Tuesday, 2 April 2013

March 2013: A Month in Review

Hard to believe but it’s that time of the month again… seems only five minutes since I was grinding out the February stats!

Here are my March numbers:

Count:                    32 Activities
Distance:               212.07 mi (6.85mi/day)
Time:                      30h00’25”
Elevation Gain:     6,876 ft
Avg Speed:            7.1 mph

2013 Cumulative (Jan-Mar):
Count:                    65 Activities
Distance:              701.51 mi (7.79mi/day)
Time:                      99h11’31”
Elevation Gain:    30,410 ft

Avg Speed:           7.1 mph

March’s stats are good but not amazing: across the board, lower than February’s. This is mainly down to the last week or so, when a bug came, went and came back with a vengeance: I was able to keep the runstreak going (March 31 was day #171) but had to settle for solitary miles or little more on more occasions than I’d like. I only managed 37.94mi in the final week of March, the first time (other than when tapering for the Bath Half, which I ended up running in 1h35’54”) that I didn’t hit the 50mi-mark.

All that moaning aside, March did feature four 20mi+ runs:

elev. gain
avg. min/mi
Wed, 6 Mar 2013
Tue, 12 Mar 2013
Tue, 19 Mar 2013
Tue, 26 Mar 2013

Progressively longer… somewhat progressively slower…

…but all hopefully conducive to the end goal: 26.2mi on April 28!

How much should I read into those times? Are they good/bad/indifferent?

It’s hard to say. On March 6 I basically ran back and forth along a near flat stretch of road, hence the negligible 305ft elevation gain, whereas on March 26 I twice took in the delights of Portishead, waterfront and back, throwing in a further couple of laps around here to break the 1,000ft elevation barrier. Personally I feel the 8’44”/mi pace of my fourth long run measures up quite nicely to the initial 8’35”/mi effort, though of course I can only run back up hills I’ve enjoyed descending…

…it’s all highly academic. Recreating race conditions is impossible, especially at the crack of dawn when the real thing will come to the boil (no pun intended) at the hottest part of the day. And, for all the snow we’ve had recently, we all know it’s going to be tropical when most inconvenient…

…so have I been losing any sleep over those stats? Genuinely not. What I have taken away is that every week throughout March, as had been the case for two weeks in February, I’ve run over 20 miles. After every such run, my confidence that I can manage 26.2 of the darn things at the end of this (!) month has grown. Not so the optimism of doing so in 3h30’: but that’s of secondary importance. It would be amazing, just like 3h45’ would be fantastic and anything sub-4hr would be great. But first things first: and the very first thing is to get round. I still plan to set out aiming for 3h30’ but my mind is fully open to the eventuality of slowing down. Indeed, it’s still open to changing its views at the last minute and taking it ‘easier’ – if that’s at all possible!

There went March. So, what does April hold in store?
Well a marathon, that’s what! And, in light of my bad end to March, it’s begun with a couple of sessions looking to fully rebuild confidence. I plan to run 60mi this week, 50 the next, 48 the next and 24 in the six days leading up to the marathon.
What, you wanted the detail? Oh, OK then
here’s what’s hanging on the ’fridge:

Fewer early morning jaunts, hopefully more sun-kissed efforts: not out of vanity but to try and acclimatise for what is bound to be a warm one! If all else fails, hopefully on the day this body of mine, with its somewhat Mediterranean wrapping, will remember best-of-five set tennis singles encounters played out in Italy in July at noon I will run one last 20-miler this week before downgranding to 18-milers over the following two weeks, my last decent length run set to be a 10-miler on Saturday 13: I will stick to single figures thereafter! The plans are detailed but they are also flexible: I need a starting point to focus the mind and I need a flexible mind to reach the finishing line.

Throughout the month I will be looking to establish just how realistic 8’/mi over 26.2mi truly is. Everything else is geared towards that. Because I want to be prepared, because I want to go into the 2013Greater Manchester Marathon with a grasp of what I can achieve. Similarly, I know it’s all about how my legs and mind behave on the day, on what that day holds in terms of conditions: in short, I know I’m not in control, not even (fully) of my own body. So what will be, will be: as long as I can look myself in the mirror and tell myself I did as much as I could to give myself the best shot possible, I’ll be happy. Not least when I cross that darn line. Because that much I have every intention of doing.

No comments:

Post a Comment