Let's see where are we? End of W-5. I've just got back from a half marathon in Cricklade, Wiltshire (near Swindon). Quite a small village race, 200-odd in the half, plus a few more in the 10 k and fun run. We had to plough through the back end of the 10k field at one point, but I wasn't complaining. I must be stressed (teaching soon aargh!) or still recovering from a cold, because my chest felt tight at 8 am this morning, as we were setting off to go. You know, that organ that keeps us all going? I joked about it of course, but didn't tempt fate by divulging my Flickr password. It would have to be serious for that.
We kept a good, slightly intense but steady, pace through the run. Most of the miles were about quarter-to-eight, with the odd one over 8:10 when drinking water and running didn't quite work at the same time. I could feel the chest saying "no more" during the last third, so the pace had to be judged quite finely. No major problems, though I could feel a knee getting tired in the last couple of miles. It felt almost good (running well should not feel good in the normal sense of the word), certainly nothing like the last half we did – at the end of August – when all I could think of in the last three miles was that old Foreign Legion adage "pain is weakness leaving the body". In that race I took a fair few walking breaks, but today, with the exception of the drink stations, I ran continuously. I coughed a bit at the end, so evidently the cold hadn't gone completely. Final time for me 1:42:32, with M slightly behind.
She complained of feeling de-carbed at the end, lightheadeness and not noticing traffic being the main symptoms. I reckon she needs to slurp the energy gels a bit more often during long runs.
Earlier in the week, we did a nice Yasso session (pictures): 8x 800 m intervals in sub 3:30, with moderate wind going up the track. Again it felt as if my lungs weren't totally clear, but the legs handled the pace pretty well. After the first one, judging the pace was quite easy. Not bad for my first such session!
We are feeling pretty confident about a 3:30 – 3:40 marathon, as long as we can hold a good long run together next week.