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Red: if you want an all purpose bike ( and there is really no such thing) have a look at cyclo cross bikes such as the Boardman CX as you can ride them on and off road. Alternatively a hard tail mountain bike (front suspension only) with a suspension lock out for on road use. Then latestly there are a whole raft of hybrids which sort of fall between the two. IMO a CX bike is the most versatile if your going to want to ride on gravel, light mud etc and the road. A mountain bike if you want gnarly single track off road and a little road.
Mexx are apparently OK the bargain as a toe in the water road bike according to the mags is http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/reviews/road-bikes/btwin-triban-3-299-99
home from Boston!
Thanks for that DD. Sounds good. Was speaking to a local bike shop who was advocating a non-branded carbon framed bike as he reckoned that almost all manufacturers used this company (forget the name) to manufacture their frames and they just apply the branding (and the price). BS???
2old - Sounds like a strain/tear, ice for the first 48 hours, gentle stretching and rest maybe 10 to 14 days, run again when it feels OK just slow stuff to start off with.
Oompa - I'm a mid foot striker currently in Brooks Ghost 6(Ok when I've broken them in) which I have used since last year, good cushioning and flexible and funnily enough just bought some Mizuno Wave Riders a lot firmer/lighter than the Ghost so probably use them for shorter/quicker stuff to start off with.
Red/Oompa - Going to buy an entry level road bike when I sort my swimming out, don't know a lot about bikes but the Cube Agree looks a good value bike.
12 miles this afternoon , 6 miles slowish in my Ghost and then 6 a bit quicker in the Wave Riders.
Sorry 2old didn't mean to offend :0) Hope you are feeling a bit better?
Hi Daren, Wow. I perform my runs in the morning with just an electrolyte drink inside me but always have porridge before the LSR. That is some going.
With regards to running shoes I use the saucony Kinvaras (4mm drop), I have tried innov8's and Brooks, but keep coming back to the Kinvaras, but that is just my preference I guess. They work for me and they are light also.
Hi redwood, Ouch, sounds painful
Hi Barry, You changed shoes halfway?
10 miles for me this morning averaging 7:30-7:40, I had 7 miles of hill reps yesterday morning with a session in the gym after so the legs were feeling slightly fatigued today, and ended up on my feet most of the day at work!
Indulge me folks!
On arrival in Boston it was immediately apparent that this was a city in the grip of marathon fever, it seemed as if everyone at the airport was wearing trainers and a jacket from other races. This impression was reinforced on Sunday when I went to the expo, the metro was packed with runners wearing Boston marathon jackets, many wearing the 2013 version with particular pride. There was a buzz about the city which screamed marathon, clearly the 2014 Boston marathon was a big thing to the people and city of Boston. A walk down Boylston street the finish took me past a decorated tree marking the scene of the second blast in 2013 and gave me cause to reflect on fragility of life.
Sunday night Chick, 2Old and I met up for a quick Coke , nice to put faces to names! 0700 on Monday and I was stood on Boston Common to get the bus to the start, this was a very slick operation and I was quickly on the way, a way which seemed to be an extremely long way. I spent the bus ride giving myself a severe talking too, i was just to laid back and had to get myself into battle mode.Chick and I had agreed to meet in the Athletes village and amazingly amongst thousands of runners we met exactly as agreed. The queues for the toilets were the longest we had ever seen and the whole village was heaving and full of nervous energy. At about 1000 our wave was called forward to the starting corrals though by the time we had walked down the hill it was straight to the start line without a stop. I had had the normal what to wear dilemma and was wearing a long sleeve shirt with club vest over, it was already quite warm by the start and i had a feeling that i may be a little over dressed.
From the start the course dropped quite steeply for the first couple of miles and my plan to run 4 hour pace from the start and try to hang on was severely tested by gravity! After a couple of miles the course levelled out and whilst the overall inclination was slightly down there was plenty of up to test the legs. Right from the off the level of support was awesome and almost overpowering through the villages along the route, clearly many of the spectators were making a day if it with bar-b-ques and beer all around, very reminiscent of Comrades. There seemed to be a constant stream of runners overtaking me but I kept telling myself to hold it back. Amongst the throng i saw two ex club mates from Dubai pass me, time for a quick catch up and let them continue on. The course winds its way past lakes, rivers, clap board houses and bare trees with little signs of spring.
10K came up in 53-56, a little to quick but happy enough given the downhill bits, just before half way we passed Wellesley College, the noise those girls made was unbelievable, impossible to run past without a huge grin an numerous high fives, half way along I just couldn't resist the sign promising a free kiss, it had been awhile since I kissed a 18 year old beauty! Half way came up in 1-54-52. By now people had stopped going past me and several were starting to come back towards me. The lack of training and especially long runs were now starting to make themselves felt but I was absolutely determined to make 16 miles and the Newton hills without walking.
Sure enough at the 16. Mile drinks station I took my first walk through the aid station and decided I would now run between each aid station and walk through them, 30K passed in 2-45-47 slowing but still moving ok. The hills came and went without any great dramas, in truth their nowhere ad high or steep ad the ones i train on all the time and I had no problem running them all. On cresting Heart Break hill there are 6 miles left down hill into the city, as i came down the hill the crowds just got bigger and bigger, louder and louder, it was high five time and i spent as much time applauding them as they did me.
By now it was warm and I was over dressed but my body is still used to Dubai Temperatures and it didn't bother me overmuch, others were clearly struggling.35k came up in 3-18 and I realised I could go sub 4 if I wanted, for perhaps 400 metres I upped the pace but then I realised that I had stopped inter acting with the crowd and what difference did it make if I ran 3-59 or 4-10? Slowed down and resumed the fun, approaching the finish the crowds were 4 or 5 deep and the noise beyond anything i had ever experienced in a marathon, enough to bring out the goose bumps, crossed the line in 4-01-27, happy!
So the severe taper worked as I ran pain free for the first time since xmas and the lack of training and long runs was overcome by experience and the power of the crowd carrying me on, thank you Boston, thank you.
Chick: surgery sounds drastic, see how 4 weeks of rest goes.
Oompa: im another in Saucony Kinvara. Have been wearing them for years now, it took awhile to get used to the 4mm heel and lack of support but the transition was worth it.
Bikes: ideally buy a bike with the best frame you can afford, everything else can be upgraded as it wears out. Carbon is a little more forgiving than aluminium but a lot of the modern Aluminium frames are bloody good. If your unsure whether cycling is for you then either buy second hand or have a look at the Btwin bikes in the link i posted above, their great value, i have one in Spain and love it. Have a look at the Bike Radar and Road CC websites for some great reviews, size is very important but you can tweak it by changing stems, using spacers, moving saddles back wards and forwards etc.
Oompa I have my trainers fitted by a run shop here in Swindon who also measures gait. Never had a problem. I wear Brookes support and have been fitted with the Trance as I usually wear GTS but they were recalled. The Trance have been really comfortable & I think I prefer them to the GTS. The guy is used to me now as I'm really picky about the colour.
Wow DD great experience & love your report
2old Have a safe journey home. Plenty of rest
Chick sounds like some rest for you as well. Take care
Went to the running group tonight & opted for the 5 miler. Lovely surprise to find hills were part of the route Starting to feel nervous for Sunday as I desperately want to finish with a decent time!
Chick - I feel for you in the heat - you'll probably take some time to recover if you got heatstroked
2old - how did you run 18 miles on 1 leg?!? Hope it recovers quickly.
DD - enjoyed reading your report - identified with your feelings when deciding whether to push for a time or enjoy the crowds - exactly the same conversation I had with myself in London.
Redwood - I've felt faint in that situation before but never properly passed out - guess thats a warning sign to take it easy post op.
On bikes, the best bike to start with is always the one you have - if theres a dusty one in the shed then that'll do, just get out on it. If you want to get a new one, the best one depends on what you want to do. If you want to do sportives, road riding, touring, off road riding on less well surfaced paths like towpaths etc then its worth looking at cyclocross bikes - fashionable right now so theres lots out there and they are generally more robust and comfortable than racers, although not as fast. If you want to shred the gnar, you'll also need a mountain bike, and if you want to race, then you'll also need a racer . [oh, just saw DD said the same - think of this a second opinion!]
Oompa - can't help with shoes - I found some that worked for me years ago and just buy the same ones whenever I need new ones. You should ask me about bikes instead - oh you did! Funny you should mention the Mekk - I'll let you know what it is like when mine arrives on Friday . .....
Theres some good prices for them right now - its worth knowing that the frame is usually the same through the range, you just pay more for better components (sora
Hmmph. I'm giving up! RW is protesting against me talking about biking - I'm taking that as a sign!
Oompa - Mekk are a good British company, and they have some gret bargains out there like this...... http://www.wiggle.co.uk/mekk-2g-poggio-p15-sora/ a full carbon bike for just over 700 squid. The frame is the same one they use on models costing over 2500, just with cheaper components, and still avail in various sizes. If I get some compo from my bike accident, I'll be after one.
Red - Like DD and KFC have said, depends how much off road you want to do, but cyclocross (CX) bikes are very popular now. They're tough, and 'jack of all trades' for road and light off road duties.
Chick - Try and avoid the knife, and what ever you do avoid 'fusion', it would be the biggest mistake of your life.
DD - Great race report. If the knees will let me, it's definitely on the "to do" list.
Pink - What race are you doing this Sunday?
2Old - Not Cycle World but "Bu**ered Runners Who'd Rather Run But Can't World"! Hmmm... Bit of a mouthful... Not sure that one's gonna fly?
DD - Boston sounds great and because I will be 45 next year, I will have a BQ place by 5 mins! So I will definitely put it on the to-do list.
Ok so here is my self indulgent ,self pitying report from Boston. Apologies in advance-
Boston MarathonAfter months of training this was it ,Boston. I flew out on the Thursday before the race to let my old body recover fully from the flight ...that was the plan anyway . As DD said the city was gripped with marathon fever and this became more and more intense with every day. On the Friday ,after a bit of retail therapy ,we went to the Boston Library and saw the art work put together in memory of those affected by the bombing last year. It was very moving ,many people cried whilst looking at the exhibits. Later that day I did a very satisfying 6+mile run along the Charles River with Harvard in the background ,my first run for four days after back trouble and one where I easily knocked out a mile at HM pace ,one at MP and one a bit slower .I decided to go for it on Monday...probably my undoing.Saturday was my registration day and in true Boston marathon tradition I wore my jacket from 2009 . So many others wore theirs but it was the 2013 jacket that carried most significance .Sunday was a day off my feet but I still managed to watch some ice hockey and meet DD and Chick. Chick and I were obviously nervous but DD was pretty laid back -In fact he was horizontal .Then it was off for a pasta in the Italian district and bed
Monday -Race Day .My bus was at six fifteen even though my wave started at ten ..a yellow school bus straight from the movies. An hour later I ,together with thousands of others ,were deposited in a traditional New England country town called Hopkinton . I chatted to the guy sat next to me who had the same qualifying time and the time soon passed . The forecast was for it to be cool 11-14c with a tail wind - perfect. Instead the sun was already beating down with no trace of wind At last I was at the start line,the usual fly past took place and after the anthem we were off .I waved at a camera as I went over the line and happily my family back in the hotel saw me .I soon got into a comfortable pace just under 7mm and carried on that way . 5k in about 22 mins. I felt fine. 10k in just over 43mins. I was thinking about my target time allowing for the hills and fatigue-3.12 possibly? Near Mile 8 and all going well then bang ,without warning ,the right side of my left calf tightened up so painfully I had to stop . I couldn't walk or massage it out out. I sat on the kerb watching people stream by. A child gave me some water. I tried to run again ,no better. I had no option but to walk to mile 8 to the next medical tent. My Garmin showed splits for miles 8and nine of 10.29 and wait for it 26.06 When I got there the medics massaged my calf and told me they could feel a golf ball sized lump . They kept working on it and the calf filled with fluid so the ice pack went on. They gave me salt pills. I had a choice to make -get the 'injured 'bus back to the hotel or try running again. My family were going to see me at mile 16 so I had to go on. I didn't have my phone to tell them .My leg was strapped and I was back in the race. This last 5k had taken me 45mins. My plan was meet the family and go home with them if I wasn't up to finishing. A,B and C targets were irrelevant now.
Boston part 3
I still had 18 miles to go and I was now running mixed with a sort of hop and limp.Every step was painful. I'd forgotten about my back and Achilles which had plagued me in training . I don't remember much of the next 8 miles though sometimes I saw that my pace was surprisingly around 7.30mm. I stayed well away from the girls at Wellesley ...I didn't need any temptation to stop .Mile15 saw me need a toilet stop..the sun was now taking its toll on my stomach too. 11-14c? It was going on20c and there was no shade to be found.Where was that tail wind? Split for that mile 9.36!From then on I kept looking for my family and the hills kept coming. As a matter of pride I ran up them all even though my calf was now screaming at me. Heartbreak Hill came and went..not a fun experience .The noise of the spectators was deafening . No family in sight ,so I couldn't quit but I really needed to see them. ( they were actually on a trolley car there and saw me and photographed me).That was 20 miles done and 6 more seemed a distance too far but I wanted that medal .My pace seemed to keep slowing. I stopped at each water station and walk ran - that provided a bit of relief from the pain in my calf. I could see that I might get home in under 4 hours but I had doubts. Passed Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox which shares the same owner as Liverpool FC and now into the City. I could see the Prudential Building in the distance- the finish. More run limp walking. Only 2 miles...the longest 2 miles ever and why was the road so undulating? At last ,around a corner onto Boylston Street and the finish line in sight.What a noise !..anyone would think I was about to win the race . I looked at my watch and realised that with a sprint and a limp or two more I might get home under 3.45. Finished 3.44.08. My second worst marathon but I didn't care ,I'd finished and savoured the moment I was given my medal and gave a thought to those who weren't so
Boston part 4
So what went wrong? I think it was the lack of running over the previous 10days and I probably went off ,without a warm up ,too fast on a long downhill stretch over the first 6 miles . I wish I'd had a warning twinge but that was not to be. Allowing for the time in the medic tent and sitting in the street I wasn't running for about 23 mins of my time so the actual run time was under 3.30 . Who knows how much time the pain of injury cost me in addition when I did get back out there. So I shouldn't be too disheartened as there were a lot of positives in that run and more importantly I'm glad I had the privilege of being part of it .It was a very special occasion.As it said everywhere 'Boston Strong' . Ps my Garmin measured the distance at 26.5 miles and I can't begin to say how tough it was knowing I had that extra distance to go. Here are my Garmin splits which make some curious reading--1-7.06, 2-6.58, 3-6.55, 4-6.51, 5-6.58, 6-6.52, 7-6.56, 8-10.29, 9-26.06, 10-7.37, 11-7.24, 12-7.23, 13-7.24, 14-7.26, 15-9.36, 16-7.15, 17-7.43, 18-7.42, 19-7.50, 20-8.21, 21-8.19, 22-7.43, 23-8.22, 24-8.28, 25-7.49, 26-8.44, last 0.54-3.39.That's marathon no 9 done ,I'm wondering if I'll get 10 done ! My body is conspiring against me.
wow that was long winded
2old: tough day at the office eh? Nice report and great determination.
90 mins on the bike for me, didn't fancy speedwork at the club tonight
Cracking race report DD, sounded like you had a ball.
Yours is cracking too 2old, and you did have a ball - in your calf! How you finished I don't know!
Thanks for all of the tips on the bike front (DD, Oompa, KFC, Ant & Simon). Sounds like a CX bike would be a good place to start so I can have a bash at a bit of both and see what appeals. It's mainly roads and gravel trails around here, so think that ought to do the trick. Just keen to try it out, take a bit of pressure off of the joints and see how I go. I've got ample time to have a good look around, so will let you know what I go for. Feeling much better today, so fingers crossed I'm out of the other side.
2old - wow what a report. You really went off like the clappers didn't you - that's nearly 3:00 hour pace at the beginning! Was that what you were aiming for?
Hi DD/2old, Great reports, enjoyed reading through them. Not sure how you made it through 2old, even with a damaged calf some of the splits are great at the beginning and after the injury ;0) you deserved a medal at the end of that!
Ran 6 miles this morning, 4 pace ones at 6:46,6:46,6:45,6:46 and the other two as a warm up/down. Another nice morning. At the moment it is a case of knocking over the schedules.
2old your report was brilliant sounds like a great atmosphere. Well done for making it to the end with great determination. Look after the calf.
Oompa I'm running Stratford HM on Sunday, Barry is as well & has a bet on with me to finish at least half an hour after him. The nerves are kicking in.
Carrying on with the bike theme, I should be able to start going out on mine as I have ordered a cycle helmet which I've been waiting for. I just have a run of the mill mountain bike & won't consider splashing out on anything too fancy at the mo until I can get more miles on it. Been asked to take part in a pool tri in a few weeks but have said no as my running & swimming is ok but no where near ready with a bike thrown in the mix as well.
Ant- the plan was to do the first 8 at about 7mm(downhill)the next 8 at around 7.15 and the next 8 (the hills) at 7.25/30 and see where I was for the remainder. As they say 'all the best laid plans..' The aim was sub 3.10.
Nell-I'm just hoping I haven't made the calf worse by continuing
Pink-Thanks-give the tri a go ..they are great fun.The bike section won't be a problem with your running background
left calf still a problem. Going to need to continue to rest it.
2Old and DD it's really great reading your reports of the race, with the training issues you had, you both overcame massive obstacles to even finish, and to finish and still be able to see the positives of the race is inspiring!
Whilst no specific problems, I'm still feeling lethargic from London, am wondering when I'll feel back to my normal self, questioning whether entering the MidSussex Marathon weekend next weekend was a good idea so soon afterwards?!
Oompa, I changed to saucony kinvara 2 years ago after a metatarsal stress fracture, I love them, although I do seem to have to replace them more frequently than I had previous shoes!
2Old - Nuff respect! Sub 7's from the off??? Hope you mend quickly.
Nicki - I like the idea of Kinvaras but feel that i need more cushioning, so am leaning towards Brooks Ghosts.
Went to the club last night for a nice gentle 3 - 4 miler in the Surrey countryside, only to find that it was the 5k handicap race night!
It's the most boring race you can imagine, an out and back down a country lane, and every single step hurt like hell! Finished in 26:__ and my knees are on fire this morning. Also went to see my surgeon yesterday as there is still a lot of swelling above the patella, but he seemed to think that all was well and that i just needed to be a bit more patient... Clearly doesn't know me at all.