The final countdown

An hourglass.

I’ve now done my last really long run ahead of London Marathon. I’m onto the final countdown to the race with just a 16km run to go. I can’t believe I’ve got this far, but I’m frustrated that I’ve not lost weight and am not as fast as I’d like to be.

LRR Monday night training session

After my 20 mile run around Southampton and a busy day at work, I wasn’t feeling ready for training with Lordshill. M was at holiday club for the day. I’d walked to work and tried to keep moving throughout the day. I didn’t want to seize up, but I did want to give myself recovery time. After walking home, I had time to eat a bagel, change and relax for a bit before heading out.

It was so nice to meet the group in daylight. It was also great to wear my new Team Soas running kit. I’ve not had any opportunities to wear it before as it’s been too cold. I’m annoyed that I didn’t take any photos as the new kit is gorgeous. The t-shirt is so soft, silky and lightweight. I’ve also got a new Soas running skirt. It was the first time that my legs have seen daylight for a while. The skort was very comfortable, so I think I’ll be wearing it a lot.

The planned session was Indian file around the Common. We did a warm up and then started. The group agreed to play some word games to help the time pass quickly, which was fine. It was also necessary to run at the pace of the slowest person in the group. This worked well for me as my legs were a bit tired. The person next to me in the line was Eddie, a new member. It was nice to be able to welcome someone new. It turns out that he also works at the University, so I’m guessing I may meet him through work at some point.

LRR Thursday night endurance session

It was so nice to attend a Thursday night endurance session in daylight. I had left home in sunshine, so was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. As soon as I arrived at the Common, dark clouds came over and it turned cold – just my luck.

We knew that there wouldn’t be many attendees as quite a few people had been training for Southampton Marathon or half marathon or 10k. Brighton Marathon has also passed and Manchester Marathon is next week. Several people said they didn’t want to do the full session, which should have included two 30-minute sections at marathon pace. I also didn’t want to push too hard as I’ve been unwell this week with a heavy cold. In the end, I think everyone agreed to do an abbreviated set.

I set off with Martine and another female runner for the 10-minute warm up, and we were joined by Duncan. Towards the end of our warm up, it started raining really hard, so I got quite wet, which was unpleasant.

Avoiding the fair

We chose not to run our usual loop as the fair is on the Common. I thought this might mean that there were lots of people wandering on the path. Also, I’ve previously run past the fair when it’s been on and was frustrated by the sexist attitudes of the men there who thought it was OK to leer as I ran past.

I completed two 20-minute stints at marathon pace with 5 minutes of recovery between them. I managed to time it so that my recovery was on the steepest part of the Common and I got to enjoy the downhill sections. It was also nice to hear the local Sikh drummers practising in a clearing near the top of the Common.

I managed to time the final 10-minute cool down so that I only had about 40 seconds to go when I reached the Bellemoor triangle.

Heartlands parkrun

The start of Heartlands parkrun

I considered whether I could incorporate parkrun into my long run, but decided against that idea. It’s not possible to get to Penrose or Heartlands on pavements and I didn’t fancy a solo run on country lanes. Penryn Campus parkrun was cancelled this week, so that wasn’t an option. We decided to go to Heartlands as the Running Festival was on there afterwards.

M hasn’t run since we went to Netley Abbey a month ago as she’s been volunteering with Stu whilst he’s been injured (or having the morning off). She seemed surprisingly motivated to come along, which was great.

Tamsyn's result from Heartlands parkrun: 28:17.

I was delighted to achieve a PB at this event and also to achieve a season’s best, even if I’m not running as quickly as I hoped I would be at this point. The only slightly disappointing bit of this event was that there was a token mix up at the finish, which was acknowledged by the event team. I finished behind two men – one of whom was quite a bit older than me and the one ahead of him had forgotten his barcode so was a unknown runner. Imediately behind me was a man carrying a fridge. When I looked at the results, I realised that they were inverted from what I expected. (The man with the fridge was listed ahead of me and the older chap and unknown runner were behind me). According to my Garmin and Strava, I finished in 28:10.

Screenshot showing finish positions 133 to 139. Sam Manvsfridge is ahead of Tamsyn, who is ahead of a VM60-64 and an unknown runner.

24km long run

Tamsyn wearing a teal, turquoise, yellow and white Team SOAS t-shirt. She is smiling.

This morning I went out for a 24km run. I had intended to start fairly early, but a 6:30am Easter wake up call form my 6-year-old meant that I ended up spending more time with her and starting my run later.

Stu had mapped out a flat 8km loop around Hayle. I was pleased by the thought of running somewhere flat, but I didn’t really want to do the same loop three times. I ended up adding some extra pieces that were quite flat (but very windy) to add some distance.

At about 9km, I met Stu. He had some water with him, which was good. I had put a squishy bottle in one pocket and had some shot blocks with me. I also had my phone attached to my bra, using my Koala Clip. Stu jogged half a kilometre with me until we met my Mum and M who were taking part in an Easter hunt. I then said goodbye to the three of them and set out on my second loop.

An hour or so later, I met Stu again. This time he jogged a kilometre with me before heading home. I worked out a shorter loop with an out and back, so that I didn’t have to run too far. It was getting warm, but I was feeling cool thanks to my lovely new Team Soas top and skort.

I was so glad when my Garmin said 24km. A coffee van was close by and I had a steep uphill walk to get home. I decided to stop and buy a cold drink to have on the walk home. It was amazing!

The final countdown

I’m hoping to join Hayle Runners for a training session this week and to do another local parkrun next weekend, before doing my last long run of 16km.

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