Sunday, August 9

Royal Victoria Marathon (10-weeks out)

It has been months since I’ve managed to string together back-to-back solid weeks, but the last fortnight has more than made up for it. Today alone, spoke volumes.

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After a hard track session Wednesday afternoon with Brad, I made sure to keep the effort light for the remainder of the week. Friday was a bit of a struggle but I attribute that to mental fatigue after a killer day. Saturday on the other hand couldn’t have been more different; I was able to coax Carter out of the house for an early morning jaunt through the Broadmead trails. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Today though, ha, that’s where the rubber hit the pavement.

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I’ve scheduled three key marathon pace sessions before the race in October, and today was where it all began. First off, I must apologise to a few friends who enquired about getting out for a Sunday run. Given the (sadistic) nature of the workout, or at least my chosen venue, I opted to run this one solo.

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The plan was simple, 6k (6’), 5k (5’), 4k (4’), 3k (3’) & 2k… near or at MP; the location, Oak Bay Track.

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I wanted to ease into the effort and so planned to run the first interval at 3:55 pace/km (2:45:46), dial it up slightly for the second 3:50 pace/km (2:41:45), and then hold on for dear life for the remaining three, 3:48 pace/km (2:40:20). Nothing ever goes according to plan.

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When I arrived at the track, the air was thick after a light rain. I warmed up along the beach and then made my way back to the field. For all but the last two kilometres, patchy clouds of fog kept me company along the homestretch only to stand me upright on the other side of the oval.

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It didn’t more than 2km for me to remember just how uncomfortable MP effort can be. Knowing I was in for the long haul, I shut my mind out and instead focused on the rhythm of my breathing and the sound of my shoes hitting the wet track. The second interval felt markedly easier and the third was ridiculous, easy that is, or at least it felt. Sadly I somehow thought I’d feel more comfortable toward the end, what with the shorter intervals… this was not to be. The last 5k was a test of character and reminder me of the last few km’s of a marathon. I think I passed, just.

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3:53, 3:49, 3:53, 3:52, 3:48, 3:49 (3:50.7)

3:49, 3:51, 3:54, 3:46, 3:49 (3:49.8)

3:45, 3:46, 3:46, 3:52 (3:47.2)

3:47, 3:47, 3:49 (3:47.7)

3:44, 3:46 (3:45.0)

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Everything considered, I couldn’t be happier with the workout. It also provided me with an opportunity to practice my in-race nutrition only unlike last week, this time it was at speed. I experienced a slight stomach cramp toward the end but I think that had more to do with the stop/start nature of the session.

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Until next time, happy trails!

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Training:

Thursday: easy 49:01

Friday: steady 1:10:50

Saturday: easy 58:01

Sunday: 2:10:12 with 6k, 5k, 4k, 3k & 2k at MP

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Weekly mileage: 7h28’32”, +/- 105k or 66 miles