With only 3 weeks to go to Cork my priority is to get in as much running as I can at marathon pace, whatever that may be. Thomas suggested that I aim for beating last year’s time (03:17:05 – 07:31 pace) which is now my primary target. Before injury my plan was to go sub 3:10 ( 07:15 pace) with a target pace between 07:00 – 07:10 ( I don’t think I was ready for the assault on 3 hours). So as my calf regains strength over the next few weeks my training marathon pace is anything between 7:00 and 7:30 pace.
I got in 5 miles @ MP on Thursday's 6.8 mile run where the pace felt comfortable and my claf behaved. Friday’s run over 7.8 miles felt less comfortable with my calf more sensitive than usual to uneven surfaces and the pace remained above 8 minute throughout.
I decided to give the scheduled Eagle AC long run a miss on Saturday to give my legs an extra days rest and instead opted for a brick session heading out on the bike shortly after 8 for a 21 mile loop via Crossbarry and the Viaduct followed by a 5 mile run @ MP. While my legs felt good during the run my feet were wet and cold coming off the bike and it took a mile for them to thaw out. I had agreed to run the 2nd half of the Cork marathon route with Puds at 0815 on Sunday morning (he is doing the half as part of a relay). My plan, legs permitting, was to run 20 miles with the first 10 @ MP+10% and the last 10 @ MP. Three weeks ago this would have been 07:40/50 down to 07:00/10. Today the plan was 08:00 down to sub-07:30. If it went well I would up the target for next week. A few drinks at a neighbour’s house last night was not the best preparation and I felt a tad groggy rising before 7 as I had agreed to run into town to get the easier miles in before meeting Puds. It took me a few miles to get into my stride and I had to concentrate to keep to the 8 minute pace. I took a gel at mile 7 and felt reasonably good when I met Puds at Albert Road just before mile 8. On we trotted out to Turners Cross, Ballypheane, upped the pace after mile 10, around the Lough, Glasheen, Wilton Road and out the Model Farm Road at a steady pace just under 07:30 miles. I took a 2nd gel at mile 13 which helped me keep the pace steady on the uphill mile to Nangles Nurseries. Down to Carrigrohane and onto the Straight Road where we got down towards 7 minute pace for mile 17. Past the Kingsley Hotel, just over 2 miles to go. I had to concentrate on my running to keep the pace under 07:30 over the last 2 miles as fatigue began to set in. Down the north Quays and we are greeted by Joe Roche of Eagle AC running in the opposite direction. “He’s doing the course backwards?” Puds offered. “He’s doing the half also” I said “probably practising his victory warm down when he take on the Murphy Boys next month”. Round the corner onto Patricks Street and past the finish line, mile 20 at last. A short warm down and we are back on Albert Road. Puds had a 750ml bottle of Robinsons with glucose and a pinch of salt for me which went down surprisingly well and while I was stiff after the run my legs are reasonably good now except for a blister on the big toe of my left foot – I never get blisters – it’s back to the Asics after these Nike’s are finished with.
A check on the Garmin showed I covered the first 10 miles in 01:19:43 (07:58 pace) and the 2nd 10 in 01:13:16 (07:20 pace) so on target for today – 20 miles in 02:32:59 (07:39 pace). I felt good that I completed the run to plan and that my legs are in reasonably good shape 12 hours later. However I was certainly tiring over the last 2 miles and my endurance is not where it was a month ago. Thur 7th May 6.81 miles in 51:32 (07:34 pace @ 137HR) with 5 miles @ MP Fri 8th May 7.8 miles in 01:04:46 (08:18 pace @ 129HR) Sat 9th May Bike 21.37 miles followed by 5.29 mile run in 38:39 (07:19 pace @ 144HR) 5.29 miles @ MP Sun 10th May 20.59 miles in 02:38:23 (07:42 pace @ 141HR) - 10 miles @ 07:58 pace followed by 10 miles @ 07:20 pace & 0.59 mile cool down @ 09:10 pace. Marathon Peak Week # 6 (Run 47.76, Bike 51.7 miles, Swim 1,500m)