I just couldn't motivate myself to go out and run on Saturday, the weather was rubbish during the day. I got out on Sunday instead. I wasn't looking forward to the run at all until I started getting my kit ready and then I seemed to acquire some motivation from somewhere.
Plan was for 20 miles at 9:35 mm, a bit more distance if my legs were up to it. I planned a slightly different outward route this time, still flat and still tarmac but lovely lanes. I felt much better at the start than the last long one, running felt smooth and was holding it back a bit at the start but I have learned that this restraint really does pay off later.
As I knew where I was going for the first 7 miles or so it was pretty uninterrupted, in a world of my own really. At the first map check I had a gel, a couple cycled past with their kiddy on a bike seat on one of the bikes, with a potty strapped behind the seat. Okay, odd thing to see! Incidentally these are great lanes for cycling so will no doubt be getting the bike over this way soon.
My left leg was a little grumpy here, hamstring still stiff but some of the lanes were narrow and had pronounced camber at times and I figured this was contributing. Out to Much Hoole and another map check, I decided to head back up the A59 then through Walmer Bridge and out towards the Marshes again.
I knew where I was again so this was pretty uninterrupted running. I got to the marshes at about 12/13 miles, can't exactly remember. I had another gel here then carried on running, I didn't have any of the faff I did last time deciding which footpath to follow so I was soon back at the road and on my way to Longton.
I had been drinking a lot on this run, a lot more than last time even though it wasn't as hot a day. As I suffered after I ran out of water I headed into Booths to top up, get some jelly babies. A fair bit of faff getting the bladder topped up without spilling water anywhere, I put a handful of jb's in my pocket and set off again. Legs a little creaky at first but soon settled into the plod again. I started eating jb's and just kept on eating them, don't know if I was hungry or just glad of the distraction.
Out of Longton, under the A59 and noticed another bike with child seat and child heading other way, recognise my friend V and her little girl and stop for a chat. I don't think I've seen a bike helmet that small before! 15 miles in at this point and my legs are hurting, setting off again was hard, not too bad once I was going though.
Out of New Longton I kept plodding on, as starting running again seemed to hurt most I tried to keep moving all the time, which made crossing the roads a little interesting. Soon I was at Booths in Penwortham and 18 miles in. I could choose to take the cycle route home, 4 miles or a more direct route, closer to 2. I went for the four, don't know why but my legs started running that way before my brain had time to catch on I think.
It has a long gradual downhill which hurt quite a bit, my left knee in particular was getting very grumpy and my feet were hurting. My feet didn't hurt at all last time but I had more cushioned socks on. Plod, plod, plod.... I got to 21 miles and things were really painful. My left knee felt like it was on fire, though it wasn't ITB pain thankfully and I had a stitch. I had a good stretch then carried on but it wasn't really improving and my feet were sore. I also noticed that my gait was changing as my knee felt quite stiff. At 21.5 miles I had an attack of sensible and decided to stop, go straight home and not go for the other 0.5 mile.
I had been debating this for about a mile and a half but refused to stop but it was hurting and I don't want to injure myself this close. My No.1 goal for this marathon has always been to get to the start line uninjured. So, I walked the last 1/4 mile home, shaking and stretching my legs as I went.
Back home for recovery drink, a shower and compression tights. One of the problems I have after long runs is eating, I'm not sure if its a case of no appetite or just too knackered to contemplate sorting anything out but I'm sure the fact I didn't eat much after the last really long one contributed quite a bit to me coming down with a cold. This time I had left overs from last nights dinner waiting for me so I made myself eat it. It was like force feeding myself for the first few mouthfuls but after that I was shovelling it in. Then a small slice of cake, then a larger slice of cake, then a banana then Jez asked when I wanted dinner and I replied ASAP!
So a large portion of Gorgonzola risotto (yum), some ice cream and a glass of wine and I finally felt almost full. Hopefully this will help me recover better this time!
So 21.5 miles, 3:22 of running time, 9.26 average and a little faff. I'm not sure the last mile properly counts though.