Saturday, March 29, 2008

Decisions

This week is the hardest week of marathon training, in my book. Three weeks out you're torn between the temptation to make up training sessions you haven't done, and the feeling that you should really start tapering. And if you do taper, you instantly feel lazy and fat and slow.

I've struggled more than normal. For the past two weeks I've been struggling with a leg injury, and although I've got 10 mile and 20 mile PBs, I haven't done much else other than the races. I came into this week knowing that if I didn't do another long run, my last long run before London would be 4 weeks out (too far), but equally knowing that if I didn't shake off the injury before the big day I would have no hope of doing sub 3:45.

Do I rest and let it heal, or do I try to squeeze in just one more run. The temptation to do that was added to by the fact that both the races I've done have been while I've been injured - essentially I can still run without doing too much extra damage, I just don't seem to recover as fast as I do when I'm not injured.

My sub 3:45 schedule had me doing 18 miles, which seemed quite a lot for the first week of the taper, but it added to my temptation to go for it this week then cut back more drastically for the next two. But I still wondered whether I wouldn't be better relying on the training I'd already done (and after Spen I was pretty confident that it was enough) and trying to heal.

In the end, despite running about 5 miles every couple of days to keep me ticking over rather than resting completely, my leg started to feel much better and I felt more positive this morning. I headed out aiming for 18, but with the fall back plan that I'd decide at 15 how my legs felt and if necessary stop there. As it turned out, I felt fine, carried on to 18 and could have probably done more had it not been for the common sense that kept on shouting taper at me from inside my head.

So overall I feel a lot more confident. I still feel like I'm slower than I was a month or so ago, before the injury hit, but even being a bit slower I'm still running at 3:45 pace so I will not allow my head to start telling me I can't do it. For me it seems to be all in my head. If I believe I can do it, I will. If I don't, I'll allow myself to slip to plan B midway round and sabotage myself.

So don't let me say anything other than 3:45 is on...

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