Thursday, 18 May 2017

condemned man's last meal

There are a couple of main routes to the marathon. One is following a training plan, getting up in the middle of the night to tick off 22 milers, leaving off alcohol for 12 weeks preceding, honing one's body and mind. The other is hoping that an occasional run and "experience" will cover the ground; and that if eating cake makes you sweat, hell that's all good training. As long as you have comfy shoes you can make up for not following regime number 1 on the day by gritting your teeth and sucking it up. Sadly I am largely following regime 2.  

For sure I have done long runs. Just not very quickly. And my shoes are really comfy. Which is a good starting point. A couple of runs I've done recently have indicated that I am quite a distance from ideal fitness though and that there may be considerable amounts of sucking up and gritting on Sunday. That's not marathon nerves, it's evidence. Like, last week I headed out the door and by the time I had run a mile or 2 at a decent pace I decided the session would be a 10 miler and at tempo. I ran along the WoL and 3 circuits of Inverleith Park. I pushed quite hard and ran just over 10 miles, just under 70 minutes. It was a good solid workout until I realised that to break 3hrs I'd have to do that (or faster) for a further 10 miles and then that (or faster) for another 6. And I was pretty much shredded after the first 10. Mmmm.

I haven't yet conceded that there is any point in doing a non sub 3hr marathon. Last year's road marathon (in Orkney) had so many incidental hazards (headwind and very hilly course) that a plus 3hr time was not only acceptable but mandatory. This year it may be my condition that is the incidental hazard. I won't throw in the towel without a fight but I have a feeling I won't particularly enjoy the fight. 

bee off

California Lavender (Ceanothus) I think.

So last Sunday one final bout of freedom. Down the coast to Gullane and the usual coffee and beach run. Albeit the sword of Damocles blowing in the wind just above. I hoped the sun would encourage insect numbers but the wind seemed to keep them (the butterflies) at bay. Except those funny harmless-but-unpleasant large black flies that stick to sweaty necks and try to pop in your mouth as you run through a swarm of them. Someone had obviously blown the mating horn as they were out in abundance over every bush near the beach. 

Along the JMW there was this splendid Peacock. Or it seemed splendid until I saw the raggedy results at home on the monitor. Up till then I though it shiny and new; it must have been the bright light enhancing the saturation. I chased it for quite some while until it settled on some grass and allowed me close enough to have touched it with the camera. Saw some whites and maybe Orange Tips but they weren't for being facebook friends.

Mary took some good panoramas that caught the sky.

lovely black flies, get your lovely black flies

photo Mary

photo Mary

those, yes those hairy black flies
at least they don't sting, but all the same, fairly yeuch.

Back to the car and return to the ominous feeling of that impending marathon.

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