After my unfortunate trip and subsequent visit to the hospital, the anti-inflammatories (and ice) seemed to do the trick and I was back running again without (much) pain. Other than my usual easy runs, I did a 40 minute Marathon pace run (at 4:00 per kilometer or 15 kph) on the treadmill – this time watching Wrong Turn 3 – which felt very un-taxing.
To make things a little more complicated, I had a work offsite on Saturday morning and, in an effort not to spend too much time away from the family (especially as I was going to be in London for the whole of the following week), I got up early and ran an hour on the treadmill at an easy pace while watching Wrong Turn 4. In the end, I was quite tired after my offsite and had a two-hour siesta so my efforts were in vain!
For the same family reasons, I decided to move my long run to the Monday, which I was taking off as holiday. To be truthful, it was also because I much prefer to do my long runs in London as I am getting quite bored of my local routes in Madrid. So to prepare for this, the idea was to do a fairly hard workout the day before on Sunday, so that I would be running on “tired legs”. This was a 45 minute progression run – again on the treadmill – 15 minutes at Marathon pace (4:00 mins/km or 15 kph), 15 minutes at Half Marathon pace (3:45 mins/km or 16 kph) and 15 minutes at 10K pace (3:40 mins/km or 16.5 kph). To complete my horror-fest trilogy, I watched Urban Legends (I’d already seen Wrong Turn 5).
Ideally, I would have liked to do my long run in the morning on an empty stomach, but I had an appointment followed by lunch (fish ‘n‘ chips). I did a similar kind of run to the one I did a few weeks ago only longer – 35 kms this time. After the two times I’ve tripped over recently, I’ve started to wonder whether it has something to do with my large sized running shoes (Soft Star Run Amocs). I’ve been running with this model for well over a year now but I’d recently ordered a slightly wider model to try to stave off the wear and tear. This time I decided to run with my Vibram SeeYas in what would be the longest run I had ever done in a pair of Five Fingers. Now that shouldn’t be a big deal because they are no more “minimalist” than the Vivobarefoot Ultras that I have used in various Marathons by now but, psychologically, having fractured a bone in my foot while running in them, I am slightly more wary. I wanted to see whether they would be suitable for running the Marathon in as I am starting to favour them over my Ultras.
The run felt very easy indeed. I especially enjoyed the section that passed through Richmond Park, which was just as the sun was setting. Around the 30 kilometer mark a small boy decided to race me for about 200 meters or so but I didn’t take the bait. The run felt too good – I had wanted to try to feel like I would towards the end of a Marathon but it wasn’t happening so I decided to crank up the pace. By the end I was sprinting. It was the first time I had done a run of that length and genuinely felt that I could have carried on the last 7 kilometers to make up the full Marathon distance.
I was very pleased with how it went, especially for not feeling noticeably tired afterwards. The overall pace was 4:22 per kilometer which meant that I covered the 35 kms in just over 2 and a half hours: the first 30 at a speed of 13.5 kph (my usual “easy” pace) and the last 5 each one faster than the previous, with an average of 15 kph (my Marathon pace – hopefully!).