Sunday, 27 February 2011


So, here it is. If I type it quick it might not seem so bad. I've only gone and sort of injured myself. I know. What the flippin' 'eck have I gone and done (I hear you virtually exclaim).

I've been dreaming about this week off for ages. A week full of blissful gentle running. A week of sleeping in, eating long breakfasts, slowly recovering from my 20 miler with gentle joggy ambles along countryside paths, clocking my marathon mileage under blue skies in bright, shining daylight. The 20 on Sunday was a great run; an indication of some good prep despite the awful winter and the short training phase this allowed. The race feedback had set me up nicely, hungry for these final 4 weeks of mileage before the taper. I'd planned just easy running, no 'sessions' at least until this weekend. I was so good I even missed a run on Monday as we travelled back 'up north'.
So on Tuesday, a seemingly innocent happy jog on gentle trail turned into a run from hell. Or perhaps being a grown up I should say that it 'ended badly'. Yes I dramatise but I had that nasty-prickly-ripping-pain feeling of a muscle starting to tear and realised my left hamstring, (which had seemed very happy when we set out), had decided to have a major grumble. I think I've got myself a little muscle tear.

It's not a big one, but enough of a problem to halt any running action. I haven't run for 3 whole days. I've iced and stretched and generally done everything possible. Yesterday was a tester; a jog around the track whilst M did his reps. I managed to squeeze out 4 miles with a slight tug of discomfort. I'm now hopeful that I've avoided the worst but will have to carefully build back some miles with less and less time remaining. I'm so frustrated I could kick myself in the head, if I didn't think I'd risk another tear (probably in my right hamstring). 

So, if this blog serves as anything it illustrates WHAT NOT TO DO when training for marathons. I'm the only one to blame. I'm rubbish at stretching and despite walking about with wooden legs all day Monday I still chose to avoid any time looking after these poor legs from which I demand so much. And I'm not getting any younger, evidenced by my first grey hair which I found on Thursday. Nice.

But things could be worse... 
  1. I've still got 6 weeks left to do some running; 
  2. I've now properly had a break to recover from the 20M race; 
  3. I've had lots of time for other stuff (admittedly slobbing, watching films and moping about with a frowny face);
  4. I've not actually broken my leg and had a bit more time for blipping;
  5. I managed a little run yesterday. 
I'm sure there's more. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Whilst we revel in the winning feeling this week (to get us through the sore and achy bits that is the backlash from Sunday's run), we thought it wise to post our rankings before the rest of the racing fraternity catches up.

It being the first 20 miler of the year I am happily sitting at number one in the UK, look at me! Queenie of 20 miles. This is proof of it at least until the next 20 when I will no doubt be toppled down by those who deserve the title. And look at M... number 7 Vet 40 in the UK today... woohoo!

P.s. And thanks very much to Kelvin who managed to email on some sneaky pics of us both mid race, including me testing my new marathon belt complete with gel accessories. Fetching isn't it.

Monday, 21 February 2011

A Swig of Southern Comfort

We're just home from darn sarf but thought I ought to check in and report that we both did good; fine PBs for us both this weekend. The trip brought great racing and goodies galore, including an armful of cash and a stash of silver. There's very limited photographic evidence, what with nobody to hold coats or take pics but M did squeeze out a blurry presentation pic of me collecting my goodies for winning the ladies 20M race. For now, results here for M's 10 and here for my 20... more news tomorrow. Ooh and I was wrong, I ran 6.17/mile pace not 6.18 in the end :]

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Are We There Yet?

The weeks are whizzing by scarily fast and I'm now counting down with only 8 weeks to go to Marathon day. That's only 5 weeks left of full training readers... the other 3 being my sensible taper. How mad is that?!

You'll be glad to know I've been dutifully hitting the streets every day, cranking out the miles with another couple of 80+ weeks. It's been a slog with work being so crazy busy but I'm starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It starts with a bit of a test next Sunday; the Bramley 20. 

I've raced very little, with the exception of the odd marathon paced shuffle around a local HM. Yesterday I dipped my toes into the greasy mud for the second OK Cross Country of 2011; a frisky little lung burster of about 5k around Cliffe Castle Park in Keighley. These are fab events, organised by Keighley & Craven AC. It was very pleasing to take another 20 seconds off my time in very muddy conditions. M was also looking frisky, shaving another 7 seconds off his course record. Great fun in lovely, friendly company and highly recommended. 

So, the Long One (22) today at a sensible pace felt okay and easier than two weeks ago. I'll be proper racing next Sunday, testing my legs at 20 miles of target pace; 6.18 pace is the plan. M is entered for the 10 miler on the same course so I'll get some friendly shouts amongst the crownds of softie southerners in the second lap at least. And then it's a week off... a week of running in daylight, getting the new camera out to play and lolling about happily. And I really really need it.

Saturday, 5 February 2011


This is a quicky just in case I was presumed dead or missing in action...It's been a long old slog this last two weeks, great training, lots of miles but work has been draining what little life I've had and I'm counting down the two weeks until our next break. The miles have been coming along nicely with a cool  and round 90 clocked last week and some  emphasis on threshold work for the countdown to Lochaber. 

Tomorrow is Dewsbury 10k, not for me but for Mr RB. He's out for a 'time trial' to check the  training is on track for the key race in two weeks time; the Bramley 10M. As for me, I'll be doing the 20 miler the same day. I still wake up with night sweats wondering how I'll ever manage to race the full distance. Somehow I did it last year so I'm hoping I'll squeeze something near target pace out this time round. A long one tomorrow with an interesting tempo mix thrown in. Jack Daniels has some great ideas for livening up the long run. Wish me luck.