Sunday, July 28, 2013

Aiming for Athens - week 12

I'm not sure whether I should call this week No.12 or No.13 but I decided to go with 12 since this is my 12th week of training. I have, however, swapped the weeks around a little and this week has followed the week 13 of the program.
 I am skipping week 12 for now, moving weeks 13 to 19 of the program up a week and then I'll stick week 12 back in there and from week 20 I'll be back on track. I allowed myself to do this change without consulting anyone and the reason is that I hope to take part in a couple of upcoming races and this way the race dates fits better with the training plan. My plan for the races is only to participate and to get the chance of running with and meet some other people. And also to run in some other locations which I believe to be beautiful.
 Ok, a sum up of this week, week 12/13 of the Galloway marathon plan.

Monday: Since I didn't run at all last weekend I thought I'd do a shorter run on Monday. I was hoping to be able to run three times during the weekdays. Three short and easy sessions in preparation for the long Sunday run of this week. Unfortunately I only managed to run two times but I'm pleased with that.
 I did an easy 5k around the neighborhood on a beautiful summers day and enjoyed it very much.

Wednesday: I took it even easier on this run and went out in the morning, which is a new experience and a skill I hope to learn. I explored a few "new" roads to extend my gallery of runable roads to choose from. But these roads didn't really qualify for runable because the surface was very unpleasant with larger stones that made it rather uneven and tiresome for the feet and legs. It was fun though to see some new places and there are still other "new" roads waiting to be explored.

Friday: This planned easy short run didn't happen. But I'm ok with that.

Sunday: The scheduled longrun for week 13, that now is my week 12, was supposed to be 20miles or 32.2km. The distance made me a little nervous because I have no experience of this kind of long runs nor do I have any known loops that covers these distances.
 According to the weather forecast the morning would be the best time to perform this challenge and since I'm learning how to become a morning runner I went out a little before seven o'clock. I had hoped to be on my way even earlier but I probably need a bit more practice before I'll be a true morning runner. I had mapped out a loop that I thought would bring me up to the distance wanted but just as I was going out the door I changed my mind and decided to start out in another direction. So I started with a well known loop of 12-13 kms and then I connected that with parts of the route I had mapped out. I wasn't sure if the roads I chose would take me where I wanted to go but that turned out to be just the right way and I ran over some really beautiful field areas where summer flowers still were blooming, some forest areas where a few birds still were singing. You can tell that summer has peaked but from what I saw today there is still a lot of beauty to be admired and enjoyed.
 After almost 20kms I entered a recreation area with many trails and to add distance to my loop I ran a lap of the 5k trail and after that a lap of a 3.5k trail. That brought me close to the distance needed before I headed towards the railway station where my run was going to end today. Besides getting the longrun done my task for today was also to pick up a car at the car park there.
While I was running the trails my left knee started to bother me (again) and soon after that the right one also acted up. So I had to slow down a bit and do more frequent walkbreaks. It also started to rain but the temperature was pleasant, 18C/65F, and I don't mind running in rain as long as it isn't raining too hard. I put my cap on to keep my glasses dry and the vision clear and enjoyed the fresh oxygen rich air. A real setback, though, was that I couldn't fill up my water bottles at the recreation site. Apparently you need to be a member to get access to the facilities, at least for the weekends. I was out of water but what could I do. On my way towards town I passed a friends house where I hoped to get some water but they were not at home so I had to postpone the drinking until I got home. It would have been a major disaster on a warmer day but today it wasn't really any crisis, only a discomfort.
 On my way towards the railway station the running got a bit troublesome, because of the knees, and I did more walking. But I endured and finally ended up at the car park and drove home. My estimation of the distance was pretty accurate and I did 32.7km/20.3 miles. Definitely the longest distance I've run, so far.

Not a bad week with a total distance of 43.5km/27miles. But I am beginning to slowly comprehend how long a marathon really is and during the tough later part of the Sunday long run I almost questioned my decision to take part in a marathon event. Now, comfortably seated in my home, I find it to be a great idea.

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