeding on the run it might be an idea to try premixing PowerGels with water and carrying that mix in one hand and water in the other…
  • I seem to recover quickly. Awesome news.
  • I forgot how much I really, really hate running on wet grass and mud without spikes. That stuff just saps your power and disrupts your rhythm.
  • I need to make some long run playlists so I don’t have to slow to change album on my Shuffle. [I also need to cut down on listening to music during long runs as the marathon gets closer. I have never raced with music for company.]

Sorry for the bullets dear reader but I’ve got to be up for an early shift in eight hours! Time to hit the hay 🙂

Peace & Blessings x

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