Reverse-taper triumph   1 comment

Having had 5 days off last week due to stupid snotty sinussy illness I was looking forward to a hardcore reverse-taper week pre Brighton Half. I started off with a 5 mile easy run to get the double Saturday out of my legs ready for a good track session. My left hamstring was exceedingly tight but by the end of the run had eased off.

I had been yearning for a paarlauf session and my prayers were answered! (5x) 500, 400 and 300s. Oh happy days! I paired with Caroline but ran each rep with Paul. I thought we just happened to be running at the same time until he pointed out he was running with me as a three. Div! Anyway this was most handy as it meant I could just stick with him which meant each rep was sensibly paced and consistent. Even though the weather was cold, wet and miserable I really enjoyed this session especially when Paul said he wasn’t being slow so I could keep with him and Bob said I had “excellent stamina”. Praise indeed!

On Tuesday I took myself out for an “as you feel” 7 miler and was very surprised to discover I felt good and managed around 7.20 pace.

I had planned to do a LSR on Wednesday morning but the lure of doing a half marathon pace fartlek long run with Rob was too great so this is what I did. It was basically a long(ish) run with a few faster paced miles here and there at predicted half pace and faster. I was dead at the end but it was good.

In the evening I was hoping to take it easy with my work Run Club by standing around ordering them about but alas none of the people from last week turned up and my one new lady was a determined speed demon. My plan for Kenyan hills was met with great excitement so we set off for Duke’s Mound at a decent pace. We did the hills for 15 minutes then she wanted to sprint the last 2 reps so we did then proceeded back at a pretty brisk trot. This officially killed me off for the day. Unexpected double dose of fast stuff. The reverse-taper continued.

I did sort of cheat though by not doing my planned 6 x 1 minutes on Friday as I’d done the unexpected Kenyan hills on Wednesday. This meant when I came to Hove Park parkrun on Saturday I had had two days rest which always means I can’t run as well. I still managed 20.52 though so it wasn’t too bad.

Sunday meant only one thing, the culmination of the reverse-taper week, the Brighton Half. I haven’t run a half since this race last year where I managed just under 1.37. This time I didn’t really have a target though I had sub 1.33 in the back of my mind as something that was possibly achievable. Trevor had mentioned at parkrun that Dorian was going to go for sub 1.30 and was happy to get a pace group together. As I found him in the sub 1.30 start pen with Rick, Mal, Tristan, Tara, Kerry, Rob and Trevor I thought what the heck why don’t I at least TRY and go with him for as long as I can. It worked well when I stuck with Trevor at the start of Chichester so I decided to do the same again. We had a nice little Arena group that stuck together well. So well in fact we got loads of shouts for our “Arena pace group”. Lots of shouts for “Trey” too from people who couldn’t read Trev’s vest properly. As the miles passed I was still with Dorian, Trevor, Mal, Tristan and Rick. Around 9 miles Trevor and Mal dropped back but I just tried to keep focussed and kept telling myself I couldn’t lose it now having come so far. At 10 miles I lost touch with Dorian and Tristan but Rick was still just behind me (I could tell as spectating Arenas kept shouting “go Isobel – go Rick” in quick succession).

Ah yes, there's Rick! Thanks to Ruth for the photo

Ah yes, there’s Rick!
Thanks to Ruth for the photo

The final 3 miles back from the lagoon were in fear of the official blue-flag-wielding 1.30 pacer overtaking as I was running watchless. Dorian was quite far ahead and I didn’t know if he had kicked on or I had slowed down so pacer fear was rampant. No sign of him as I struggled onwards. I could NOT ruin it now. Regardless of still not having seen the 1.30 pacer I was worried that I’d dropped off too much so was now outside 1.30 pace but the beauty of no-watch is I had no idea so my only recourse was to keep running as fast as I could. Finally, finally, I passed the pier and tried to pick it up a bit for the last 500 or so metres. I kept my head down as I didn’t want to see the clock until it was too late to do anything about it. I looked up around 50 metres from the end and was astounded to see 1.29 just rolling around. I even remembered that it had taken us 20 or so seconds to cross the start line so as I crossed the finish line in 1.29.31 I knew my chip time would be closer to 1.29. I caught up with Tristan in the funnel where we were accosted by Meridian TV. I really hope they don’t use the footage as I was a shell-shocked blithering imbecile (not too different to my normal self I know).

Mr A. Mazing

Mr A. Mazing

I’m not sure it has actually sunk in yet that I have broken 1.30 as it was not something I ever really felt was possible. Massive thanks to Dorian for his brilliant pace group and to Trevor for giving me the confidence to actually stick with the group.

Massive and pink

Massive and pink

44 miles for a mightily successful reverse-taper week.


One response to “Reverse-taper triumph

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  1. Wow! Congratulations! 🙂


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