GULP just entered my first half marathon



  • Can I say Hello? 

    I'm doing Wokingham Mr MTP! 

    Have to confess it's not my first (please don't throw me out) as I did Reading HM last year, however my training partner has recently wimped so got no-one to talk about HM training with.  I did Reading in 2.20 but had just (2 days earlier) recovered from a 10 day bout of rotavirus (if you don't know what it is you don't want to.)  I started running 20 months ago when I was sucked into a work RFL team; just before I did it I entered at 10K, then just before that I entered Reading.  I need something to aim for to keep me motivated.  Since then I've done another RFL( took 5 mins off the previous time) another 5K and about 5 other 10Ks during this year.  I had a Garmin 305 for my 40th in April which was the best present ever- if you have one the downloadable training plans are superb.  Nothing like a machine beeping at you to get you hurtling along whatever the weather- I even ran in the sleet the weekend before last.  Anyway my last race of the year is this Saturday (according to my Garmin HM training plan should be an easy 8 miles) so I'm doing the Grim 8!  At least I'm not worried about what time I do it in, I just want to avoid drowning.

    It sounds like you are all doing great, I think I managed about 11 miles as my longest run before Reading, then I injured my calf running in the dark, then I went skiing, then I got sick, I reckon I peaked about 2 weeks early so am hoping to get it right this time and knock a good few minutes off.  Whatever happens the atmosphere will carry you round. If you are doing Reading, there is a pub that does free beer at about 7 miles- it got me up the last hill no problem.

    I was sponsored too so every mile marker I added up how much I had raised, not a bad motivator.

    Anway one more short run before I do the Grim and then cast away into the mire the trainers I bought to do Reading in, 400 miles on........ 

  • Well done Caz! You deserve to be 'buzzing' that's brilliant.  Welcome to our 'newbies'- sounds like the training is going well -  I did a 10k 'Reindeer run'  on Sunday and jesus it was cold and for some reason my hips are sore (never had that before!)  Woken up here in Lancs to a thick blanket of snow - hoping it clears up for my run tomorrow... pretty but slippy!

    Hey Foxy - have been tempted by a Garmin, got a ipod nano with Nike + , Garmin seems to get rave reviews though.

    Right, best go brave the elements  image have a good day everyone.

  • Caz - Well done image
  • Hi Saltpot 

     I can't rave enough about my Garmin.  I only got it because the family were desperate to buy me something big for the BIG b'day and i knew someone who had one.  First time I used it was a bit chaotic (settings all awry) but I rapidly got to grips without and can't imagine life without it now.

    The only facility it is missing is that despite looking like a prop from Start Trek, there is no "Beam me up and home Scottie" facility.  Probably just as well.  I can def. attribute my steady improvements in speed (still a plodder) to it.  Now the 405 is out the 305s have come right down in price.  I have it hooked up to my laptop and use the Gamrin TCsoftware that comes with it and Sportstracks which is free downloadable mapping software.  I'll stop now before everyone nods off.

    I now have to nurture a sore calf due to slip sliding away on my very muddy run yesterday.  Same one as I hurt last year but not as bad this time.

    Happy training today. Mr FL(aka the Reluctant Runner) ran 3 miles this morning and it was only 2deg and very icy, so be careful out there!

  • Thanks all for your praise, am still on a high... Have had to give the training a miss tonight though (gym sesh), it is just far too slippy out there and I dont want to risk crashing my car.  Will try to make up for it later in the week, providing the weather picks up a bit *fingers crossed*

    Saltpot - Sore hips... I had that too, when I got up on sunday as well as the usual long run aches & pains my hips had a sort of bruised ache in the joints if that makes sense... Is that what yours was like???  Could be something to do with the cold damp air maybe...  Just a thought.

    Julia - Your training is coming on a treat, well done on your non-fluke 11 miles... You go girl!!!!

    Darren - My hill training is very sophisticated and I dont know if I should share... LOL Basically it breaks down like this... Find a hill, not hard to do in West Yorkshire, and run up it for as long as possible.  Am currently only on gentle inclines, you would heavy breathe walking up them but they wouldnt really slow your pace and will build up to OMG hills!!!  Have managed the 1/2mile one back home once which is a little steaper without a walk break which I was dead chuffed with as it has been my achilles heel.  If i turn right at the main road then I can run for about 3 miles or so without running out of incline and then there is even more hills on the side streets... Woohooo!!!  Move to West Yorkshire and hill train all day long, its great!!!! image

    Caz x

  • Yep Caz - That's exactly what it was like! eased off considerably today though! Bit fed up that it's so slippy that I can't run! Am I going to have to bite the bullet and join a gym? Is that what most people do?
  • Hi all

    Glad everyone is doing so well, some nice long runs for sure (11 miles JT well done you). I managed to fit a couple of runs in in Amsterdam - nice big park next to the hotel that was really well lit at night. There were dozens and dozens of runners all runing counter clockwise and just me running clockwise  - don't know what that was all about but it was nice not being overtaken all the time - got some funny looks though.

    Hi FoxyLady, know what you mean about having a goal, I know I wouldn't be clocking up the miles I do now if it weren't signing up for the Wokingham HM. I have a  Garmin 201 and wouldn't be without it now to me it's invaluable. I am still thinking about signing up for the Reading HM - can't get excited about that one though. Am about to sort out the Canterbury HM in May and make a weekend of it - well, have to keep Mrs MTB happy.

    good luck all and keep plodding.

  • mobThePlod

    Why can't you get excited about the Reading HM?
    I'm doing it and am excited already,especially the thought of finishing in the stadium!
    Have lots of training to do in the meantime especially as my right knee has meant no running recently..
  • Hi Susiebe

    I guess it is due to the fact that there are so many doing it - but, I had a think and knew really that I need to carry on after the Wokingham HM otherwise I may let the running slip so have just bitten the bullet and signed up. Hope the knee improves, can be depressing not being able to get out.

  • Hi Darren, I guess you just have to keep trying the hill and eventually you will get up it, could you get them to move the trees a bit further apart each week?! Blimey 6 miles in 53 sounds fast to me. Mind you i'm guessing you're a man so by the law of nature ought to be quicker.image

    Hello Foxy, I wonder how many of us ladies had our running launched by R4Ls! I sure did, just wanted to show off at the gym and be able to run all the way. Which i did, in fact they even gave me a job 3 months later! image You would never become boring about the Garmin 305, I too have one and it's AWESOME I love seeing how fast i go (or slow!) . Mind you I don't think i use it to it's full potential. I have raced the stick man in a 5k but thats about it so far. Where do you go to for training schedules and stuff?

    Saltpot did you have antlers to wear and a brown fur suit for your reindeer run? I was toying with the idea of a Santa suit race but figured i've left Mr T on his own too much lately!

    Caz you made me laugh with your hill training plan. Mine is similar, I have stopped trying to avoid them!

    Mob, perhaps the clockwise/anticlockwise thing relates to where you are in relation to the the direction water goes down the plughole or something?

    Susie, hope your knee is feeling better, I would rather be finishing in a football stadium for my first half marathon than up Brentwood high street but it all comes down to where you live i guess. Still Ronnie O'Sullivan may be in it, he was at a local charity race a few months claim to fame, I raced against Ronnie you know! (He won by miles image but hes a man and years younger and thinner than me!)

    Happy running

  • mobThePlod

    I might see you at Reading then!I'll be near the back soaking up the atmosphere!!Just finishing hopefully in less then 3 hours is my goal.
    For me Reading is a good HM as there are so many doing it I don't really have to worry about being near the back,however I hope to do another HM in the future and then I'd be aimming to really improve on my time.
    Do you recommend any HMs?
    I'd quite like to do the Stroud HM as its very near where I used to live 20 years ago when I smoked,drank and partied too much and so wasn't at all fit!!Would love to go back and run those same roads I'd never dreamed of running then!!

    ps hi Julia,my knee is almost back to normal now..just got a bit achy yesterday when i was out Christmas shopping so continued rest until the weekend.
  • Susiebe, just looking at the Reading HM site and do feel up for it now - sorted out how I'm going to get there storing bags etc. I shall be somewhere near the back too, I'm aiming to do it under 2:10, we shall see. Don't really think it's about the time for me, more being able to get round. Next year I'd hopefully be able to put in more decent times when I am more svelt like lol. You not doing the Wokingham half then? I plumped for that as it's right on my doorstep.  

  • Julia T - I will eventually get up that hill,  I may try  two trees next.  I could only do treadmill training today due to darkness but ran 3 miles constant with a 6% incline (10 minute miles and very boring) without no trouble.  For a beginner  I feel like I have accomplished a lot already but I need to get up that hill.  I tracked it on mapmyrun last night and it is 1.3 miles long and starts at 600 ft and at the peak is 990 ft. 

    Thanks all


  • Hiya Berkshire Runners MTP and SusieB.

     Reading is awesome especially finishing in the Mad Stad.  Very well organised- never seen so may portaloos in one place! Altho the jelly baby situation was carnage- none left except dead bodies all over the road!  Squelch!  Also fun running through the traffic lights where the roads are shut off.

    However doing Wokingham this time a) for a change b) because it is before my ski holiday so I will be fit for it and not dreading what if I injur myself. Instead doing the GreenPark challenge with my cubs- 2.4K and same finish, bargain!  If I feel fit at the last minute I might try and scam a left over charity place for Reading, a friend of mine did last time. 

     Julia- Garmin training plans.  You can find them here (RW).  Go into Training and search on Garmin.  There are plans for M, HM and 10K for various times.  I did the 10K plan before Highclere (now there's a challenge for Berkshire runners and you folks needing hill training)  and it really helped me pick up my pace- all relative though, def no sprint genes in my DNA.  Anyway you can download them to Garmin Training Cantre.  Only problem I had was, even putting in the right date, it loaded in the wrong place, however it was very easy to move stuff around and I needed to anyway to fit the days I can train.  I've never managed to get the stick man to run with me (almost did once) but with the training plans, you go into Advanced workouts and stickman isn't an option there.  I use it a lot but still probably not to its full potantial, however I like loading stuff into Sportstracks for mapping.  Especially good if you run somewhere different, so I can look at my runs from my holiday in Spain and zoom in on the Villa and the HILLS round there!  Sunshine, warmth etc........

    Let me know how you get on with it. 

  • OK, OK- I want a garmin.... now please!!

    Julia - just antlers!   (which let me tell you were bloody irritating)  and a Rookie Reindeer T shirt - It was a great run - freezing cold but a good atmosphere and the mince pie and hot chocolate at the end were bliss!

    In such a grump cos I can't get out - reckon we'll be snowed in tomorrow!

  • Morning all, still not managed to get out for a run... Anybody would think it was winter with all this white stuff (or rather browny grey slushy stuff) laying on the ground and refusing to go. Grrrrrr!!! image  Went out for a stability ball class last night and decided to head back home straight afterwards as I'd seen my next door neighbour struggle to get into their drive and Mr CS had had such awful bother getting into ours that I thought it best not to leave it too late.

    LOL Foxy Lady dead bodies at the jelly baby station...  Have read that jelly babies or jelly beans are meant to be good for energy, unfortunately mine dont seem to make it past the front door before I've scoffed them... image

    Saltpot - Hmmmmmm wonder what that could be with out hips, possibly an age thing????  I'm late 30's...  Didn't think I was THAT old yet that aches & pains would be settling in when the weather turns a bit sour.  Mmmmmmm hot chocolate... Well worth the run in my opinion, I fancy doing something like that but I'm sure the Leeds Santa Dash falls when I'm already busy busy busy with pre-christmas stuff.

    Darren - 3miles on 6% incline... Bloody hell!!!!!  You are much further along in your hill training than me.  Have arranged with Mr CS that I will run home from the supermarket on Saturday, obviously he will take the shopping home in the car as its a bit much to expect me to run laden down with carrier bags, and if I head down towards the back road then I get a nice steep 1/2mile or so hill to run up after a nice steady flat bit.  Figured I'd try a different hill to see if that made any difference...  Worth a try eh???

    Caz x

  • Went for my last pre-Grim 8 run this morning.  Was meant to be 3 miles steady according to the Garmin God however after a couple of poor night's sleep with poorly boys I just chilled and tried to enjoy it and not worry about the pace.

    The rain had stopped down south and the sun shone and I went for a run around my local country park.  Sadly this is a landfilled gravel pit so drainage is not its strong point.  At a couple of points I nearly lost my trainers, then I was almost eaten by an out of control Alsation who's owner could not catch it and I ended up standing around for about 5 minutes while it barked, circled round and threatened me and she uselessly called it and told me it wouldn't harm me "She's just scared!"  Yeh right.  Eventually some other dog walkers hove into view and with witnesses around I just sprinted for Freedom and right up to my knees in "puddles" so good practice for Saturday then!

     Now I just have to try and get my mank trainers dry for Saturday, they were actually quite clean once I had finished. 

     Happy running this weekend everyone, hope it thaws out  for you frozen runners further north.

  • Afternoon all

    FoxyLady, I used to run around Dinton Pastures which is a filled in gravel pit and I gave up on that one because of all the dogs, they were a real pain and their owners were not any better - safer on the roads if you ask me.  

    Just mapped a course out on mapmyrun of 8 mile, think it'll be a really slooooow one though to ensure I get round - but these forums are really good for motivation.

  • Foxy lady

    Thanks for the info re Reading HM,don't people eat the jelly baby's body anymore?Do you find that jelly babies are freely given out to runners by marshalls/spectators?or should I take my own?

    Wow what power having roads closed and running through the traffic lights,it just gets better and better!!
  • Susiebe.  Re supplies for RHM- depends on how fast you think you will be.  There was plenty of water when I did it but the Lucozade and official and spectator jelly beans had all gone.   I took my own and shared them with a 10ft high nurse I ended up running with a lot.

    MTP.  I run over to and round DP quite a lot but it also gets very soggy this time of year, but never had dog trouble there yet.  Did get a bit lost my first few times so ended up cycling it until I got to know the various tracks and turnings, all a bit of a maze.

     I have a nice road 8 miler roundCharvil/Twyford/Wargrave that I like to do (also gets submerged in places, the joys of living near the flood plane) and I can crank it up to 10 or 11 with judicious adding of bits of Sonning.  Let me know if you are interested I could give you the details.  Last New Year's Day I did my then longest run from Charvil to Wokingham to my in-laws for lunch.  This year I should be doing 10 miles that day so will have to go the long way round.  Mind you last year was pre-Garmin precision measurement so had to Google earth to measure the route.

    Keep running........... 

  • Thankyou for the info Foxy, I'll let you know how i get on............I raced the stick man by going on the Garmin menus : training, then workouts then quick.I then picked what i wanted, eg dist and time - 3.11miles in 32 mins then, done. Then press start and scroll through to find him. Highly entertaining, I may try and do a sub 30 min 5k on my next run. Short and fast as the weather is so cold image

    You mean you actually get out of the shop without ripping open the jelly baby bag? Although i prefer toffee myself, just have to watch the fillings. Have got to go to the dentist for a checkup tomorrow as it happens. Gulp image

    Darren well done on the treadmill run, just one thought, have you tried going really really really slowly up the hill? I've discovered that if i keep my speed down i can go much further and hillier than i would expect to be able to. Although of course that doesn't do much for my speed! Good for the old lung capacity tho'.

    We've been computerised at work (Curves ladies only gym) so now all our machines flash lights if we're not going fast enough. Making a BIG difference to my workouts and even better, i've had to take my resting heartrate which is 47. WOW I do believe that is scarily good! Hurrah image Looks around modestly image !

    Good luck to you all running in the snow. We just have wet coldness here in Essex.

  • Hi Julia- Not eating Jelly babies at the moment- trying to lose weight to see if it will speed me up.  Lost nearly a stone last year once I started running seriously and training for the HM and then some of it crept back on again post HM and I run less in the summer but kept eating the same.  Since our holiday at half term have now lost 6lbs and trying to lose at least another half a stone to see if it has any impact on pace.  Theoretically should take about a minute or two of HM time- WOW!  Obviously worth the deprivation!

     Don't go to the gym anymore.  Used to belong to a really posh one called Nirvana (MTP may have heard of it) but having 2 little cubs rendered time required obsolete.  Only really have time to run now because both are at school now and I work part-time.  Running did motivate me to teach No2 to ride his bike so I could run while he peddled!   NO 1 likes to run with me sometimes but moans I go to fast; sometimes I do my easy runs with MR FL but his pace is limited so I quite often run backwards.  On the upside I can talk to (at!) him and he can't answer back because he is too puffed out!

  • Hi all

    Well done on the 6lbs Julia, I have found there is a definite correlation between weight loss and an increase in pace. Once I started to up the milage over 20 / week I started to lose weight quite easily without having to really watch what I eat (or drink)!

    FL, poor old Mr FL, can't think of anything worse that being spoken at whilst out of puff - some kind of torture I'd say. Yes I do know Nirvana but it is waaaaay too posh for me. By all means forward details of the sonning run - nice around there. I have one in mind I intend to do this weekend (9 mile) from Twyford to Wargrave and around Crazies hill - on the basis that hills are supposed to be good for you. Mrs MTB has offered to buy loads of beers and nosh afterwards if I make it - good incentive eh?

  • MTP- the 8 miler is a loop along the Old Bath Road from the A4, through Twyford, back up to the A4, cross over at Wyevale and head away from Reading.  Just past Wyevale turn left up Tag lane.  At a T junction by Yelldall Manor, turn left towards Wargrave.  Head down Victoria Road, straight on towards the traffic lights.  Turn left along Twyford Rd, then right down towards the station.  At the end of the road turn right.  This next bit is a combination of mostly public right of way with a bit of private road. Despite the signs no one has ever stopped me in a year of running it.  Along here it can go under water at times!  Follow the road back until you are back to the A4, turn right towards Charvil, cross at the Ped crossing and head back down Park View Drive South.  That's a little under 8 miles, if you go up as far as the Wee Waif roundabout to rejoin the A3032, that's def. 8 miles.  For a longer route, head along the A4, turn right down Charvil Lane into Sonning (No pavement for a bit here), then run back up Pound Lane and down the A4, and another add on to about 11 miles, is to cross the A4 from Pound Lane into Butts Hill Road, then head off left past Sonning Golf club and back through Woodley.

    Enjoy- I may see you doing it one Sunday while my kids are at rugby.

    Last post before the Grim; if I should drown think only this of me...... 

    Apologies everyone else if this is a tad boring, but if you're ever in Berkshire you now have somewhere to run! 

  • Hi again

    Julia - I don't care about the speed one way or another I will get up my hill, I will take your advice and try to go even more slowly.  It is that time of year when getting outside is difficult I will attempt my long run tomorrow around 8 miles and that leaves Sunday which will only be a recovery run.   Last night I tried something different in training there is a steep incline (which is quite well lite) but very short after a mile slow jog I sprinted up and then walked down, I repeated this on several occassions.  I hope this will help me.

     Hope everyone enjoys their long run at the weekend.

    P.S The weather is supposed to be really cold Sunday.

  • Good afternoon everyone, off out for dinner tonight for father-in-laws birthday. Will try and keep a tight rein on my eating, on the plus side, i'm driving so no alcohol. Foxy, good luck at the Grim, sounds really grim to me!!!!! I think we should go quicker if we're thinner, i'm 12stone 13 so if i could just knock off another couple of stone i reckon i'll be zooming. Alternatively i could stand in fertilizer and try and grow     6". That would help image Not sure i could run backwards without tripping over, but i shall have to think of a way to get Mr T out of puff so i can talk at him ! image

    Beer sounds a good incentive MtP, i read that it is a good aid to recovery too. Although they may have meant only 1.

    Darren good luck with the hills. I have got one of my marathon training books now, they talk about heartrate quite a lot, i'll pass on anything useful as i come across it.

    Happy running, long one tomorrow again (run that its) image

    Seem to be winking a lot today! image

  • Hi All

    Saturday night and i'm typing on a message board I promise that I have a fun life.

     Meant to do 8 miles today but it was such a glorious day (SUNSHINE)  I  ended up going quite a bit further (11.85 accordin to mapmyrun) only stopping for water,  cars, and ramblers that are definately lost now (after asking me for directions) have they been reported on the news as missing yet? 

    I chickened out of my hill, I must try this new running backwards style will it fell like I'm running downhill.

    I do have a question for you all do you use your training plans as written (near enough) or if you are feeling good do a bit extra or feeling bad -less.  with fifteen weeks to my race woud you start from the beginning again or keep around the 8 - 10 weeks plan untill tapering.

    Any tips that you read Julia T please pass them on.

  • Hi Darren, I merrily tweak my training plans to suit me.   I make sure I get in during a week what they suggest, but often swop days around.  If I am feeling good I do more, and  up the ante a bit, if not so good I do the minimum it says.  I would keep where you are for a bit, most training plans have a cycle where every fourth week is a bit easier, so make sure you allow for that and give your body a break every so often.  At least you have plenty of time so if you get ill/ injured you have lots of time to R&R.  Crank it up per plan for the last few weeks.

     Running backwards- sure I read somehting in RW last year about it being a good training technique....

    There was also an acticle about short sharp hill bursts being as good as any other hill training, so that might help.  I live on a hill (sort of, Thames Valley doesn't really have many) and I do hill repeats when insanity takes me.  Each one takes 40-45 secs, then I recover on the way back down and do it all again, up to 10 times, before someone needs to call an ambulance.  Keeps the neighbours amused!

     The Grim 8: (actually 8.65m according to Garmin) Obviously I have survived!  Best organised run I have ever done.  Such a laugh.  Put the Fun back into Run!  Cold ,wet and gruesomely muddy, but a great atmosphere and lovely off-road experience.  Would def. do it again.  MTP- put it in your diary for next year.  Only about 30 mins from here.  It helped that the sun shone and I'm glad I'm not doing it today  (so popular they run it on 2 consecutive days, yes really!) as I imagine it would be a case of first one in breaks the ice this morning.Not one for a PB- I did an average11min miles but know someone who reckons it took him the time he usually does 10 miles in so don't feel remotely bad.  It was actually really nice to run and not be worried about the time.

    If you're out there today, be careful- VERY slippery.

     Julia- hope you had a good evening- we partied at my Dad's last night- he was celebreating his house's 45th b'day- any excuse eh!  Strangely had no desire to drink so haven't blown the diet and Garmin claimed Grim= 800 cals!

  • Hi everyone, hope all is well and everyone had good weekends.

    FL thanks for the route, looked it up on MapMy Route and I shall have to give it a whirl. Well done on the Grim 8, I will try that next year - sounds tough but a lot of fun.

    JT, I have lost a stone but need to lose another stone and a half which aint gong to be easy. I have managed to up the mileage to 30 / weeek so am hoping that this will help - your right on the beer issue though, that's the little vice I am cutting down on, I stoppped the smoking fairly easily several months ago though so not done too bad there.

  • Hi all.

    Think I need to wander over to the "giving up booze" thread, oooooooh I had way too much to drink on Friday night... What on earth was I thinking???  I was so ill that I couldnt even muster a shuffle round the supermarket without feeling sick image so there was no way on earth I was getting out for my run.  Will chalk this weekend up as a lost cause and start afresh this week.

    Well done MtP on giving up the cigs, terrible habit and so expensive.  Dont rush into the giving up the beer though, not this close to christmas... You dont want to do anything you may regret... LOL.

    Everyone seems to be doing so well, feel a bit guilty now about my total skive.  Oh yes, Julia dont keep any hot tips to yourself. If you find one on how to make 13miles feel like 3 then please feel free to share... *crosses fingers & hopes there is a top tip on this*

    Well done FoxyLady on the Grim 8 and your 11min mile average.  *pats FL on the back*

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