That's Niamh's big news, of course. Mine is that wearing the knee strap 24/7 has made a massive difference to my knee. I have been testing it out plenty over the last few days. During the last weeks, whenever I got into double figures I'd be in agony at some stage the next day. Now I'm fine. There is some slight discomfort over the first minute of each run and once I'm over that I'm perfectly fine for the rest of it, including yesterday's marathon prep run. I really think I'm finally getting over this issue and this time it is not just wishful thinking.
I was getting increasingly worried about my pacing job for Cork. Not only was I in doubt if the knee would hold for 26 miles, my lack of proper training over the last few weeks made me wonder if I would even be able to hold 3:15 pace for any meaningful stretch at all.
Therefore I set off on Friday with the idea of running at 7:21 pace for a short 6 miles run. I'm a slow starter and was slightly behind pace after 1 mile, more than made up for that on mile 2 and then just let the legs do their thing, which is why I ended up way too fast, but happy enough.
When training for Vienna the coach had me do a lot of back-to-back sessions where I did 7 or so miles on Saturday 10 seconds per mile faster than MP, and then a long run with various amounts of MP at the end on Sunday. Since I had unwittingly done the first part of the job on Friday I decided I might as well finish it off with a few marathon miles on Saturday. My plan to run the first half relaxed at 7:30-7:40 pace failed when the legs felt too good, the wind was on my back and no warning voice of the coach in my inbox and I ended up doing the full 15 miles at marathon pace instead.
Some of you might think this was a stupid thing to do, 9 days before the marathon, but I'm really happy about this. It was much more for the head than the legs; the serious doubts if I would be able to do the pace at all are dispersed and I'm confident I will be able to recover sufficiently to tackle the Cork marathon course. Thinking about it, this is 30 seconds per mile slower than my pace in Vienna. 30 seconds per mile is massive. I'll be fine.
The fact that I was able to bake a cake after my run was a bonus. Sometimes I really manage to surprise myself.
- 26 May
- 12 miles, 1:33:32, 7:47 pace, HR 153
- 27 May
- 6.05 miles, 43:17, 7:09 pace, HR 161
- 28 May
- 15 miles, 1:49:45, 7:19 pace, HR 161
- 29 May
- 8.1 miles, 1:00:30, 7:28 pace, HR 153