Run: 9.02 miles
Time: 1 hour 18 minutes 29 seconds
I forgot to say that yesterday's couple of miles meant that I've notched up 1900 miles since I began running almost three years ago. That milestone comes next weekend...
Today sees the last "long" run of my 16-week training plan. When I did this the week before London - I ran about 8 miles up and down every single footpath in Stanford. Today, I fancy getting out in the countryside, and up the distance to cover 80 minutes of running. It soon transpires that my legs have set the pace at a fraction under 9-minute-miles, which feels easy enough given the short distance today.
I divert out to Hatford to give me an extra third of a mile, and if I take the slightly longer route through Charney Bassett, past the pub, then I'll only have about half a mile to make up when I get back to Stanford to clock up 9 miles in the allotted time. I eat up the miles, and the pace feels good. There was a strong wind against me on the open fields towards Hatford, but it's not too cold. I wonder about packing gloves to take to Inverness next week.
As I leave Charney, I reach the halfway point in under 40 minutes. Perhaps I should be taking it a little easier today? No, I think I'm ok. The "intermediate" training plan that came with my race information pack this week (a bit late to start using it with about 12 days to go to the marathon!!) suggested a Half Marathon and 10k races for the last two weeks of training. I did the Half Marathon last weekend, and today's run is certainly less stressful than running a sub 8-minute-mile pace that I'd be doing had I entered a 10k. Next time maybe?
Back to today, and I'm on the home stretch now. I know I'm going to do a negative split, and if I wanted to I could up the pace to a 10k speed, but I settle for a more gentle increase in effort. Back in the village, and I run round to the church to reach the set distance, although I still make it back home in under the 80 planned minutes.
Job done, time to relax. Just a couple of very short runs left before I head to the far north of Scotland to attempt my third Marathon, and hope to set a new PB...
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