With the last post ending on a sore throat developing, Friday was a scheduled rest day when I felt pretty rubbish. Saturday morning I awoke, still the throat was rasping, but not feeling any worse, so I headed out for a very easy six mile run. The first mile felt terrible, thereafter I felt okay, but fairly weak. The hours after the run I felt no worse so I agreed with the guys at Grantham Running Club taking part in the Equinox 24 hour race that I would help them out with a last minute appearance on the Sunday morning to substitute for an injured runner. Assuming I was healthy all parties would benefit, I’d get an early morning long run at reasonable pace in the bag before working on the Singapore GP and they’d get a couple of hours of rest having run through the day and night whist I put in a triple stint.
Up at 6am on the Sunday morning, I headed to the Belvoir Estate where the sun was rising after a night of rain then mist and fog. I set off for 3 laps of the approximately 10k course – a multi terrain affair with one long drag, one steep downhill section and one steeper, but shorter, uphill section. The first lap I took easy as I let the legs wake up, made sure the sore throat wasn’t turning into a chest infection, and got the lie of the course.
The first lap run in around 40:04 (the self created Strava segment clips the start and end of the lap) I slowly wound the pace up over the next two laps, trying my best to make it an honest run without losing sight that it was just a long run with the half in a week’s time the goal. The second lap was 38:45 and feeling better by the mile, I completed the third lap in 37:32, averaging a healthy 6:38 for the 18 mile run.
An easy 7 miles on Monday was followed on Tuesday by the final hard session before the big race. It being my birthday and not wanting to run in the evening, I went out in the morning for an eight mile run where the final three miles were run at my planned half marathon HR of around 172. The splits: 5:49; 5:34; and 5:43 were pleasing as I rarely run that fast in training. The Nike Frees, which I’d decided to race in on Sunday rather than the lighter, but troublesome with blisters, Lunar Racers, were knackered however and Wednesday’s easy paced 10 mile run and the Thursday club jog were used to bed in the replacement Nike Frees, which were slightly different than the old ones but ran just the same.
The Thursday night run was the last before Sunday, a slow steady affair, a little off-road in the dark to bring some unnecessary pre-race stress, but the legs felt good, the sore throat and cold a now distant memory. Everything looked rosy, but on Saturday morning I awoke with sciatica in the right leg, and I spent most of the day trying to massage it away. Surely I wouldn’t be hindered by this last minute problem now!