Thank you all for your comments - you'll be glad to hear that I heeded your advice and headed out for my 18M yesterday with Sally. We went out on the lovely road near Brattleby where there is very little traffic and it turned into an unexpectedly warm, spring-like day. The run was so-so - both of us were overdressed and we both ran out of water. Sal hadn't run longer than 10 for a few weeks so confessed afterwards that she was cursing me in her head at mile 12 - I think that's when I was waxing lyrical about how nice it is to run with friends.. Oh well. She forgave me, I think. We stopped and started and talked about everything but we made it round in just under 3 hours (I subtracted the 20 minute presentation Sal gave at mile 7 of all her new cross training exercises. We were practising weight lifting exercises with pretend weights by the roadside. Oh well). So overall, nothing beautiful but nothing terrible.
Except for one strange thing. At some point I noticed my ankle hurting. And don't jump on me - it's not anywhere near tendons etc - it's literally on the outside of my ankle bone. It's exactly the same place that hurts when I wear wellies, ski boots or skates - and I think I must somehow be rubbing it against my shoe. At least that's what I hope it is - the pain is very much on the outside of my ankle bone rather than anywhere inside.. It just feels bruised. I went out for 5 this morning and could feel it, though nothing that actually impacted my running. It's just weird and I hope it will fade in the next day or so..
Big week ahead - 51 miles and a busy week in the rest of my life as well. It'll be a test of me and the Pfitz. Doing 5 Tuesday, 12 Wednesday (either before work - which means starting to run at 5am which oh man! I don't want to be doing - or in the afternoon if I can find someone to palm off Daughter No. 1 to) and then lactate threshold on Friday morning, before a weekend of 5 and 18 again.. The rents are coming across from Holland on Friday morning so that 11 mile lactate threshold run will again be a 5am job. The only consolation for that one will be that I can think of the Dutch rewards that I will be able to indulge in when my parents get there .. herring (salted), licorice (sweet) and chocolate sprinkles..
I've worked out where to fit in my other silver bullet week as well - I'm going to repeat the week 6 weeks to goal (the week after this one - as it stipulates a marathon specific 15 miler with 12M at race pace - I could do that at the Silverstone half). The week after that is my 20 miler which neatly co-incides with the Ashby 20M race I signed up for. All so tidy.. Something's bound to come unstuck, but still.. And then I wasn't going to run my local race - the Lincoln 10K - but my schedule for 4 weeks to goal stipulates an 8 - 15K tune-up race. Do you think I need this given the amount of other races I've done? Does Pfitz put this is in because he wants you to race (in which case I'll have done plenty of that) or because he wants you to race somewhere between 8K to 15K? After a few big races - the Silverstone one really is big for a half - I'll be ready to get back to hermit land and run some miles alone... What do you think?
So there you go, another update from Petra-land. Take them as they come - I seem to be on a roll at the moment...