Showing posts from 2008

Coast to Coast 2008 A post that is very late coming... Quite a lot of story to tell over the last few months - I'll hopefully update the blog sometime soon!

Next Steps...

Over the last few weeks I haven't been happy with a number of things in general, and now wonder whether perhaps its time for a change in direction. For a while now I've felt that my blog has just been treading water as of late and is coming towards the end of its natural life cycle. In essence the majority of my posts have been repeating the same thing time and again and I suspect its as boring to read as I find it to type. The last 16 months or so have been a big journey and I never thought for a minute I would have improved to the level I have from a starting point of nil, eventually culminating in a 2.53 marathon. Although I started my blog in December 2006, I never knew at the time that the MdS would soon become my focus. To begin with my only reason for training was with the MdS in mind, with every event used as progression towards the big one in March 2009. However as time passes my fitness level has far exceeded my wildest expectations resulting in the MdS goal becoming

7Pools Run

Yesterday I did my 10k route but kept off the gas going round at a fairly easy 6.50 min mile pace, in case I wanted to do the race the following day. In the end I did decide to do the race today, mainly because I felt that a run at race pace would make up for the lost mileage earlier in the week more than a long distance training run would. As the race was in Sutton Park it was only a 10 minute drive away. I have done the race once before, probably about 12 years ago as a junior although the start back then was in a slightly different place. The course is a multi terrain race, starting on the roads before sections of mud, grass, gravel and stony paths. Its supposed to be about 10k, but I don't know how accurate the distance is. It was thankfully dry throughout with bursts of sunshine making it a bit humid at times. At the start we had the usual loons going off like a headless chicken and in fact the pace was surprisingly quick. I had aimed to do a slowish start and come through as

Another Write Off

Another week of immense frustration after the high of last weekend. During the 10k my legs felt pretty good and tactically I had about as good a run as possible. Perhaps what was equally positive was that I came away without any sign of injury. I took Monday off because of the race the day before and didn't want to aggravate anything. Tuesday was going to be another nil return as I had my first sports massage. It was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting, although occasionally uncomfortable. The chap doing the massage who incidentally was a 2.28 marathon runner in his prime reckoned that my tight calf's are just a symptom of high mileage and nothing to be massively concerned about. Hopefully a few sessions will keep things in check. On Wednesday I was out for the evening so that day was another write off which was followed by my stomach feeling out of sorts the next day. Finally I managed to go out for a run on Friday. Due to all of the rest my legs were bursting with energy,

Leamington Regency 10k

I decided to give the Leamington Regency 10k a go in the end, even with my current injury problems. I did do the race last year so in theory it's my first direct comparison I've got on the road between this year and last. The course is not the quickest out there as early on it goes off road around a golf course, before hitting the roads around Leamington but with some very sharp hairpin bends. As a result I did 37.08 last year (my pb is 35.54 which was set a few weeks later). Anyway, I woke up at 6.45am to find a blanket of snow outside, clearing it off the car showed that there must have been 3-4 inches, although the road surfaces were a bit better. I had wondered whether the race would be on today, but decided to go anyway. On the whole I had to drive a lot slower to get there but thankfully I had allowed plenty of time. As I was on the M42 doing 70 mph I went past a SPECS camera and I thought, that's a bit strange you only see them at roadworks normally, before realising

100th Post and Injury

Sorry I haven't posted to my blog recently, unfortunately silence usually means injury and this is no exception. Whenever this happens I tend to feel in the doldrums and don't want to post anything... What would be the week before last I started off on Tuesday with my usual 10k blast. I absolutely demolished my 10.2k best time on that course and when I worked out the equivalent for exactly 10k I found I was only 6 seconds off my race pb in a time of 36 minutes exactly! I was absolutely flying! The following day I ran from work back to home (11.5 miles) and again in a new pb time, although this session I rarely push very hard. On Thursday I did another 10.2km this time in a more relaxing time of 42.23. The tightness of my calf's have been getting steadily worse since when I first posted about this a month or so ago. It got to the point of me calling someone who is a runner who specialises in sports massages to see whether he can sort them out. He reckons its nothing to be wo

A Hard Week

Another 5 day week this week, but of a far higher quality... On Monday I had the day off as per the norm at the moment. The following day I did a hard 10km session averaging 6.10 min miles. On Wednesday I did a 12.5 mile route at an average of 6.39 min miles and felt pretty good all of the way round which was surprising considering I had such a hard session the day before. This was followed up on Thursday by going out for a 7 mile run on my 'summer' country route averaging 6.33 min miles. Again I felt pretty good all of the way round. I hadn't done this route for a while as its not really possible to run here safely in the dark and the road becomes almost impassable with heavy rain. As I had the week off work, it was good to do this route again. Friday was another rest day before deciding to go for a long 20 mile run on Saturday. I haven't done one of these in training for a while, the last one about 2 months ago before tapering for the Draycote Marathon. As seems to be

Back on it

Couldn't be bothered to post last week as it was just going to be the usual mindless drivel. After the half marathon my legs were fairly stiff so didn't run on the Monday and wasn't going to on the Tuesday either before having a late change of heart. As I've said in earlier posts I've lost a lot of motivation after working so hard for the Draycote Marathon I've been finding almost any excuse not to go out for a run. Anyway this first run was my usual 10k route at an easy 7.12 min mile pace. The following day I ran the 12 or so miles from work back home. I normally do it in the other direction, at the crack of dawn and with a rucksack. I managed to run home in a record time of 1.21, but to be honest the majority of the difference was due to not wearing the rucksack. My legs felt dead most of the way round and it was a bit of a struggle if I'm honest. I think part of this might just have been as a result of having done a full day at work and the half marathon

MK Half Photos

Results are now out and I came 35th out of 2,000. Well it turns out that I actually beat my 5km PB by 6 seconds which is a bit embarrasing. At the 10km mark I was 13 seconds outside my 10km PB. And now for the photos. After my fashion faux pas at the Draycote Marathon I opted for a little black number this time... This was around 5 miles in. Just been overtaken, again... Not far from the finish

Milton Keynes Half

As my legs were feeling really drained the first week after the marathon I decided in the end to do nothing this week - yep zip. As a result I've let go a bit and have been eating just about everything that's bad for me, and been drinking a fair bit too. Although I wont have lost much fitness I've no doubt put on a couple of pounds this week that will need burning off when I start re-training properly. As you can probably tell I really wasn't bothered about the Milton Keynes Half and right up to the middle of Saturday I was thinking about not bothering to turn up. Normally when I feel like this it means I end up running really badly as the motivation just isn't there. On the day I went down with a friend from work who is using the event as part of his training for a marathon at the end of April. As I was warming up my bad knee jarred slightly and felt quite sore which was a bad omen. I lined up at the start and tried to stretch it a bit and a few minutes later we we

First week after the marathon

Since my exploits at the weekend I had rest days on Monday and Tuesday. My joints were a little sore on Monday and there was a bit of stiffness in the muscles. Most of this went by Tuesday except some continued tightness in my quads. On Wednesday I went for my first run and to be honest I felt pretty good although it was clear that my legs felt tired. I did my usual 10k route at an average of 6.55 min miles which was fairly quick all things considered. The following day I did a 3.5 mile run at pace averaging 6.18 min miles. Although my legs still feel tired I just cant seem to help myself and ran fairly hard. I know that I'm meant to be recovering but I find it easier said than done! No pain, no gain as they say! On Friday this was followed up with a 9 mile run at an average of 6.38 min miles - again pretty quick. My legs still felt like they were running on empty. As a result I had to have a rest day yesterday as my legs need the time. If I'm honest my legs could probably do w

Rankings and Recovery

My run from the weekend has now been added to the rankings list so as of today I'm 11th, although as I said in my earlier post I'll probably be around 600th by the end of the year! A couple more photos floating around the net: Probably taken at the start of the second lap Getting a gel out of my pocket - honest! Probably end of fourth lap - hence pained expression! I've been showing some of the photo's around work for a bit of fun. I did receive a comment about whether I'm running in my boxer shorts and forgot to put any shorts on! Now that its been a few days since the event I'm more pleased with how I executed my run rather than the end result. I really wasnt expecting to run a negative split with each mile beyond half way getting faster and faster. It shows that the long runs must have been doing some good as I was strong right to the end (even if I didnt feel like it!). I never really expected to run as quick as I did although I did think that as a best

Draycote Water - Photos

First photos from the Draycote Water Marathon below. I have to confess that I'm not particularly proud of my dress sense, especially the bottoms which are actually my swim shorts! All the photos during the race must have been taken quite early on as I took off my woolly hat half way round the third lap. I'm sure they'll be more photos in due course. Me leading just after the start Chatting to the bloke next to me - about half a mile in Start of third lap (12 miles), still feeling ok. Jimmy Saville towards the rear of the photo - being lapped Getting a prize!

Draycote Water Marathon

After my post earlier in the week I've been using a large amount of Vicks First Defence as I had developed a very slight dry cough. I was worried that it might develop into a full on cold but thankfully it didn’t and on Friday I went for my final 3.5 mile run which confirmed things were not as bad as I had first thought. At 7.30am I set off for the Draycote Water Marathon and arrived at 8.30 giving me 1 hour to get ready. The temperature was very cold early on with a low of about -2 degrees (-4 when I set off from home!) just before the start and was predicted to rise to about 7 degrees later on. There was also no wind and it was sunny therefore making the conditions as near to perfect as possible. As it was quite cold early on I decided to wear my Helly which is unusual for me along with a woolly hat which I would throw to my friend later on who had come to support me. The total field for the marathon was only about 100, but there was a 35 mile race with another 100 people st

Got cold - buggered

Theres a cold being going round work over the last week and looks like I'm going down with it too. Started to feel a bit chesty and my throat is starting to feel lumpy. To say I'm annoyed is an understatement - worked so hard for this and I've been screwed at this late stage. Will make a decision closer to the time whether I run, and if I do whether to race it.

Week 2 of taper

On Monday I rested as planned and followed this up with a 10k run on Tuesday. I've changed to a new pair of trainers and could immediately feel the difference in cushioning. Having said that although my knee felt a little better its still quite sore which is a little worrying. On the plus side I've got plenty of rest days planned between now and the marathon a week on Sunday. As for the run itself I just aimed to go round at my marathon target pace of 6.52, but ended up completing a little quicker at 6.42 min miles. I felt really strong throughout, I guess partly because I'm quite well rested and it felt like I was just jogging and I struggled to go any slower. Over the last couple of weeks I've noticed that my pace has improved substantially, the standard fare for a 10k run was about 7.30 pace, and now anything under 7 min mile pace is the norm - that said I feel like I've put in a lot of effort in my training recently and I'm now beginning to reap the rewards.

Week 1 of taper

Now that I am in the beginning of my taper I was thinking about taking the Monday off, but in the end my mind was made up for me as I felt dreadful all day. I suspect eating a large bag of Haribo Tangfastic's had something to do with it as a colleague worked out that I had consumed about 250g of sugar in that sitting alone, forgetting everything else I had eaten that day as well. Tuesday was back to the 10km on my usual route. I was thinking about doing 7.15 pace, but had a change of mind whilst out and aimed to do marathon pace of 6.52. As I set off the weather was just about dry, but gradually deteriorated with heavy rain in the second half. In the end all timings just went out of the window as I was soaked through so ended up averaging 6.38 pace. I suspect I quickened just to get out of the rain! On Wednesday 6am I set off for my 12 mile run to work. I ended up intentionally running a bit quicker than normal and got round in a new record of 1.25.41, about two and a half minutes

Last full week of training

On Friday I did end up going out for another 10k but knowing I had a 21 mile run the next day I took it very easy, running at about 8.10 min mile pace, which is about as slow as I've ever run. Yesterday I went out for what would be my final 20+ mile run before the marathon. Within the first 30 seconds of setting off I could feel that my legs were very heavy. As a result I quickly decided against doing an early small extension to my planned loop which would have made the total distance 22 miles. In fact between miles 2-5 I found it a real struggle and was beginning to harbour serious thoughts about doing only one 10.5 mile lap. In the end my tiredness didn't get any worse and the miles pretty much came and went. I knew I was running at a slightly quicker speed than before and just ran at a pace that I thought was suitable rather than clock watching which is more normal for me. I did the first 10.5 mile loop in about 1.15.30 and still wasn't feeling great, but a lot better

Mid week update

As said in my last post I had another rest day on Monday so the week started on Tuesday with a gentle 10k at 7.15 min pace. I must have quickened in the second half as I was bang on 7.30 pace for the first couple of miles. I have to say that I felt really good so must have been down to the two days rest. I had originally intended to do a second lap but decided whilst out on the run not to bother, it just seemed like doing miles for miles sake. Just 10 hours later at 5.45am on Wednesday I ran the 11.75 miles to work. I aimed for 1.30 and beat the time by just eight seconds although I had to increase my pace over the last 30 minutes by a fair bit to achieve this. As usual when I run to work I had my rucksack on, although I decided to do without the heavy coat which must be why the rucksack felt so heavy last time. The run was pretty good other than I set off an hour earlier than usual so meant the canal section was still pitch black. After 2.5 miles I did run past a camera crew by the la

Slightly shorter week

Since my last post earlier in the week I did 9 miles through the park at an easy enough pace of 7.27 min mile pace. That sort of pace should have made it pretty easy but for some reason I found it harder than it should of been - just slightly more sluggish than normal but could be down to the hard run the day before. On Thursday I had to wait most of the day for some furniture to arrive so wasn't able to go out for a run until later in the evening. I tried another attempt to run at marathon target pace of 6.52 min miles, but still managed to run far too quick and ended up doi ng 10km at an average of 6.29 pace. Never mind, I still have four weeks to get it right. It doesn't really concern me too much as in race conditions there will be mile markers making things easier to judge. Friday was a rest day as is customary at the moment. On Saturday I did another 21.5 mile run although I found it far tougher than the previous week even though I was running the same pace. My legs ne

Slight error of judgement

Been a bit of an idiot over the last couple of days. Again after a hard weekend of training I went out for a 6 mile recovery run yesterday, except that I did it at 7.24 min mile pace. No matter how hard I try I just cant seem to run in the 7.45-8 min mile range. Hey ho. Today I intended to do a 9 mile run at 3hr marathon speed which is 6.52 min miles. This is a fairly brisk pace to run 9 miles at in training, especially since the route has 150m of climb. I went off at a reasonably hardish pace and went through the first mile in 5.58!! Oops, slight mis -judgement of pace me thinks! You can guess the rest, my legs soon started to feel extremely heavy and it became a case to hold on as best as possible. Still, I managed to get round the course in 57.15 which is 45 seconds quicker than when I pushed the week before. However this is not the end of the story. I've noticed that the distance measuring device on my foot seems to under calculate whenever I push really hard - and

Another 60+ mile week

Well another week of training has quickly gone and not a great deal other than the usual to report. I have been feeling slightly off colour all week, ever so slightly phlegmy , but at the same time avoiding the cold which is doing the rounds at the moment. In some ways I'd actually like to catch the cold now so I have time to recover from it before the marathon, rather than in a couple of weeks when it is unlikely I would have enough recovery time. On Monday I did my tempo run although my legs were still tired from the 26 odd miles over the previous two days. Although I went off a touch too fast I managed to complete just over 10k in 41 mins at 6.30 min mile pace. In some ways I was a tad disappointed as its only 22 seconds a mile faster than my marathon target pace. On the flip side I still had something in reserve, it was pretty windy and all the miles from the previous week probably took its toll. Tuesday evening was just a gentle jog, partly as a recovery run but also because

Going Bananas - 65 miles

Well the title describes my week, though has nothing to do with the fruit! After the poor mileage last week along with my desire to give a sub 3hr marathon my best shot I have decided to really push myself this week. I felt that I was really fannying about with my training so have decided to up the mileage and the intensity for the next couple of weeks before I begin to taper. On Monday I ran the 11.75 miles to work which took 1.28.30 which was as fast as I've ever done it but still within comfort levels. Following this on Tuesday (New Years Day) I did my 9 mile loop but as fast as I could. I had my doubts early on as my legs were clearly quite tired from the day before. In the end I settled down at as fast a pace I could comfortably live with but still held a small amount in reserve. In the end I finished in 58.15 which is 6.26 min miles and frankly is bananas, but taught me a lot in the process. It was the quickest I have done that loop by about 4 minutes. Before I did this run