Friday 22nd November 2013

Workout Soundtrack: –

16.26km 1:10:06 (Pisa Marathon, session 35)

Phew! That really felt like one of the toughest ten milers I’ve ever done! My legs felt heavy for the vast majority of the run but looking at my splits/average pacing per klick you wouldn’t think so!

I started to get into the rhythm of things around the 6 or 7km mark but around the 9 or 10km mark my mind started wandering towards thoughts of a cup of tea, a chocolate bar and a hot bath – I need to keep a check on my mental game before I line up in Pisa because those kinds of thoughts so early on could become demoralising! To add to my wandering mind I also had to negotiate myself around hundreds of High School kids as I’d timed my run very badly indeed – I passed three High Schools approaching and around about kicking out time and the sight of a short shorted, sweating runner hailed a few taunts I can assure you. I completely forgot about schools and the perils of young people forcing you off the pavement and into the busy road way but, on a positive note, it did help me to keep up the pace as I just wanted to get away from them all and back into my zone of tranquility!

So, although it was a tough run I did come away having learned some things that I can take to the start line in Pisa:

  1. I need to eat a large, carbohydrate based meal the night before the race.
  2. I need to eat a similarly substantial breakfast two to three hours before gun time.
  3. I think I’ll more than likely need to take on my first gel pack around 13 or 14km and then every 5km to 8km from there depending on energy level.
  4. I need to figure out the best way to store my gel packs for the race as my shorts have no pockets nor do any of my shirts/singlets. I do not want to use my OMM Ultra Pouch as that would feel like cheating at marathon distance!
  5. I can manage 16km with no water at all and feel fine for it. This bodes well for me if the water stations on the course are poorly resourced or just plain busy – I can skip them if necessary.
  6. If it’s cold (< 0°c) I will feel more comfortable with a thin baselayer and a long sleeve shirt as opposed to one or the other.
  7. If the sun is shining then I will still need to jettison my sunglasses at some point at they become irritable after around 12km.
  8. I need to keep my mind clear and focus on each 5 mile section, repeating my mantras as I go otherwise I’m at risk of demoralising myself early on. [Looks like I’ll be travelling out alone so searching out a friendly face or voice is not an option at this point. However, this may change…]
  9. I need a new pair of running socks, ASAP.

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