Marathon weekend in the Big Apple




So there I was, last Wednesday lunchtime, contemplating a thrilling weekend tackling the laundry mountain and possibly even starting on the mess in the attic eaves. A few emails and about 12 hours later, I'm on a plane to New York. What a whirlwind!

Anyone who has asked me advice on the best headphones will know that I do tend to bang on about Jaybird ones, so my love for them definitely predates hanging out with them in New York, but I think we can safely say it's gone up a notch. Of course, around the big city marathons, a lot of brands will plan sort of satellite events and pop ups - you could quite easily do a marathon's worth of shakeout runs with all the different brands, crews and clubs the day before the race, and exhaust your poor legs checking them out. But fortunately for me, I got all the fun of marathon weekend without the actual having to run 26.2 miles bit.


Jaybird's pop up was in Brooklyn, and as well as numerous shake out runs, film screenings and a party, there was a brave/insane chap who decided to sign up to demonstrating the 14 hour battery life of the new Tarah Pro by running non-stop on a treadmill outside the store. For 14 hours. There must, surely, have been a point when he was really preying the claim was nonsense and they conked out after 8 hours. No such luck ... They - and he - lasted the full 14 hours. I saw him the next day in the hotel - and mega kudos to him, he even took the stairs rather than the lift. As I said, brave/insane.

There was also a rather lovely 'experience' that anyone could sign up to, in which you lay on a hammock having a 10 minute Headspace meditation, followed by a gentle run on a treadmill with Zwift, through a virtual Central Park.


Oh, and then there was the Tracksmith shakeout run from their own pop-up in Soho, and the Runners World party, and the New Balance stuff, and the expo and .. and... All this, before we even get to the main event - Sunday's marathon.

I started Sunday early (jet lag is excellent for early runs) with my own tribute to New York - a half marathon route across the Williamsburg Bridge (GOD that bridge is steep at the start) then around the bottom of Manhattan before cutting back across the middle. It was utterly glorious - freezing but sunny, with the sun rising and the streets almost empty. Well, as empty as they ever get in New York. I even passed the Staten Island ferry terminal and shouted good luck to quite a few startled and nervous looking marathoners about to get the ferry across to the start.


Then back to the hotel, quick shower, and out in time to see the elite women fly past through Brooklyn. Breakfast, then back out to see if I could spot any of my club mates or friends running. What an incredible atmosphere the race has. Completely different from London, or indeed anywhere else I've run. When I ran New York, back in 2014, the weather was atrocious. It was utterly freezing, with a vicious headwind most of the way. This also had the knock-on effect of subduing the turn out for support - I certainly don't remember anything like the crowds lining the streets this time around. It made me desperate to do the race again - though it also reminded me how tough a course it is. Those bridges, those undulations, all make for surely the 'hardest' by some way of the World Majors (of course,  I've not done Boston yet...)

Given that this debrief is approaching marathon-length, I won't go on too much longer. I wrapped up my perfect Sunday with a trip to the Met, a spot of present-shopping and a final night out with the Jaybird team. Then back yesterday, and back to normal today. Unless, of course, anyone wants to send me a last minute email inviting me somewhere ...

And at last, over to you. Tell me all about your weekend running!

Comments

  1. That sounds a very enjoyable junkit indeed.

    I missed the marathon (and still can't find it anywhere?) which was a shame as it had looked like being the women's race of the year for months. The second half from Keitany was insane but as always plenty of other stories all around to pique the interest.

    Anyway, I was ending my own season with a slog around and over Hasenheide...about 3 mins 45 secs quicker than last year but still no place in the top half. Humbug. I have a glorious two weeks of planking my arse on the sofa trying to get fat coming up so if anyone has any reading recommendations...

    Well done to all those shuffling wherever and whatever speed.

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    1. Are you fattening yourself up for Christmas HD? I'd recommend This is Going to Hurt and Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly Fine as two great reads.

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    2. I thought I'd replied to this already - odd. Anyway, ta for the tips.

      Hopefully I'll have lost whatever I gain again by Xmas!

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    3. Silly me. I thought a book titled This is Going to Hurt must be about running. So disappointed to find it's a medical agony memoir. ;)

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    4. Ha, I thought exactly the same.

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    5. Sorry guys. I thought you meant just general reading! My favourite running books are 'What I Talk About...' and 'Running with Kenyans', but I assumed every serious runner (and Guardian reader) would have read those.

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  2. 32km for me on Sunday morning, and it was only OK. I think I was feeling a bit cocky after how well my 28km run had gone two weeks previously, and I left the house with just a single gel in my pocket, 150 yen for a bottle of juice halfway round, and a vague plan to drink from a couple of water fountains along the way.

    I started off about 20 or 30 seconds per km faster than I’d planned, and although half of me was thinking I ought to slow down, the other half was egging me on, telling me I might be able to keep it up.

    By about 15km, I knew I wasn’t feeling quite as good as I had during the 28km, and after the water fountains, I had a long stretch of over 10k without anything to drink. I’d got it into my head that I wanted red label coke and nothing else would do, but none of the 3 million vending machines I passed stocked it.

    I eventually went for Calpis Water, being 10 yen short for Pocari Sweat, but even after refuelling, by 25k I was feeling decidedly dodgy. After a couple of judicious walk breaks and a big drop in pace, I felt OK again, and I finished reasonably strong. My average pace ended up being quite good, at 5:52 per km, but the way I achieved it was less than ideal.

    I have one last long’un, 35k in two weeks’ time, and so an opportunity to put right what I got wrong this time round by keeping to a steady pace and eating and drinking sensibly and according to a plan, rather than randomly and haphazardly.

    I’ve also developed a quite nasty niggle at the back of my left thigh. I’m hoping rolling and stretching will be enough to keep it at bay, but it’s slightly worrying.

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    1. Pocari Sweat sounds completely disgusting TD!

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    2. This experience is exactly what training runs are for! Glad that you got out of it with a good learning experience but probably no lasting damage.

      I am not able to rely on water fountains where I am so I tend to carry a hydration vest, and then I have a pocket for a few gels. I've heard lots of different methods including stashing water bottles along planned routes, or doing a shorter lap with lots of water fountains a few times.

      Sending you well wishes as well in the hopes that that niggle is nothing serious!

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    3. Great distance and overall speed ThD. Obviously there will be drink stations etc for your race, so that's something you won't have to worry about. Just take a few yen more and a couple of gels with you on you last long training run. I'm sure it's going to go well!

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    4. It’s delicious Ruby! The sweat of the majestic pocari :) It’s actually just a grapefruity sports drink with an unfortunate Japanese name. My absolute favourite unfortunate Japanese naming story is the department store in Osaka which, in time for the New Year sale, manufactured a huge batch of carrier bags printed with the words “Big Fucking Sale!” They just thought the f-word was used for more emphasis (which I suppose it is, in a way). Makes me laugh every time I think about it.

      Just woke up and the niggle is much reduced. I’ll keep my eye on it.

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    5. Hahaha! That's brilliant. I'm surprised it didn't make the news over here.

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  3. Hello, a few days to go to the Cheshire 10k and my last week's training has been on the SW Coast path around Cornwall whilst on holiday. I managed a couple of runs and a few long walks, a couple of which I tracked on my Garmin/Strava, mainly so I could post pictures. Foolishly I thought being coastal it would be flatter than it is - what a fool! All those coves to go down to and back up again and my calves and hips are suffering but when back in flat Cheshire this weekend I felt the benefit as my pace has picked up. Unfortunately Cornish running fuel is mainly pasties and cider so I will be smuggling a holiday baby around the course on Saturday. Well done to all the NY marathoners and happy running, everyone.

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    1. I know what you mean. It's like a day in the mountains even though you never get that high up. Every stream cutting the cliffs means down to sea level and back up again afterward. Easy to rack up significant ascent. At least there are regular pasty/ice cream/beer/cider stops, so you don't have to carry so much.

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  4. Never ever run while listening to music and would prefer not to, so I'll take your word for it on the Jaybirds. Actually, I wonder how Nurse With Wound would affect my running...

    I'm dealing with ITB issues at the moment, but things seem to be moving in the right direction. I'm doing the right exercises (glutes, hips, etc) and I can do about 60 minutes pain-free running every other day at roughly 4:20-min kilometres with hills. I did attempt consecutive runs at the weekend, but I bailed during Sunday's after feeling a slight twinge in my knee. I'm actually using this period with injury to rein things back in and cut back on the intensity and distance until the end of the year to freshen things up and assess what I want to do in 2019.

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    1. Hi Mark, if you can, pay attention to cadence and aim to keep closer to 180 spm. This really helped me get back in the game after severe ITB last year (along with addressing biomechanics and strengthening exercises as you mentioned). All the best with it, it's a real fun sponge.

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    2. I run with music when I'm alone, but obviously not with other people or in races - and actually on long solo runs I listen to podcasts on the radio. It just helps me drift off into my own little world. However, I actually probably use headphones most just for life stuff! Long battery life headphones are a lifesaver on long flights when the bloke next to you is World Champion Manspreader 2018 and wants to talk to you for six hours, I can tell you..

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    3. Hi KYD, I did read somewhere that a low cadence is a contributory factor... and that chimes with the fact that I've been doing long, slow runs of late (well, if 'of late' can mean 'for the past two years'). I've just been chatting to a running former-colleague and I told him that I think transitioning the running style from being a 'mountain runner' to being a 'flat runner' (for want of a better expression) is to blame.

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    4. I'm very happy to listen to the sounds around me as well Mark. However, I was intrigued by your reference to Nurse with Wound, so I looked for them. Ha! Ha! I'd fall over very quickly if I listened to that.

      Hope that your ITB continues to improve.

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  5. Well after reading all about Kate's weekend of running and highlights mine pales into insignificance!

    Very enjoyable 15 miler on Saturday morning, perfect autumnal weather, a bit chilly but sunny and no wind, the colours of the leaves at optimum loveliness!

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  6. I spent Sunday tracking a friend and clubmate doing the NY Marathon. It looked and sounded incredible, and I'd love to do it some day. She came in about 7 minutes under her PB though, so I'll believe you that it's a tough course.

    I incorporated parkrun into a long off-roader on Saturday morning. Nothing dramatic to report, other than I felt utterly spent after 9 miles and had to give myself a good talking to to get me through to 11. No idea why I felt so tired, as despite upping the pace for the three parkrun miles I'd not done anything reckless so no reason for flaking. Although my over-enthusiastic allotment digging on Friday afternoon has left me with the residue of a back niggle which I sensibly rested yesterday in anticipation of a four-mile tempo tonight.

    In other news, a friend who's also a coach is putting together a plan for the Bright marathon for me, so that's exciting. He's promised me fewer back-to-back runs and more variety within the long ones, so I'm 'looking forward' to that. Can't believe I'm taking myself down that road again...

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    1. Yay!! Do you mean Brighton marathon? I'm signed up for my first marathon about a month before then, Shamrock in Virginia Beach. I can't believe I'm doing this either, having watched friends do marathon training over the winter last year...

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    2. Yes, Brighton marathon on April 14th (hadn't realised I'd typed 'Bright'!) We can compare training runs!

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    3. You were just thinking of nice weather.....Bright. Hopefully it will be and not too hot or windy either.

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    4. I winced when I read about your digging exploits ruby, as my back responds similarly to those kinds of activity, and then makes swim/bike/run "uncomfortable". I hope your tempo run goes well.

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    5. @TheSkipper - that's it! My mind is already skipping over the icy training runs to come. @Pete - I should know better really, but when I'm in the middle of digging it's easy to forget what might come after. There's not much that's less satisfying than a well-dugover allotment (unless it's an allotment in midsummer bursting with produce).

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    6. Dont fuck around with your back RGG...sit with a thermos full of something nice and watch the family do the digging next time!

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    7. I know Asta, I know... Advice will be followed.

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  7. Watching the NYC Marathon was the clear winner for highlight of my running week! The whole weekend of the Marathon in NYC is amazing. It's the only marathon I've watched in person* so I wondered how it compared to London. For my Sunday long-ish run, I followed some of the route through Brooklyn while final preparations were underway. Bands and bake sales setting up along the footpath; officials waiting at the timing mats; cops at intersections being swamped by excited Orthodox children. I got a selfie with the people working the elite drinks station! There were tons of cyclists and some impressive roller bladers out, taking advantage of the road closures. I calculated that the wheelchair racers would arrive soon after I finished, so I waited at the top of a hill, around mile 9, to cheer for Madison de Rozario and Kurt Fearnley. It was so interesting to see the two races at that relatively early stage. There was a huge gap in the men's between the first group of three and the next group. Kurt was in the latter. Knowing nothing about wheelchair racing, I wondered how hard it would be to make up that kind of distance. It turns out: too hard. The women's race was both more and less spread out - the packs weren't as tightly clustered, and there was less space between them.

    After breakfast and a shower I made my way into Manhattan to catch the elite women near the finish. I got an amazing spot in the sun just near mile 25, right on the inside bend, so those running the tangents came right next to me! It was amazing to see all these women I've read about, in person, looking so strong and put together even at that stage in the race.

    In the meantime I'd been reading twitter to track how the race was unfolding. I literally didn't see Vivian Cheruiyot's name once until she and Shalane were in battle for silver. Was she in the lead pack during the first half? Every tweet I read described its members as Mary Keitany, several of the American women, and "some others". I wanted to know how Lisa Weightman was going, but apparently non-Americans are only of interest if they are Mary Keitany. Even then, as others pointed out, she doesn't get a name in the NYT's cover photo.

    So many other excellent running-related stories from this week - I could write all morning. I'm definitely on a running-spectator high right now.

    *Scratch that. I got to watch the women's start during the Sydney Olympics. That was cool.

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    1. Your Strava photos were so cool Brussels, looks and sounds as though you had a fine day out. I've spectated London and also thoroughly enjoyed it. Although I wish I was running it in 2019 I'm already looking forward to going down to watch again.

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    2. That definitely sounds like a high Brussels! It's great when you can use part of a course as is being set up because of how friendly everyone is, it's like a parade/circus/fair is coming to town. Whilst not running, we experienced it earlier this year riding on the Paris-Roubaix route. It gives you the shivers!

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  8. That sounds quite the trip indeed, I was in London last week for the Rouleur Classic so apart from a 6 mile club run on Tuesday (not fast not slow just nice) I did little exercise bar walking. I was home by Sunday though and watched the coverage on Eurosport, glad I wasn't doing it but it looked great and if you are going to suffer you may as well do it somewhere iconic

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  9. Do I sound a klaxon? What if I'm too tired to? Anyway, a new endurance/distance personal best.

    I ran 61 kilometers in Vienna this weekend, that's the "Halbe G'schicht", or half the story, as the full distance is 130 kilometers! I walked more than I had planned on, especially after about kilometer 35, but in general the whole thing went about as well as I expected because I knew that my buildup had not been perfectly ideal for a very impressive pace. However, I got through it, and I am happy with that.

    I would do some ultra distance again but maybe not this particular race, as there was a lot more road than I expected and it really tore up my legs.

    What's the plan now? No plan, just an off-season with lots of cake. I don't plan to take more than a week or two completely off of running but after that it's more just base maintenance for the rest of the winter. I'm looking forward to the training break, I feel that I've earned it and also that I quite badly need it.

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    1. That's a pretty good way to earn your off-season maintenance osmenog- well deserved!

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  10. My 7 week stay in the USA is coming to an end, I’m flying home tomorrow, Wednesday, but I’ve got another 5.6 miles to run between now and then in order to have averaged 25 miles per week. So, as soon as I’ve woken up properly I’m getting out in the rain to get those miles done. Now, if I ran 25 miles for 2 consecutive weeks prior to coming over here I’d have been doing well, so achieving it for 7 weeks is a huge step up for me and it’s felt really good, though, truthfully, my legs are a bit tired! That said, I’ve not swum in that time and the amount of cycling has been quite limited, so the swim/bike routine will be recommencing and the running will likely reduce a bit.

    But the highlights of the break with regards to running have been:
    Running with my daughter a lot
    Getting to run with fellow blog contributor nondescriptive/Brussels
    Lots of hill work
    Getting to run in some amazing places
    Eating and drinking really, really well but somehow not gaining any weight
    Taking part in a couple of races, including a trail race at night

    I’ll have a couple of weeks of unstructured swim/bike/run when I get home, then in early December I’ll start to train for a half distance triathlon in May 2019. Now that’s a bit scary!

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    1. Honoured to make your list, BHP!

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    2. It was fun Brussels. There should be more fun in the world!

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    3. safe flight home Pete. I hope Friday goes well for you and your family. x

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  11. Hello all - after three weeks doing absolutely sod-all (first two recovery from Chester, the third virus-dictated) I finally got back running last week, very gently with 3 x 5 mile runs. Felt good to get back at it, though the fitness-loss was pretty obvious! I'm going to slowly work back up to some proper mileage, starting my next marathon plan in December - I needed the break as much mentally as physically. Which is just as well as I managed to sprain my ankle on Saturday, enforcing a few more days rest. Anyway, apologies for the radio silence, I'll be back on here regularly!

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    1. Oh no, that's a bummer LB! Hope you recover and heal quickly.

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  12. Still getting back slowly. Some 5Ks in the week and tried another 10K on Saturday. This time the shoulder did not ache as much, which is progress.

    Hopefully running hilly 10s will make flatter 5s faster. I need to shave 3 minutes off to get back to where I was pre-crash - 21:30. However after 2 weeks back running the first minute has gone, just 2 more to go!

    Then it is a question of whether I can get down to the magic 20 minutes before a 'significant' birthday next summer. Probably need to do some proper training to achieve that, rather than just running when I have a bit of spare time.

    On another note, I signed up for my first ever Strava challenge.....just 22,000 other people after 40 London places from this promo.....

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  13. We had a friend (previous clubmate) running NY and he's taken it pretty seriously with a 3month sabbatical to train in Uganda for a bit and then the US, all to break the mighty impressive 2h30 barrier and he did it in style too, 2h28 and he even beat Chris Thompson!

    Well done to anyone else who raced it! Hope you are having well deserved cake now!

    My weekend running was as part of a relay team for the Paris Ekiden (a marathon split up between 6 people with 5km stints, 10km stints and a 7+km stint to make up the rest) with Julia from these pages! it was a really fun atmosphere but quite weirdly organised in that we didn't really understand where the hell to go and our team included Mr Messepip, me and Julia who are all pretty old hands at big races these days. We did pretty well considering - 3hr 14 in total, mainly due to 2 speedy 5km stints from Mr Messepip and a speedy 10km time from Julia. If i'm honest i was a little disappointed with my time, despite being my 2nd fastest 10km time on record, but this is because i feel like i've improved so much over the past 5 months since the last race...oh well! Just a push to train better/harder!

    In other running news, Mr messepip and i had a bank holiday trip to Le Havre (a really ugly town btw) and went for a run together (a rare thing as Mr messepip is so much faster than me) and we ran past and then stopped to say hello to President Macron and his wife who were out for a walk along the beach! He was very nice but i did not clock him at all until Mr Messepip said he heard someone was talking about the president being there. I was very relieved he didn't say much more to me than Bonjour as was worried i'd be embarrassed if i didn't understand what he said in french. Was very cool 'bumping' into them! Put a smile on my face for the rest of the evening!

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    1. Wow! That's a great story about President Macron. I know almost nothing at all about his politics but he has a nice smile! So I hope you both got a pleasant greeting from him.

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    2. The Paris Ekkiden looked fun! On the bucket list of races for another year..
      Kudos to your friend for a storming time in New York. Especially as (I cannot say this enough) it really is a brutal course for PB attempts.
      As for Chris Thompson.. I don't think I've ever seen such a spectacular blow up from an elite athlete. The last split was at 8 min mile pace! I mean, kudos to him for finishing of course but at the same time... very odd that he did. He blew up at somewhere between 30 and 35k, and stopping them would have significantly increased his recovery time and odds of a better time perhaps in a month or two. Strange!

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    3. @breezehillpete yes he does have a nice smile and it was definitely on display. They did just say bonjour and seemed out for a nice stroll together. I don't know a huge about his politics either other than he's generally centrist which in France is a good thing.
      @katecarter Ekiden was fun but very weird as unless you are super speedy you're never running with people your own speed so constantly overtaking/being overtaken. As for Chris Thompson didn't realise he blew up but it makes sense if he was that "slow"...does sound a bit odd to have kept going if it was that bad. Maybe he just really wanted the medal like the rest of us? 馃ぃ

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  14. I ran a tiny bit further and a tiny bit faster than the week before.

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  15. I remember when I first ran the along the Hudson from Chelsea down to Battery Park, I had no idea what to expect, it was pitch black (5:30 am) and freezing cold but I was jet lagged and itching to find out. It was the most glorious spectacle, to date, on an adventure run as the dawn slowly began to break into a crisp sunny morning revealing some fantastic sights and a perfect runway delivered by the Hudson Greenway for most of the route and going out on to some of the piers for further exploration. Breath taking! I still try and get on work related jaunts as often as possible for the running alone.

    My week’s running has felt fantastic as I’m actually doing it again. A little sore, not from the toe, but from achy muscles and I remind them of what they used to do without complaint. It’s never plain sailing coming back after 4 weeks but I’m too happy about it to let it interfere. Another 1-2 weeks and I reckon I will start to feel a bit more relaxed and pick up some speed, at the moment I’m content with podcast pootles every other day, slowly building up distance. Bliss!

    Oh, and that's with Jaybirds, I'm also a fan! I'll have to check out the Tarah's ... a newer version, almost my namesake huh?!

    p.s. Kate - World Champion Manspreader 2018, nearly spat my coffee out!

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    1. the joy of sore muscles! glad it's starting to click again kyd!

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    2. Hurrah! Good to have you back back back.

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  16. Just parkrun this weekend, back on my home course after touristing last weekend. The winter puddles have started to appear starting the course's transition to its winter mud and puddle best.

    Other than that, starting to book up next year: a 30 mile run/walk, 2 marathons, 2 halfs, a marathon weekend (10m/10m/10k), a 10 miler and a swimrun entered so far...

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  17. It's now Tuesday. Struggling to remember just how was my weekend running.

    I ran a bit outside and a bit inside. Time and light considerations. Foot hurt most of last week with the bruised sole from my nightmare road race flashing disco experience so my runs were on the easy side. I cursed that damn race every time I finished and the foot throbbed for a few hours. But it seems better now. Perhaps having so little time to run at the moment is proving to be a good thing.

    Might run an 8k trail race on the weekend but will avoid being racy to aggravate the foot.

    I watched some of NY Marathon. It's quite thrilling how the American women are on the rise in terms of numbers and competitiveness. Shalane Flanagan is a very special runner who we probably won't see out there like this again. Mary Keitany and Vivian C put in amazing times but I don't know, I just can't shake my disbelief.

    I'll also say that NYC is really not on my list of favorite cities or even on the list of cities I think are okay. I don't like it. I might run 26.2 miles to get out of NYC but to stay within its limits? Holy hell!

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  18. Skipped last week’s blog - was back at work, but still suffering with sore stiff shoulder so keen to avoid more screentime after a day sat at a computer. Plus, I’d only done one run, not mich to talk about!
    Bit better now - sports massage worked wonders on the shoulder last week, more booked in for tomorrow. Couple of short easy runs in the week, and a 5mile hilly bastard of a run (i.e. great winter route) at the weekend.

    Managed back to the gym for the first time in an age yesterday - s&c is the focus for the next few weeks. As part of that I’ve my first swimming lesson for about 30years tomorrow night. Missed the first 3 weeks with shoulder, and not sure how it’ll hold up, but reckon even listening I’ll pick up some tips. My crawl is terrible, even worse than i remember, so cracking that is the aim.

    The New York pics all looked great. And as a Jaybird bluetooth headphone user myself, can confirm they are awesome.

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  19. A disappointing weekend as far as running is concerned. My sore foot continued to be sore, but I thought I could just ignore it, so I ran a (for me) fairly fast 5k on Sunday, which made it feel a whole lot worse. Stupid, really. I don't know what I've done to it, but it hurts like hell.
    Podiatrist appointment on Thursday for an opinion.... so no running this week.

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  20. Whoops, got to Wednesday already - sorry :-)

    There's been a lot of cake-eating in my household over the weekend, four birthdays over ten days - good job it's the off-season for me. My running at the weekend was definitely in the maintenance mode, a run late on Saturday on the flattest route I could think of, then a longer run on Sunday evening just to try and match calories out to calories in. I've had a bit of an odd left hip in the past three weeks, which seems to be irritated by fast running. So I've just been trying one speed session a week recently, with the rest being easy/steady running. After last night's club session - 5k pace work, it seems like it is improving.

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  21. My running this weekend was a bit of a disaster (don’t ask) but New York marathon sound like an awesome one.

    Speaking of memorable marathons, it looks a little quiet in the comments section this week so I thought I could chip in with my marathon du Medoc report that I never posted in September.

    I can honestly say it was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. For the funfair fancy dress theme, me and my partner went as candy floss which incidentally is my favourite French word: barbe a papa. It sounds hilarious shouted at you from spectators and the literal translation is ‘Dad’s beard’. Our wigs which looked like something even a certain madame Antoinette would be proud of, remarkably remained in their magnificent baby pink state the entire 6 hrs it took us to mosey around the course. Other efforts were phenomenal: from the sheer volume of rubber ducks pushing a ‘chariot’ containing a giant 6ft rubber duck to an incredibly realistic rendering of a bumper car.

    Over the 42.2km, there were 22 chateaux stops for wine, a similar number of musical ‘spectacles’ and breakfast followed by a 4 course meal. Croissants and chocolatine at 2km and, spaced along the final third of the course, oysters (seriously!), steak, cheeses, and icecream for desert!

    As might be conveyed from the above, the mood was wonderful. Everybody was having such fun; the volunteers, the wine and food distributors, the spectators and of course the runners. The near 30deg heat served only to slow everyone down making the atmosphere even more festive. The theme next year is super heroes… who’s in?

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    1. This sounds like so much fun. And that's really a great french word. I'm tempted by the superhero theme. Hmm...

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    2. That sounds like the kind of event that could tempt me to run a marathon!

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    3. Do it guys! I recommend keeping an eye on the website toward the end of March - spaces fill up really quickly.

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