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I ran a half last week when I was assigned 29km and I’m running a Half next week when I’m assigned 33km so although my assignment was 140 minutes at 5:42/km pace I had decided I would run longer and probably try at least the first 30km at marathon pace.

My training buddy Pete is in Australia and my usual running friends were otherwise tied up, so I knew I would be running the first 20km on my own. My friend Vince agreed to run the last 14km with me.

Sometimes I find the sheer length of these runs a little overwhelming, it didn’t help that the weather was truly awful. Very windy, cold and lots of hailstones. It turned out that running on my own really helped me find my groove – if you look at the splits in the pictures the pace was very steady for the set component of today’s run.

It went downhill a little when I met Vin, but only because we were running at slightly different speeds. Overall the questions I asked from this run were answered. Yes, I did fade a little after 25, but I wasn’t pushing and I was happy with my times. Yes, I can run quite well after half distance. I was pleased with how I felt after today’s run and the time and distance achieved.

So now I feel marathon trained. There are a couple of long runs left, but this was the longest. The next six weeks are about getting stronger, fine tuning and avoiding injury. Despite the conditions today has been a really good day. Last week at the big half I saw new pace from my training, today I saw a new level of endurance. It’s all feeling good.