No, windy! The Big Half, big weather and big miles



The last stretch of the Big Half, towards the Cutty Sark. Copyright: The Vitality Big Half


When my eldest daughter was a toddler, there was an inclement week or so much like we are having now - lots of strong winds blustering and gusting. Despite being tucked up nice and warm in her buggy on the way to nursery, she took this weather as a personal affront and starting shouting "Noooo windy! NOOOO WINDY!" as if only a stern enough word would make it stop. It's become one of those phrases that stays with you as a family. Yesterday, doing the Big Half, it went round and round my head. Though possibly not as much as it did for this brave chap.

I did the race as part of a longer run, so had no time goals beyond trying to run it at marathon pace. I really struggled to get anywhere near that, so certainly not a vintage day for me. Massive kudos to anyone who PB-ed or ran a good time, because it wasn't easy to get into any kind of rhythm. There was a comedy moment going over Tower Bridge when a powerful sideways gust barrelled into us, managing to somehow tangle my legs together. "Oi, who kicked me?" I thought. "Oh, wait .. it was me".


Aside from Tower Bridge, I have to say I didn't think much of the course. Not in terms of whether or not it's a fast one but just that it seemed to involve all the dullest bits of the London Marathon route, with a bonus mile in a tunnel. I suppose at least the tunnel was wind-free ... My miles after it finished were even worse - I had planned to try and go back along the river but of course forgot there was a race set up still in place so couldn't get through. I ended up running another 10km or so directly into the headwind down some pretty trafficy main roads from Greenwich to Vauxhall.


I definitely find my appreciation of a race (or indeed run) route - aesthetically speaking - is related to the effort I put in. When I ran Seville marathon, then went back in the summer on a family holiday, I barely recognised any of the roads we went down. That's because I was in a sort of tunnel-vision of focus, I suppose - certainly no comment on a lovely city. Whereas I reckon that I could probably pretty much recreate the Toyko marathon route (if someone would just, you know, shut down the city roads for me... ) because I was just "running" for fun rather than "racing" for a goal. It's the difference between eyes-straight-ahead focus, and "not even going to bother looking at my watch, just take it all in".


Anyway, over to you. Anyone else battling the wind? Some races, I know, were cancelled (including the mile race at the Big Half) and even some areas shut down. Richmond Park and Bushy Park were even closed later in the day due to fallen or falling trees. As always, share your weekend highs and lows below the line.

Comments

  1. Mentioned it on Twitter, but saw a lot of people getting PBs at the Big Half despite the wind. Credit to them, can't have been much fun in that weather. Speaking of...
    I woke up Sunday normal time for my long run, felt absolutely knackered (I'm 14 weeks into marathon training now, and had a decent drink Friday, so had a hangover hangover). Rolled over, had another hour, then sat around for half an hour before I could be bothered to get up and ready.
    Went out for my run, and just didn't feel it at all, tried to keep my pace from my last 4-5 long runs but just wasn't there, and after 5K I just settled into an easy pace, 30-35 seconds/KM slower than TMP.
    Why is any of this relevant you ask? Well, about half way into the run, with 90 minutes left (remember those extra 90 I had in bed?) The heavens came crashing down, hoyying it down/lashing down/ploating down, whatever you want to call it. Winds picked up. It got absolutely freezing. There may have been sleet and snow at some point, I was too annoyed to notice.
    On the bright side:
    1) Weather at Manchester can't be much worse than that,
    2) I still managed around 3:20 pace and felt absolutely fine cardio-wise afterwards,

    TLDR: Moral of the story; just get up and get your run done.

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    1. Glad I’m not the only one. Also doing Manchester and had an awful long run. Managed to do mine on Saturday before the worst of the weather though. One more heavy week and one more long long run, I’m ready for the taper! Well done for getting it done.

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    2. Well done to you too.
      Yeah, I had a bit of a rough week. Track on Tuesday I was a little bit off my target pace (although it was a 13K session, so it was pretty rough), and the training has really caught up with me.
      But yeah, 1 more week and then that glorious glorious taper.

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  2. Junior Handsome currently has a similar attitude towards wind, he makes it clear he hates it but powers through the best he can. Who else would point out all the diggers, cranes and buses if not him?

    I never actually mind miserable conditions on training runs, it all goes in the bank but it's a bugger if you've targeted a PB when a possible chance is out the window by the start line through not fault of your own. Such is the nature of outdoor sport I suppose.

    Nothing to report from me, another big round 0 on the mileage as I'm waiting on knee knack clearing up. I've moved on from calm and philosophical to fat and irritable, particularly as the season is just getting into full swing, so if someone can pass me another pizza and then piss off, that'd be great.

    Well done to everyone still getting out and about whatever the weather!

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  3. Snap! I, too, was bewildered when I found my right leg apparently trying to trip up my left as I struggled along Tower Bridge. I usually like running in baddish conditions, but really struggled yesterday.

    Haven't done any speed training - at all - in preparation for the VLM yet, so I wasn't anticipating much speed endurance. And lo. As soon as we emerged from the tunnel, my legs flicked a v sign at me and decided that there would be no more 4-minute kilometres. Every one of the final 16 kilometres was about 4:45 pace.

    Strangely, though, even though I found the latter half of the race harder - nooooo windy! - I enjoyed it so much more. I'd given up checking my marathon pace on my watch, stopped fussing about technique, took a slightly longer racing line if the road surface appeared uncomfortable, and just looked up. Smiled at the spectators, waved, shouted thanks to the steel bands, slapped a few kids' hands, and stopped being in my bubble.

    This may be the way forward for me. Running marathons to... to... to actually *enjoy* running marathons.

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    1. Enjoyment for me is much more important the result. That said, lots of enjoyment+ good result is wonderful!

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    2. My marathon PB, which is nothing to write home about, came at the 2016 VLM. And I was in my watch-checking, technique-focusing, stressed-out mode the whole time. I crossed the finish line saying to myself "Mate... what are you DOING?"

      I've tried to remember that feeling at every subsequent race, but sometimes revert to bad habits. Got to achieve that sub-3. Got to get that GFA. And the truth is, literally no one in the world gives a monkey's what time I ran; the only thing friends want to know is: did you enjoy it?

      Wish I could remember this.

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    3. Daniboi - see my post below : )

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    4. We all choose to do this in our free time so if there's never enjoyment what's the point? But at the same time, if you treat it as sport there will inevitably be times when it's hard, disappointing, makes you angry etc.

      As I often told my old football colleagues, the result is less important than having fun but we'll all have much more fun if we don't get pumped every week!

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  4. A treadmill half for me.

    A 7.5 minute improvement on the last one I tried two months ago and not ‘full gas’...although the incline was 0.5% rather than 1.0% so it’s probably a fair indication of what I’d have managed on 1.0%.

    Should probably be happy with that. I’m not, but I should be!

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    1. Well, you miserable sod, I'm happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Good going Asta. The improvement is continuing.

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    2. You are approaching your recovery with so much admirable patience. Or at least that's the bit you are sharing on social media...!

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  5. With the forecast of high winds, heavy rain and lots of hail for Sunday, I made the decision that I would be up, out and back home before the weather was supposed to become biblical. So. I got up at 5.30am and got myself ready for a 6.30am start to do a 1 hour 50 minute (12 miles +) run. Even I thought I was mad at that time of the morning, when another one or two hours in bed would have been much more beneficial. I'd done a 4hr 15 minute (67.8 miles) ride on Friday in the cold and wet and my legs had not recovered, even though I'd had a day off on Saturday.


    Anyway, out of the house at 6.29am as it was just starting to get light. During the first couple of miles I felt completely overdressed as it seemed warmer that the weather forecast had predicted. That maybe due to the fact that it wasn't raining for the first five miles, however, when the rain came I was glad I had everything on as it got really cold. The run was fairly uneventful for the first 8 miles as it was on roads and pavements, apart from roads being completely flooded, and I kept the pace at just under 9 minute miles. However, the "fun" started as I got onto a trail for 4 miles and the amount of water and mud increased dramatically. I'd tried to keep my feet as dry as possible, to avoid any blisters or rubbing, however it became a choice of going straight through deep long puddles or tackling the mud to the side of said puddles. As I had road shoes on I had no grip and just kept sliding in many directions a la bambi on ice, so the decision was quickly made, through the puddles and get feet wet. That 4 miles wasn't pleasant as my legs, that had been complaining since I left the house, went into overdrive of moaning. I just had to block everything out and tell myself that the pain was going to be good for my mental strength in 10 weeks time.


    It was lovely to get home before 8.30am knowing I'd done the run, and that I could relax for the rest of the day. My post run/cycle strategy these days is to get my feet up for a few hours to give my legs a bit of time to recover. In that time I checked on strava for people running the Big Half, Liverpool Half Marathon, Chester 10 and Knighton 20 miler, feeling for them because by then the winds had begun to get crazy. So kudos to you all for getting out in such lousy conditions!


    The weather looks unpleasant for the rest of the week and I've got another tough training week ahead. I'm just hoping for gaps to appear so I can get out and get it all done!

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    1. Your commitment continues to be epic. I always look at strava in the mornings, jealous of those who get their runs done first thing, but never seem to quite be able to do it myself! Well done for continuing to get it done.

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    2. That was a one-off R&B, I don't envisage doing that again soon. I was lucky because whilst it was raining heavily when I got up, it had stopped for a while when I got out. Not sure how I'd have felt if was raining heavily at 6.30am.

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    3. Well done Pete, it's nice that you have the time and flexibility to plan around things this time as it's a pretty brutal schedule! I really hope you reap the rewards come May : ) and thereafter...

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    4. I am in awe of your biking distances Pete. :-)

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  6. I did my first every vertical 'marathon' on Sunday - 61 storeys, 1059 steps, 10:54, 3rd lady in age category! We were set off in waves of 10 and a few ladies went sprinting up the stairs but my race strategy was just to steadily plod up 2 at a time, and it paid off, I overtook those early starters and then a few more who were struggling, some even sat down on steps as though they'd given up! Looking forward to trying again next year, though I'll be moving up into the 36-49 age category which is where the majority of the speedy women were! (for reference, the overall winner -male- did it in 6:11, female winner did it in 8.00)

    My legs feel surprisingly ok today, went on a run yesterday afternoon with the hash, which was tough, but mainly because of the searing sun. Netball tonight will be another test of the legs!

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    1. Well done! Sounds great fun. Did you get quads burn?!

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    2. That sounds like a super fun race.

      Last time I did a stair race, I had to sprint from the top of the stairwell into the reception area to finish, slipped on the carpet and slid 8m on my elbow, taking all the skin off my arm. To the hilarity and teasing of many colleagues at work.

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    3. Well done! Although I have to say it sounds tough! Was it air-conditioned?

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    4. Thanks all. It was a lot of fun and the rooftop views were great.

      My legs feel surprisingly fine, netball was no problem yesterday. The stairs were not air conditioned but there were ventilation vents every few floors, and a few levels also had fans blowing. There was someone on hand to give out water at every second level.

      The top two levels had rubber matting steps (rather than concrete) which were in danger of becoming very slippery from everyone's sweat!

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  7. Sunday morning in Cheshire was wet with wind forecast later so I was eating my toast, wearing my running kit but thinking I couldn't be arsed when Breeze Hill Pete's 20k run popped up on Strava. So with that inspiration behind me I trundled out and managed 17k at a decent pace in wet but not so breezy conditions.

    Highlight of the weekend was Mrs GJ completing C25K on Saturday. Keen to know how far she'd gone she tracked it on mapmyrun and was pleased to see 5.1k. Two hours later we were in Decathlon looking at Garmins - I think she's got the bug! Well done to all runners this weekend and as always, happy running, everyone.

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    1. Glad you got out GJ, it's great when you've managed to cross the threshold for a run. Great the MrsGJ is hooked, but did she buy, or restrict herself to just looking?

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    2. Just looking Pete. There may be a surprise present on its way though. Next thing you know she'll be on Strava although at the moment the mention of the S word leads to some fairly agricultural language.

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    3. Jim, I thought you were going to say "next thing you know she'll be signed up for the Anglesey HM"!

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  8. This was my first race in a couple of years where I wasn’t chasing down a time based on weeks and weeks of specific training … and what can I say, I actually enjoyed it! I ran around happy as anything, didn’t struggle at any one point, my second half was faster than the first and I ran the last 3k at a 10k pace, satisfyingly overtaking quite a few on that home stretch! All this for a mere 2.5 minutes slower than my time last year when fully trained. Plus last year I was disappointed with my time as it wasn’t a PB (only out by seconds) and hated the run & route : /

    I don’t want to speak too soon before Brighton but I feel like I might be on the path to finding that sweet spot between training v. hard, and enjoying it. Yes, it involves letting some things go, but I’m not injured and I’m not disappointed. To your point above Daniboi, running races to actually enjoy running races!

    if you are trying to run 42k as fast as you can then you have to do a bunch of demanding stuff over many months to make it happen, which always carries an injury risk, certainly for me. I’ve come to terms with the fact that a slightly more relaxed approach will impact ‘best’ performance, but I’m learning to be happy with a good and enjoyable experience at the expense of a PB. I’m happy to say that yesterday was one of those, and at 1:37:01 (and 5th in age group of a huge field) I can’t complain about too much deterioration! It’s a trade-off for sure, the high that comes with a PB is irreplaceable, but I can always jump on a training cycle if I feel that’s the only way to get one.

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    1. Great post, inspiration and well done! So glad you are enjoying running. That balance is so hard to find and I’m sure we all could perform better if we stressed less about pace etc. (I’m still on the stressy side of that line). Best of luck for Brighton, sounds like you’re in a great place (metaphorically)!

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    2. Thanks R&B, it takes some mental training itself, having to un-curl my fingers from the virtual trophy! Interestingly I got my 10k PB whilst on holiday last year, again between training cycles, completely out of the stress-free blue.

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    3. Lovely kyd! You're so, so right about the sweet spot. I had that win/win experience at the Hampton Beach half marathon last October, and I remember more that it was so enjoyable than the actual result. And then the long term enjoyment for me seems to make me train harder , and sure, I want good results, but I want an enjoyable experience much, much more. Hopefully Brighton will continue this positive experience for you.

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    4. Sounds like you had a lovely run KYD - congrats for getting the mindset and the footstep in sync! I think you are going to have an amazing time at Brighton as well.

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    5. Brilliant. So glad you're finding the joy in racing. It's lovely to do the amazing times, but it's such a different experience to just get out there and enjoy. All bodes well for Brighton.

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    6. Your splits look really good kyd. One of the broadcast commentators remarked about the HM first-timers, saying the most important thing for them is to enjoy it because if they don't enjoy it they probably won't want to do another one. For experienced runners, times undoubtedly do become important, but enjoyment must still be a major motivator.

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    7. Yep, agree with all of this.

      As an Arsenal supporter (sorry...), it always perplexed me that Wenger argued that getting 4th place in the Premiership (and hence entry to the Champions' League) was better than an FA or League Cup. Entry to a competition that we were never, 2006 aside, looking likely to win. What's the point? I would ask myself.

      Busting a nut to get GFA, at the expense of enjoyment, feels similar to me right now.

      So yes, I too think that it's better to have a more careful balance between performance and actually enjoying what you're doing *as you're doing it*.

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    8. I reckon that's all brilliant, from the run itself to your feelings about it all. You've always been a terrific runner, with or without the coaching and heavy training. Just lovely to see you enjoying it.

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  9. Well done all those braving the nasty weather. Wasn't too bad where I am.
    Slightly easier week last week, planned but also forced by a couple of days travelling. My legs loved the lower mileage and we're flying yesterday.
    I am now in the place of 'what is marathon pace'. First guess feels very relaxed and easy - but I think I'm going to stick with that at least to start with. A few weeks still to decide, and a HM in a couple of weeks as a check in to where the fitness really is.

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    1. If I were in your position, I'd see what pace your HM turns out to be, then see if you can run HMP+15-20s/mile while running relaxed - that might be around MP.

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  10. I loved seeing everyone's running on my Strava feed over the weekend. From the Big Half to tri training or just running for the heck of it, all of it was all sterling stuff.

    First race of the year for me on Saturday. It was 30-mile loop, starting and ending in Amersham, through the Chilterns. Let me tell you that the wind was atrocious, the mud doubly so, and my epic footwear failure made it a hat-trick of rubbishness! On exposed ground we were either running directly in to the strong gusts, making us have to double our efforts, or we were blown this way and that off course. And then there was the mud, which was ankle deep (and then some) for up to a mile at a stretch. This was something that all of us had to deal with, but you did yourself a great favour if you were wearing the correct running shoes. Me? I was in a pair of Hoka One One Clifton 5, which are made for roads (and hard trails at a push). These offered me zero stability on the very soft, boggy, muddy ground, so I spent most of the race slipping and sliding and generally making abrupt, jerky movements to keep my balance. I honestly thought I'd wake up the following day with a muscle tear or an aggravation of my old piriformis injury. I would have been better off in a pair of wellies.

    Anyway, I did the 30 miles in 4:30 and came 15th out of 200 or so runners. This was about 20 minutes slower than I had planned/am able to run that distance in, but I am happy when you take into account the amount of sh!t we all had to run through. I also only fueled myself with two litres of carbohydrate solution (High 5). I normally take on board liquid and solids when running such distances, but I thought I'd experiment with just the liquid. I was bloody starving by the end and spent the rest of Saturday and all day yesterday happily stuffing my face (and drinking wine and beer).

    Best thing about the day, however, was the fact that 100% of our entry fees go directly to a charity that pays for operations for children in Africa.

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    1. Brilliant running Mark. That you added to your woes by wearing the incorrect footwear and still recording a cracking time is testament to your undoubtable trail running skills. Sorry to get your hopes up on Saturday when we were 0-2 up but then managed to lose 3-2!

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    2. First and foremost, you're a star Mark, you really are. But you're going to have to explain to me: how on earth did you come to think that Clifton 5s rather than any trail pair would be an okay choice for that!!?

      (Oh, and I assume the wine was for the race, the beer for the blues.)

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    3. Only pair of shoes I have, Paul! And Pete, I went to my first Toffees game in 1979 and have known nothing but general disappointment (except for a few years in the mid 80s) ever since. Even when we went 2 up, I knew deep down that we'd lose.

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    4. It was an impressive-enough run as it was Mark, but that's insane!

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  11. I was one of the Big Halfers. Completely agree with Kate’s comments about route. And there didn’t seem to be nearly enough loos at the start. I queued for 30 minutes and didn’t manage to get in before the race started...

    The race itself was a different matter. After a patchy week of kid-related coughs and flu, I had decided together with master coach DC to convert the race into a training run at MP followed by another 10k at MP on the way home. I woke up on race morning feeling pretty rubbish and didn’t want to take baggage with me, else I’d have to run with it afterwards. So an awkward compromise between race kit and staying warm.

    When the gong went, I set off at 4.07/km, or as near as I could guess, aiming for 1.27 dead. There seemed to be an unusual number of very slow runners in the A pen so I was ducking and weaving like nobody’s business early on, but settled in a rhythm relatively fast. A slightly characterless race, I felt, but I brought up a slightly robotic 10k in 40:49, 15k in 61:18, 20k in 81:39 before finishing in 1:26 dead. A bit faster than planned and I had had to hold myself back in the second half to avoid going faster still.

    Alas I got very cold very fast on the other side of the finish line and by the time I’d found a way out and through the Greenwich pedestrian tunnel to Canary Wharf one the way home my legs were beginning to ache and complain, and I never really got going again on the other side. Only managed 4:35/km average for the 10k afterwards into a tougher headwind after the canal.

    Still, all in all a good run and I get the chance to do another HM next weekend so I will continue to try and “bed in” MP ahead of Manchester. Just can't tell whether I have the endurance in the legs to do a really good time.

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    1. I also queued up at the loos at the start and had to abandon the idea as the maths wasn't going to work .. and froze as I live 4kms away so didn't need to bring baggage! That's the thing with big races - the starting pens. I don't like them. Smaller races where you just turn up, line up and run, feel a heck of a lot easier. Well done for churning it out and ahead of the game for most of it!

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    2. Nothing worse than not enough loos before a race. Should be a law against it.

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    3. Looked like there weren't enough loos in the elite pen either given how Farah was running at one point...

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  12. God the wind is miserable. I did a 5k round Victoria Park on Saturday morning and was nearly blown off the course on the exposed bits. I'd have preferred a 10k but friend wanted to do little 'un and in the end I was grateful. Not a PB -but no chance in that wind- still under 30 though so happy enough. 10k in Shrewsbury next weekend.

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    1. Good luck for Shrewsbury Rachel. I've contemplated HM's there before but never got around to it. If your route stays near to the River it'll be quite a pretty run.

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    2. I've just had a look at the route and the last 3/4k are really attractive. Nice wide boulevards, it should be fun!

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  13. After an comfortably paced parkrun on Saturday, I ran the Big Half too and struggled with the winds, almost coming to a stop on a couple of occasions as we battled back from Canary Wharf to Tower Bridge. After that my running didn’t seem to be going particularly well even though the wind was meant to be behind us from Tower Bridge to Greenwich. Not my finest run and a couple of minutes slower than the last HM I ran three weeks ago despite being further on in marathon training. I’ll just hope the winds die down a bit this week and it feels like I’m still on track for London.

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  14. Running in this wind is making me very grumpy. I set out this morning for my last 'easy does it' week before starting to train properly again and came back in a very bad mood. I just hate it when the wind stops me in my tracks - makes everything a joyless struggle.

    Saturday was better though - I dropped my daughter at her ballet lesson and had just over 50 minutes to get a run in, which was ideal for where I'm at with my rehab at the moment. A nice flat 5-miler at an 8.40 average saw me back in time for the end of her lesson so I was pleased with that, especially as I'd just filled out the Brighton deferral form and was feeling very deflated. It's surprising how rubbish I felt afterwards tbh, even though I'd made the decision to defer and it was the right one to make.

    Yesterday I stop at the top of a windy hill marshalling my clubmates round our latest handicap race. I'd had to concede that it would be foolish to run it as it was a tough off-road one with lots of inclines, and I'm so close to that magic six-week post-injury recovery time that it would have been stupid to jeopardise that. But it meant giving up my place at the top of the table and slipping down into third. The next race is a half marathon in two weeks which I won't be fit enough for, so I think I have to wave that particular victory goodbye. Was tantalising close to winning it but hey ho.

    Ah well, I'd rather be running properly again. Restraint is difficult for me but I have to keep telling myself it'll pay off come autumn marathon season.

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    1. You've been here before with bells on Lucy, you know it makes sense and you know you can do it. Well done for your patience to date and may you continue to get stronger!

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    2. Steady recovery is much better than a rushed return Ruby, and you know it! You'll be flying soon and everything will look and feel lovely. We've all just go to get through the week ahead with strong winds and rain and things'll be good!

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    3. I know Pete and kyd, I know. Patience is not my strong point (running has taught it to me!)

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    4. Well done on being patient, nearly there.

      One of the things I most enjoy about training is the discipline, not about forcing myself out or trying to run hard but holding back when it's called for either on the plan or on the fly because of injury/life. Any idiot can run themselves into the ground for a day, even a week or maybe a month but it will cost them in the end.

      Or so I tell myself, struggling not to punch the wall in my current run-free state!

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    5. You know it'll pay off. And you always come back running even faster. :-)

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  15. Conditions-wise I got pretty lucky as I had to fit my long run in first-thing on Saturday and didn't have the gales to deal with. My legs weren't desperately happy though, as the 17.5 miles came at the end of a pretty heavy week of training, but I slogged it and with only 4 weeks to Manchester the end of the plan is in sight. With the variety of aches and niggles I've acquired, the taper can't come quickly enough, but there's still the small matter of 22 miles to deal with next weekend.

    All the kudos to those of you racing and otherwise out running yesterday, that must've been pretty brutal.

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  16. End of week three of triathlon specific training and I'm really starting to see some improvement which is encouraging. Saturday I decided to try two thirds of the sprint tri distances in the wrong order, (5k run, 750m swim) to see if I felt like I could also do the cycle and it felt good! I bought a nice-ish (for me at any rate) bike in Newcastle last week and was excited to try it out, but sunday felt much too windy to risk a long ride on an unfamiliar bike, so the week got re-jigged so Sunday could be a rest day instead. This week is scheduled to be a bit more gentle to give my body a chance to get on board with the new level of training, and I have to say I'm looking forward to not feeling like every session is less good than it could be if I wasn't knackered. I love reading everyone's race and training debriefs, I find this blog so inspiring!

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    1. Hopefully you'll find a gap in the weather to get out on your bike this week, though wind and rain is forecast through to next Saturday. As for being knackered, there is point in your training were you would be expected to feel like that, mostly because of the cumulative efforts. However, if you feel more than just tired, you would be sensible to reduce the intensity/duration of each session to avoid getting sick or injured. Enjoy your training.

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  17. A hugely contrasting week for me started with a really nice 6k run last Tuesday (that's a decent distance for my current standards) which felt comfortable, and which I was really pleased to manage without any notable mechanical deterioration presenting either during or afterwards. Probably my best run of the year. Then on Thursday I did some high intensity interval cross-training and, bingo, from that evening onwards, ankle/foot is hurting quite badly. Just hope it will calm down again soon. Being able to step up to train at longer distances in preparation for a HM seems as far away as ever. It's really frustrating, because I've got decent CV/respiratory fitness, but mechanically-wise, I'm just going round in (metaphorical) circles.

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    1. That's bad news Paul and really frustrating especially after such a good run. Is it something that will sort itself out, or would you benefit from seeing a physio for an assessment/treatment? .

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    2. Possibly Pete, it's something I'm still weighing up. I have seen physios in the past for it but none so far have been able to help me sort it. At the moment I'm doing a mixture of home physio exercises (strength, balance, flexibility, some stretches) and rest. I'm fairly sure I'll be okay for cycling, but not doing that until the weather picks up again - I'll leave Rule #9 to you, Breezehill Badass / Pete The Beast ;)

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    3. So frustrating for you Paul, well done for continually persevering!

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    4. I really feel for you Paul. Wish I could think of something useful to say! Try to stay positive and I really hope you see an end to this soon and can start moving towards that HM. Thank you for all the encouragement you've given me these past weeks/months, despite your own injuries. It's really made a difference.

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  18. Almost a year ago I was running and biking up to 180km/week and feeling fantastic. I expected that to drop off over the summer holidays with the boys at home, however in August I managed tear the meniscus in my right knee whilst digging the garden. Thankfully not severely enough to require surgery, but the physio also then discovered that, probably over many years, my mobility from my neck down to my feet has gradually reduced, partly due to a spina bifida acculta and partly long-term stress and anxiety. So all the running stopped and a huge amount of physio began; biking was OK; then even biking became difficult with the start of term and the many challenges our youngest has been dealing with. Finally she gave me permission to begin running - but no more than 2k. Then that went up to 5k (which by then felt like a marathon!) and finally last week she said I could work up to 10. So I did 6k straight after the appointment, another short run later in the week and then yesterday morning set out in the wind and between downpours of sleet and hail to try 8. I set off very slowly (though mindful of keeping my cadence high), then got slower in the super-muddy forest, made a left/right decision at a junction that stretched it out a little further and finally jogged back up our lane to make it just over 10k. Just 10k, but the sense of achievement reminded me of the first time I did 10 miles - And such relief! It's really felt an impossible goal. There's still a very long way to go, but I'm looking forward to getting there.

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    1. MRM, all the best with your recovery and it's nice to see you posting. GJ

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    2. That 10k is brilliant MRM!!! A great achievement given what you've had to deal with over the last 7 months. You've done it step-by-step to ensure that you don't end up back at the beginning again, and you've shown great patience, even though I'm sure it hasn't felt like that at times. And lovely to see you posting again. I hope that the next weeks bring even more successes!

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    3. Hello there MRM again. Super well done on your progress - it's so uplifting to see. Just take it nice and steady, measured, bit at a time, often and little better than few and long. Like you say, you will get there!

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    4. So lovely to read this MRM and you are so encouraging to me and others that I am glad the sun is peeping out from the clouds for you.

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    5. I was so nervous about posting something after all this time! Thank you for all your typically lovely replies.

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    6. A great effort. Well done!

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    7. Wish I could put likes all over your post! Makes my heart glad to see you back out there MRM, and here.

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    8. Good to hear from you and well done on the effort!

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  19. A inspiriting exercise in patience and determination to get back out there. I know what running means to you MRM, it's your rope, so it's fantastic to see you grasping it again! Hopefully with all the corrections in place you'll come back a stronger runner and cyclist.

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    2. I tend to get most of my inspiration from people like you kyd, but thank you - I really appreciate that. :-)

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  20. We had torrential rain on Saturday in Auckland, so it was much later in the day when I went out for an 8km run. By Sunday, the weather had cleared up and the temperature was around 23C, so still very warm but not too hot. So I set off for a 15km long run, my last one before my first HM of the year next Sunday.

    For various reasons, I haven't been able to get out mid-week as often as I wanted to, so I knew this was going to be a real test of my fitness.

    It's a very hilly route that I use for my training runs, and overall I was pleased with my time, averaging 7'30" per km. So hopefully I'll be OK for a pace time of around 6'00" per km next Sunday on a flat course.

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    1. Thank you! I'm a bit apprehensive about this one as I've not put the midweek runs in that I wanted to, but it's a coastal run, so no matter what, it will be fabulous!

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  21. The Big Half doesn't look or sound like a fun race. Congrats to all who persevered.

    I was planning to go to parkrun about an hour's drive from me but due to the return of the deep freeze during the mid-week, I had to reschedule my farrier for Saturday morning when it was alleged to be warmer. It wasn't. The barn aisle was a wind tunnel, the horses behaved atrociously and it was a generally miserable morning. I did get in an hour on the treadmill in the evening, followed by a short swim.

    Yesterday, however, was gloriously sunny and above freezing. Not exactly warm but at this point anything over 0 will do. All the complaints on here about your long runs - people, you have no idea how lucky you are to be able to run outside! My 90 minutes flew by and I've even decided to up my long runs to two hours.

    That said, I'm not sure when my next long run will be. I'm off to Europe this week for a series of competitions with my team in Paris, Barcelona and Bern. I'll be fitting in runs where and when I can.

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    1. That sounds great to get the chance to run in 3 European cities, even if the runs may not be as long as you'd like. It's a lovely way to explore and see new things. Have lots of fun and I hope that the competitions go well.

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  22. I saw the forecast for Sunday, so made my long run on Saturday. It was pretty cold and windy, but really sunny and lovely. One of these 'good to be alive' days. Two easy miles -including my regular half mile slog uphill - then seven miles at HM pace and the. Another easy one (uphill again...) to finish. And it just so happened tha the end point was - yet again - the local garden centre with the biggest scones in Scotland. Ah well. It's so important to be well fuelled. First HM of the year - and my third ever! - in two weeks time.

    Well done to all who got out there on Sunday, whether in the Big Half or elsewhere. It was a stinker of a day here - snow and strong winds - so I played indoor with ponies instead.

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