Week Ten Of Training

After last week’s bad organisation and insufficient quantity of runs, this time I got things right, right?

Well… almost.  After all, last week I only managed two tuns.  This week I turned in… well… erm… two runs.


Wigwam at Strathfillan

This time, it was family holidays that got in the way of things, and since I enjoyed the holiday so much I am not going to apologise.  We spent a couple of evenings in the latter part of the week at the Strathfillan Wigwams campsite near Tyndrum, and that was once again not conducive to running.

However, at least this time I did manage my Tuesday run.  This was a slightly extended version of my normal run from my office to Aberdour and back, where I went for a detour through Dalgety Bay when I got back to the village.  It turned out that it was a little more of a detour than I had planned, too, as I managed to get lost on the way back!

West Highland Way view

And then we went away.  During our time away, we went for a wander along a part of the West Highland Way, an have decided that we want to “do” the full length of the walk.  I don’t quite know what the logistics will be, but rest assured that there is a project to come after the marathon is complete.

If I ever learn to walk again.

We arrived back from Strathfillan fairly late on Saturday.  A frantic evening of unpacking and feeding the washing machine followed, with very little thought from me about what the following day – Sunday – was to bring.

What it was to bring was of course a long, slow run (LSR).  Except – arrogant fool that I was – I thought that that wasn’t quite good enough for me.  I wanted to give myself confidence that I was going to be able to sustain a sub 9 minutes/mile pace for a marathon, and my plan was that I would do that by doing 20 miles at that pace today.  So I would run to the canal as a warm-up, then run ten miles eastwards to Winchburgh.  I would turn round and run ten miles back, then I would ask the long-suffering Mrs Ham to collect me from the canal.

Hmm… so, I was careful about what I ate last night, and drank lots to ensure I was well hydrated?

Sadly, no.

The LSR started okay, and I even put my GPS tracker on for the warm-up mile to the canal.  I ran at a sub-nine minute pace to Winchburgh, except for a mile where I stopped twice, once to remove some leaves that had gotten into my sock and once to take a photograph.

I reached the bridge at Winchburgh, and turned round.  Still I felt okay, and kept running, though the weather was becoming very warm.  I drank from the little hand-carry bottle I had, and started wondering if I should have had more to drink before leaving the house this morning (I had had very little because I didn’t want to have to stop to pee on the route!)


I was able to carry on at a decent pace for the sixteen miles.  But miles seventeen, eighteen and nineteen all came in a full minute slower than the previous sixteen.  And then things really started going bad.

Miles twenty and twenty-one were hellish.  I was knackered, I was walking as much as running and wondering why the hell I was trying to do a marathon.  At least I managed to get back to running for the final half mile or so, but I was knackered.

When I got home, I did keep wondering why my daughter was looking at me so strangely.  It was only when I got to the bathroom for a post-race bath that I realised I had acquired a “salt face”, from the sweat evaporating from my cheeks.

So… lessons?

  1. I’m not smarter than the training plan.  I should just have faith in it, and not try to measure my abilities before the race itself
  2. I should be properly hydrated and properly nutrited, erm nutritioned, erm… fed before I go out
  3. This is my first marathon; I should not be aiming for a time.  Completion will be enough!
Unfortunately, now is when things go horribly wrong.  I shall be travelling for work at the end of this week, and will miss two full weekends of training.  This is going to be damned inconvenient, but all I can do is make the best of it…

09 – 15 Apr 2012

Number of runs Two
Links – Tuesday – 6.10 miles (718 cal)
– Sunday – 21.79 miles (2628 cal)
Total mileage this week 27.89 miles
Calories burned this week 3,346
Total mileage since start 283.65 miles
Calories burned since start 31,754