As a youngster, I would get home from School, get changed and go out to play with my pals.
Now I'm older, I get home from work, get changed and go out to play with my pals, but now I call it training.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An easy weekend

Saturday - fell run 3.5 hours

After getting up at some daft oclock, I watched the Australian GP qualifying, walked the dogs then drove down to Pooley Bridge to meet Penrith Stu, AKA the Ugly Cowboy who had a route planned for us over the fells East and South of Ullswater.

Beginning at Roehead where there is space to park a few cars (although we only had one each) we trotted along as far as Thornthwaite Beacon with the likes of Arthurs Pike, High Raise, Kidsty Pike etc bagged enroute. The turnaround point was reached in 2 hrs and 1.5 hours later we were back at the cars. Following a few concerns raised on his blog recently it had been my intention today to ensure Penrith Stu knew he was in decent shape and needn't worry about his fitness for his forthcominig BG attempt - so with about an hour to go I 'pretended' I was getting really tired and walked some of the uphills and also stopped several times with very weak excuses.

Overall a pleasant outing and a very welcome break from all those weeks of road based 20+ milers. I need to carefully plan the next 4 weeks now. The final 7 days I will follow the same routine as I always have. The next 3 need to be sharpening weeks. Perhaps just 10 miles hard on Tuesdays but possibly faster than marathon goal pace. Reps need to be shortened to 1k's and 800metres, but the 2mile efforts are still important for another 10 days or so, so I will attempt to incorporate 10/11 minute efforts within Saturdays run in Gelt or around Crosby. For my long run I will probably do 3 laps of Talkin (19.5miles) next Sunday, with a target of getting faster each lap.

Milly is running Wilmslow Half Marathon tomorrow. Last year he ran a 1:17:?? All of our training has been faster than this time last year so I think he should be capable of a faster time tomorrow, but even 1:18:00, if doubled and added to by 10 mins gives a marathon off 2:46 which I reckon he would take.

Penrith Stu asked what my mileage was this week. I had to tot it up in my head and was surprised to realise it was 60 in 5 runs (last Sat to Yesterday), or 50 in 4 runs (last Monday to Tomorrow). If I do decide to have another proper bash at my marathon PB (big IF dependant on comfortably beating 2:45 at London) then I will need to be running at least 6 days per week. Trouble is - to attempt a PB in Berlin this Autumn would require me to train at this current intensity again during the summer and I generally don't get on with hot weather. but to wait for a year until the next London might feel like wasting an opportunity to capitalise on the best fitness I have enjoyed since 2007.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

nearly done

Thursday - 7 miles of reps.

I began with a half mile effort as a warm up. Slightly disappointing 2:50 but it was gently uphill and a mild headwind. Then a mile, again headwind but being warmed up properly I was pleased to record 5:39. A two mile effort next and I had turned around so it was a really fast 11:02.

Now the headwind again for another 2 miler. Struggled a bit but pleased enough to get 11:47. Finally I was running home for the final time - a mile in 5:28 then 800m in 2:36.

Overall I was really happy with those times. And not just the times but the fact I was able to do such a long session and feel good and strong throughout. (damn pleased it ended with the downhill tailwind though)

Wednesday - easy hour or so jogging with dogs

Tuesday - one mile jog then eight miles hard then one mile jog. This was done round my 10 mile circuit and the total was 64:05. Bit of guesswork involved but I reckon if I ran 7 minute miles for the first and last mile (which I almost certainly would) then I probably ran 6:15 s for the 8 miles. Initially I was going to run 14 or 15 at marathon pace (as usual for a Tuesday) but after thinking about it properly I decided against as I was concerned that I couldn't possibly be properly recovered from my marathon only 2 days earlier and would probably fail to achieve my goal pace of sub 6:20 and also I might pick up an injury or niggle. Even sticking at ten miles, not 14 or 15, I ran a total of 45 miles in 3 runs over 4 days. And that's got to be good training.

Not so much rock hard training to be completed now. The next two weeks are really about sharpening up with shorter, faster runs. This weekend will be all about enjoying myself up the fells but at 22 miles (according to Penrith Stu) it will be a good stamina run nevertheless.

The marathon is all encompassing. More or less every waking moment I find myself thinking about it, and about my training. I constantly play out in my mind how the race might unfold. tracing the course in my mind. Picturing myself on Tower bridge with the cheering crowd ringing in my ears. Finishing with a good time. I hope Milly can manage to do something good too. I suppose ideally we would run together and finish in about 2:43. I'm fairly confident I can run that time but I think Milly might be a little more conservative and target sub 2:50, although I do believe he is just as capable as I am.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First marathon of the year

When is a marathon not a marathon? What actually constitutes a marathon? Today I ran 26 miles but is that a marathon or simply a 26 mile run?

Talkin circuit - 4 laps - 2 hrs 58 mins 28 seconds

It was a decent day weatherwise, dry and cool. The wind, as usual was blowing against for the final couple of miles each lap of the circuit and of course down on the lower ground there was no corresponding tailwind. Never mind. As a Russian Pro cyclist once remarked to me -'the wind is your friend, it makes you strong'.

I set off at a nice steady pace and recorded 44:38 . A good start in my bid to beat 3 hours. Lap 2 I ran at basically the same effort, but I had removed my cap, gloves and top layer which had lead to me feeling as if I was overheating on the earlier lap. Combined with being properly warmed up I got round in 44:02. The third lap was the one I intended to run pretty hard and I began it feeling strong. My plan was to run down the hills hard and up them a bit easier. The logic being that when I was taking it 'easy' on the uphills, my CV system would still be working hard due to gravity so I would still be making fitness gains whilst my brain was thinking it was having a little rest. About half way around the lap I began to feel pretty tired but pressed on to record 43:13. I didn't dare stop at the van for a drink so as I raced past I grabbed a bottle of water and a gel. The effort I was putting in now was much less and I actually started to feel rather better for it. It didn't seem too long that I was past the high point and enjoying the long descent to the conclusion of the final lap. I was a little disappointed to record 46:32 but overall my time was inside 3 hrs which meant I had beaten my own expectations
for the day.

If I can run the marathon 16 minutes faster than today (which I managed in 2004) then that would be a very satisfactory 2:42.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Familiar ground

Terrible weather this morning - cold, and heavy rain - perfect running conditions. Actually, 5 deg C warmer and lighter rain would have been preferable as I was quite cold despite trying very hard during my run around Gelt Woods. With Milly seemingly not keen to join me on the Talkin circuit I opted to wait a day for my long run. This allows me to get a decent short run completed on Saturday. After a warmup lap I removed my long sleeve top and blasted around the waterlogged forest tracks in 30mins 50 seconds. That's about 1 minute slower than my fastest ever lap, which, considering the poor conditions underfoot and cold weather was a decent result.

This Gelt circuit is another one I used to run round a lot in the past. Being mostly in woods, with just a couple of open fields and a short stretch of tarmac, it can often be quite sheltered in poor weather. It's about 4.5 miles but we always think of it as 5 miles because the steep hills, rough terrain and several stiles/gates make it roughly equal to that distance on a flatter surface.

After Tuesdays super 14 mile effort run I was very very tired on Wednesday. It was as much due to not going to bed until nearly 1 am as the hard run. I didn't go running as I thought a hard run would have a negative effect and I was too late home to make a jog worth bothering with. Then on Thursday I was again short of time so just went for an hours jog with the dogs. Thursday evening I had a sports massage - very painful. Worthwhile though as it helps keep on top of any tiny niggles and flushes away waste from the deep tissues. It would be nice to have this done every week during this intensive type of training but of course it isn't a free service and I therefore tend to get it done about 4 or 5 times in the final 10-12 weeks prior to a marathon.

Friday I was late again and didn't bother with a run, making it a rather short mileage week. Tomorrow I plan to do a 26miler around Talkin but if the weather is as poor as today I might reevaluate (as the circuit is very high and exposed).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My 1st running shoes

First off - ignore the post title, it's an hilarious 'in joke'

Tuesday I ran the 14 mile circuit, and ran it well. Without my Garmin (or Millys when we run together) I have no way of knowing how fast I am running unless I stick to known circuits, and even then I have to do the calculation once I have completed the run and got a time for it. I knew that I was running fast though. A tailwind for the first few miles felt great but I still pressed on at a fair effort anyway, keen to capitalize. About halfway round I ate a gel before the 'big hill' was climbed, immediately beyond which the headwind was to be faced. It wasn't a strong wind but certainly a stiff breeze. The final 3 or 4 miles were tough going but I felt strong and pressed on hard. The last couple of miles through the town I felt I was invincible - indicating for cars to stop as they turned into roads whilst I blazed across the junction (luckily they always do). The final half mile features a decent climb which we often struggle up - I blasted up it on this occasion, and carried the effort over the summit and down the gradient to the finish line. I wish I had run further really, as I wasn't wasted by any means. It had been a perfect run, hard but not flat out. The calculation was done and revealed 6:13 pace, which will give me a 2:42 marathon if I can repeat the result (and do another 12.2miles on top).

Anything can happen between now and Marathon day. If the weather is warm and sunny I will struggle and will adjust my target by 5 minutes accordingly. But assuming all is as would hope for (drizzly rain, 13 dec C) I think it's realistic to set my target between 2:40-2:45.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

18th April 2004

Christmas 2003, and after 4 years of running I had decided I might like to run a marathon. There was a spare Club Number and before I knew where I was, I was in The London Marathon 2004. My training was stepped up a notch and was planned out for nearly every day throughout Jan Feb and March. My good friend Mike Scott compiled the schedule and also accompanied me on most of the weekend long runs and interval sessions.

I hadn't previously given any thought to a target time and I initially set myself up to beating 3 hours. After just a few weeks it became apparent that 3 hours would be no challenge at all and I set a more realistic aim of beating 2:45. After a training run of 2:52 around 4 laps of the Talkin circuit (26miles) we reassessed again and set 6 minute miling as the target pace. This would give 2hrs 37minutes if I managed.

The day came. Everything had gone to plan. All the runs completed. Now all that was required was one final (big) effort. Mike had prepared a race schedule for me which accounted for the faster, downhill miles to Cutty Sark at 6. They were more downhill than I expected, which, coupled with extreme fitness, a week or more of easy running, and the buzz of the greatest race in the world saw me gain on the schedule with each mile covered. Long way to go though, just keep on popping the miles out. 5:56, 6:01, 5:48 - that kind of thing.

At about 8 miles I felt a bit rubbish and fell to the back of the group I was running with. (It's not like on the TV with thousands of runners one after another and 20 wide - not in the first few hundred anyway. There are groups that form with 50 and 100 metre gaps between each.) Luckily this feeling didn't last long and I was able to remain in the group. At Tower Bridge the feeling was very different - so many people clapping and cheering, I felt like a star. Then at the North end of the bridge, a right turn with even more people on the corner, tiered up on some makeshift grandstand. The noise is immense - euphoria courses through me and those feelings of struggling are swept away.

Reaching the halfway marker I note that my time is actually the 3rd fastest I have ever achieved, and only a couple of minutes outside my PB for the half race. Mike told me that 13 miles was the turning point in a marathon. At 13/14 it is important to step on the gas pedal and ensure that every ounce of available energy/speed is transmitted onto that tarmac below your feet. Inevitably the group thins out as we race on, passing mile markers 14, 16, 18 in the Docklands area. Nobody is running away from me though. I'm managing to keep with this group, in fact I am setting the pace much of the time. The more lads drop away the stronger I feel. I can hear Mike's words in my ear telling me to get it all out. Leave nothing in the bag. This is THE DAY I have been training 4 months for.

We pass the entrance to Canary Wharf Tube Station. Here the crowd are strong in numbers again, but the area feels closed in due to the towering buildings above and the noise is amplified to a level seemingly ten times that of earlier at Tower Bridge. More euphoria hits me. Still up on schedule, still feeling strong.

Rain comes. It was drizzly anyway but now it's raining properly. If you read the official race report you will see the winner states what a bad day it was for running fast. Not for me - I love to run in the rain. I revel in these conditions. The day continues to improve for me as the weather worsens.

I leave Docklands alone. Everyone has been dropped and I'm passing over optimistic runners who now struggle to complete these final miles. In a tunnel is a sign denoting 20miles. My time is exactly 1hr 57minutes. The maths is easy - 3minutes in hand with 6 miles to run means I can run 6:30 pace to the end and finish on target. I am feeling tired but I'm still clicking the miles off in 6:15. Every mile marker hurts more to reach but as each comes and goes I can run slower without failing. But I don't run slower, I maintain pace. This is my day and I'm going to smash all the targets.

Along Embankment, splashing through the puddles. This wide, historic stretch of road is one of the capitals arterial thoroughfares. Dignitaries, commoners, tourists and royals would normally be using it but today it has been closed to them all that I might be allowed to run on it's gold paved surface. People must know I'm coming, they're watching from under umbrellas, clapping me, cheering, banging on the railings. I see a couple of familiar faces in the crowd. I see a familiar face high above - the clock face of the Palace of Westminster. I also see a very welcome sign, it's got a big 25 on it. Along Birdcage Walk I continue toward my goal. I remember being here, on this very street a week after the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Di. The place was still decorated then, lampposts festooned in colour in celebration of the big day. Now it's my big day, and it's nearly complete. A Nod to HRH on my left shoulder and the final corner is turned. The gantry seems a long way still but it steadily comes nearer, and then finally, finally, after so many punishing training runs, after thousands of miles, after pair upon pair of worn out trainers, and after one last 26.1 mile jaunt with a few thousand friends I cross the line.

Exhausted, elated, surprised, proud, oh, and happy, yes really quite very happy. I walk on along the funnel, someone puts a medal over my head. Someone else takes the timing chip off my shoe. Here's a plastic bag full of stuff for me to carry around the rest of the day - a small sample of savoury rice amongst the energy bars and race adverts - bizarre. A line of 50 TNT lorries begins. Where is my bag? No need to wonder. So few have finished yet that the staff are easily able to read my number as I slowly wander toward them. They find my bag and have it on an outstretched arm for me to collect as I pass. I reach the end of the cordoned off bit of The Mall and I am no longer 'in' The London Marathon. I am just another person in London. In Horseguards Parade Ground I sit on the only dry place i can find which is a big plastic footing that is the support for the fence upon which is stuck a massive letter A. Half an hour passes. The Parade ground slowly fills with 'funny walking' people in shorts. Eventually Janet sees me sitting there 'looking like a gnome at the end of the garden on a wet day'. I want the euphoria to return, I want to feel emotional again as we embrace. I want somebody else, somebody I love to somehow know how I had felt just 30 minutes earlier. That moment has passed into memory now though. A wonderful memory of what has been the best day of my life.

On April 18th 2004, my watch said I had been running for two hours, thirty six minutes and nine seconds.

But it took a lot longer than that to run The London Marathon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blimey Charlie

Should be 'blimey Stu' but 'blimey Stu' isn't a famous catchphrase from yesteryear. 'Blimey Charlie' is.

I've just read that my good pal Penrith Stu is running 50 mile weeks UP THE FELLS! That's some serious mileage and underlines how seriously he is taking his BG prep. I am always pleased to find I have ran a 50 mile week on road - taking probably only half the time.

Milly is back from holidays now but has been struck by the sickness bug. Seems this final spell of training is a challenge logistically as much as the physical effort required. If he isn't coming tomorrow I shall get out nice 'n early and attempt to batter myself around the 14 mile circuit. The best part of marathon training is that a 14 mile run, which at Christmas was only a couple of miles shy of our longest weekly run, now feels like bugger all distance. Of course, if I run it at target pace then I will nevertheless be pretty wrecked afterwards. Hope it's nice weather tomorrow. Today was a horrible day, especially compared to last weeks calm, sunny conditions.

My Garmin is broken.

Possibly worth a post title in it's own right that one. Yes, it went kaput last Saturday. Despite using it for most every run and analysing the data over and over, I am happy enough to train without it from now. I didn't have one in 2004 - every race and training run was done on 'feel' back then and I seemed to manage OK. Of course I can still time my runs on my watch and as long as I stick exactly to known circuits (like Talkin) I can continue to chart my progress.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

An inevitable setback

Setbacks are bound to happen in a 16 week training programme. Luckily this one only cost me a couple of days training - could have been much worse.

Back to last Wednesday I finished work earlyish an was up at Talkin Village by 1645.

This route which I call the Talkin Hilly, is a superb, tarmac, very hilly, very (traffic) quiet, 6.5mile circuit on the edge of the Pennines. It's only about 10 miles from my house but even so it can take 30mins to get out there and so I can't really make much use of it until the lighter nights we are enjoying now. In 2004 when I had my best year (in terms of PBs), I did all of my long runs around this circuit pre marathon. I firmly believe that the inevitable increased heartrate on the long steep uphills coupled with the almost ridiculous leg speed boost on the downs gives the ideal mix of training to make the most out of myself. In fact, with the hills being so long and steep, doing long runs around this circuit goes some way to completing the stamina run AS WELL as the interval run for the week - freeing up another day to do short sharp interval work. If I decide to have a proper crack at this marathon lark (rather than simply join Milly on his schedule), then I would plan to run most of my long runs around Talkin, as well as midweek double lappers. If, (and this is a big if) I run under 2:45 at London then I may decide to aim higher in an Autumn race - possibly 2:40.

Handily, a time of 45mins is a benchmark for this circuit, which makes the maths easy. If you can run 4 laps inside 3hrs then you have already completed a sub 3hr marathon. In 2004 I ran 4 laps in 2:52, and went on to run 16 minutes faster in London. I am hoping to run 4 laps in 3hrs next weekend as this might mean a 2:44 London. Back to Wednesday though. Lap 1 I took very easy indeed and recorded 45:05. Lap 2 I ran fairly hard and recorded 43:55. I was reasonably happy with these times. I hadn't been on the route for many months and the hills take a little getting used to again. I decided to run this route rather than attempt the scheduled 15mile marathon-pace effort because I had done so much mileage at or near that pace in the preceding 10 days or so.

The setback came later on Wednesday. I felt ropey in my guts by bedtime and by 3am Thursday was throwing up. Thursday I spent in bed. I'd stopped throwing up by about noon but didn't feel a lot better by Friday morning either so just hung around the house all day, trying to nibble on light meals and rehydrate myself having lost several pounds in weight. By Friday night I felt about normal but still wasn't eating properly. I realised by Saturday morning that to do the Trimpell 20 mile race on Sunday would be foolish as there would be no way I could have recovered fully and refuelled sufficiently to do anything more than jog round. On Saturday I was back at Talkin walking the dogs up the fell, after which I set off to run a lap. By the second hill (only about 10minutes in) I felt dreadful though, and opted to cut short the lap and go home. This also worried me about my plan to run 3 full laps on Sunday.

Sunday came. I drove out to Talkin. Lap 1 took me 46:30. It was windy, which, on this very exposed circuit can affect lap times quite drastically (due the headwind on the high exposed fell road not really helping in tailwind form earlier on during the lap along lower and sheltered-by-hedges country lanes) Wind or not though I was disappointed to be this slow. I know why. It was because I was still affected by the sickness bug and I felt pretty dreadful whilst running. By the middle of lap 2 I felt a bit better and so increased the effort, recording 44:30. I didn't bother to try a third lap, thinking it better to spend the rest of the day feeling I could have done more rather than feeling wrecked from doing too much too soon.

I think it's best to forget about doing 4 laps next week. Better to try 3 and a short lap, then try 4 on the 28th March when Milly is away doing Wilmslow Half. I just hope that I have fully recovered by this Tuesday when we will be back to the grind with a marathon pace effort.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

quick, slow, quick quick slow

On Sunday I ventured down to Bampton near Shap to run the Haweswater Half Marathon. Really, I needed to do a long run this weekend, not a fast one. So I decided I would run 7 miles prior to the race, making 20 in total. I didn't get there soon enough though and only ran 4 miles, at moderate pace beforehand. In the event itself I set off near(ish) the front of the field but allowed dozens to run away from me before settling into a fairly easy sub 7 pace with a couple of lads I know well. The two were having a bit of a battle for the honours on the day and I let them slog it out, trying to chivvy along whichever fell behind. On the mostly downhill return from the end of the reservoir the effort began to tell a little and I was putting a decent effort into my running, although still nowhere near race pace. The last two miles I ran pretty hard, trying to shield my pal Popsy from the wind and get him home inside his course PB, which he did. Immediately after crossing the line and stowing away my £15 mug I set off for another 4 miles. These were very slow miles - initially due to being uphill, but then when it was back down to the finish again I was too tired to run anything but slow.

Monday was long dog walk. Tonight, instead of the scheduled 15miles marathon pace run I opted to run reps. My thinking was that I have done an awful lot of 10-15 mile runs recently at between 6:10 and 6:30 pace and I might therefore be better off trying for some decent 2mile efforts. I started with a single mile rep (5:55) which was uphill slightly and also a mild headwind. Then after jogging another mile out I ran a 2 mile rep back to where I began, 11:31 was a good time - bang on target, though I knew I would struggle to repeat this with the headwind effort to come. I ran the next in 11:42 which I was very pleased with. Finally I jogged back a mile then ran a final one mile effort to bring me back to the start point. 5:45 for this tailwind downhill section was a very poor result though.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

High Mileage - big efforts

We got out sharpish on Thursday. Running exactly the same course as Tuesday I found it a bit tough at times to keep in stride with Milly. There were several options to miss minor 'long cuts' which would have given me the chance to rest momentarily, but I was only ever a few metres behind so I battled on, occasionally shouting a request for Milly to run a corner wide so I could make up a metre by running the inside line. By 13 miles though I'd had enough and I eased down to a jog for the mile back home. I could have carried on if it was for a race victory or chasing a PB, but to put myself through what would have been a torturous final 6minutes of effort would not have served my best interests. On reflection I should probably have ran just 10miles , or even completed the reps as scheduled, alone. It's done now though, good miles in the bank. We actually made 6:17 pace - 8 secs/mile faster than 2 nights ago.

Speaking of miles in the bank, I don't actually record my weekly mileage anywhere. I know its been over 45/wk for the last couple of months but I just totted up that last Saturday to yesterday (Friday) I ran 56. Or counting last Monday to tomorrow (Sunday) it is 63 (as long as I do the planned 20 tomorrow). With this kind of mileage from 5 runs and only one easy day, no wonder I often feel these sessions are such a struggle. I should notice a huge lift when I finally taper off for the marathon.

Today I (kind of) ran the 2 mile intervals that I missed out midweek. I ran my 10mile circuit starting off at an easy pace for 4 minutes then very hard for 11 minutes. Then 4 easy again then 11 hard again and repeat until the circuit was complete. Unfortunately my Garmin failed after about 20minutes so I don't have any data from the run. I took about 64 minutes which is OK for the first time doing this session since last Autumn. Afterwards, back home, I felt utterly wasted from the effort of this run - so much so that I get a bad stomach and feel quite ropey for an hour or so.

Tomorrow I am entered in the Haweswater Half Marathon. To race at full potential would not be a good idea given the hard week just gone and also the 20mile race I'm doing the following weekend. Instead I plan to jog approx 7 miles beforehand then run the race somewhat further back in the field than where I would normally be and at a pace to hopefully give me 6:35-6: per mile for the 20miles.

Milly has gone away for a week in the sun. If I can't get the Garmin working again it will be a whole new ball game running on perceived effort rather than watching pulse. Also, I'll have to run exactly the same 14 mile route as last week and time it to get a pace result.

I haven't mentioned this previously but I am currently on a 'diet'. It's not really a diet though, more a case of cutting out all the bad things I usually eat on a daily basis. Things like chocolate, cakes, biscuits, puddings, sweeties, mini cheddars. It's been two weeks now and the only 'bad' thing to have passed my lips is a single chocolate button. When I feel like a snack I make toast and although I often put jam on, making it less healthy, it's still got to be better than polishing off an entire chocolate orange in one night or a sticky gateaux in about 3 nights. I haven't given up alcohol but I drink very little anyway and I have vowed to buy no more once I have finished off the 24 pack of Guinness I got at Christmas. (currently about 4 left). The idea behind this is to lose the extra few pounds I have noticed creeping on over the last year/18months.

Bodyweight is a widely fluctuating thing. Depending on whether I weigh myself late on a non training day or soon after a long run I can be anywhere between 10st 12lb and 11st 2lb. In the last few months though I noted I was never under 11st and even noted the scales recording 11st 3.5lb on several occasions. After a week of the 'diet' nothing had changed but today (2 weeks), after my run, I was 10st 10lb. I will continue with the abstinence until the end of March, then, to ensure I don't suffer from a lack of liver/muscle glycogen during the marathon I will resume consumption of the 'bad things' in moderation.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Alan Partridge

Monday - rest up after a decent weekends training. Really enjoyed walking extra time with the dogs knowing there was no run to get home and do.

Tuesday - marathon pace run - 14 miles. On my own, Milly working late.
Got started at 17:10 which meant no problems with darkness running the 'summer' 13mile route, which goes out into the countryside via the airport and home via the A69. Although it's nice to see the lighter evenings allowing this route, it is quite a lot hillier than where we normally run. With this in mind I maybe shouldn't be disappointed to have averaged 6:25 per mile, but of course I am slightly. At least my average heartrate was a couple below the norm for 6:20 pace, so it was probably quite a good run actually.

Wednesday - Milly still absent but I had decided anyhow to go jogging with the dogs after work (rather than walk them then go running). We were out for approx 90 mins. Running for approx 60mins, with the remainder doing stick throwing, swimming (dogs not me) and some obedience work (that's a laugh with my two though to be fair Scamp does, under instruction, run 10metres or so away and jump over a fence/chair/gate etc, then sit still until called back)

The marathon looms large now, it's 7 weeks on Sunday. I haven't gotten round to booking any travel or hotel yet - very bad organisation. I have been looking at pace predictor charts and based on the 61 minutes it took me to run the race last Sunday, I would be looking at 2hr 50 mins. However, that race was very hilly and I would also say that I am much better at Marathons than 10 mile events so I think sub 2:50 should be the least I am capable of, 2:46 to 2:48 quite achievable, and 2:45 or a few seconds inside 2:45 might even be on the cards if all goes well and it's a good weather day on the 25th. Nearly 3 years ago I ran my second fastest Marathon, 2:44:10, in Dublin. If I could possibly top this time I would be over the moon.

Bit of a change of routine to come over the next few days. Tomorrow should be reps but I would be doing them alone as Milly still has his marathon pace effort to do so I think I might try to keep up with him. It might be too much to try, given I did the same just last night. My good friend Mike Scott would tell me to run at a different pace (ie do reps) to that which I ran Sunday and Tuesday and I know he's correct but with such an easy day today I think I will be OK. I will then do nowt on Friday as usual, then reps on Saturday morning, followed by a decent 20 miler on Sunday.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Close but no cigar

I was Fourth.

I feel I ran OK. Nothing startling, not my best race but certainly not my worst either. My time of 61 minutes was a little disappointing to be honest. I expected to manage 6 minute miles on a hilly course. If I was to run this race in June or July, with a taper, and NOT mid marathon schedule I am fairly confident I would be 2 minutes faster.

Quality training though. That's what it's all about between Xmas and April 25th.

(though I am mindful of the tale of the one basketed egg collector).