Who needs Monday mornings anyway?


Now, the problem with this freelance lark is that you lose track of days. Well, turns out I do, anyway.  Is it Monday? I hadn’t noticed. Etc. So apologies for both lateness and brevity of this post.

In truth my weekend running was nothing to write home (or blog) about. Still recovering from this nasty sinusitis that seems to have infected my whole family, I did more pootling than running. However, it did include my clubs fantastic inaugural quarter marathon trail race - a glorious loop of Wimbledon Common. It was an unusual and thoroughly enjoyable experience to truly take a race easy and just have fun, including halfway high fives from my kids (aka medal-giving marshals) and also to catch up with Gill - BTL regular, friend and all-round superstar runner - who also was second lady in the race. Actually, I had a bit of a dilemma when I saw her and my friend and co-captain Julia neck and neck in the lead on the way round - I wanted both of them to win!

Then on Sunday, it was time for the junior contingent. The littlest one was gunning for a junior parkrun PB, and her first sub 10 (her PB is a painful 10:01) so we did some tourist, to Osterley Park. It was beautiful, the course is perfect .. and I arrived half an hour late. Oops. I didn't think to check and assumed it was a 9.30 kick off, like our local juniors parkrun. Nope, 9am. Cue unimpressed faces. At least we did a route recce for next time, though.

Now, before it's your turn, and though it’s not the weekend any more, one final run to report - a glorious lap of Richmond Park this morning. What perfect autumnal weather, what glorious views - and how lucky I am to live so near to it. 

So, how was your weekend running? Triumphant tales and self-pitying woes (we won't judge) below the line as always.

Comments

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    1. I had a great Sunday at the Ealing Half Marathon. Last year I struggled around in 1 hour 57, suffering from the heat and comparative lack of training , but I was happy to have completed my first race for several years and really enjoyed the event, which is superbly run. This year I entered again and it was one of those races which just seemed to go perfectly according to plan. The weather was cool and still, I was in good nick having done several 12 and 13 mile runs over the summer and I was excited to start. My plan was to follow the 1.55 pacer around and if things were going well with a couple of miles rermaining, to go for a slightly faster time. And that is exactly what happened. I cruised through halfway and over the worst of what the organisers describe as "undulations" (to me they felt like hills) and at 11 miles after the course had flattened out, I struck out on my own, finishing in 1.53. Very excited to be improving at 54, though I think the curve will very soon flatten out, but not before I do a flat race just to see how I do without the hills. As it is, I loved the "Ealing feeling". Such a friendly, well marshalled race - I thoroughly recommend it.

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  2. There you are Kate! Gallivanting away in Richmond Park while we’re all waiting for the shop to open, faces pressed against the window! Richmond Park looks lovely, I must do a train journey there and a run around and back home if I get the chance during the Autumn, should be able to do all that in a 20 miler.

    Unfortunately, my weekend running was totally non-existent. I’m out of the game, the Yorkshire marathon is off, once again pipped 2-3 weeks out by an injury. Yes I’m fed up about it, but more pissed off than upset tbh, makes me wonder why I bother. The only good thing about it is that it’s definitive and conclusive. 2 weeks ago it was unclear and I was agonising over whether I should run it for the experience but not able to chase a time, whereas now I know I couldn’t even run it comfortably as I had to get the tube back to work for the last 3k of the MP tester last Wednesday. As far as I’m concerned you need to be able to guarantee at least one of the below from a marathon, all three being the optimum, I’ve only managed a 2 and a 1 so far!

    1. A good result (time)
    2. A good experience
    3. Injury free

    Never mind, I hope to be back running again in about a weeks time, and taking it slowly. I’ve had it with racing for a while so will not be entering anything until I feel that way inclined again, which may be never!

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    1. Boo! So sorry, what an absolute pain. I completely missed your run on Wednesday, looks like you had a really awful time.

      Am convinced you are doing the right thing to pull out early and do some proper rehab. The body follows the mind on this - get yourself keen to run again and then see what you want to do.

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    2. Sorry to hear that KYD :( You deserve more for all your effort.

      At least it's only a week...

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    3. That's rubbish, such a shame. Hopefully you do get back soon and into an enjoyable injury free groove.

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    4. Tough decision to make but no doubt the right one...enjoy a week of chocolate and booze before getting back on it.

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    5. Was really sorry to see that kyd. Sounds like a period of rest, rehab, and running for the enjoyment of it rather than to any set targets is what you need.

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    6. You'll get over this kyd because you know that running is a long term thing rather than the short term buzzes and excitement. Also, racing is very specific to one day, one time and it's not always easy to get our bodies ready for that specific moment in time.

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    7. That's a bummer kyd, but you've obviously made the right decision. Take your time, recover and come back stronger.

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    8. Am very fed up on your account but I'm glad you're feeling sanguine about it. And I might be around your gaff next week - will email you.

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    9. Argh, that sucks. Hope you're feeling better soon. I think all 3 at once is possible but not as easy as it sounds.

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  3. Ah, I was wondering if my Internet had borked in the journey to rainy Milan this morning...!

    Was struggling after last weekend's rain-drenched long run with some quite intense plantar fascia pain, which seemed to creep up (as all these things do) into a very stiff calf and hamstring on the same side. (It's always the right hand side). So only ran 4k and 5k on Monday and Tuesday, grimacing and hoping not to make it worse. But an excellent massage and some taping seem to have done the trick; by Thursday I was able to do a fastish interval run and while I did take a couple of days off, by the weekend I was able to contemplate a 34k run without too much disbelief.

    Went out nice and early in the morning on Saturday (hasn't it got cold suddenly...!) having put a large pork butt in the oven for a 12 hour cook. Managed 35k with 2k out of every 8k at MP or close enough - felt pretty good all way round, and even remembered to take some food with me to "practice" my nutrition strategy. Didn't seem to be many others out on the towpath in the morning compared to my usual Sunday morning run, so perhaps Saturday is a less popular day. Didn't run on Sunday (trying to give the heel a good deal of rest) and a short 7k today in the hotel gym was pain free, so fingers crossed that I can manage the pain on this one through to the marathon in under (argh!) 3 weeks.

    Oh, and the pork butt was delicious. Must remember that these don't have to be saved for the barbecue but can be done inside. Yum yum.

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    1. I did 12 hour pork last Christmas, it was a real crowd pleaser and dead easy!

      Fingers crossed for your PF healing well, you've got your brother to beat after all!

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    2. Ah - my brother has pulled out with back pain. So he is weak and I have won anyway. (At least, this is the intra-familial story.)

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    3. Hooray for tapers. And hooray for pork butt, which somehow sounds both delicious and not.

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    4. Kate, we need a 'like' button on this blog! I want Squirblej to appreciate my laughter at his sibling rivalry.

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    5. Heh I will never think of pork butt in the same way again lovebison....

      And Ruby GeeGee - it's only rivalry if there is an actual contest...

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  4. On Saturday I took Asta jnr for the final track meeting of the year. We were having a great father-daughter day until disaster struck during her warm up for the 60m final. She had an awful fall, one of those falls that only a kid can manage...somehow managing to smash up the knuckles on both hands, both wrists, both knees and one hip. There was a fair bit of claret.

    She's tough though. After a little delay (and a lot of tears) she lined up for the race and ran her heart out in a blanket finish. The tears and screams from the accident were nothing compared to what came after we cleaned it up in the first aid room...I felt so bad that I almost didnt mention the 200m final that was the final event of the season. Almost.

    Patched up with gauze and tape, and with the promise of an ice cream for the ride home, she ran an absolute blinder, a three second PB and a metre short of a medal in a race where everyone was a year older. I was super proud.

    Something else had happened though which augmented my already good mood. When she had hit the floor I'd been 80m away near the finish...and when I jumped over the fence to run down to her I realised after a few metres that I was running *almost* properly. Not amazingly fast and by no means perfectly but it felt almost natural. And so it was that earlier today (after a two day family-visit-induced-delay) I reaquainted myself with Gloria the treadmill...and ran a fairly smooth 3k.

    A good weekend all in all!

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    1. A wee hero! I think that worth more than just one ice cream!
      Hope the good sensations keep on.

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    2. How fantastic! That shows amazing character! Well done to Asta jnr!

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    3. Asta jnr stories are always the best.

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    4. Good news about you and Gloria and a super effort from Asta Jr.

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    5. Good for her. She's clearly made from the same stuff as her dad. And nice to see you back on Strava again (running at most normal people's pace).

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    6. Ilse has a lot of chutzpah!! and how touching that it led to a reunion for you and Gloria, the stuff novels are made of (not quite!)

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  5. I've done zero running this week. Wiped out by a horrible cold / sinusitis / chesty cough combo. Cough still lingering, plan a short experimental run tomorrow, see if I can get up to speed without hacking up a lung.
    Annoyingly missed the last long long run before the Dramathon marathon. Planning to do a 20 mile run this coming weekend instead of the planned 16. Will be just 2 weeks out from the race, but we both found the last 20 pretty easy (relatively) and recovered well, and the race is going to be at long run pace, not racing racing. So I think we'll be ok. Running it with my other half, we've both been ill, though I think my cough is more spectacular.
    So I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that a gentle run hoes ok, helps shift the last of the phlegm (yuck) and I can get back to some miles. I haven't had to charge my Garmin in well over a week - that's just not right!!

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    1. Maybe you need some medicinal whisky before the race!

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    2. That's the one bit of race day we haven't practiced yet - start is at Glenfarclas and drams were definitely being handed out before the start last year!

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    3. talk to me when you haven't charged it for 6 weeks +!!

      good luck with the long run at the weekend ;)

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  6. My weekend running was the Great Scottish Run. I'd decided to aim for 2:10 as my time to get despite the fact my last long run was my last half marathon 2 months ago and I'd only done one 6 mile run in 2 weeks leading up to Sunday. They had said there was to be a 2:10 pacer but I never saw them at any point before during or after so I set off and tried to go at whatever pace I could manage. I was fine for about 10 miles and was heading for well under 2:10 but then on what is effectively the home straight back to Glasgow Green my legs decided they'd had enough and indicated they thought stopping would be a really really good idea. I ignored this increasingly painful and persistent suggestion and crossed the line for a PB of 2:13. I should have been happy but there was so much pain emanating from so many places I didn't really give a flying fu...anyway upon reflection I realise I can do a Half Marathon with minimal training but it's really not advisable and I won't make that mistake again. Also turned out my Hoka shoes had split above the sole so my foot had been rubbing on the side and there is now a lovely long bloody blister. The shop have replaced them without quibble so that's great but I won't be running for a few days till the blister heals up (plus I feel absolutely gubbed)

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    1. That sounds painful but at least it was just your legs complaining and not an injury. Well done for keeping going to the end.

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  7. I ran in the inaugural ageas bowl 10k which lured me in with a stadium finish. I had a very tiring week with vomiting children so wasn’t feeling very fresh on the morning. This race is local to me so asked mr r&b to bring the bananarettes so they could see me do something other than nagging/tidying!

    I was hoping for a sub 48 time and luckily managed to stand at the start next to a fellow runner who was aiming for the same. We ran together for the first three miles or so which was great although we overcooked it at the start, a combination of trying to keep up with each other and some downhill. The event was undulating but a fairly simple loop. I started to feel tired around 5 miles and then a fellow runner ran up beside and said ‘come on, only the hills left to do, we can do this’. She was trying to be encouraging, and maybe I looked like I was struggling, but it deflated me as I was pretty tired by this time. In hindsight I should have pushed on but slackened off for a couple of minutes. Managed to pull myself together for the stadium finish, a lap around the concourse then one around the pitch. The adrenaline of the finish (and knowing I had family support) allowed me to sprint and overtook lots in the final 400m. Crossed the line at 48:00 knowing my time would obviously be rounded down. But alas, was 48:01 and the family had been watching some other runner, not mummy, so had missed my heroic finish!! Mixed emotions. My daughters did the 1k fun run to round off the event. The youngest has learnt an important lesson in the importance of socks to prevent blisters unfortunately. Still, the medal is off to show and tell today. Will be back next year, unfinished business!

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    1. Oh no, sounds like you were cheated on a few levels there.... Telling you there are hills coming up when you're already tired is not what you want to hear! Still, a very good time - well done.

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    2. That's annoying that your time got rounded up when you were hoping for sub 48 but well done for coming so close. I'd not heard about this event, I'll have to look out for it next year (and prepare myself for the hills in the second half) as it's not too far from me.

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    3. Ah, I share your feelings about .01. But you can feel good saying you're a 48-low 10k runner!

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    4. Agghh! So frustrating, but you can find that second for sure.

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  8. Saturday morning didn’t start well as I managed to lock myself out of the house, so I had to drive my family up to parkrun (somehow I had ended up with a load of cones and tape for the course so I had to go), called a locksmith and drove home again, before being let back into my house within seconds. Then I dashed back up to Wimbledon Common to arrive just before the start of the Quarter Marathon.
    I’m glad I did as I managed to finish 2nd and complete my 40th birthday month with 4*10(ish)km races, 3* first V40s and one that would have been first V40 if they had kindly held the race a day later on my birthday.
    Plus I got to meet Gill briefly for the first time and cheer home lots of my friends before dashing off to find my family again before any prizes were handed out.
    Then on Sunday it was another trundle around the Common but pushing one of my sons around in his buggy. The combination of a couple of hilly trail runs has left my legs a bit tired today but it felt like a fun weekend’s running.

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  9. On Sunday I bought a new pair of Mizuno Wave Horizon 2s and decided to break them in with a 14km long run in preparation for a HM in two weeks time. Not a great idea. After 5km I had severe pins and needles in my feet and had to stop to take them off, massage my feet and loosen the laces. They are quite elasticated (the laces, not my feet) and were tighter than I realized. By the time I got home all I could think about was how sore my feet were. When I got in, I immediately filled a bucket with cold water, took off my trainers and socks and plunged my hot, sore feet in. Bliss. I've now got two large matching blisters on the inside of my heels. Great HM training :-/

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  10. Yesterday I ran the Smuttynose Rockfest HM in Hampton Beach, NH with my daughter. She had asked me if I’d like to do it when I was planning to come over to visit, telling me it was a flat and fast course and was a fun HM to do. I had naturally said yes as it’s great to run with her. However, my preparation since getting to the States hadn’t been of the take it easy variety, as I’ve had no rest days in the 10 days of getting here due to running, riding or hiking! So I was just going to enjoy myself.

    We left the house at 5.20am to get there to pick up our race packs and be ready for an 8am start. The weather was good, light winds and an expected temperature at the start of 52F and 60F by the time we finished. Breakfast eaten and last minute preparations taken care of, we got into the back of the 1.50-2.00 pen and waited for the start. When the hooter sounded and we crossed the line it was almost impossible to run as we were packed in like sardines, and it stayed like that for over a mile. The good thing is that the first mile was beautifully slow! We then started to pick our way around other runners as the gaps opened up and I could see that my overall speed was increasing. Given that I had no real plan, I’d got it into my head that anything under 8.40 per mile would be good and when I got to that point I spoke to my daughter and said that I was happy to ease up for fear of blowing. But somehow our pace kept increasing and we got through half way comfortably, though I knew I was running just inside my comfort zone. At about mile 9-10 my daughter had to use one of the portable toilets and we agreed that she would catch me up, so I carried on, somehow running even faster. By then my average speed was into the 8.20’s and whilst I knew I could continue to get faster, my left hip was beginning to shout at me with some discomfort and my right calf was get cramp tremors. Nevertheless, I was expecting my daughter to catch up with me and I kept looking for her as I passed mile 11 but there was no sight. Mile 12 came and went and still no sight, so I stopped for a few seconds and decided to walk until she caught up. It was more important to cross the line together than anything else! Anyway, she did catch up and we ran the last part of the course together, chatting as we had done throughout with high fives as we crossed the line. I was amazed that my time was sub 1.50, only the third time I’ve done this, and a tantalising 85 seconds off my PB. For the record, I came 500th out of 3300+ finishers and 7th in my age group and that was good to know, but the thing that gives me goosebumps is having had such a great run with my daughter, utterly brilliant!


    PS The winner was a female and she looked great! The course had a couple of points were you went back on yourself and between mile 3/4 the eventual winner was leading with another female, who eventually can 4th. We then saw the leaders again when they were between miles 11/12 and the leader was ages ahead of anyone else. She was getting the most enormous cheers as she glided past us. She won in 1.14 and was almost two minutes ahead of second place.


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    1. Well done Pete, great run and time. When it came up on my feed, I thought it surely must be a PB!

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    2. What a wonderful way to run the race and a great reward at the end. I'm well impressed at the way you sat on any desire to go powering on. I need to learn some of that before MiniB gets running.

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    3. Well done Pete! Great result.

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    4. Great run Pete, doesn't sound like it could have gone any better! Maybe a forced slow first mile is the way forward.

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    5. Wins on every level, you got 3 out of 3 according to my list of desirables. Not only that, but if you'd have pushed on (if your daughter wasn't running, say) you could have easily got a PB! The fact that it's in you is a great feeling. Well done! I love holiday running when the pressure feels off, that's when I got my 10k PB this year.

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    6. amazing write-up Pete and super running!

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    7. Have been following the trip and the photos with great pleasure - keep the updates coming!

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    8. It was a fantastic run Pete, your splits were enviable! I was interested in how slow the first mile was when I saw it on Strava - assumed you had the right strategy judging by how well the rest of the run went.

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    9. Thanks everyone.
      The funny thing Gill, is that the only thing i'm usually competitive with is myself and even then, it being enjoyable seems to matter much more.

      SquirbleJ-glad you enjoy the photos. I love taking them!

      kyd-yes, holiday running is great, however, I feel even freer knowing that I've finished working, and I guess that added to my more relaxed approach.

      ThD- we're still HM twins! And it's still a nice feeling!

      Ruby & lovebison-trust me, it wasn't a strategy! But I was as grateful as hell that it turned out that way. Maybe, I'll try that again, and given that I tend to do a lot of progressive running, it might be a method that just suits me.

      Thanks Asta, you always make me feel cheerful, and when you say nice things I have a stupid grin on my face!

      Paul-it's really good to know that a pb was in reach, especially as my head just said "have fun". But it would have come at the cost of having the fun I had. Fun is my real medal!

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  11. Mixed week for me with scrapping over the 50k point but Junior Handsome has caught bronchitis (or so he claims - he's only a little sniffy during the day but at night can somehow only sleep curled up beside Mrs Handsome, relegating my arse to the couch). Anyway, that's had bit of an impact on preparations for the Strausseelauf on Wednesday...underslept with unhealthy eating to just get through the day is not ideal, I'm bloody shattered. We'll see how it goes on the day but I suspect expectations will be managed down pretty quickly!

    Well done to those plodding on through various illnesses.

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    1. yes, there does seem to be a lot of it about affecting runners right now. Wishing you better soon!

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    2. Good luck HD...how far is it?

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    3. Was 9.2k Asta and a solid slog!

      Thanks for the good wishes, Ruby, he's fine and getting punted back into kindergarten tomorrow :-)

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  12. Blackhill park run for me on Saturday where I managed to take 5 seconds off my PB finishing in 25:07. Was aiming to get under 25 but finished 7th overall, which left me absolutely gobsmacked. I've never finished that high up before. To be fair, it was a lower turn out (48) than usual and I think most of the speedier folk must have been away somewhere else.

    Sunday I took off down the path along the River Weir from Frosterley to Wolsingham with a short circuit around fields in Wolsingham before returning along the Weir. Just over 9 mile and bumped into one of my club runners going the other way taking his pointer out for a run. Love this time of year for running.

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  13. Well yes, Wimbledon Windmilers quarter marathon for me! It was a lovely race - perfect weather, fantastic marshalling and route marking (despite my initial fears after my pre-race 25mins easy in the woods that I would get lost)and of course the company and medal giving was second to none. I do have one thing to confess though - out of all the cake options on offer at the end of the race (and there were many) I went for flapjack and walnut&coffee cake. Is that ok? Do I get disowned? I mean, I nearly took the carrot cake but thought better of it.

    Joking aside, I was surprised how well the race went after an absolute stinker of a session earlier in the week. However, I was schooled good and proper by the annoyingly lovely Julia who managed her pace perfectly and went motoring past me up the last hill and then flying off into the home straight. Class act.


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  14. A really great week for me: 40km for the week, and 22 for my long run on Sunday. All at a reasonable pace. I was inspired for my Sunday run by a TV program here called Sub4, where they take three reasonably fit female celebs and train them to run a sub-4 marathon in the space of four months. Saturday was the grand finale - a two-hour special that showed the race in great detail and was completely gripping. In fine Japanese style, none of the three actually made it under four hours (the first came in at 4:04, the second at 4:05, and the third at a nice steady 4:28), but I actually preferred that. It was a celebration of trying your best and it was totally moving.

    Anyway, I was so pleased with my efforts last week that I'm eager to get out there again and get the really long runs in. The plan gives me a break this week - just 13.5km on Sunday morning, but the week after it's back up to 27. Bizarrely, I'm looking forward to it.

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    1. ooh, I like the sound of that show! Well done on your running lately, the temperatures are finally bit more conducive!

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  15. Sunday was my final outing of any distance before next week's Chester marathon: 12 miles at marathon pace +15s, after a week of physio and general cosseting of my hamstring. Started off fine, then after a couple of miles I started to feel a very slight nagging pull. "OK, this is a bit annoying, but no big drama" I thought, before realizing that that was actually my other hamstring. Hamstring Two, we'll call it. Hamstring One got a bit grumbly towards the end, but overall I'm reasonably happy - at least I'm now well-balanced.

    I now have a rather odd feeling of anticipation - I'm quite interested to see what I'm capable of in this slightly injured, slightly under-trained state, but none of the usual maranoia because I know I can't really expect too much. Report next week!

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    1. I'm rather excited to hear what happens. It's always nice hearing someone's report from a race you've done yourself as you can imagine what it's like. Have you done Chester before? I think there's the England Master Champs as part of it again this year.

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    2. Good luck LB. Looking forward to hearing how you get on.

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    3. Best of luck to you next week LB - will be willing you onwards!

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    4. Thanks all. Gill, this will actually be my first visit to Chester full-stop, let alone for marathon-running purposes. When I was scouting out potential autumn races I read your blog from last year's race and would be very happy with a similar result, even with no passengers on board!

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    5. Aaagh, Hamstring 2, The Sequel!! I know what you mean LB, at various points during my anguish about whether I'd be able to run York or not (before I KNEW I couldn't) I was curious to see how it might play out and felt far more relaxed about the whole deal than a previous 20 week training invested pinnacle event! (that was scuppered by the weather, I'll not mention it again).

      I hope you get the other 2 points on my list, you never know about the third! Best of luck : )

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    6. My local marathon and one I've marshalled in the past, but sadly I can't be there in person to cheer you on LB, so I'll be thinking about you. Have a great time and finish strong on the racecourse!

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    7. Good luck. Look forward to hearing how it goes!

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    8. 'none of the usual maranoia'

      the grumbling hamstring2 is a perfect example of maranoia!

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    9. @asta I stand (nervously massaging the backs of my legs) corrected.

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    10. they'd probably benefit more from wine at this point!

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    11. Good luck LB! Will be looking out eagerly on Strava.

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    12. Rub wine into your hamstrings?

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  16. Going freelance was the best thing I ever did, Kate. More time on your hands for midweek long runs, going to live in Spain for a year, no office politics, midweek pub lunches with a couple of pints... I could go on! I'm also lucky enough to be - currently - earning more than I ever did when I was tied in to the drudgery of a nine to five existence.

    Back to the running. It was an easy week last week as I got over a few tired-leg niggles after my 52km race the weekend before. Doms, a tight calf, and an annoying blister restricted me to 40-ish miles in total, 95% of which was along trails. After legging it up mountains for 14 months in northern Spain, my running motivation since coming back has been hard to locate at times. It is, however, starting to come back... which is good with a couple of races on the horizon. I've completely forgotten my old routes (accidentally on purpose, out with the old and all that) and started to do new, regular ones, which has helped immensely.

    Anyway, some good running this weekend. None more so than over in the US as BHP ran a fantastic half. Happy running one and all.


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    1. Thanks Mark. We did some gentle hiking around Acadia National Park on Monday. My legs were a mixture of sore and tired but I seemed to have a smile on my face all day due to the scenery and how my race had gone!

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  17. Running my first half at Oxford this Sunday. Started this year with 5k the furthest I'd run, having started parkrun last year. Gradually worked my way up to 10k, just in time for a local race (from which I learnt a lot, i.e. drank far too much water in the morning and ran the 10k absolutely bursting for the loo!)

    I'm really comfortable at 10k, but not so much for 21, but hopefully the 'on the day' spirit will kick in. I think I've better ways of preparing myself now, and always push harder when in amongst others.

    Reading this blog and all of your comments has helped me so much this year. Your descriptions of your training and race experiences inspires and gives a real insight for others, so thank you!


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    1. Good luck on Sunday, I'm sure you'll enjoy it - I've done Oxford twice and it's a really good course. And get in the loo queues early as there's a bit of a walk from the race village to the start!

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    2. I'm excited for you. Oxford was my first half too and it was a great experience. Good luck.

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    3. The lack of bogs close to the start is the only bad thing about the Oxford HM... or so they say. There are public toilets on a road parallel to the start (Market Street). They open pretty early. Good luck!

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    4. Good luck! I hear nothing but good things about Oxford HM.

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  18. Having waited ALL DAY for this yesterday I'm now on the verge of rushing out for a long bike ride. But I will return to read everyone's adventures properly and recount my own (it's not that exciting).

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    1. Is there no way we can change the blog post-times from the US setting? I was briefly very impressed by you going for a long bike ride at 2am...!

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    2. I hope I'm able to run with you next week Ruby!

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    3. Ha! HD I hadn't noticed that. Kyd I hope so too. South-east London at 6am won't be half as inviting without you with me.

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    4. South-east anywhere at 6am doesn't sound inviting to me!!

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  19. Easing back into running after Berlin. Just 6kms on Monday and then parkrun at Newbury on Saturday where I realised I'd forgotten my watch - I can't remember the last time I ran without one. I was hoping for sub 24 (reasonably quick for me) so tried not to go out too fast and to find a comfortable pace, but I think that my best efforts were made in the first couple of kms as I was just hanging on by the end. So I was slightly surprised by 23:14 which was a SB for that course and only 20s off my best time there. Maybe I should go Garmin-free more often.

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    1. Congrats on your time! I always run parkrun watch free (well, I wear a wristband over it so I still have the data). If I run at Southwark Park, for example, the GPS is always out so it has had me in bits trying to reach pace I was probably already at! At that distance you can afford to give it all you've got, or feel prepared to give on the day, rather than check pace on the fly. It can be disheartening to see you're not quite up to pace and can lead to slacking off, or the opposite I suppose. To each his own!

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  20. I had a couple of runs on the weekend - my first session since Berlin, where I ran 5.56 pace around a hilly 9.2 mile loop on the Saturday evening, then 90 minutes on Sunday morning, followed by a hike around Box Hill in the late morning with the family. I have now picked up a cold - there seems to be a lot of it about. Still, the speed of the Saturday night session gives me hope that I can do something competitive at the Cabbage Patch 10 later this month. The Saturday night session is one that I have sometimes substituted in for a (time-trialled) parkrun two weeks before a marathon, so it was good/surprising to PR the route by 22s/mile. There wasn't much difference in my (2+ mile) hill climbing time, but on the flat and downhill my cruising speed for the perceived effort was really good.

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  21. Finally back up to some decent weekly mileage. Went out for a 16k on Sunday that turned into 19.5 k because I was having a nice time. I am still reaping the benefits of my marathon block. I'm feeling in quite fine fettle, and hope to translate that into a good mountainous 27k race in a few weeks and (possibly) a 61k at the beginning of November. But then I have promised myself to take it seriously easy for a while, no more racing for the rest of 2018.

    In case anyone is wondering, this sort of race schedule is what happens when you have a nice time at a marathon and look for other fall races in the airport on the way back.

    I am still having some niggles in my right foot/leg, I am starting to suspect it is more of an Achilles thing than a plantar fascia thing. It would be most reasonable to go to the doctor instead of guessing but based on last time nothing will come of that anyway since my leg isn't actually falling off or anything. I feel like I could benefit from some preventative physical therapy or something, which I would be happy to pay for, but can't figure out if that's really a thing that's available here in Austria.

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    1. Surely they must have sports doctors out there who would be far more interested in your leg being attached and able to perform! In my experience, definitely get niggles looked at, saves heaps of time and heartache later. Good luck!

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    2. I can't believe it's not available in Austria...

      A quick Google suggests it might even be easier if it's preventative rather than to treat an injury (http://www.wien-physio.at/frequently-asked-questions/)

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  22. Have to say i know your feeling Kate as i've been effectively freelance since moving to Paris. The french lessons however give me a bit of structure at least but does give a lot more flexibility than a normal 9-5 job.
    After all the running last week, this weekend was a bit quiet for me, just a 14km taper (long) run as had a lie in instead of parkrun. My achilles is playing up again, possibly over did it last week with the two running groups, which is a little annoying as it's race week. But saying that, i have no expectations or particular aims for this race as i've not been in the best shape with the move and the back niggle last month so i'm just going to try to enjoy it and hope the achilles isn't too bothersome. Damn this being keen!

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  23. I'm back! Did 34 very breezy miles on the bike but there was a whopping slice of chocolate orange cake half way round which helped. Such a lovely way to spent an autumn day, and an almost-big birthday.

    My weekend running was restricted to parkrun, which I've not done in ages. I thought I'd suffer but actually it was pretty decent and although I came in a minute off my PB it wasn't as bad as I'd expected it to be, and was a beautiful morning into the bargain. I did stumble down a rabbit hole near the start which was fairly entertaining for most people. Afterwards I jogged another three miles with a friend who's doing Oxford tomorrow and needed some nerves steadying. So nice to go at a pace where you can just chat and not have to think about breathing.

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  24. Monday got away from me before I had time to post.

    I ran with a very sore right arm last week due to a giant bruise (on my tiny forearm) after being on the receiving end of a high-velocity hoof. I couldn't swim or fence for a few days but I made no excuses for running. Now the arm is quite colorful and hurts only occasionally.

    Much of the week was total downpour. This resulted in a Friday night tempo run on the treadmill. Let me tell you, that was so much fun. Saturday managed to be decent so I got in a solid hour mostly on (wet) grass. On Sunday, I ran 12k at the local gorge, all up and down and rocks and roots and deer and turkeys and raptors. That was nice.

    I think I'll aim for a race next week but not sure where. I feel like I'm starting to see some real gains from my workouts and it's time to test that out.

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  25. Great Scottish Run 10k - my first "proper" 10k race as the only other one I'd done was at Glentress and was very hilly - time for that was 58.52.

    Did some interval training on Wed before and felt really good - like the training was finally working. My original aim was 55 mins, so I tempted fate by targeting 50 mins instead.

    After a shambles involving a cancelled train, I actually made it to the start line nice and early and there was plenty of space in the wave I was placed in, and then everyone got moved forward and I found myself near the 45 minute pacer. Ooops, bit too far forward.

    The run starts with a bit of a hill and being a lightweight, I found myself (against all advice) setting off fast and overtaking others, feeling very good. Obviously this wasn't going to last, but I decided to keep with the 45 minute pacer as long as I felt okay. He gradually moved away from me as a slipped back through the field but I felt comfortable throughout, steadying out at my target 5km/min pace.

    It was only in the last 2km that I felt in trouble, the early fast start catching up with me, but I held out and finished with 48.53 (sort of taking 10 minutes off my PB - but does that count if I've only done it once before?)

    I looped back to the start in time to see the Half Marathon start and it looked fantastic. Big crowds. Next year the HM !

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  26. Very well done though describing the St Vincent St start as a "bit of a hill" is akin to saying Everest is a "bit of a mountain."

    That said, it was short enough that the year I did it I actually found the motorway sliproad much tougher.

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  27. For those interested in this sort of thing, letsrun has some excellent build-up to Chicago. You do, however, enter the actual forums at your own risk...

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    1. Gosh yes... there's some good stuff in there but the forums.. oh heck. My favourite is the 'why do all women want babies and then complain' thread. Though luckily someone replied with why do all runners want to run and then complain.
      Of course you could always go check out the women's race preview on my blog too ;) #shamelessplug http://www.blandontherun.com/new-blog-2/2018/10/2/bank-of-america-chicago-marathon-preview

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