The week started off well enough. Monday 7 miles at around 9 minute pace or so. Wednesday I picked up the pace a bit going for a run at 12.30 pm covering 8 miles at 7.45 pace. Back to work on Thursday and felt a bit zonked reverting back to a 6.40 am wake up call and a 2 hour out and back commute. I can only speak for myself when I say I was glad to get back to work, it is only right and proper we attempt to keep the schools open. . . .
Anyway as usual no running on Friday and I was pretty wrecked by Friday evening. The head wasn't up for running at all and the thoughts of a impending long run was filling me with dread. I was putting myself through mental torture at this point. I will run long Sunday? I won't !!! I will!!! I'll just do 7 miles and do it on Wednesday instead or I will do it on Sunday week. It was begining to hang over me like a dark cloud.
My poor wife was showing great patience with me but after a 7 mile run on Saturday I was feeling a lot better. I put out the water bottles that night in the usual spots and slept well. A good sleep always helps.
Sunday morning I just decided to go running, as simple as that and see what happened. A good plan in the circumstances. By mile 7 and water break one I was warmed up to the task and got as far as Ballyhea and decided to progress to Churchtown railway crossing. That took me to mile 11 and I was enjoying myself. Then it was back up to Charleville via Ballyhea (14 miles , water break two). By the Amber service station (17 miles) the left knee was tightening up and I was beginning to feel the pressure. A bit of stretching did the trick and then it was back down to the Railway road. By mile 18 I stopped and walked. It was getting tough now but I resolved to keep moving. Running resumed again and I ran up towards Broomscourt and down in my old house in Manor Hill. It's up hill and steep on the way up and simply walked up the hills and went back running on the flat. I hit mile 20 in 2hrs 56mins.
At this stage I decided to keep moving and at this stage I running a bit and walking a bit. The pace had dropped from 8.50 per mile to around 10.30 per mile but I kept moving and sometimes that's all you can do. I ran back down town and cut cut through Holycross and back up to the Park. That took me to 22 miles and it was getting very hard now. I then stumbled through a awkward running patch from there out on Smiths Road and back before coming into my estate and hitting 24 miles in 3hrs38minutes. I walked for 2 more minutes to simply round it up to 3hrs40minutes on the feet.
Again like 2 weeks ago when I ran 23 miles I was out on my feet at the end but if needed I know I could have kept going for another 2 miles but it would have involved a lot more walking and very laboured running. What stopped me was I had reached the limits of what running routes the town had to offer. Anyway plenty of training left and long runs ahead of me ....
In terms of Donadea I know I can run up to 26 miles maybe 27 miles and while there may be a bit of walking-running from 23 onwards I am pretty sure I can stick it out. It's how I deal with the last 4 miles is the thing. I am not bothering with the sub 5 hour thing, it creates unnecessary pressure and relastically I am probably a bit off it. The race organiser can do what he wants - I don't give a jot. To quote him "Fook off".
This week will involve a shorter long run but hopefully better mid week efforts.
The next big long run will be in a few weeks. Hopefully I can stretch it to a bit over 4 hours so I might adopt a slightly different approach next time.