Tuesday, 20 April 2010

In the time of the volcano...

33 days until my qualifying marathon.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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