Kudos and The Running Channel


Need more running in your life? Of course you do. So sign up now, or I'll withhold cake. 


So much running this weekend I don't know where to begin. Well, firstly with the disclaimer that none of it was mine (none of the impressive kind, anyway). There were marathons in Bournemouth, Chester and Chicago, halves in Kingston and Cardiff - and that's just the ones I had friends taking part in. Mo Farah will no doubt have got a massive cheque for his efforts, so my particular kudos goes to Tracy Barlow for once again being top British lady at the Cardiff half, to Melissah Gibson for smashing her PB in Chester with an awesome 2 hrs 51mins, and to Sarah Dudgeon who didn't have the race she probably wanted but gritted her teeth and did it anyway in Chicago - to be honest, those kinds of races are the ones that you really deserve the praise for. I very much liked this Tweet from Alexi Pappas (if you don't know who she is, look her up - she rocks) which summarises her own debut nicely. 

I've realised that means women get all the kudos this week. Chaps, I'm sure you rocked too.  Well done anyone who raced, come and fill us in on the gory or marvellous details below the line as ever.

Now, on to other things. Specifically, what I've been up to ... because I know you all need more running content in your life, here's a new project you all need to subscribe / like/ rave about. The Running Channel has just launched (the clue is very much in the name) and there will be videos on youtube and content galore on social. Sign up at all the links below. (Side note, I think this might be a good way to pinhole people's generation - my mum: "Oh, is it going to be on the proper TV?"  - my kids: "OMG YOU ARE ON YOUTUBE!!")

Go to www.youtube.com/runningchannel and hit the red Subscribe button. Also let us know what you'd like to see on there - we've got videos galore in the pipeline but also totally want to steal your brilliant ideas. Sorry, I mean 'get inspiration from runners'. 

Elsewhere - 

Comments

  1. Congratulations to those racing, special mention to one of the guys from my running club representing England in the Masters at Chester Marathon. Must have been the most popular weekend for races this year, seemed that everyone I knew was doing one or XC; I signed up for a race though if that counts for anything? Preempting my lack of success this week in the London ballot, and have signed up for Manchester Marathon which will be my first, probably shouldn't be so excited but already planning my training for it.
    In terms of actual running though; a below average parkrun (chalk it off to the slippy paths), a nice steady track session afterwards, then a swift long run yesterday. All nice, although the gloves finally made an appearance yesterday (Raynaud's isn't great for Autumn and Winter running). Got my club's 5K handicap run coming up and a 10K at the end of the month, unusually short distances for me, but quite liking this 'get it all over with in 40 minutes' sort of racing.

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    1. Yep, the white fingers are back here too! I had the dubious pleasure of actually wearing gloves and sunglasses on one of my runs last week. Have just invested in some new trail gloves too which will definitely go through their paces this winter. Best thing about summer is warm fingers and toes!

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    2. I did Manchester in 2017 and had a great experience - about as flat as a marathon course can be too.

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    3. I also ran Manchester in 2017. It's a really good event and, as LB says, as flat as anything. It was, and probably forever will be, my PB course.

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    4. @Ruby GeeGee: Yeah, I get a few odd looks from people when I've got shorts, a T-shirt, and rubbing sweat off with my buff, while also wearing gloves. It's not the worst thing in the world though, I prefer gloves and chilly weather to running in 25+ like this summer.

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    5. @Spiller: I've heard a lot of good things about it, a few people from my club are doing it and managed to qualify for GFA through it last year. My only issue is that it's slightly early, and means starting training early December and training through Christmas/New Year, rather than London or Edinburgh which start Early Jan and Feb

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    6. @lovebison Yeah, the flatness was a big part of the reason for picking it, will be worrying when I have to race somewhere else though

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  2. For some reason Blogger has thrown me out and I have no idea if this is going to show up in my proper username. It's hathycol, in case it doesn't...

    Did a perfunctory 7km at the weekend, as it started tipping it down with rain and I have no inclination to make my cold even worse. I feel like I was the only person not at a race! Still, I felt strong, if somewhat damp. I've lost a bit of weight recently, does that affect things at all??

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    1. Blogger chucked me out as well, hathycol, for no reason. I had to re-register with a different email account. And you weren't alone in not racing!

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  3. Had club mates running Chester and Oxford half this weekend, and I have to admit I felt very envious of all the glory posts popping up on Strava and FB over Sunday afternoon. I had considered doing Chester while riding on the high of finishing London and decided not to, but yesterday I very much wish I had done. Hey ho, there's the usual London ballot rejection magazine/email to look forward to this week.

    I've got a bit of a calf thing going on after a tough hills session last Thursday so am taking it a bit easy for a few days. That said, I got so wet jogging over to parkrun on Saturday and then doing parkrun (at a civilised pace - what a difference it makes to the fun factor), that I joined some clubmates for a few more miles afterwards. I'm trying to run off-road as much as possible at the moment to prepare for Broadway trail half in six weeks, so uneven ground, mud, rabbit holes, random uphill bits etc. are all welcome. I've also got a yummy pair of new trail shoes to break in, which always helps.

    New venture looks good Kate! Will wander over and take a look.

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    1. Hope you're becoming seriously acquainted with the foam roller...good luck for a quick recovery.

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    2. It sits at the end of my bed HD! A couple of days rest seem to have helped tbh - feeling less stiff today. If I can endure one more day of restraint I'm hoping it will get me up a few hills again on Wednesday. I am rubbish at minor injuries.

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    3. I was running in close proximity to a guy in a Spa Striders vest towards the end yesterday, I think Simon? He looked like we was going pretty well.

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    4. Ah, I almost said keep an eye out for Striders - there were a few of them there. Simon got a huge 9-minute PB, so was definitely going well. Hope you benefited from our support crew as well!

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  4. Well in all those who raced Oxford, Chester, and elsewhere this weekend. No racing for me, but training continued for the last two races of the year. It was 40 miles in two runs for me this weekend. A marathon distance run, with 900+ metres of ascent, in absolutely dreadful conditions on Saturday saw me wear running tights for the first time ever. This wasn't because it was cold - it was bloody freezing - but they are part of the mandatory kit I need for November's 80-miler. Then yesterday, I did a leisurely 14-miler in glorious weather along the Thames Path with a 5kg rucksack on my back.

    Good luck with the Running Channel!

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    1. 2x40miles sounds hard enough on ones own let alone with the 900m ascent and the bad weather! Good work!

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    3. My commenting is not going so well today... ^ should read 40 miles in a weekend (not 2x40)

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  5. I always need more running in my life! Awesome news.

    Over here a midweek sunset run provided the most spectacular views of the city. Buildings changing from golden to a fierce orange and then black as the sky darkened and the lights crept on. My weekend run could not have been more of a contrast. 3.5 hours slogging through the rain rendered me sofa-bound for the rest of the afternoon. Nice to do nowt on an occasional afternoon though.

    First post since the migration. As always, I’m enjoying posts from all the btl regulars in this new spot. I am however missing the c25kers and others getting started with running. Are you guys still here? I love hearing about your runs.

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    1. I agree, I hope we hear more from the newbie and slower but steady runners.

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    2. I'm a C25 graduate from last year, still just plodding along with my own personal runs/goals. I guess I don't post here that often because I have no major news and my pootling feels rather rubbish in comparison to so many other people's races and full-on training. But if there's a desire for us newbies to get more involved, I'll give it a go.

      I am a bit transient still and currently in the North East of England, on the edge of the North York Moors, and this weekend I finally braved a very hilly 5k along part of the Cleveland Way. The headwind on the uphill felt like a harsh start, but it was a pure climb for the first half and then I turned around for a pleasant second half that was all downhill. Not anywhere near my 5k best but it felt good to not walk any of the hills and to just keep going.

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    3. PS: my husband keeps injuring his hamstring, so now I have to rely on myself to not only get motivated to go out in the cold (and wind up here) but also don't have his encouragement or pacing help... I sometimes wonder if signing up for a run (no more than a HM) would keep me on track or if I should just continue to plod. My furthest run so far was about 14k and I really liked it, but I like the solitary nature of that sort of run and am still scared off the crowds of any organised events.

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    4. Yes I would say sign up for something in the future, like a half. Having just done my first, I now need another to aim for.
      It often gave me a purpose for going out as there were times when I could easily have found an excuse for not going for a run, or for not going a little bit further. But with the thought of a big event in the future, and a plan of some sort, I had that extra nudge to plod on.
      Bravo for taking on the hills. What a beautiful part of the country you have to run about in!

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    5. Thanks for posting Rosie, great to hear from you. If you can run 14km then I see no reason why you couldn't run a HM. Not all organized running events are 'mass participation'. I picked a very low key HM for my first last year with only a few hundred participants. I was running on my own for much of the event. If you look at the results for the previous years you'll get a good idea of how many people participate at a particular event.

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    6. Go for it Rosie! I enjoy running solo but signed up for the Royal Parks HM a few years ago to raise money for a cause I felt committed to. Lots of runners and cheering spectators - I really enjoyed it and have done a few more since. You might get the bug :-)

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    7. Yay, great post Rosie. I'm missing having hills to run, reading about them is almost as good. As the others have said having a race lined up can be a real motivator. Look forward to reading about your further expoloits.

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    8. Thanks for all your encouragement and enthusiasm! I shall have to pluck up the courage and just choose something suitable.

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  6. Wow, so I took part in Oxford Half on Sunday, it was my first ever half marathon and it was the furthest I've ever run in one go. It was noisy, busy and a bit crazy!

    Two weeks previously I ran my usual 10k route twice over with a 10 minute break in between. Other than that I had only run 10ks this year and parkruns last year. So I was really pleased that I ran to my expected time of 2hrs10.

    As a newbie to this sort of thing I found the cheering crowds gave everyone such a boost, and if I don't run it next year I'll definitely go to support runners from the roadside.
    That said, next time I want to aim for sub 2 hr. That might be my limit as I've got MS so can't hold out for too much in the future. My eyes have been a bit dodgy lately and so I had rather blinkered vision yesterday, plus I narrowly avoided splattering onto the tarmac when I tripped, stumbled and flew briefly before somehow landing upright on my feet!

    But it was a really great event, and I would recommend other running newbies to sign up for something like this and give yourself a target to aim for in your regular running and exercise. It's all worth it in the end.

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    1. Congrats murmuration. Sounds like a great run. And I can confirm that spectating a half marathon is almost as fun as running one.

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    2. Brilliant! It's great that you got through it OK and enjoyed the experience and that you managed to run to your expected time. Well done.

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    3. Fantastic work, well done. Hope you can carry on taking more time off - when's the next half planned?

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    4. Well done on the first half...it sounds like you've truly got the bug now! 😉

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    5. Super running, good luck on working for the sub-2.

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    6. Yes, the MK Half next May looks like a good one. Need something else to aim for again now!

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    7. Very inspiring, Murmuration, thanks for posting.

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    8. A fantastic achievement and a great time. Well done!

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  7. Struggled through the week a bit, trying to shake off the last of the cold and the effects of not doing any exercise AT ALL for 9 days. Legs were not happy for most of the week.

    Successful 20mile run yesterday, a bit sore on the legs, but we managed it without slowing down or struggling too badly at the end. Chuffed with that. Was very cold (5 or 6 degrees), pi$$ing down with rain, but a good jacket with a hood and gloves proved there's no such thing as bad weather.
    Just got an acceptance email for.........swimming lessons (something different for the off season, definitely not the start of any triathlon nonsense).
    Waiting for the London rejection (we're all so pessimistic), to put an entry in for the Stirling marathon.
    Great results on Strava this weekend folks!

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    1. Triathlon nonsense!?! Wash your mouth out Caragh! It's fun I tell you, proper real fun!

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  8. I ran about 9 miles on Saturday, broken up by 6 beers and then [large number] beers afterwards to celebrate my club's 4th birthday.

    Evidently my back wasnt ready for it as I've been in all kinds of bother yesterday and today, although I didnt notice until early afternoon when the last of the alcohol left my body.

    FWIW, the running was less clumsy that it had been in August but still a long way from right so I'll be re-introducing myself to the drawing board once my back loosens up.

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    1. The obvious solution seems to be to remain in a permanent state of beers.

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    2. I went to a Running School for 6 lessons when I had my ITB last year, it's stayed with me since. It was worthwhile to know what you're supposed to be doing, gives you a benchmark to snap back to when fatigue and poor economy kicks in.

      Good running btw, less clumsy with alcohol? Fantastic!

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    3. To add to HD, surely a full-time move to beer-miling?

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  9. I watched the feed from the Mayflower Dog Show yesterday, sorry the Chicago Marathon as I knew a few folk over to run it. Never saw any of them but it was an enjoyable watch all the same and the commentary was quite something 'here are the wheelchair people!' 🤔

    All my running last week and the weekend counts as recovery after Glasgow but it was most enjoyable and Sunday had me doing a solo run for the first time in ages. It was pretty dreich and got worse but it felt good to do 7 miles at a relaxed pace

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  10. Good luck on the new venture, Kate.

    First highlight of my week was the Strausseelauf on Wednesday, 9.2km around a lake on the edge of Berlin and Brandenburg. The first km was uphill on a cobbled street through the old town which went straight through the opening of the street festival to celebrate unification day. That kept everyone in check before the we headed down the only part of proper street to the lake. I should have gone faster – like some others who clearly knew what was coming - because the next part of the lake was single file trail with only occasional overtaking possible. This was the slowest k of the race and I'd gradually edged past everyone in sight by about 5k. At this point I heard 'toot too' (literally – cheeky fucker) behind me and the only three guys to overtake me from after the second k duly shuffled past. The first pair were away but the third was hanging back a bit despite maintaining a lovely springy stride so I clung about 10m behind him until he dragged me to the next group. He disappeared, I worked my way through them and with about 7k gone the marshall called I had 30m to the guy behind me. We were onto the final burst by now so I went past one, then another, making a mental note to thank whoever on here said control your breathing when you pass – neither even attempted to stick with me. The next target was wearing a t-shirt from the day's race so as he'd be easy I paused on his should to contemplate the 25m gap to the next guy – springy bastard from earlier – and even bigger gap to the next. I duly went past and expected nothing more than a steady run in until I realised springy bastard was coming back to me. He looked surprised when I passed him with about 400m to go and I opened a gap as I belted round the final couple of turns. I was feeling full blown glory being cheered down the home straight until he absolutely flew past me – springy bastard that he was – and with only 40m to go, that was that. That said, even if he'd sent me a telegram days in advance announcing his final move, I was never keeping up with him. Turns out he was a U20 – so a young springy bastard, even worse, but at least not in my category. I never had a chance at the medals (top three all categories) but though I might have pinched top five – not to be, eighth and outside the top 10 per cent overall. Not quite as agonising as my clubmate mind who finished fourth in her category though being well over a minute shy of the podium eased the pain. One of the 64 who beat me was a certain Uta Pippig – still got it.

    Anyway, recovery beer was taken and onto Sunday – what can you say about Farah other than that was seriously impressive? Which you certainly cannot say about the farcical NBC coverage...however, to stay positive, it was amazing when they actually bothered showing the race, much more entertaining than Kipchoge's solo drive in Berlin. Fingers crossed for more. The question also arises as to Mo's overall status – not the GOAT for me but he's not a ridiculous name to be mentioned in that convo which is an almighty status in itself.

    Rambled enough – sorry about the length, as I often say to Mrs Handsome – and well done to everyone getting out and about.

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    1. An entertaining race report. Well done on being that competitive - glad I didn't try mixing it with you at Hasenheide ;-).

      Re Mo, I totally agree (although I was limited to following his splits so all I saw was the final 50m on the BBC news - really poor coverage by UK media). I was really pleased for Mo; it was a risk to his reputation to step up from track running, so I was delighted that he confirmed himself as a big hitter at 42.2kms and as a truly great athlete across an amazing range of distances.

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    2. I think the control your breathing thing was me - definitely did it / wrote about it from a race in August - you're very welcome!

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    3. I always comfort myself when I overtake/am overtaken by runners who are clearly young enough to be my children (if I'd been a very young mother - cough cough). In my head I'm challenging them to be as good as I am now 20 years hence!

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  11. Hello all, I had a good week and weekend of running with plenty of variation culminating in a self-routed 10k through the woods on Sunday afternoon. The colours were great and hurdling branches and tree roots is good fun, although tiring. Congratulations to all those who ran, raced and generally got out there.
    I have a question for you: my Nike Vomero's are knackered and I am considering changing to Hoka's as I get plantar problems from time to time and I am told they have good cushioning. Does anyone have any advice on Hoka's or other brands?

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    1. You mention colours GJ, well, my eyes have been struggling with the vibrancy of the reds, oranges and yellows of the Fall here in New England! And they are officially good for recovery as well, mostly because you're either slowing right down or stopping when out running or cycling just to marvel at the view and take even more pictures!

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    2. I've been enjoying your pictures on Strava, Pete - I'm quite envious.

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  12. A nice and quiet week for me after last week's HM. Straight after the race we drove up to Acadia National Park and stayed in a log cabin for 5 nights. My legs were a little sore so I limited myself to hiking on trails and riding the carriage trails in the park for the first couple of days. It was great, really, really beautiful. I got running again on Wednesday and then ran each day until Saturday. One of the things about running here is that there are far more hills than I'd ever get in where I live in England. I can't say that I love them but I can see the benefits of running them regularly!

    It was great to see so many people on my Strava feed doing Chester yesterday. Given that it's my local race, that's not surprising, but there was one from this parish who did it, and big congratulations to you! You have certainly made people think of Chester as a place to come for a marathon, but for those that don't want to do that distance they have a metric marathon as well, yes 26.2km, on the same day!

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  13. Congratulations on the new endeavor! Will look forward to checking it out.

    I had a 0 weekend, running-wise. The weather was quite good so we went to the mountains, for maybe the last time this season. We climbed the most prominent peak in my favorite Austrian mountain range: that's the Großer Priel in the Totes Gebirge mountain range. Quite a full-on day with just about 2000 m of elevation gain in one day.

    We wanted to climb the Spitzmauer the next day (my favorite mountain, it's just lovely) but it rained enough to make it a bad idea so we returned back. That's 0 for 2 on attempts on that mountain, but I'll get it someday.

    I consider that to be a pretty decent cross-training weekend but look forward to logging some running this week. It's my favorite time of year to run... the best sunsets, lots of nice crunchy leaves.

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  14. Greetings from Sydney, and kudos to everyone who raced in whatever part of the world. special mention to regular BTL contributor lovebison who produced a cracking marathon PB and a Boston qualifier. Well done mate!

    As for me, this weekend was one where I chnaged my plans hundreds of times, causing unnecessary. On Saturday I eventually settled on Rhodes parkrun. Few young guys went out hard but I managed to hunt them down within the first km. One of them stuck with me until half way but then I surged away on a mini incline and thereafter I was on my own and was lucky to place as first finisher in 17:43. But it honestly didn't feel like a "win", as I felt tight, tense and lethargic. Not exactly the confidence boosting performance I was after but solid enough in the circumstances.

    Yesterday was an abridged "long" run given my race this coming Sunday. It included doing some tempo bits with a small select crew that was pacing my regular running partner and close friend for her 25km marathon pace tempo. She nailed it, and I was glad I could help out in a small way.

    Melbourne HM this coming Sunday. My form has been pretty decent overall and I feel I'm very close to unlocking something special (for my standards anyway). But my biggest issue will be managing a really annoying left hip / glute problem which refuses to go away. Hoping a massage on Thursday will assist. Also hoping for less windy conditions than what we experienced in Melbourne two years ago when I was almost literally blown from one side of the course to the other!

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    1. Good luck for Sunday LM! Not that I think you'll need it because your training and preparation is always brilliant!

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    2. Good luck in Melbourne on Sunday LM!

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    3. Good luck mate, your training's looked more than decent.

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  15. No racing here. Still taking it relatively easy, so just over 40kms for the week including my 100th Newbury parkrun (138 overall) in just under 24 mins.

    Well done to all those who did race over the weekend. It was shocking to read about the two runners who died after finishing the Cardiff Half and so incredibly sad for all their loved ones. I feel sorry for the organisers too - it's a great event and, with conditions just perfect for running, I can't believe it happened.

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  16. Kate i saw the new venture on instagram and will investigate on Youtube! :)
    Have enjoyed seeing all the tales of trials and tribulations from friends running various raced on Strava this weekend. Sounds like the weather was unkind in Chicago, however wow MO! And some of my friends were racing seemed to do well. Congrats to everyone who raced or even just ventured out in the rain.
    For me, well this weekend's running turned out better than expected... (spoiler - can i borrow the pb klaxon please?)... also Health warning - long post! :/ sorry!
    With the move to France and the bad back for the few weeks prior to that as well as not having chosen a running club the training build up to this weekend's race was haphazard to say the least and i had barely any taper at all (just a low sunday run last week) and a slightly sore achilles last week. So going into the race i had no personal expectations and very little pressure. We woke up very early sunday to the sound of heavy rain! :( we were staying with a friend in Lyon for the weekend and had convinced him to do the 10k run which started later so he was going to carry our spare clothes down to avoid bag drop, however this meant getting to the start without any extra layers...my thoughts on jogging 3km to the start in the rain prob best left unsaid. However we had bin bags which kept the worst of the rain off but i had soggy feet before the race even started.
    Little rant - why can't people aim in the portaloos (and i'm not talking no.1s)????? It's disgusting!
    Portaloos aside…
    The race starts in the centre of Lyon and then heads north along the river Saone for 10km before coming back down on the otherside of the river then crossing underneath the Croix Rousse (2k of tunnel) before going along the River Rhone for a little bit before heading back into town around the Hotel de Ville, the Opera house and finishing in the Place Bellecour. There were long stretches with no spectators but i was surprised how many people did come out in the miserable weather to cheer everyone on in some of the random bits of the course.
    Due to the low expectations i decided to run to feel and not really worry about the time, but my watch kept beeping with km times lower than my pb pace... hmmm something weird was happening, i was feeling comfortable and strong! i decided to go with it and see how long it felt comfortable for. I got to the 10km mark in 49 mins (1min ahead of pb pace) and still felt good. I caught up with the marathon pacers for 3:30 who were going marginally slower than me. I decided to try to go past them so that i wouldn't get caught up in the big group at the water station as there were only 3 water stations. Somehow i got to 14km before it started feeling a little harder (but only amber on the traffic light scale) but there were nice views so that distracted me. The 2km tunnel was from 16-18km, i knew my watch wouldn't work at this point so the plan was just to not lose position in the hope that those around me were pacing steady. The tunnel was HOT, it's so long the air movement was minimal and for the first time i was missing the rain and i was happy to go back out into it. The last 3km were tough but i worked out i could afford to slow down 30s/km and still get a pb so it was a case of just keep going. I saw Mr MessePip (who was speedy speedy with his own PB) with our friend about 800m before the end and gave him a grin which confused him as my pen had left later than he thought so he thought i was 10mins slower than i was. It was only here that my legs started to show the strain with my calves pinging slightly, threatening cramps, however i managed to finish strongly with a pb of over 1m30 in 1:43:56! :D
    The goodie bag afterwards was pretty good: biscuits, cereal bars, a tub of tomatoes, a quinoa salad pot and fruit! Pretty happy although feeling like a granny today and achilles is a bit unhappy with me. Anywho anyone who has made it to the end of this i think you prob deserve my goodie bag or at least a cup of tea! :D

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    1. Brilliant, very well done!

      You more than earned those tomatoes.

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    2. Lovely! I'm glad that you've had this wonderful success after your "interesting" relocation to France. You deserve it!

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    3. It was a brilliant run Pip - loved the pics on Strava. You should feel very chuffed with yourself.

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    4. Wowza! Brilliant run in challenging conditions Pip. Congratulations on that new PB.

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    5. Amazing stuff! Release the expectations and incredible things happen

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  18. It was the Chester Marathon for me yesterday, and a chance to if not make-up for London (since in spite of the results it was still a great experience), to feel like I'd run a time that did justice to a hard year of training.

    Like any sensible marathoner, I had a few goals for Chester. Goal C was to end my run of setting new personal worsts in each successive marathon, so that meant beating April's London scorch-fest of 3:25. Goal B was a new PB, meaning under 3:14. And Goal A was to beat the arbitrary-round-number mark of 3:10 which is also the new Boston Qualifying standard for my age-group.

    I'm not exaggerating when I say I had no idea what to expect. Though I set a new half-marathon PB five weeks ago, with my hamstring woes I'd been over 5 miles precisely 3 times since and hadn't done a 20-miler in seven weeks. I planned to go out at 7:10 pace which would give me a chance of that "A" target, and would just see how long I could hang on for. And the marathon gods clearly decided they owed us one after the conditions at London, as they couldn't have been any more perfect. A brisk - ok - chilly start, rising to 13 degrees and only a gentle breeze, so absolutely no weather-related excuses.

    The course is described as "undulating" and while that's usually code for "really bloody hilly" it's pretty much spot-on. So while there's a few bumps to deal with at the start and end, it's mostly flat or very gentle gradients, perfect for hitting a steady rhythm. After the first couple of miles up, through and out of the city I started looking for some likely pacing companions and here I had a huge stroke of luck. With Chester hosting the English and Celtic age-group masters competition there were a lot of experienced runners around, and I attached myself to a group led by three of the English women's team who were absolute metronomes - I swear we did two successive miles in 7:09.9 and 7:10.0. And with the first half largely into what wind there was, I was determined to stick with the group as long as possible, and we cranked through 11 miles almost perfectly on schedule.

    Unfortunately I could no longer ignore the fact that too much pre-race hydration had inevitable consequences and I was going to have to make a first-ever race pit-stop, shortly after the 12 mile mark. Without wanting to pushing the pace too much I thought I'd try to catch them back up as I was now in a bit of a no-man's-land between groups, but by 15 miles the group was splintering ahead of, I started to feel a bit of fatigue in my legs for the first time, and my pace started slipping.

    Then, my second bit of luck. Coming up the hill out of Holt I was passed by two runners who seemed pretty fresh and I managed to latch on to them. This got me through that rough patch and by 30k I was able to have a chat with them and work out we were all going for about the same kind of time. I still kept waiting for the wheels would come off but....they didn't! So at my fourth attempt I finally managed to run strongly through to the finish of a marathon. Other than a few twinges of cramp up the final, quite nasty, climb after 24 miles I could keep pushing on, now with than "A" goal firmly in sight. A final mile along the river and back to the racecourse, and it was done: 3:09:27 and all three of our mini-group finished within 20 seconds of each other.

    I'm obviously delighted, and feeling surprisingly fine today. Maybe I just respond well to a really long taper! And I cannot recommend the event enough - impeccable logistics and a great course; I will definitely be back.

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    1. That hill at 24 miles, Sandy Lane, is a a real bastard! I've races that in triathlons in the past.
      Anyway, well done LB, that is a brilliant result, I only wish I'd been around to but you some post-race, celebratory beer. Come back next year and they're on me!

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    2. Congrats lovebison! Apart from the toilet stop it sounds like a well executed race! Always helps to have others around you going for the same time goal! 🙂 Congrats on the BQ! 🎉

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    3. So glad to read this. Congratulations!

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    4. Congratulations on a fantastic performance LB.

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    5. I'm just so pleased for you LB!! I want that feeling!

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    6. I realised you'd had a good run but hadn't quite appreciated how good LB - massive congratulations. Sounds like enforced rest was good for you - maybe all the 20-milers we're supposed to do are overrated! Your splits were to die for.

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    7. Amazing stuff, seriously well done. I hope you relish looking for flights and Boston hotels!

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    8. That's awesome LB...and a cracking write-up to boot. I presume you rubbed wine into your legs as prescribed?

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    9. Great writeup LB. Congrats. Loving reading all these positive marathon stories as my own draws closer.

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    10. Terrific run LB and inspiring to boot!

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    11. Thanks all, I'm still glowing with satisfaction. And trying to figure out what spring marathon to do now that the inevitable "Commiserations" magazine from London has landed.

      @pete - you're on
      @kyd - it's basically unimprovable, so go for it - special early-bird rate available now!
      @ruby - I wish I could bottle whatever delivered that consistency for future races
      @HD - unfortunately there's now a long wait to see what the final qualifying standard is, but at least I can throw my name in the hat
      @asta - I was thinking about that as I annoyed everyone at the start by applying copious amounts of Deep Heat instead

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    12. Congratulations on meeting your 'A' goal and adapting on the run - latching onto runners going at the pace you knew you wanted to be doing was smart mid/end-race thinking.

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  19. Fantastic news about the Running Channel! So nice to see you engaging in new ventures. You have my fervent wishes for mega-success.

    I spent the weekend in Nashville trying to unearth some of my belongings, which have been scattered across the US and Canada for a few years now. My intent was to also find a race for Saturday but all on offer were either incredibly off-putting - a 7-mile run in a gravel pit? - or priced in the $40-50 range. What's going on with these race entry fees? It used to be $15-20, then the bigger races started creeping up, now it seems to be almost everything is at least $40. So no race for me.

    Short term solution: Nashville needs a parkrun.

    On Sunday, I ran a flat 8 miles along the river in very warm and humid conditions. The last 1.5 miles was surprisingly tough, I think due to the heat. It crossed my mind more than a few times that I'd have liked some of that cooling rain they had in Chicago.

    Not an Alexi Pappas fan at all - I find the naif stylings to be cloying (the poetry is awful) and her way of speaking to girls and young women is infantilizing rather than empowering. Just not my taste.

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    1. Aargh, I was hoping you'd had a race - I'm keen to hear if the addition of short sprints to your training is making your distance racing quicker. I agree, the $40-50 range is a bit steep if you're racing regularly.

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    2. Skipped the sprints last week as I was traveling on Friday. Back to it this week.

      I definitely have a race for two weeks from now. This coming weekend is horse-centric but next weekend, there's a fun, reasonably challenging XC in the area so I think I'll definitely be doing that.

      I had to bail on a workout last night due to a tightening left iliopsoas, which has been an on-and-off issue for me for years. I started my 200s, it felt great to really run with an open stride, and then I had to stop because I couldn't breathe due to the pressure on my diaphragm. I hate having to quit - I carried on with 40 minutes of tempo stuff - but the mechanics were just too awful. I'll try again tomorrow.

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  20. Still no running on account of the collarbone, but it is now just seven days to my next x-ray and the possibility of running. I am not sure what it will be like after ten weeks off, but whatever it is, it will be good to be back. On the walking front, I clocked up a 7 day total of 101km and 177km for the whole of September, which is not bad given that the month started the day after surgery.

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    1. Bloody hell, where do you find the time for all that walking?! Very impressive!

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    2. Being self employed, my work options have been limited the last few weeks and there has been time to fill. Only light duties at home too, so no list of DIY to complete. My local trail loop can go from 10km to 18km depending on how which bits I cut off or add in. The basic 10km is 1 H 50 M at a brisk walk. The big week was helped by me walking the MTB route I had previously crashed in the last km of. That one was 35km of sunny walking with a picnic lunch. Just back from a 12.7km walk in 2 H 20 M as I type this.

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  21. Congratulations Kate, I like the look of all this!

    It was great seeing all the triumphs flooding in on Strava this weekend, like Ruby I feel a bit envious and felt like retrieving my bib number for Yorkshire from the tip and hobbling through the marathon after some of that glory!

    I did a test run on my hamstring on Saturday, a mere 2k, was enough to know it’s not ready yet. I’m being quite strict but having time out IS KILLING ME!!! My patience with everyday life matters, is vanishing by the day!

    Anyway, Kenton Coooool is up next at Munich then Squirblej at Abingdon. Plenty of vicarious marathon running still available.

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    1. I feel your frustration. It’s probably unhealthy to put as much personal energy into the sport as most of us on here seem to, because the setbacks hurt so much! But we all do it regardless...

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  22. papas dosnt rock shes a plastic greek never lived there yet swapped nationality just because the competition was to good in the us

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    1. She's not a plastic runner! Honestly...

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    2. she did change nationaity in a cynical move to get to the Olympics despite never living in Greece at any point in her life. she also got beat by 14 different us women that were not professional

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    3. really kate should of mentioned the 15 year old girl that finished 6th at the twin cities marathon in 2;40;03 papas did her marathon in 2;43;38

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  23. Just heard I got a confirmed club entry to The Big Half next March. Ha! Didn't enjoy the course tbh, all too familiar and has twisty, cobbly bits. Still, £10 (as opposed to £39), on my doorstep, might as well.

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  24. A did a very ordinary parkrun on Saturday. My time was 27:50 which is way off my pb of 26:20. Anyway, we then took off to the historic gold mining town of Waihi, which is 2 hours drive east of Auckland, for a long weekend with the family. I found a brilliant 5km trail run around the local hill (Black Hill) which partly followed the river and then passed through long grass in open meadows, open trails and back through the native woods. A lovely run that made me feel glad to be alive.

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    1. "A lovely run that made me feel glad to be alive."
      That's it , isn't it, that's what it's all about! :)

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    2. I think so, although I admit to often obsessing over my pace instead of just enjoying the run. This route had lots of opportunities for tripping over something or sliding on gravel, which forced me to take it easy, watch my footing and just relax.

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  25. First marathon alert (klaxon?) - after a running for a few years and five half marathons (2.5?) I decided that this year I would do a full, aiming for my home the quite gorgeous Galway Bay marathon.

    After a parking hiccup got to the starting line a bit later than intended but still early enough for the nerves to build up. Joined the gaggle of runners at the start, finding the 4 hour pacers. The course was a two laps round a park at one end of the sea front (about 2 miles) then 4 9km(ish) laps along the sea front and prom and back. Had originally planned on running with the 4 hour pacers for the first couple of laps of the full course but due to the wind kept getting hit by their balloons and the course was too narrow to comfortably run beside them. I tried slotting in in front of them but after a minute realised I’d pulled ahead by abut 20-30 m, so I decided that it was going to be too difficult to keep track of them so decided I was better keeping to my own pace (and spent most of the first half wondering when I would come to regret that decision).

    The first couple of laps went quite smoothly, even managed to chat to some of the other runners for a few bits and admire the view out over the bay (even having done a lot of training done there over the summer I haven’t quite got tired of the view). Unfortunately the start of my third lap was a bit after the 10k race started so ended up having to weave round a lot of walkers.

    Started the final lap high-fiving my boy then my leg started twinging and threatening to cramp. Deciding that if I stopped I would be starting again I gritted my teeth and reminded myself that I’d run 1100 km training for this and so I could do another 7. Reached the last turn around point and knew that it would be harder to stop than finish the race and kept myself going by telling everyone I ran past ‘almost finished’ (as much to convince me as anyone else). Run into the park for the last time as the lead half-marathoners came round (quite a contrast to my leaden footed pace at that point) and rounded the final corner and - was well under my four hour target time and as I’m only going to finish my first marathon once I wanted to enjoy the moment (rather than burst a gut to knock a few seconds of my time). Crossed the line pretty much on my own so was able to pretend everyone was cheering me in and stopped my watch at 3.53.

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    1. I think first marathon is most definitely klaxon worthy - well done, and very good time!

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    2. Excellent - well done! Good work on recalling your training commitment in the tougher moments of the marathon.

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  26. I've had some very pleasing runs the last two weeks, all around the 6k mark, especially a couple of hilly off-road runs in a local wood and country park. I think the hills have been beneficial as they make me run at a slower pace, and indeed be less concerned about pace. The runs have been most enjoyable. Getting away from towns and traffic, and also running in different shoes for a change, have helped too. I've wanted to run further each time, but as I'm still recovering, have had to be disciplined and know when to say 'enough for today'. Sad to report that despite channeling my inner Mark Roulston, I wasn't mentally strong enough to not give in to walking on the steep bit near the summit. I'll be back to put that right! Think I'm definitely on an upward trend (er metaphorically speaking now) - physio seems to be doing a good job. Hopefully, I'll be fighting fit to do more runs mid-week and next weekend again.

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  27. 33 degrees on Sunday here in Tokyo. In October! Insanity. Fortunately, it dovetailed nicely with an easy week in my marathon plan, but even to get through the assigned 13.5 km, I had to slow my pace right down to over 6 mins per km. I did sprint the last 500 m, though, as a bloke in Komazawa Park pissed me off by purposely speeding up and overtaking me every time I went past him. Yes, I know, it's completely petty and childish, but I succumbed to my baser urges just this once.

    The temps are back down again and I have 27 km scheduled on Sunday. Kind of looking forward to it, to be honest.

    And congrats to Osako Suguru, who came 3rd in Chicago, broke the Japanese marathon record, and earned a juicy hundred million yen for his troubles. It seems these huge financial incentives are finally pushing Japanese men to fulfill their potential on the international marathon scene instead of burning out in the ekiden. It's all 'bout the money.

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  28. I've been taking my running a bit more seriously the past year and have really enjoyed reading all your stories so felt it was time to contribute one of my own (and a long one to boot)

    It's been a good year, got a new Half PB and ran my first marathon and signed up earlier this month to parkrun to have a wee go at lowering the old 5k.

    Did my second one at the weekend and one of the things I really enjoyed was actually getting to race people, in both the half and full marathon I ended up running with no really around me.

    On Saturday I was really keen to get away fast, I really struggle to get moving quickly, so I went off with the front group. The guy in first just disappeared and the guy in 2nd got a gap and then gradually eased away over the whole race but there was quite a tussle for third.

    The course is two laps, first bit uphill, second bit downhill per lap. So I got up into third going uphill but as I caught my breath downhill, got pastpast dropped to fifth.

    Managed to stick with the two who past me though and so the second time round I decided to really attack the hill and see if I could drop them.

    This worked but just before the crest of the hill I faltered (legs were knackered), I wasn't caught but I knew they were right behind me and on the way downhill, one of them past me, tried my best to stay with him but had to slow for a dog walker at one point and he got away but held on for 4th and, really surprisingly, dipped below 20 minutes for the first time ever with a 19:47

    Looking forward to getting to a few more parkruns, definitely got the bug.

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  31. I've started introducing running intervals and more hill work in an effort to improve my 10k time ie get under 50 mins, so Saturday saw my doing intervals over 4 mile. Sunday was a 10 mile easy run up and down the valley. Beautiful day. One of those glad to be alive runs.

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  32. Last Saturday I competed in a half marathon on Great Barrier Island, off the coast from Auckland. To fundraise for a local school, the community each year runs an ambitious set of races that includes a marathon and two different HMs both with walking and running options, a 10 km, and mountain bike races.

    I entered as a runner into the track/ trail HM. This was the toughest HM I've done, and my time was slower by more than an hour than my HM PB. The trail had kilometres of uphill, and many trip hazards - protruding roots and rocks, fallen branches, gravel, humps and hollows. After the first hour, I walked much of the distance, mostly with no one else in sight. I was probably the oldest runner, and came 20th out of 22 participants in this race - all the races had small numbers of participants.

    But my difficulties had compensations; beautiful native bush, fantastic views, good signage, friendly marshals. If I go back to the island, though, rather than entering a race, I'll do more leisurely walks, with adequate time to enjoy my surroundings.

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    1. What a great report, thanks Frances. I live in Auckland and had no idea about this race. I know the terrain at GBI and appreciate how tough it must have been.

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  33. I had a funny sort of week - some runs going well, others not so. The weekend saw a 26k progressive run attempt as the start of my taper towards Abingdon, and I never really got going. The injuries are hovering on the edge - kind of there, kind of not. Pulled up a km or 2 short when my calf started to tug (I rarely get anything like this). Feeling a bit of mental fatigue going into this marathon, genuinely not sure what kind of shape I’m in. And feeling a bit down about it...!

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    1. That cumulative fatigue at the end of a marathon training block is really a bear, isn't it? It went a lot like that for me as well at the end of August.

      Hopefully the taper will help you start your race feeling refreshed.

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    2. A huge percentage of the marathon is run in the head (something akin to what you said yourself a few weeks ago). Hang on to that thought and turn them around for the big day. You may not be in PB territory but you may surprise yourself! It's a proper runners marathon so you'll be in good company, just hope you keep those injuries around the corner and enjoy your run on the day.

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    3. This may be biased by my recent experience, but if you're mentally fatigued and feeling a few niggles, I'd take it pretty easy for the next couple of weeks - I know some tapers can still be pretty heavy for the penultimate week.

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    4. Thanks all, let's hope the taper does its job...! 12 days to go... Agree it's likely mostly mental but sometimes hard to see the wood for the trees. Need to keep my spirits up

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    5. It's better than being me at the moment!! (does that help?!)

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  34. No racing for me this weekend. However, huge kudos due to a couple of guys who raced from the local 6am run club, one winning the Tonbridge HM yesterday, the other smashing his PB at Cardiff HM, finishing 23rd overall, very strong running.

    I managed to catch a bug towards the back of last weekend, by the end of Monday I wasn't feeling good at all. Cue 3 days of no running - for someone who often runs 9 or 10 times a week. I didn't even feel like running for the train until Thursday evening, which was the first sign that I might be turning a corner. So I had a bit of a leg loosener of a run on Friday. Then a parkrun sandwich on Saturday. For some reason I treated it just like I would any other parkrun - time-trial to see where my fitness was - and was disappointed when I couldn't maintain PB pace early in the second half of the run. I was only 18s behind my CB but felt awful through most of the second and third miles. With a couple of days' distance I can't be sure how much was down to an overly enthusiastic start, the aftermath of my bug or my forgetfulness about the different pain of a 5k. I guess a combination of all three. So on Sunday morning I took it very easy and continued my post-marathon long run approach of running for a set period of time - 90 minutes. It was a beautiful morning to be running and going just that little bit slower than normal made me enjoy what is one of my favourite routes just that little bit more. Hope that the remnants of the bug I have had clear out ahead of next Sunday's Cabbage Patch 10.

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    1. 3 days off is mammoth for you David, last time was when you did your back in last year I think? I'm glad you enjoyed your 90 minuter, and hope you'll be well clear of the bug for the CP10.

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  35. Here's frustration for you .... I've broken my toe over night by stepping on the bloody cat who was sleeping on the stairs, sending my foot straight into the bannister. Broken and a bit crooked, the one next to my pinky. FFS!!!! At least my hamstring will be repaired by the time this is. Can you imagine if I was fit and well for York on Sunday, then this happened?!

    Anyone else broke a toe and how was the recovery? : (

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    1. Oh dear! At least it's pretty good timing kyd. Does this mean you'll have to give up the elliptical? ;)

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    2. OW. Glad it wasn't more serious. Must be incredibly frustrating. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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    3. Paul, I believe you have found the only upside.

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    4. Ow. That's awfully bad luck, at least the York decision had already been made. How long will you be out? Will cycling be an option (shudder - sorry BHP)? Sounds like a block of S&C may be around the corner.

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    5. Jeez kyd, it's raining heavily in your neck of the woods at the moment. I hope that the sun shines very, very soon!

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    6. Ouch - cats are good at getting under your feet. Hope it's a fast recovery.

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    7. Don't walk under any ladders...

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    8. I broke my little toe last year while on holiday and it was about 3 weeks before I could bear to wear running shoes.

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    9. Bad luck KYD. I cracked the bone in my little toe earlier this year just by stubbing it on the door, and at first I kept on trying to run on it too soon. In the end I took a full month off and that did the trick. Absolutely no pain at all from it now.

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    10. You can't make it up! Good luck with recovery, sounds super sore

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    11. That's rotten luck kyd. Hope it mends soon and that, with the enforced rest, your hammy sorts itself out too.

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    12. Sorry to hear your added woes. As a fellow broken bone sufferer, I wish you a speedy recovery.

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  36. https://www.docontherun.com/can-run-broken-toe/

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  37. I had technical trouble commenting on the blog last week, but seems like the blog gremlins has been resolved. Will save my news - not that it's too exciting - for next week!

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