5.2.17: 1 ½ hours, 12.5-13 miles easy paced run around Ickworth.
Ickworth really is such a great place to run – I never get bored running there and the scenery, wildlife and measured routes make it the perfect place for either a hard runout or an easy clear-your-head run. A walk with the family and coffee and cake is a great recovery too!
I felt tired last week in training, not surprising given the previous week and not enough early nights. I took an extra rest day on Tuesday, partly enforced through work commitments and tight calves from the Monday night track session, but still got the rest of my training done and this morning’s run at Ickworth was a perfect way to move on. My programme had a much shorter long run of around 13 miles scheduled in today after recent weeks, as I now prepare for the middle phase of my marathon training – a race block, starting with the tough Stamford Valentine’s 30k race this coming Sunday, 12th. I’ve completed 7 weeks of the schedule now and I’m really pleased with how the first training block has gone, but it will be nice to get stuck into some races over the next month.
Runners are a funny breed – we display copious amounts of mental toughness on a regular basis, training and racing in all weathers at all times of the day and night and yet, whilst I’m looking forward to racing and getting a true reflection of what shape I’m in, I still have a slightly irrational and mild anxiety about how well I’ll perform in these races. The pleasing thing is that I’m really not thinking too much about London, just what’s coming up in the shorter term starting with Sunday’s race. The four races over the next four Sundays are intended to be a great mix of distances and terrain to help my training: Stamford 30k, Nowton Park XC, Tarpley 10 and then the Cambridge Half. To be honest, a decent time in Cambridge, under 75 minutes and ideally close to my 73:53 PB, will mean almost as much as running a PB in London.
Stamford always has a soft spot in my heart as it’s where my wife is from and we often pop over to see friends there, plus one of the best long run routes anywhere is a lap of Rutland Water just outside Stamford. However Sunday is all about running hard over the undulating country lanes for 18 miles so I may not be smiling much until afterwards!