While the rest of blogland is finding itself smothered by unseasonal snow, we in the lower North Island of Kiwiland are enjoying a late summer. P and I spent part of the long weekend up in a beach house in Otaki with my sister and some of her friends. The weather was beautiful, and a couple of days off (I ran, sort of, before we left, but pretty much did nothing after that), some sun and some saltwater (I can't believe i was SWIMMING in April- the water was amazing...) was just what I needed to get better- not quite 100%, but high 90s at least!
So this morning I set out for my one and only 20-miler (my FIRST programme is a beginners' one, so the long runs started with 8 and there's just one 18 and one 20 over the 18 weeks- that's why I was so agitated about missing it!). I changed my route from what I'd originally planned- from a monster climb and some exploring, to a fairly straightforward extension/variation of my usual coastal route- a couple of shortish hills and soem undulation, but otherwise flat. I was feeling very nervous and still a little bit funny in the chest and in my legs.
I had a GREAT run. It wasn't my fastest (I was a much faster 20-miler when I ran with A last year), but it was a perfect day, and I mostly felt fine. Not awesome, I wouldn't even say "strong", but "fine." Plus, I finished under target- I thought target was 3:10, so was relieved to come in at 3:09:50- but turns out target was 3:13, so I had a bit more leeway.
So, all in all am feeling OK. I'm going to be taking it easy for the next few weeks- fitting my key runs in, but mostly doing pilates and the odd easy trainer ride/swim otherwise. Work is going to stay crazy pretty much until I start my marathon time off, so I just need to keep healthy. I will focus on nutrition too- am on a candy detox until after the race!