Tuesday, 20 April 2010

In the time of the volcano...

33 days until my qualifying marathon.


It's been a strange week in the United Kingdom. The airports here have been closed for 5 days because of volcanic ash from Iceland. Apparently, they are to open tonight. Had I been running the Boston Marathon this year (that is, yesterday) I would have been out of luck - there were no flights into or out of the country.


This past Sunday I ran the complete Road. If you've been following from earlier posts, this is a hilly road behind the place where I work. My idea was that if I could run the whole thing I'd be ready for the marathon. I ran the whole thing (about 19 miles). Actually, it wasn't as bad as feared. Hopefully, microscopic ash hasn't accumulated in my lungs. I felt bad leaving my wife and children for the entire afternoon while I ran, but I'm now so deep in training that it seems a waste to curtail my training now, when my qualifying marathon is so soon. Basically, I have a handful of long runs left, and then I'm tapering.

I'm at that point in marathon training where I'm looking forward to it ending a bit.


Last week I was away with my wife and children in a cottage in the Scottish highlands. For reading material I brought "Why We Run" by Bernd Heinrich. I was motivated by his experiments in training for an ultramarathon. Basically, he tried to get his body used to running all the time - by running whenever he could. I can see this, and tried to get in a number of runs last week, family permitting. This may have helped get my body ready for the long run I did without too much discomfort this Sunday.


Bought new shoes today at the running store. My old ones weren't that old (6 months), but they were starting to feel uncomfortable. Indeed, the week before last I curtailed my 14-mile long run because my ankles were unaccountably sore. This was likely the terrain (woodland paths with rocks and roots), but I was starting to suspect it might also be my shoes. They feel flat, and they've always been a touch tight.

In any event, I bought some new ones. Sauconys. Hopefully they will feel good for my qualifying marathon.

One of the things I like about running is that it doesn't cost much. All you really need is shoes - and I suppose some will argue you don't even need those. But I didn't hesitate to buy new shoes which weren't particularly cheap. However, my rationale here can be captured in an apt British expression: in for a penny, in for a pound. Once you've committed to something, you might as well commit fully. Given the amount of time I've spent running, I might as well have good shoes.