Road to Faroe: 11 weeks to go

This should have been written two weeks ago but I got so caught up in the heat of the presidential election in the Philippines, debating with some voters about their choices. It had been exhausting, discussing the affairs of my former country. My views and rebuttal even threatened “friendship”

with some. But that’s a topic for another post.

At the time of publishing, we have only six weeks left to train for Torshavn Marathon. This is suppose to be the toughest period in the training. In the meantime, let me tell you about how the second four weeks of my training went.

Week 5 – FLU!

Despite the knee pain, our last run on Robin’s birthday went very well. But since there was also a birthday borrel at home, we stayed well past midnight. Our immune system was not able to withstand the combination of long distance run and lack of sleep. On Monday, we felt so tired that we went to bed very early. The next day, we couldn’t get up of bed anymore. Every muscle in our body hurt. I started coughing uncontrollably on Monday. This continued the whole week that I needed to take codeine to be able to sleep. We caught a good flu. So bam! One whole week in bed, missing on work and on miles.

Week 6 – Recovery 26.8km

We didn’t want to take chances so despite wanting to go back to training right away, we waited until Wednesday with¬† 6km easy run to test our bodies reaction to physical stress. It went very smooth. So we ran again the next day, another 6km easy. To end the week, we went back to a long distance run of 14.8km. The distance and tempo weren’t impressive, far from the original schedule, but listening to your body is key to a good training.

Turtle Bay

Now who can resist these on a weekendje weg?

Week 7 – Interval + Weekendje weg 30,5km

Now here comes another dilemma. This week we were scheduled to fly to Surrey to visit friends. Visiting friends means eating out and drinking alcohol, a lot of alcohol, which we were trying to abstain from since we’ve just recovered from a heavy flu. The promise of great cocktails in an obscure bar was too tempting. So we did our due diligence before we flew out, 8km tempo run on Tuesday, 9km on Wednesday with 5×350 meters intervals, rested on Thursday, flew out on Friday morning and partied on Caribbean food and great cocktails and whisky on Friday evening.

Before we switched on to drinking mode on Friday, we’ve accepted the fact that we won’t be able to run the next morning but our friends decided to take us on a whole day of walking, with one or two hours of rest. By the time we went to bed at 1am on Sunday morning, I was doubtful we could actually do a long distance run. But we did, a very slow 13.5-kilometer endurance run from Godalming to the city centre of Guildford and back. Thank Lord for the sunshine! Otherwise I wouldn’t know how to finish such an exhausting run in the rain or cold. We even managed to run the steep South Hill, which Robin hated very much. Our calves and knees were crying when we turned back to Guilford following the River Wey. We left Surrey the same day with aching legs but it was a fun weekend with friends.

Week 8 Interval 39.7km

Robin’s friend is an expert in diet and exercise and he gave us some useful tips during conversations about marathon and cycling training. He suggested that instead of doing 5x350m (the length of the track we’re using) then 5x350m jogging, we should sprint half of the distance then run our “normal” pace in the other half. We started the week with a 10km tempo run on Wednesday and 8.5km interval the next day, following the routine suggested by our friend, in 6 rounds. Boy that was *killing! (*Robin’s words) Especially under a 16-degree sunny afternoon and climbing two bridges and a stair on the back to the house. After a day of rest, we did a half marathon with a surprising tempo of 6.33min/km. I’d like to believe that our interval trainings helped.

Our trip to the Faroe Islands had been arranged. Robin signed up for the marathon and we’ve already booked our tickets and lodging. There’s no turning back now and I am already getting very excited. The Faroes is not going to be a PR, but I know it would be beautiful run.