The first day of sub-2:45 marathon training was something of a damp squib with little in the way of fanfare – which I may have possibly expected given my new found local notoriety thanks to a 2/3s page article in the local paper proclaiming the form of my life that I have (admittedly) been enjoying in recent weeks. Sadly no autograph hunters or photographers chasing me on the run – just one comment from a wannabe coach telling me to ‘forget looking at my watch, run how you feel.’
If I ran how I was feeling I probably wouldn’t have made it out of the door. Not long after the 1:17:01 Half Marathon at Keyworth where I felt the first signs of a cold coming on (Including a swollen eye courtesy of a well-aimed cough in my face by my eldest daughter) the man-flu came on in full earnest midweek, rendering me incapable of pretty much anything and certainly not up for running (Which is very much a rarity – I normally have to be chained to something to stop me from heading out for a run – no matter how foolhardy that may be).
The main reason for this lack of concern for having, in total, six consecutive non running days, was that after a heavy period of six races in eight weeks, the week gone was marked in the diary as an easy week before preparations for Project Sub 2:45. The only damage done to the extended lay-off would be seeing my mileage target on Fetcheveryone.com stretch back out to a 30 mile deficit having spent the entire year trying to be on target – only to go down sick the day after I managed to be hitting it.
I could handle taking many days off in an easy week. The thought of time off in long mileage week 1 – the first of four planned such weeks over Christmas and New Year with the focus on as many miles as possible with little emphasis on pace – was too hard to handle and with the hastily arranged (And with little scientific or practical thought) training plan indicating eight easy miles I looked to head out. My voice croaking and nose blocked, my better half suggested maybe I should start the marathon training in the New Year. I just gave her one of those looks and she knew that wasn’t going to happen.
Eventually I managed just 6.2 miles – the now familiar run down to the park that runs through the back of town to the Queen Elizabeth Park through to Dysart Park and back again – complete with unnecessarily dramatic loop of tiny bandstand (which makes it feel much more like an official route rather than a simple out and back run). Already 1.8 miles down on target but happy to be out and running, seemingly suffering no ill effects (Other than some harsh coughing post run). If you add the four or so miles walking covered on the double school run and Xmas shopping (this I believe is called training Japanese style) then not a bad day one.
Distance: 6.22 miles. Time: 47:12. Pace 7:35.