“You’ve done it once, now go and do it again.”

fullsizerender-29London Marathon Training
Week 8, Day 4

Apologies for deliberately misquoting England World Cup winning boss Alf Ramsey, but the title of this entry sums up my run today, the first half-marathon of my training plan.

All I need to do is to repeat today’s run straightaway and I’ll have completed the full thing. Easy, right? Hmmm, yes, quite.

First of all, the facts. I set a new personal best over 13.1 miles. Woo-hoo! In fact, I smashed it, slicing an incredible 16 minutes 21 seconds off my best time for a standalone half-marathon, and over 20 minutes off my last time for the distance.

Without being boastful, I knew I would do it although I dared not say for fear of jinxing it. All my recent longer training runs pointed to it, and I actually finished a couple of minutes faster than my predicted time. That’ll do me rightly, but it’s something to build on because I’m confident I can go faster.

But it was tough. Bloody hell, it was tough.

fullsizerender-30With Hastings in mind I deliberately picked a route that would gradually get steeper and steeper and steeper before literally going straight up and back down again – as you can see from the elevation graph – and although it’s good for me I did, at several points, curse the town planners for not having the foresight to construct a town that was flat. What were they thinking, the sadists?

The weather didn’t help either. Heavy rain had been forecast but when I set off there was nothing and I thought I’d get away with it. Ha! After the first five minutes or so it lashed down, and didn’t stop.

Psychologically it was a difficult run. The course took me around the entire outskirts of the town, which basically meant the halfway point was as far away from my front door as it was possible to get, and it was also the most elevated part of the course. It was a real mental battle getting there but I knew that once I did I’d be homeward bound, and that was a real boost.

As regards pace, I was bang on what I’d expected, which was encouraging. I didn’t go too fast, I didn’t lose too much ground on the slower sections and I maintained the same mph as last week’s 11.5 mile run.

I did have a bit of a wobble around the 10 mile mark. I’m not sure what it was, but I did feel momentarily slightly dizzy, which has never happened before.

Was it my sugar levels? Probably, but I acted quickly to take on some gels and sugar and I felt grand again after that. The conditions most likely didn’t help either, the rain really was torrential at this point. Something to work on, that’s what the training runs are for after all, as well as getting miles in my legs.

On a positive, no cramp again. Previously I’d begin to suffer from it around nine miles in but I seem to have found the solution to that with my salt tablets.

So, on reflection, a pretty successful end to week eight. A half-marathon to mark the halfway point in my training. It’ll only get tougher from this point forward but the increases are gradual so I’m confident I’ll cope with whatever is thrown at me, as long as I remember to focus on the run in front of me and don’t look several weeks ahead.

If you’ve enjoyed reading about my progress so far could I be so bold as to ask you if you’d consider making a donation to my chosen charity this year – Asthma UK? No amount is too small, and all donations are received with heartfelt thanks. My fundraising page can be found here. Thank-you so much.

London Marathon Training (135.6 miles – 30 runs)
Week 1 – 12.2 miles (4 runs; average 3.05 miles per run)
Week 2 – 9.3 miles (2 runs; average 4.65 miles per run)
Week 3 – 17.7 miles (4 runs; average 4.4 miles per run)
Week 4 – 18.8 miles (4 runs; average 4.7 miles per run)
Week 5 – 14.9 miles (4 runs; average 3.7 miles per run)
Week 6 – 18.7 miles (4 runs; average 4.7 miles per run)
Week 7 – 20.3 miles (4 runs; average 5.1 miles per run)
Week 8 – 23.7 miles (4 runs; average 5.9 miles per run)

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