Monday, 31 August 2009


What a weekend of eating treats! The well known supermarket chain T**** are selling Ben & Jerry's at half price! I have never eaten so much ice-cream over one weekend; having now worked my way through a pot of Phish Food, the Baked Alaska and now the Cherry Garcia. It might even be a world ice-cream scoffing record. Its been heaven.
The gorging on ice-cream has now led to guilt pangs. I've been repenting by making a mountain of hummus with my hard won food processor; my ladies prize from the Burnsall 10m. What a proper domestic goddess I am. The home made hummus is gorgeous but there's just a mountain of the stuff and I don't think I'm gonna work through it all. Does it freeze well I wonder...
Anyway, I need some distractions from the continuous temptation to bolt out of the front door for a sneaky run. Have only done an easy 5m today after a very well behaved weekend and am just counting the days until I can get back to some proper running. To add to my restlessness I got a very exciting call yesterday; I've been asked to run in the regional squad in two weeks time at the Nottingham Half Marathon. I'm sooo chuffed! But also a bit torn; M & I had planned a return to the Yorkshireman this year. But, the chance of a Yorkshire & Humberside vest is really exciting, I'll travel down with the squad to the hotel and race on Sunday. This feels like too good a chance to miss; I guess as a Vet I'd given up on the chance to do anything like this. So, looks like an unexpected trip to Nottingham might be on the cards.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Shhhh. Footy's On...

Just grabbin' a few mins whilst the footy's on; M & the kids are glued to the telly, (yes the cats are Arsenal fans too). In between the downpours yesterday I squeezed in a wet trot around the hockey pitches and so today it felt a real treat to get out for a proper run in lovely fresh, sunny weather.
We drove over to meet friends Kevin O and Tricky for a sort of fartlek/intervals/XC prep session at Nunroyd Park; the home of the legendary quagmire that was our most local XC league event last year. The route is an undulating grassy circuit of about 1.5 miles providing plenty of interest; the course still bears the scars of the deep muddy ruts created by last year's league race. We ran an easy warm up and then a frisky 12 x 1min efforts around the circuit. The session whizzed by and it felt great to get the old spikes on again - they feel like slippers but without the snuggly, fluffy bits inside. This is the only bit of work I'm allowed for the next fortnight and it felt just right; not enough to tire but enough to perk my legs up. M's Achilles was fine too so hopefully that worry is over for him. We've the same planned again next week before resuming our road miles and then building the volume to peak at Xmas. It's certainly proving to be quite hard to hold back. I've not really tired of training this last phase but I've got to trust the resting up will pay off later on. Great to see Tricky & Kev too - we'd so much catching up to do which was most welcome over several pints of coffee. A lovely end to a satisfying morning.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Geeks Unite & Take Over

I'm fessin' up now; I'm a spreadsheet geek. You could be forgiven for mistaking that my enthusiasm for planning my training is all about the running. Well, it kinda is but its also partly a bit of a fetish for columns, equations and conditional formatting. I really rather enjoy colour coding my long runs, tempo and lactate threshold sessions and embedding formulae to calculate the proportion of road miles in my weekly mileage - one has to monitor these things.
You can be forgiven for thinking that this might all seem a bit too planned and robotic. And I suppose it is a bit. But I'm embarrassed to say I sort of enjoy it. I love my running; its simple freedom; carpets of heather in late summer; the feeling of the wind whipping through my hair. But I also quite like the science of the sport; the planning, the execution, the review. Once you've learned the ingredients for a good race recipe, its just the blend that's left to perfect. Running is ace. It has something for everyone. Even the geeks can get their kicks.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Fit to Burst

The days are dragging with this rationed running. Had a dull, dull day writing and researching a paper for work today and resorted to some serious clock watching for that special moment to pull the trainers on and get out of the door. The grey drizzle and cool air has never been so welcome. Have also been naughtily distracted by some more training plan tweaking for the coming months. I've been reading about the tempo run and how good it is for marathon training to build up to at least 15m at marathon goal pace (!!) in a competitive runner's programme. Since reading this I've been ensconced in fiddling with my spreadsheet further [note that I'm up to about 5m to date]. That's a lot of running.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Telly Leftovers

Three days into the ease down and I’ve got ants in my pants already. I managed to restrain myself with an easy 5 miler on Sunday morning and then an even easier run last night. My legs seems to be remarkably unaffected by the race on Saturday which is pretty unusual for me; I normally need to descend stairs and pavement curbs backwards for a couple of days after a hard race further than 10k. Anyway, I won’t complain and instead be glad of the rest. The ease down has also reached other parts; I’ve completely stuffed my face with really bad things these last few days. A big pub meal on Saturday night complete with a pudding (all to myself as everyone else was stuffed) then a very naughty sausage & egg butty with lashings of brown sauce for Sunday lunch and then another meal out on Sunday night. I was expecting to find a mini-muffin top developing but the scales say otherwise this morning. I can do no wrong it seems. That or I must be dreaming…

M on the other hand is suffering a pretty sore Achilles and as a result is under enforced rest after race day. He’s now thinking he’ll take his ease down early, and rest up with me to give the pesky tendon some time to recover. He’s a bit fed up as you’d expect so we’re consoling ourselves with telly leftovers. Our house was a telly free zone at the weekend but our visitors have gone and its time to catch up. Another relaxed and easy run tonight and then telly it is.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Racing Highs

Just a quickie whilst our visitors sleep off our Saturday night (I also got a bit 'pished' at the pub) and I guess blogging whilst our guests look on is not good hostess behaviour. We had a really lovely day at Burnsall yesterday. Big thanks to the organisers for another lovely event this year, see results here. The weather was gorgeous if a little bit too warm for this tough 10m but we were ready for a great race. This was to be my last trip out before a bit of an ease down so I was really up for enjoying the event and then indulging in lots of cake and that amazing ginger ice-cream at Katie's Kiosk, with the spectacle of the fell race and the end of day presentations to look forward to.

Though M & I we were a bit worried by the hot sun (neither of us cope that well racing in the heat) we managed to keep our cool and ran a strong race. I was determined to run a sensible start knowing the climbs to come in the later miles and somehow managed a negative split for the second 5m. This was a bit of a wonder and I'm not quite sure how I managed it, particularly if you know the tough climbs in the second half of this cult classic. There was also plenty of much appreciated support all around the course from Mr T of Complete Runner and fellow club mates, including Stewart M who kept me driving for that sub hour result. We ran in great company with some fine Otley and Bingley boys, including our mate Julian M, (who is clearly getting his old racing form back) and Kevin O who had a strong run and added to the fine sea of Bingley vests. I also had the pleasure of bumping into fellow blogger Old Runningfox who also had a great run, finishing as first local but rather unjustly not having an age group prize to celebrate his incredible achievements & fine vintage.
Anyway, M also finished very strongly in a quality field to come 14th overall, 3rd V40 and 3rd counter for the men's team with a 2nd team prize! I finished 7th overall and first lady with a lead in the end of over 5mins. Most of all I was chuffed to just sneak under the hour on this course - I didn't think I'd be anywhere near that time so it was a great feeling to finish this latest training phase with a strong and testing run; confirmation that my fitness is back for the more competitive racing this Autumn. It'll also keep me focused as I've just heard I've got an elite start at the English Champs 10m event in October! Yikes, I can hardly wait.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Saturn Rings and Smelly Things

Yay, it’s Friday and time to rush around like a loon getting the house ready and shopping sorted before our visitors arrive tomorrow. We need to buy croissants and orange juice and other posh stuff that we never usually eat and then dash off to Burnsall to race, hopefully safe in the knowledge that the house isn’t a complete tip for the arrival of our tired travellers.

M has promised to blast the bathroom (a very stylish avocado suite it is too) and brave an attack on those post-muddy-run Saturn rings. I’m gonna empty the bin as the last mouse victim, rescued too late from the 'little boy genius' is starting to pong! (I know, we are that grim in our household habits). I’ve been delaying the chores since the last visitors left around mid July so there’s at least a month of slobby living to put back in order. It’s a shameful and embarrassing confession but we can’t all be perfect and there’s more to life than moving dust from place to place and pushing a Hoover about. So, an easy 4m tonight to get the legs moving but not working, a final cushion plump and sofa spruce and then a nice stretch out to catch up with our GB antics in Berlin.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Catching Up

I'm getting truly tellied out with all this athletics coverage; how do people manage to watch soaps n stuff through the week? I seem to barely have time for my tea never mind sit and watch all this world champs coverage.
Running wise I've been pretty well behaved and kept to pretty easy stuff after a semi track session on Tuesday; an 8x400m session with very even splits and pretty short recovery. Have since spent the last couple of days easy running on tired legs that are definitely ready for some resting up. A last push racing on Saturday before some down time to recharge. Lots of good food and rest planned as well as a bit of catching up with jobs undone and avoiding tantrums from running withdrawal. I'll have to seek blog inspiration from elsewhere. Now, back to that telly.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Great Escape

Testing times this week as I start to ease down the training; I really enjoy my running so get a real buzz out of the heavy mileage weeks [I’m a freak I know]. Since I’ve decided on the marathon plan I’m having to constantly check myself that I’m not getting too enthusiastic and don’t try to do too much too soon. It’s made worse by all this exciting stuff on the telly which just makes me want to run faster & longer. I really have to stop thinking about racing so much on training runs; it’s an injury waiting to happen.

There’s also the two week recovery ease down planned to start next Sunday. No doubt this will be interesting [insert 'painful' here] for M and a challenge to
my will power. I’m only allowing myself short, easy stuff with no long runs or hard sessions. It’ll be even harder whilst my green eyes look on at M who continues to indulge in full-training and who will no doubt be taunting me with his hill reps and long runs; the devil. Writing this makes me realise the freakish addictive sport that running is, or is it me? Most people need to be dragged out to exercise. I could do it all day long, if only someone paid me [ahem, any reasonable offers considered by the way].

With a couple of weeks of frustrated tantrums ahead M is relieved that I’m planning a distraction as well as my long term escape plan and enrolling on a night class. The plan might also work as a strategy to build in rest from marathon training through the winter. I’ve been fancying myself doing a bit of sports massage – particularly the hands on, making people hurt bit. A mate inspired me to do it with her so here goes! Monday nights for the next 6 months are all about a new vocation. Or a bit of a sideline hobby at least. Track efforts tonight; straight to the track after work for some lung busting 400s. Wish me luck!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Quivering Quads

What a lovely day Sunday was. Got home feeling pretty pooped after a 15m recce of the Yorkshireman route. Though I raced this one last year I never cease to be amazed at my capacity to forget race routes. I clearly pay no attention to where I’m going when I’m ‘in the zone’ and this perhaps gives some context to my accidental extra half mile around the Wharfedale HM a few weeks ago. Anyway, M & I took the course pretty briskly, whilst I gormlessly tried to remember patches of track and turnings that I have absolutely no recollection of. I was also secretly wondering why I’ve entered this killer of a HM at the start of my next training phase; I’ll be stuffed for at least a week after those climbs and descents & the memory of all those aches & pains after last year is making my quads quiver...

We spent the remainder of the afternoon entertaining and avoiding news of World Champs, saving our slice of athletics excitement for a chilled evening of telly. Watching this stuff makes me very emotional; it’s such an inspiration and makes me all choked up and teary. On the back of this fantastic motivational fuel, I’m increasingly determined to make a good job of this winter’s training, which includes building in proper recovery around the tough stuff. I’ve Saturday’s 10m race to get through and then a two week planned ease down to do just that. The mileage will then build again to peak for Xmas time with the Ribble Valley 10k as the final flourish. I’ve just entered Ribble online & notice it’s the Northern Champs too. How much motivation does a girl need…!

Sunday, 16 August 2009


What a day for athletics! She did it! And so did he! 9.58!!! With all the excitement of gold medals and massive world records, I'm having inspiration overload. It might be dangerous to go on any runs in the next 24 hrs with the events of today swirling around my brain. This is great fuel for that next tough race. Awesome.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

5k Sandwiches & Olympic Inspiration

We got the tough stuff out of the way early this morning with a 9 mile sandwich, the filling being a cruel 5k time trial around Leeds Hyde Park. Both M & I were pretty much dreading the session after the last 3 weeks of gruelling hard miles but this was the last yucky bit of the week and it had to be done. We were joined by an old club mate Justin P for the ride over who taunted us repeatedly with his new electric blue racers, hot from the postie, (a freebie Adidas product trial that M & I had yet to receive). He was looking pretty fierce (and youthful) whilst M & I felt our age and hobbled around the park for the warm up 3 miler.
A pretty windy setting for this early race start but what a great session nevertheless. I enjoyed a 15s improvement on my last attempt at this 2 weeks ago, again after a full-on training week & came through feeling strong with very little slippage across my splits. I'm now a good kind of tired and ready for my relaxed recce of the Yorkshireman from Haworth in the morning. We came home feeling glad for making the effort and were nicely suprised & excited to see clubmate Alistair Brownlee competing in a world cup triathlon race on the telly this afternoon. What an inspiration he is! He was on fire and came in to win gold, looking like a champion all the way. He managed an incredible 29.15 for the 10k and that's after the swim & the ride! It feels so exciting and motivating to have such amazing local athletes to look up to (I brushed against him once in the club XC tent!); their strength and passion for the sport is real fuel for us amateurs to work hard and try our very best with what we've got. We can only dream of such achievements, well done Alistair! World Champs on the telly next, yay! Must dash...

Friday, 14 August 2009

A New Leaf

I am so glad its Friday. My mind got all twisted this week; I’m actually wondering if holidays for as long as 3 weeks are just plain unhealthy. They just get you into such a relaxed and fulfilled state that the readjustment back to work is too harsh. This week has felt sooo looooong with sharp and scary glimpses of what a stress-head I was before my break. I've even noticed myself back to my stressed half running everywhere, including from my train seat to the office and back (after some work in between), why do I get like that?! I’m now trying to be a bigger (metaphorically speaking) & better person. Work is what it is. I will no longer be that flimsy paper boat on the stormy seas of work life. The real stuff is home & it will be my anchor [cue wry smile from M].

So, the work switch is now switched off (and not on standby), the Friday night 5m recovery run is done and I’m ready for the weekend. I have also logged on to read some great news left by Old RunningFox; I haven't missed the deadline for Burnsall at all! Its the 18th - I've gone and got my pants in a twist over nothing. There's clearly some error on the bit of the website we read. Thanks ORF, am feeling all happy-go-lucky again. Except for the thought of the yucky but necessary-for-fitness 5k time trial first thing in the morning but then only blissful days filled with eating (first things first), running, chatting, reading, more running and general relaxing until 8am Monday. Phew.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Miles & Miles

We’ve still heard nothing back from the Burnsall race organiser but have since found that he’s on his hols until the weekend; a tense wait then to see if we can negotiate an entry or two for next weekend. I’ve been a bit thrown by the prospect of a change in plan (old concrete thinker me), it’ll definitely teach me to be less presumptuous and check out deadlines for entries – I’m normally so good at planning ahead but have always entered this one on the day and just assumed…

Tonight’s run was a bit of a break from the quality and instead a longer one was planned to build up the miles with a few little hills to keep things interesting. A 12 miler from Ilkley along an old favourite the ‘Beamsley bash’ featured tonight. M kept me company and stretched his long legs with a view to preparing for his duties as my marathon training partner. A steady & strong effort will only add to the building endurance and keep me nicely tired for the 5k time trial early this Saturday morning, [double yuck].

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


I'm feeling on a real training high at the moment as some strength slowly returns to these legs. Another good quality session at Seedhill was done and dusted last night. After the long run on Sunday I was keen to see if I’d enough juice left for my planned intervals session last night & was chuffed at how fresh and frisky I felt for the session; this bodes well for those scary lookin' marathon schedules. Again the intervals focused on a shorter recovery and more reps with a view to building this up even further in the winter. I managed all the 800m intervals within 2 seconds of each other, finishing with the fastest two and generally feeling like I did at the start of the year; with a bit of juice left to power through the last 100m. It’s good to be feeling this way again instead of the flat and frumpy RB of recent months.
Anyway, it was bit of a come down to find that I seem to have missed out on an entry to the Burnsall 10m that I'd hope to race in next week. M has just discovered there are no entries on the day (according to some small print in an obscure section of the website!). I can’t believe it as it says nowt on the entry form and we've previously entered on the day without issue. I’m a bit gutted as there’s very little else on that weekend that’s so local and besides, its a lovely race. Have been out for a steam around the Strid tonight to blow the office cobwebs out. Will have to decide on summat else; a 10m at Blackpool or 10k near Warrington look like the only alternatives but involve more of a trek out than planned.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Marathon Meanderings

It was pure torture to be back at the office today. I’ve even got a headache from all that time at the computer, and that’s despite my building endurance base as a regular running blogger. Getting up with an alarm was annoying too. I’ve not really been lazin’ about these last couple of weeks but there’s something about getting up for work that seems so much harder than any other day when you don’t really have to be anywhere. I bet you can tell I’ve been in better moods. The lottery escape plan was a failure this weekend too.

I’ve been cheering myself up with some marathon reading on the way home; ‘Running with the Legends’ is a compilation of chapters from our Olympic greats loaned by running mate Ewan W. It’s an inspiration but also fascinating to see the diversity in perspectives on training. I’m finding it a bit confusing so I’m now compiling a list of all the good sessions that have popped up so far. Some sound frightening and I just can’t imagine being in the kind of shape to survive training at that level unscathed.

In building up to the start in the New Year M & I ran another long one this weekend; a 16 miler with the ever smiley Josie H. We ran a sound and steady pace via a mother of a climb, taking in Guiseley & Yeadon via Hollins Hill, then looping round and down to the canal & Bingley. M was frisky fresh which was great to see after his fears about the longer sessions. Another challenging training week planned ahead for us both before my last race at Burnsall and the fortnight ease down.
Bring it on.


Gosh, it seems that all of a sudden I can access this site at work! Just thought I'd give posting something from my desk a wee try. I'm back at work and miserable now after 3 weeks of mostly rainy bliss. Yuck. I'm in a very strange head space and after weeks away from the Leeds commute and office life I feel like I've just landed on another planet. I want to go home. I'll just have to think about marathon plans to get me through this Monday feeling. I'm gonna press publish now, hope this works...

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Foody Europhiles

A nice day was had today, not just because of the easy running but good food also featured heavily. We made our way to Seedhill track for an easy strides session; I trotted out 12x300m with short recoveries for a 'not too tough but good for form' type session. M did his own thing with some 100m strides. We hurried back in time for the European market in full swing in Ilkley - it was food heaven with all kinds of culinary treats.
Our inherent food traits kicked in as soon as M sniffed the giant sausage stalls, (they were almost as big as me!). I remained fixated by the giant Dutch waffles drenched in chocolate sauce and was then hypnotised for 15 minutes by the Breton tart stall. In the end I was pretty good and indulged in a Breton Far, which was a yummy delight and not dissimilar to the traditional Bakewell pud; a sort of set custardy centre wrapped in soft pastry. After dribbling at the sight of gorgeous cheeses and patisserie we dragged ourselves to the park for a sunbathe on the grass, M with a giant chocolate muffin in his paws. Fuel for the long run tomorrow was ample justification.

Friday, 7 August 2009


I'm slowly sort of coming back to Earth after three weeks of heaven being off work. I made the best of my last weekday as a free woman with a trip down the road to Burnsall and Hebden, including a visit to Katie's Kiosk for a cuppa with just my trusty camera for company. The views here are just amazing and I couldn't resist a couple of cheesy panorama shots to try to capture the sweeping valley views. I'm so lucky to be living around here. I'll be back in Burnsall in two weeks time racing the 10m; a lovely race but not one for chasing a time. The trip has given me a bit of a taste of the race scenery to come, though I'm not so sure I'll be in the mood to fully appreciate the landscape on my next visit.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

A Tempo Tickling

Well the anticipated tempo thrashing ended up being more of a tickling; why do I always build up these sessions to be horrid in my head? M & I both left the house anticipating a gut wrenching session of 12 miles including a 4 mile threshold run. We were unsure if we'd make it. The distance is less of an issue, but a tempo run in the middle?!
Anyway, we ran a couple of miles warm up from home before starting the threshold effort, starting just after Nesfield at Golf Course Corner. We followed a linear route, crossing the iron bridge at Ben Rydding then left towards Burley; a boring course but pretty good for road crossings. We finished the threshold effort just short of Burley roundabout and then turned back for a steady 6 home. We were both pleased to have run very consistent splits and the session felt very controlled and almost comfy! Actually, not that comfy, my head's distorting things in that post-run mental glow. But, I managed to keep the heart rate hovering firmly over 4.9 with a slight rise to 5.1 on the final finishing hill.

So, session done and mucho relief for both of us that it wasn't quite as horrid as we'd expected. Encouraging too as these runs feature pretty heavily in all the marathon training I've read about. I'm loving the planning, though I still have to be convinced of the right approach to the long run. Should one run over race distance for the marathon? Any good reading to get to the bottom of this would be welcome. So, easy Friday and strides at the track on Saturday before my favourite sesh on Sunday; 16 miles of uninterrupted running - even better now I've a marathon to be thinking about.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Recovery Rocks

What a difference the sun makes. Had a great day today, out and about with my camera again, this time scrambling around the Cow & Calf on Ilkley Moor. A perfect day for pictures with lots of cumulus casting dramatic shadows across the valley floor and a deep blue sky to add some interesting contrast. I could definitely get used to spending my days like this; a nice & early start for a short run with M before breakfast and then chores out of the way in the morning, a bit of fiddling about on the laptop followed by an afternoon walking on the moors snapping the glorious views.
The old legs are a bit weary today after the heavy hill reps last night. M was feeling pretty done in too so we stuck to a much more relaxed pace tonight and treated it as a second recovery run. It'll be no good if we can't muster some energy for the threshold run tomorrow. Threshold workouts are my least favourite training session of all and probably the most important for that very reason. Is it true that the toughest bits are usually your weakest bits? I reckon it must be so. I'm just gonna have to be a brave soldier and give it my best. Maybe some baking should feature tomorrow afternoon to ensure I've a treat or two ready to reward myself after the run.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Pics & Elvis Tricks

I enjoyed a rather nice and lazy start to the day after dropping M off for the train this morning; ambling home with a paper and mooching about for an hour or so before a nice & gentle social run with the Complete Runner this morning. Of course, marathon talk featured heavily in the topics for discussion. I then spent the remainder of the day fiddling with my camera and software whilst it mostly drizzled outside. I'm getting quite used to this lady of leisure lifestyle, I think it suits me.

However, I didn't get off too easily as a tough training session soon followed M's return home tonight. Back to hill efforts, which felt like very hard work after the toughest training week ever last week. The plan was 8x3mins; a little ambitious after the weekend. M was also a bit wobbly so neither of us really attacked the session but sort of whimpered through it. We pulled off 7 reps in the end on a real killer hill. My legs were tying up after #5 so by #7 I had proper Elvis wobbles and thought it best to call it quits. I'd rather save myself for a good session on Thursday; a 4 mile threshold thrashing in the middle of a 12 mile run.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Running Double

Another week off work ahead (woohoo!) which was also blessed with a bit of sun today. Just in time for my plans to give the monster living around our front door a bit of a haircut, or rather a scare-cut given the state of the finished article. Our Clematis has been threatening to take over the house and after M had resorted to crawling on hands & Knees through the front door I thought I'd better get on with some pruning. Clem is looking a bit bald now and our lush, green canopy will no longer shelter us from the elements whilst we fumble with our door keys. So, no more rain for a while please.

I've been building doubles into my training very gradually and this Summer I hope to have embedded this practice so much so that when Winter marathon training starts it wont be such a shock to the legs to be covering all those miles. The merits of the double are several but I've noticed in particular how it shifts any stiffness from my legs after a heavy session and freshens me up for an evening run. I ran a very leisurely recovery 5 this morning and then came to do my 6 steady tonight and I was tanking round. My legs couldn't turn fast enough to keep my heart rate up. More importantly, doubles also mean more room for cake and other equally nice baked goods.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Its All In The Planning

Have been truly inspired in my running these last couple of days with a proper marathon to look forward to next year. I've done nothing this weekend but obsess about the training and have googled the subject to death. I've come across a pretty hefty but impressive training programme from a former running star. Mike Gratton's site gives two parallel programmes (relating to how many miles you are prepared to train). I think you need to be running 80+ miles per week to be in the mix for a very competitive time. Its a serious commitment but I can't help but think how well friends have been running since taking on marathon training and am already imagining how great my HM and 10k racing would feel. I kind of want to get started already which I'm sure is a wee bit premature. Anyway, it'll be no surprise to my mates that I've already a spreadsheet on the go and am planning my 18 week build up to that special day in April 2010. I realise getting round in one piece is the first priority but its all so exciting.

Today was also a step towards building a sound base for the marathon mileage, M & I ran a steady but strong 15 again on the canal. I've also had the biggest training week ever in my 4 (or is it 5) year running career and I feel really good. This is the stuff I have to watch though; once I start with that invincible feeling it could all end in tears. I'll be good and not get carried away; only 3 more weeks before my recovery fortnight. I'll try to distract myself with designs for my comic London costume.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

A Big Decision

After the extensive rainfall this week and then being advised to wear my scruffiest pair of water wings for the Round Hill fell race on Sunday, M & I decided against the bog trotting option and decided instead to do a 5k time trial on this fine and drizzly Saturday morning; giving us space for a nice long run tomorrow. The time trial was the usual, gut wrenching, lung bursting slog around Leeds Hyde Park. All this at far too early an hour for the porridge to have settled but at least it got us home for 10.30am; in time to pick up the Saturday papers and wallow for the afternoon.
The 5k was a great replacement threshold session for the race plan tomorrow and added to my continued efforts to sharpen up for the Autumn. We were also very pleased to bump into Mark H from another local club, Rothwell. Mark has been known to visit this very blog from time to time and he (as well as being a very lovely chap) is a very experienced road runner. He inspired us both with his accounts of races near and far, including some fine tips on marathon preparation. This, coupled with one or two other recent chats with some local marathoners has inspired me to take that final step. Oh yes. I have decided, ahem...[drum roll] ...I'm going to enter the 2010 London Marathon!
There. Wow. My first marathon. Have now said it out loud. Have been getting all excited about it and after looking on the website today I qualify for a championship entry (and possibly even an elite entry) based on my HM time. Bonus! So. Have spent the rest of this afternoon planning it all. London in April, Berlin in September. And lots of miles in between. I'm sooo excited.