So I thought I would approach the last 3 weeks before the early July marathon with a less traditional preparation. Instead of slowing things down and doing less running, I am shifting up a gear from 5 days running a week, to 7. Like a taper but in reverse. There are several reasons for this, none particularly intelligent and this tactic should definitely not be copied. 1/ Best way to lose a couple of pounds before the marathon. 2/ The best marathon I've ever run (by literally a mile) was 2014. In the three weeks prior to that I raced E2NB (20miler); Kintyre Way (36 miler); and Goatfell Hill Race. And 3/ it's been quite nice weather.
I may have to moderate things though as work has picked up and also I'm quite tired and find it difficult to get out of bed after 10hrs sleep. There's only so many ends of a candle to burn. However before being plunged back into work world I had a get-out-of-jail-free card for Monday and thought since a brisk wind was blowing in from the west I would catch a train to Dalmeny and run back. Trouble was, the brightest weather window was late afternoon and I had a gym class at 6.15pm. I cooked dinner early afternoon then caught the 3.08 out of Waverley getting to Dalmeny for about 3.30ish. It's worth walking to the end of the platform where you get a great photo of the bridge. Amusingly the camera flashed up the face recognition box for the back of the train.
I had pretended I was going to do a 13 mile tempo run, although I was very aware of the likely distractions particularly in the first part. I fell at the first hurdle which was the choice between tarmac road and trail down to the beach. It will be a tarmac marathon so of course the choice was..... I swithered then took the trail down to the beach. Even just those words. Trail. Beach. Unfortunately the tide was so high it was up against the fallen trees and I was reduced from a jog through the soft sand to picking my way through the fallen branches. Tempo run indeed. I got back to the tarmac and tried not to get the camera out for every picturesque line to the waves on the beach. I did some quicker miles with the blinkers on (didn't even take any photos of Dalmeny House) but stopped when it came to the twisting brook that crosses the route.
If you saw Sunny Side Up the mallard with chicks at 2.50 lives in these rushes. I went over to see how she was doing and she appeared but with only 1 chick. I hoped the others were in the reeds nearby but didn't feel optimistic about it. Nature can be harsh.
Keeping an eye on the time I picked the pace up and ran fairly hard to the Almond and then across the Cramond Brig and down to Cramond. After using the Salvesen Steps (still barriered off) I was going to run past the weir having tried many times to get interesting photos there and failed, but the light was very good so I got distracted again for another 5 mins before running down to the estuary.
I was carrying very little but always pack a couple of slices of bread for any birds at Cramond. There were a couple of black headed gulls but like last time it was mostly mallards with an occasional crow pretending to be a black duck and get in on the act. There were a couple of very pushy lady mallards who were not shy in the least. Which made it difficult to disperse the handouts evenly. I know you are not supposed to feed ducks large quantities of bread particularly not white bread, being neither very good for them or the environment, but a couple of slices once a month does no harm. In my defence the brown bread I make is full of seeds.
black duck vs mallard
Having stopped for far longer than intended I ran from Cramond to home in one go, the last 3 miles being sub 7min miling. It took 2hrs to cover the 13.16miles although only 1hr40m moving. It was a very jolly run but I may need to find more boring runs without distractions to get the solid tempo runs in. In and out the door in 20 mins and I made the 80minute gym class.