Another four weeks of running done, and I’m pleased to report that I trained hard for three of them.
I started my taper last week, you see. The long runs and hard sessions are over; now I’m just running to keep ticking over. There are only two weeks to go to the 2014 Dublin Marathon.
On a related point, I’m watching more television right now than I’ve done all year.
But there was certainly some hard training earlier this month – and hard racing too. I had a great run in the Dublin Half Marathon, where I took over seven minutes off my personal best and went under 90 minutes for the first time. And I could have kept running for another few miles at the same pace.
However, I was worried that my half marathon performance may have taken too much out of me. The following week my right knee was sore – it got relieved quickly by a physical therapist and there was no serious injury there, but I still missed two days of training.
After that, I had to fight off a heavy cold. Autumn marathons are desperate for leaving runners vulnerable to the change in weather at precisely the moment when their immune systems are depleted after months of training. All those draughts and soakings and damp days generate germs and illnesses that fester inside every bus, train and public building.
Races, niggles and illnesses aside, my training this last month went well. I settled into a routine of doing my midweek 12-miler as a running commute home from work. Last weekend I did my last 20-mile long run – I was careful not to empty the tank, but nonetheless I felt fine as I hit the significant 20-mile barrier.
And I got another long run in on my travels, this time a glorious 18-mile loop of central London – along the Thames, past the Houses of Parliament, across Tower Bridge, and down The Mall in my own private London Marathon finishing kick.
I hope to fit in some more foreign running this week – I’ll be in Vienna for a couple of days, and my plan is to get up early for a whirl around the sights of the city.
Apart from that, it’ll be short runs and light strides for me next week.
And the week after, I’ll be in full Dublin Marathon pre-race preparation mode.