21 miles today in 2hrs 25mins - a shade under 7min miling felt comfortable, so far so good then 5 weeks into the marathon programme. Despite the sub-zero temperatures, it was beautiful weather on quiet country lanes - the sort of run that makes you feel ALIVE and grateful for living in such a beautiful part of the world!
Motivation is surprisingly easy and strong so far which I hadn't expected - a lack of it and lack of sleep was why I pulled out of London last year. We still get woken up at least once a night every night but I now know the difference between mental/sleep tiredness and physical tiredness and running even after a bad night's sleep feels therapeutic.
I struggle with missing my two little ones bedtime on Wednesdays to get to the track on time so make sure I don't miss any other bedtimes the rest of the week. I'm a husband too and can't simply spend every night all week training. So I don't pay too much attention to the blogs from those who do 100+miles per week and double runs each day as I don't see it as a realistic option for me. Could I train more - of course but at the expense of other aspects of my life and family time is too important to me. Having run 1:58 for 20 miles, I know I can still train sufficiently to run the 2:45 target in London, at which point I will finally feel I've done the marathon justice.
Being a Dad is a really big deal to me and I'm quite fascinated by those elite sportsmen who are Dad's such as Mo and Andy Murray - in both cases, their greatest achievements have come since they become a father. I did find this surprising and difficult to believe, until now 5 weeks into my marathon programme. I'm not living and breathing the marathon every day now as there's more important things to think about, I've chosen my rest day as a weekend day but I have also tried to put more thought and a specific purpose into each training session, now using energy bars mid-run and not just gels, using recovery shakes, doing a weekly 1hr kenyan hills run the day after a long run, two or three gym sessions for strength at lunchtimes, a couple of easy runs, a fast 5 to 10 mile run and the Wednesday track session.
All in all I don't know if I'll run 2:45 in London but to be honest it feels worth it simply being fit again, being at the front end of XC races again and aiming for a decent time in the Cambridge Half all whilst enjoying bath and bedtimes with our two little ones after work. My understanding wife is also a great help :-)