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At Least I Didn’t Have to Run and Buy Stuff on July 12

Monday night, when I realized that I should have actually started the plan I had in mind in order to work my way up to October’s marathon last week, I thought I’ll have to cover a half marathon distance through the park today, since it was supposed to rain both Tuesday and Wednesday, and possibly Friday as well. But Tuesday night I checked the forecast again and noticed that, while there were still going to be some clouds, the risk of rain was very low for Wednesday, and the wind and temperature weren’t going to be a problem either. So, with hardly any preparation, yesterday I just went out there and covered a half marathon distance again, and then also went and bought a few things, so I didn’t have to do any of that today. Unlike last year, I did install this month’s Windows updates today though, and so far there don’t seem to be problems.
Did consider going to the farmers’ market today, since we’re almost out of cucumbers and tomatoes and dad had left a little more that I could use, which I mean to use for something for both of us anyway, but I left it for tomorrow, assuming there won’t be a storm. The updates were quite enough for today, even if I must say that I didn’t, and don’t, exactly feel down, probably as a result of the high after yesterday’s run, even if it had already been somewhat dampened by what happened when I went back out that evening. It’s possible that stuffing myself last night had a little to do with it as well, and I’m now actually stuffing myself again. But, of course, last year was a milestone, 15 years since me and Andra met, so it was somewhat different.

Usually avoided making these posts into personal updates, since it really doesn’t feel right to mix this with other things, but this time I will. Won’t go further back than yesterday and won’t even include what happened after going back out then, but yesterday’s run was quite something, and since it may have a fair bit to do with me not crashing today, I’ll get right to it and say it marked a new record over a half marathon distance, and by quite some margin: 1:48:26! Sector times were 4:38, 5:22, 6:15, 4:45, 5:21, 6:16, 4:46, 5:21, 6:08, 4:45, 5:16, 6:19, 4:48, 5:23, 6:20, 4:47, 5:21, 6:25, 1:57, 6:23 and 1:50, making for lap times of 16:15, 16:22, 16:15, 16:20, 16:31 and 16:33, plus 10:10 for that final section.
Really didn’t mean that, aiming for 17-minute laps and a 12-minute final section, so 1:54, but also allowing for time loss from lap five, the actual target being 1:55. Obviously saw that I was going much faster despite feeling that I was keeping my pace in check well enough, putting a bit of effort into maintaining those times but definitely not too much, but still didn’t really change my target until the end of lap three, initially assuming I’ll slow down a fair bit later on. But that didn’t happen, so after lap three I calculated that I could aim for 1:51, with 11 minutes on that final part. Then, when I maintained that pace on lap four and only slowed a little on lap five, I started thinking of 1:50, and then of 1:49:30. 1:49 only became a possibility in my mind at the end of lap six, and then right before that final sector I realized I had a slim shot at just making even 1:48:30 if I’ll somehow manage to run it as I do when I just run ten kilometers. And I did.

My toenails were a concern, obviously, so I had put bandages on the three middle toes on each foot before going out and something seemed wrong with the middle one from my left foot starting on lap three, if I remember correctly, feeling like the bandage had moved and was pressing against the nail from the front with each step. That made me worry that just what I did to try to protect the nails will end up tearing one away, and I kept thinking I felt something wet there, looking at my shoe several times, almost expecting to see blood coming even through it, but it was just sweat and me imagining things, because there was no blood at all and when I took the bandages off before showering, late at night, I saw no new bruises under the nails either. It does hurt a little bit when I press on that nail, but otherwise nothing seems any worse at the moment than it was before. Do have reasons to be concerned that the second nail from my left foot, the one I cut too much from since I didn’t realize it was coming off as well, will end up ingrown though.
On the other hand, my left knee is not happy. Feel something complaining a little in my right foot too, and maybe a bit of pain in my right knee as well if I really pay attention to it, but that doesn’t seem to be any cause for concern at the moment. That left knee, on the other hand, is really telling me I should have it checked out. Has been doing that for some time now, of course, but if after smashing my record on 16 kilometers it oddly seemed better for a while, now it acts as one would expect a joint with a problem to act after being put through something like this, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better on its own. Obviously can’t afford something like this now, which makes me even less likely to have it checked out than I’d normally be, which is saying something, so not sure what I’ll do about it.

But at least this really proved that a half marathon isn’t in itself a challenge for me anymore, if I can just go out and smash my record just like that, and without even really trying. Sure, I’m not getting any younger, so maybe in a few years it will once again become a challenge and I’ll need to focus my efforts on just managing to stay fit enough to be able to keep covering this distance in a reasonable time for as long as possible, but going for the full marathon this year is the natural step at this moment. It probably won’t get easier later anyway.
What concerns me is that I’ll be running it with no experience of covering that distance. Had covered the distance through the park once before running my first official half marathon, and the final part was very hard even so. Now my plan includes running 11 laps around the lake, so 35.2 kilometers, seven short of the distance of a marathon, in September, which should make me hit the wall and figure out how I can push through it, just taking one more step and one more step until I’ll reach the finish despite my body wanting to shut down and hurting all over. But even after that, assuming I’ll manage to do it at all on first try, there’s still the matter of doing it for those seven more kilometers, and on little sleep as well, seeing as the race starts in the morning.

But that’s something to figure out when I’ll get there I guess, so I’ll end this now. Did sort of consider also adding what happened when I went back out after the run, but it’s almost midnight, so couldn’t do that and still post this today anyway, which made the decision easy. And makes me feel a bit less rotten for writing about other things in something posted on July 12, since what I did write about isn’t quite so mundane while the other things would be, even considering the fact that I kept messing up, probably as a result of all that effort made with so little preparation.

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