Week Thirteen Of Training

In all of the training plans I have seen, week thirteen is a critical week in the training process. It is the last week where the distance increases, and the start of the “taper” – the lead-in to the marathon itself.

A hiatus in the Photo Per Day

I started this week feeling very tired after spending week in the US and having my time zones all messed up.  One of the first things I did was to suspend my “Photo Per Day” project, that has been running since August 2010.  This project is just as its name implies, a photo taken each day and posted online.  But it takes about half an hour per day to process and post the pictures, and that’s time that I can’t afford if I’m going to do a marathon.  So reluctantly I decided to put it on hiatus for a few weeks, until the marathon is over.

After that, I got out for a couple of runs at lunchtimes, and covered a decent distance.

And then yesterday came the last long run.  Sadly, it wasn’t a 100% success.

The idea was that we would all go to visit friends who live near the village of Kirknewton, just outside Edinburgh.  Marie and the kids would go in the car; I would run.

Things started okay.  It was a lovely day – perhaps slightly warmer than I would have chosen, but pretty calm.  I was wearing the clothes I am planning to wear for the marathon, and I set out with high hopes.

Down Nicolton Road, and onto the canal (first mile done).  And from there, just continue eastwards along the Union Canal.

For that part of the run, things went really well.  I was probably running too quickly, but I was enjoying myself.

It was when I had to turn off the canal that things started to go wrong.

As I left the canal, I was at 125m.  Then it was straight into an unrelenting one-mile climb that went up fifty metres.  A sharp downhill through the country park to the bridge over the River Almond, and then straight back into a climb to 186m.

I managed to keep going through this section, but I knew I was tired.  I got out of the country park, and turned left.  I knew I had to turn right onto the B7031, but couldn’t see a signpost.  As I hit 18 miles, and realised that the street names suggested I had gone further than I should have, I realised I was in trouble.  I kept going for a little while, then doubled back on myself through an industrial estate, but I had already stopped a couple of times to try to make sense of my location using Google Maps on my phone.

When I stopped for the third time, I realised that all was lost, and I phoned up Marie to ask her to pick me up as she passed on her way to Kirknewton.

So… what do I take from this?

I am undoubtedly disappointed.  I got to the wall and found myself lacking.  Yet I ran a damned good nineteen miles.  Well, eighteen, anyway.  I had no crowd to cheer me on, no race-day adrenaline, and I had hills that won’t be present at Edinburgh.  I am probably not over the effects of last week’s travel, either.

I did some silly things on the run, too.  I mostly ran around 8:30/mile, where 8:50 would do just fine and not be quite so tiring.

All I can do now is follow the rules of the taper and build up my strength.  I have every determination I am going to run this Edinburgh marathon!

30-Apr – 06-May 2012

Number of runs Three
Links – Tuesday -5.88 miles (710 cal)
– Thursday – 8.47 miles (994 cal)
– Saturday – 19.40 miles (2339 cal)

Total mileage this week 33.75 miles
Calories burned this week 4,043
Total mileage since start 351.34 miles
Calories burned since start 40,018