Monday, 27 February 2012

Here comes the Sun

20.14 miles, 2:56:03, 8:45 min/mile pace

Sunday, traditionally the day of the long run in the runners week. Although I've been following no specific marathon training plan for London, I decided my longest run this year would fit in nicely today. The milestone 20 miler.

Most my recent long runs have been in the company of friends, which has been great company and motivation but I was actually looking forward to heading out the door on my own today and have a bit of me time. It was a glorious day, blue skies and warm. Spring had decided to come early in February. It seemed only like yesterday I was running in leggings, gloves and hat.

Over this sort of distance it's a great chance to try your nutrition out. I filled my Camelbak with 1 litre of Lucozade diluted with a little water to make it go further. Lucozade is the official sports drink used on the marathon course, so I thought it best that I get used to it. I also took one Lucozade gel which I used at mile 12 and one of my favourite Carmen Muesli Bars (Real Food!) which I happily munched through at mile 15.

I had been troubled the days leading up to this run with some slight discomfort on the inside of my right shin and was in two minds whether I should be taking this run on. I decided after chatting with my Twitter running friends that this would be make or break and I let my head rule my heart. This time I had made the right decision with absolutely no pain on the run or after. Quite a relief.

For a short while at mile 16, I had the canal path to myself, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face and listening to my footsteps on the gravel towpath, it was one of those moments on the run when everything felt just great.

As I went through the last miles I gradually starting getting tired, and leading up to mile 20 I asked myself the question 'Could you go on for another 6 miles today?'...possibly! but I've still another couple of months to go of training so hopefully will have a more positive answer to that question on 22nd April.

After all a marathon has only just begun at mile 20!

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