So with 4 weeks remaining the focus of my attention remains on keeping the training miles going, my last and longest run and my prep for the day. Oh and keeping myself from getting overwhelmed with the anticipation of the event and the fear of making a complete mess of it.
So this was the plan:
I managed 70km on w/c 10 June so pretty much on target. W/c 17th June is more challenging due to a family weekend away which means running will be more restricted, but making up with a long run Thursday morning and hopefully one 10miler over the weekend 🤞🏻. This will
Keep me feeling comfortable that I’m on track.
Yesterday’s long run of 31km was good. Around 2:49 to cover the distance with some hills and mostly off road. Included a bunch of time on the Ridgeway around Compton:
It was good but a faster pace than I plan for the Stones. Bit a bunch of mixed weather, rain, breezes, sun etc. Good deal of mud and puddles etc. It was good to get a run along the Ridgeway this close to Stones too as the terrain changes during the year and keeping in tune with the terrain is really helpful.
Found on route a new running buddy:
During the run I needed about 700mL water (I tend to run with tailwind in my water! Cliff blok’s are never far away (has a couple) and half a chia charge peanut butter flapjack. Felt good, hydrated and not struggling nutrition wise at the end. I would need to Jew this going as a minimum and probably throw a few savouries in too for the Stones. I also carry dextrose and salt tablets which I rarely use but will have with me on the Stones as I have found them helpful when struggling.
My only challenge is on longest runs I get some small blisters. I chose not to tape my feet this run but that was a mistake. Got a couple of blisters on the side of the ball of my foot and big toe. They are minor and mostly disappeared by 24 hours post race and normally taping avoids them better, so I’ll be going back to taping for all 20 mile runs or more!!
The final big one
Running for me is balanced with working and family life. I have made a run shaped pocket in my diary pre-work between 5:30 and 6:30 am Monday to Friday. At the weekends a similar space has been found on Saturdays and on Sundays I have forged a slot up to 10am regularly for a long run – giving me 3 hours comfortable run time. Much more than this is tricky. I could get up earlier but I’m pushing my body to achieve the start times I do anyway! So at time I have to work hard to find an opportunity for a longer spell. This is what I got months 30th June. Admittedly I would prefer it a week or two earlier but that’s the best I can do. So I managed to get a free day pretty much and have planned a 50km last push before the Stones. The plan involves a circular route from home and out via the Thames Path and back via the Ridgeway from Goring:
Some of the route will be new to me but I suspect it will feel familiar and will be fine. It’ll be a good measure of the terrain we can expect on the day, assuming we don’t get insane heat or monsoon in between the race and the 30th!
So running through final thoughts of what I take with me. I have the 10L Kalenji hydration bag from Decathlon. I’ll be taking the bladder and Tailwind powders to use in top ups – not always, some will be just water. I’ll carry chia charge flapjacks as I am really comfy eating these on runs and need the comfort of a familiar food. I’ll also take a small first aid kit, blister plaster, foil blanket, rain jacket and charger for my phone and headlamp (Petzl)
I will also take a t-shirt and change of socks.
I may take my GoPro and so have a few bits for that too.
I am hoping that family will meet me along the route and so will arm them with a top up of t-shirt and sock replacements. Probably more snacks and other emergency things such as swap of shoes, and generally enough spare kit for any circumstance!!
It’s all in the mind
Lastly is getting head-ready. I’m getting there but the natural nerves are already beginning to build. So let’s see how things progress over the next two weeks. I’ll be nervous and I’ll question my choice. That’s the way I work so I don’t doubt that. It’ll be good to feel I have that in check and under control, and that it’s not being obstructive to effective training and race preparations!
We will just have to see!
Looking forward to seeing everyone on the day 👍