ASICS Target 26.2 - 2013



  • Hiya Clive, my 'A' races are the Dedham 10k next Sunday, then the Ipswich half marathon on the 22nd- both relatively local, and hoping to pb on both.  Am really hoping that some of my Essex way crazy runs will have had a big effect as I've been a bit lax on mid-week training since tr24.  Not planning on Essex way again any time soon- after these races my weekends are a flurry of wedding related stuff, so I would just have to fit in long runs from home rather than drive anywhere.

    I'm planning the 10x 400 tomorrow evening Clive, though I don't get to do. It in the iconic don valley, or indeed on a track at all!  Did you see Jessica Ennis-Hill? Did you tell her I'm getting closer to her 6-back thanks to my silly guts!   Jen- agree with the others,  2 long runs in a row with nothing in between is absolutely fine.  Sometimes I end up doing that out of necessity, as long as you are better.  You will probably know fairly early on in the run if you're not ok.  For my fail last week I should have just looked at my heart rate- it was ridiculously high for me for 3 miles into a run.   Hiya Sarah-wondered who Andy was, thought you were talking about shady Ady for a minute thereimage   Clive- pacing strategy, - do it all at 9mm, so I can beat your time the following weekendimage   Malcs, v funny, although I'm not sure that Sauvignon grape grows very well in Englandimage. Are u tempted to do it next year? We certainly drove past the exit for Orpington around 1am on Saturday morning after the major traffic jam!  Giant banana has a very tight itb and a bruised foot pad- this will probably lead to weeks and weeks of not being able to do any sport and wondering why he isn't progressing on the 6-pack challenge.  He's still hobbling arou d like an old man? I'm as impressed as Sarah! Still not done under 4 for a marathon and there you go sneaking in without proper training!


  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Ooooh - wine buff eh! image

    Am I tempted? Maybe. It does sound quite good. 

    Oh dear, was the jam because of the bridge bomb hoax? Wasn't it closed for 7 hours? The bridge can be a bottleneck at the best of times but you were really unlucky.

    Hope the banana is feeling a bit better. How are your guts now? 

  • Yup, I was caught in that jam- it was ridonkulus!  Guts are much better- as someone without children yet, I refuse to spend all day talking about poo, so I will spare u detailsimage

    today was a double day- 4 mile recovery run in the morning, then 10 x 400m in the evening.  Hopefully a nice easy run tomorrow and I'm pacing a 29 minute for parkrun on Saturday, should leave me raring to go for my 10k on Sunday.  I've set tv to record GNR, so shall look out for Sarah and Clive image

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    I'm looking forward to a gentle session today image

    Of interest, there is a v good feature on the home page by Matthew Solan 'getting back on it'. Gives good solid advice to the question I asked about illness/injury etc distupting training plans. It's well worth a read, (and its v similar to what you all told me! Thanks team! )

  • Evening, glad you're better Angela. Another great report image.

    Mrs P is out at a reception tonight in Liverpool with Bryn Terfel, so I went to a yoga class with a woman from our office.  She is in her sixties and incredibly fit and supple so I think she is a good advert. i enjoyed it very much. Lots of stretch in the hammies and calves. I was quite surprised by how far I could go really. It was hard work I was sweating s lot. Tey werent very sociable afterwards, I thought they would have a chat and stuff like runners but they just melted away. Definitely do it again.

    Tuesday was tempo, 5 miles at 7:30, felt crap at first and got crapper!  Last night I did 8 at mara pace, it turned out to be 7:50s so quite pleased. Long run agsin on saturday as I am marshalling on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if there is an imrpovement on last week. I am going to ditch the camelbak, i wuld rather st and buy a bottle of water I think if required. 

    I havent heard from him for a while Sarah, I will drop him a line.

  • Morning!

    Mr P, good to see the training runs going in. How long you going this weekend- then the taper? What is your goal aim for Chester?


    Just got this email from Greg McMillan who did my training programme- quite good tips...


    "As many of you enter the final stretch of training before your fall marathon, here are my 6 top tips for last minute preparation:


    #1) Don't get injured!


    Nothing is worse than being the fittest spectator at a marathon. Your #1 goal in these last few weeks is to keep injury at bay. Sounds easy but it's very hard for many of us. We want/need to get in the important workouts and long runs. You simply have to balance this desire to get in the training you want with how your body is responding. Be open to moving workouts around (usually spacing them farther apart) to allow your connective tissue the time it needs to heal. Sometimes an extra recovery day after a long run or hard workout is the difference between an injury and staying healthy. Listen to your body and remember that no runner's marathon was ruined by too much recovery but many have been ruined by too little recovery.


    #2) Pick Your Battles


    At this point in your training, the basic fitness has been built. That's what all the base training and build up in mileage was all about. Now, it's about refinement and that means putting all your focus on the key workouts. It comes down to the old adage, "Run hard on your hard days and easy on your easy days."  I encourage you to hold back on easy days so you can put forth your best effort in the marathon-specific workouts. 


    #3) Dial It In


    Speaking of refinement, these last few weeks are also a great time to dial in your goal pace, nutritional strategy and equipment. Make sure that you get in some workouts where you simply try to run as relaxed as possible at goal marathon pace. The easier you can make this pace feel, the better your chance at success on race day. These last few weeks are also the time to dial in your nutritional strategy - that includes everything before, during and after the marathon. Experiment to see what works then practice it over and over so you are ready on race day. And, don't forget to use your race day gear in some of your key workouts and tune-up races. 


    #4) Big 5


    While there are certainly lots of different workouts that you can/should do to get ready for the marathon, here are my 5 favs (all are outlined in articles and videos on my website):


    Fast finish long run - start at an easy pace but finish the last few miles very fast 

    Steady long run - time on your feet is the key

    Tempo Run - push your threshold higher with this medium-effort, medium-distance run

    Yasso 800s - build to 10 x 800m, which is a classic marathon predictor workout

    1K Cruise Intervals - 10 x 1000m with 1 minute recovery jog at slightly faster than tempo run pace


     #5) Master Your Mantra


    In the marathon, you'll spend a fair amount of time in your own head. What I mean is that you'll have to constantly battle the voice in your head urging you to slow down.  This voice will get increasingly louder and louder as the race goes on. I recommend you have a

  •  go-to mantra for when that voice gets loud. Come up with something that you can repeat mentally over and over during the hardest part of the race. It can be as easy as "stronger, stronger" or something that reminds you of why you are running the race in the first place (your family, a charity, etc.). No matter what it is, I find it very helpful to have something to take your attention away from the discomfort late in the race. A good mantra is the best way I've found.


    #6) Perfect Your Plan


    You spent a lot of time on your training plan. Now it's time to put some effort into your race weekend plan. Start 3 days out from the race and plan ahead for all the meals, activities as well as running you will do. Take care of any planning you can do ahead of time (making dinner reservations, finding grocery stores near your hotel, etc.). What you'll find is that when the weekend arrives, you can simply work your plan. You'll enjoy how much less stressful the pre-race days can be when you've planned ahead.


  • Horrendous week at work! So glad it's over. Today could be either the cherry on the cake....just sat in the garage whilst my car is having its MOT...on Friday the 13th...I'm so nervous, just hope it gets through. Once the ford garage charged me just over £1000 due to it needing a new suspension amongst a few other things...which were apparently fine 2 months earlier (anmints isn't even use my car for a month whilst on holiday)...think I have a trust issue with the garage!! Think I would rather be doing my long run today than sitting here!

    finally had chance to read your race report was fantastic, you have me wanting to run it now, all that food, t shirt, medal etc makes it sound well worth the money, especially for the marathon. GNR was £48 and we prob don't get half as much! Can you run on oranges and fizzy wine? Will remember to wave at the cameras on Sunday!! What paces did you do your 400m at? 

    Glad to hear that your feeling better Jen, good luck with your long run.

    glad to hear that your sounding positive malcs and that your maintaining your fitness. Andy's doing fantastic thankyou!!

    I guess every run can't go perfect Mr P, sounds like you had a good MP run in though. Good luck with your long run tomorrow. I'm kind of jealous, I won't have done a long run for two weeks now...feels like 

  • Its been a life sure Sunday will help blow the cobwebs off thougknow what's your friend called? Just wondering if I know them?

    thankyou for the top tips Clive, their really helpful. What pace do you do the yasso at I can't remember now?

    i feel like I haven't done much for two weeks now and I'm starting to panic about the marathon,  probably just ore marathon anxiety but I'm wondering if I should have pushed myself more on my base miles and done more mp miles in my long run and some of the other runs. I guess I can't change anything now, so I've just got to make the last 5 weeks count.

    ive had tight hamstrings since Saturday...think I might have pushed myself a little too much on Saturday running up to 5:19- 5:14m/m pace for 400m intervals. I managed 9 miles at an ave 8:30m/m on Sunday but on Monday I couldn't run any quicker than 8:34 m/m without my hamstrings feeling like they were going to snaps. Ended up turning my 8 mile run into a 3.5m slow recovery run with lots of stretchers instead. Tue I was at that meeting so rested and the wed I did a 6 mile run were I slowly increased my pace to HMP. Could still feel my hamstrings but they were not as bad as on Monday. I just hope there ok for Sunday and don't flare back up as

  • I really need to up the mileage again (will have only done about 25 miles this weekimage)


    has the marathon madness already hit me? 

  • hmm maybe icing on the cake sounds better than the cherry on the cake...too much wine drank last night I think! 

  • Hiya Jenf, I think I read that article before, when I was having the worst of my tummy problems J come to think of it, one of the girls on the hen w/e had had norovirus a bit before, I wonder if that may have caused an intestinal reaction in me- it did make me very sleepy.  Ahh well, all better now, so better not to dwell.

    Mr. P, I’m jealous that you get to try yoga!  I really want to give Bikram yoga (the one in the hot room) a try- so annoying, there were studios on every street corner when I lived in Australia, but now, they seem to only be in London and v. expensive, and I would have to see David even less in order to go, so I don’t.

    Clive, those are some great tips J  I wrote a little blog about marathon nutrition as one of my friends is undertaking their first and asked me to teach him about it. 

    Sarah,  There are way too many good races… Just a few I want to fit in next year: 2 proper marathons, the quadrathon, the Cyprus international 4 day challenge, bacchus marathon, orion 15, essex 20, something in the lake district-  one of the Lakeland trails. . . . Ummm, do you think I’ll need to quit my job to fit them all in??

     thank you for asking me a question that can distract me from my boredom….I jogged most of the recoveries this time, rather than walking, but came across an article yesterday that suggested you get more benefit from intervals if you properly rest in the rest phase.  Shame I didn’t read this before, as its probably my last interval session for a while.  After the Ipswich half, I’m taking a week completely off running, then back to base building – lots of easy running with drills.  Spent the other night working out a training programme that will take me to my next marathon.

    Anyways, the paces:

    1. 6:40
    2. 6:36
    3. 6:46
    4. 7:45
    5. 6:46
    6. 7:02
    7. 7:20
    8. 7:06
    9. 7:10
    10. 7:14

    The first time I did this workout, as 8x400m, I got them all under 7mm pace, but I did walk the recoveries, so I don’t think the slower paces here mean I’m less fit, but we’ll see when I race on Sunday.  Not feeling overly confident for this race though!

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    I am getting to the point of wanting to print this thread as you all posting such gems! Thank you image

    Just out of interest.. what are other peoples mantras?  Mine is 'I am relaxed, I am strong. This is MY race'

  • Jen- I like it image

    Just had a really interested conversation with a colleague (and keen cyclist) in Intensive Care... There is increasing evidence that endurance activities such as running a marathon are stressful, and that this causes effects upon some of the blood cells (platelets). These can become more 'sticky' and clump together to form small clots. This is a cause of strokes/heart attacks in people who are very fit, without the usual risk factors. This effect can be mitigated by taking aspirin. Does anyone else subsribe to this and thus take aspirin? Have to say I am thinking about it for Cologne and the long runs...

  • Ello ello, my mantras are stolen from Sarah, who I think stole them from her mentor Minni ...  'Don't be shit' and 'Trust in the training'...

    Hmm Clive, being medically trained you are probably best to answer this one yourself.  I would always be concerned about 'evidence' that claims generally accepted healthy things are actually not healthy.  I would suggest that because you have done marathons before,you probably aren't at risk, but perhaps you should go and find the 'research' yourself, and judget it on its merits.  Is the outcome repeated?  Is it published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal? What kind of study was done?  Was it on humans?  was there a control group?

    I think as runners, we have a tendency to over worry- as demonstrated above by Sarah, in thinking a week of not doing a 20 mile long run is going to leave her undertrained for her marathon, despite a hard track day with Martin Yelling followed by the GNRimage

    But, we also are exposed to and read a great many articles on related 'stuff' - I had a sample nutrition client who doesn't microwave his food because apparently microwaves are dangerous... I explained that they are actually only a marginally higher frequency than the radiowaves that are passing around and through us all the time, and a microwave cooker works by exciting the water molecules in your food very quickly, thus heating it up, but because of the far reduced cooking time, it maintains a high proportion of nutrients.  Plus, the microwaves stay in the microwave, not bouncing around your house! He then sent me a link to an article about the dangers of microwaves - it was like those spam emails you get about enlarging body parts, or becoming a millionaire by clicking on this link, or whatever.  So, in answer to your question Clive, I would keep an open mind, but go and verify the claim for yourself.  Incidentally, if you do find the research, I'd be interested to have a read.

    Don't doctors recommend certain sections of the population take a daily aspirin anyway?


  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Jen - my mantra for the Great Welsh Marathon was "Hang in there, Jen will be round the next corner...and if she isn't you're buggered"image

    Clive - please do not under any circumstances pass that bit of information on to my Mum as she is already convinced that I am killing myself!

    Does aspirin have any dodgy side effects?

    Thanks for the McMillan tips, most excellent. How many weeks now until Cologne? 

    Best of luck to you for the weekend!

    Sarah - I am sending you a virtual slap right now! It is indeed the madness hitting you early. Relax! First job, make sure you enjoy the race on Sunday. Your speed is amazing at the moment so that's sorted but personally I would bank that and not puch it any faster until after York. Your HM pace is slower anyway so no worries there but if you feel anything straining at the weekend I'm sure you know to ease back.

    Second job, get some confidence slow miles in. Do a midweek slow next week and a long slow at the weekend with some MP and all will be well. There is still loads of time until York. 

    Fingers crossed that your car is ok. Please stop talking about icing, cakes and cherries as you're making me hungry and carboloading is a looooong way off!

    As with Clive, wish you and Mr Sarah all the best for GNR!

    Mr P - glad your second session was more to your liking. We all have some crap ones. Par for the course. That said all mine have been crap recently image

    Bryn Terfel eh? Mrs Malcs will be jealous. She does like a bit of Bryn. 

    Don't know how you can run with a bag of water on your back anyway. I'd much rather carry a bottle in my hand or use a fuel belt. It's cooled significantly down here recently, how is it up there? You might be able to get away with just the one bottle if you are fully hydrated before you leave?

    Angela - I'm sure you will do brilliantly on Sunday. Best of luck! 

    What is your next marathon again? (I'm sure I should know this)

    Good to hear the guts are easing.

    Yes, quit your job and become a pro runner. Absolutely the right option. I'm sure your banana clad friend won't mind image


    1hr 20 cycling in the drizzle today for me. Still great to be able to do something. My thighs are like lead now though. 

    At some point I have to bite the bullet and try running again...too scary!


  • Malcs- good to hear you've had a good ride on the bike, although not the best weather for it...image

    Promise not to tell your Mum image

    Angela- have just been scanning through the evidence, and sadly it does seem to be fairly robust that there is activation of coagulation (clotting) and platelt aggregation (sticking together to form small lumps). this occurs during most strenuous forms of activity, and is not unique to running. However the effect upon platelets is most pronounced during marathons, and to a lesser extent long distance triathlon (1/2 ironman). It tails off in shorter distances. The mechanism is not entirely clear for this.

    Regarding side effects of aspirin- very small risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding but it would be less than that of the risk of an embolic event. Did you know that the risk of a cardiac death during the London Marathon is 1.25/100,000 runners (over 650,000 have now run...) and the risk of death is 7 per 100000 in elderly runners like me image

    Maybe I should open a bottle of red wine (cardioprotective), put the tv on, and not move from there....

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Thanks Clive, what fantastic news! I shall start making funeral arrangements image

    Definitely go for the wine option!

  • I had a bottle of red last night, well not a whole bottle, and we shared it.....with a dinner based on chorizo- surely the fat content cancels out the positives of the Rioja?

    btw what age do u become elderly as a runner?

  • Busy day on here! Clive my goal is 3:30, but realistically when I look at what I did in 2011 to get 3:33 I can't see it happening.  That said, I am running reasonably well, so if I can get into the thirties I will try again in 2014.

    who knows? A good taper, no  Travel, pre race sleep in my own bed, friends and clubmates all the way round, it might happen.

    I have a few mantras, but If I am really struggling I think of a Hero of Scott's Antarctic expedition, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, who chanted to himself "stick it. stick it. You've got it in the neck."

    "During these days the blisters on my fingers were very painful. Long before my hands were frost-bitten, or indeed anything but cold, which was of course a normal thing, the matter inside these big blisters, which rose all down my fingers with only a skin between them, was frozen into ice. To handle the cooking gear or the food bags was agony; to start the primus was worse; and when, one day, I was able to prick six or seven of the blisters after supper let the liquid matter out, the relief was very great. Every night after that I treated such others as were ready in the same way until they gradually disappeared. Sometimes it was difficult not to howl. I did want to howl many times every hour of these days and nights, but I invented a formula instead, which I repeated to myself continually. Especially, I remember, it came in useful when at the end of the march with my feet frost-bitten, my heart beating slowly, my vitality at its lowest ebb, my body solid with cold, I used to seize the shovel and go on digging snow on to the tent skirting while the cook inside was trying to light the primus. " You've got it in the neck—stick it—stick it—you've got it in the neck," was the refrain, and I wanted every little bit of encouragement it would give me : then I would find myself repeating " Stick it—stick it—stick it—stick it," and then " You've got it in the neck."


  • Good tips overall  Clive, especially Dialling it in.

    Cars...grrr...I've just opened reminders for Mrs P's tax, Puffy Junior's, and Mrs P has MOT  this month.

    I'd like to change mine, I've had it a year now, beautiful on a sunny day but it drives like a pig.  There was an Eos for sale recently locally with m16 jog for a plate but it was sold when I got there.

    I have felt pretty good all day, which I attribute to the yoga, I will definitely continue.

    my friend said I grunted a lot, she was laughing so much she fell over. 

    Angela you havent had Sainsburys watercress have you? 

    Malcs I will plan tomorrow's Rn to buy a bottle if necessary.  I Think I was better after the run for the extra water, just dont want to have the camelbak again



  • I picked up my wedding dress today image

    And got all the accesories


    o. and I was 29 minute pacer in Parkrun today- came in 28:58


    Never mind Angela, better luck next time image.

    Well. I was listening to Marathon Talk on my long run today and Martin mentioned a track session with someone called Sarah!

    I got a bit confused necause the canal towpath was closed so I had to detour, I ended up only running 20.7. The garmin stopped again as well, that didn't help.  My detour took me along the finishing section of the race, along the riverside to the racecourse, it was looking good in the sunshine.  I ran through some lovely countryside on the way back, but I was truly knackered at the end again.  

    So that was really my last long run, next week should be 18 for taper, but I really do think I'd like to get another 22 in. Need to work hard midweek too.


  • Afternoon everyone!

    great day at GNR today, will post a report later as have to catch train....

    well done Angela on new 10k pb image 

  • Well done Clive and Sarah on your pbs too! image Party time, you should all come to mine for beetroot chocolate brownies and mushroom lasagne that I spent all afternoon cooking.

     As for my 10k it was quite hilly and rather windy, but still managed a pb of 48:07- 95 seconds faster than in July, so clearly the speed work is having an effect.  Wonder what it would have been if the course was flat!?!

  • hi, really enjoyed catching up on all the posts and found your comment on aspirin interesting Clive. You have me wondering now. Although I don't think I would like to try aspirin so late on in my training programme just incase. I really learnt to hate aspirin during my surgical rotation, seemed to have many patients admitted with GI bleeds, although today my friend (a fellow Gp) said that a guy in his ?50s went in to a VF arest after crossing the line at GNR. She tried to resuscitate him with an ICU consultant but it wasnt successful! Haven't seen anything on the news about it, but I haven't really had chance to watch the news!

    glad to hear that you had a successful 18 miler Jen. For VLM I had trust in the training (like Angela said) going round and round my head. Don't seem to need anything for the shorter races/runs.

    congratulations Angela on a new 10k PB. I thought your paces for your reps in the week were really good. Are you tapering for Ipswich now?

    congratulations Clive on a 4 min PB. Was great to see you yesterday and today during the race...just wish I had the energy to talk whilst I was running!!

    Glad to hear that youve managed to get some more cycling in malcs. When are you going to try a run? I hope it goes well when you do. Thankyou for the slap...marathon madness went and I'm now back focused and staying positive. 

    Hi puffy, I was talking to a trainer the other day and he recommended doing no more than 20 miles for a long run in the run up to a marathon, he thought 22 was mad....but we've all done it and I will hopefully be doing one next weekend! Was Martin

  • Talking about me? I might have to have a listen now!! I'm thinking about recke some of te york marathon route you think it will have helped running some of chester marathons route this weekend?


    GNR went well for me today, I got a new PB by one minute but still no sub 1:30. My official time was 1:30:13 (for 13:18 miles so unofficially I think I've got my sub 1:30) . Race went better than I thought after having the tight hammys all week and developing a cold last night! 

  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    Great running Sarah, I def think you can unofficially give yourself a sub 1:30 image 

    Clive, great work knocking 4mins off! image  Hmm, may do some of my own research into aspirin... I'm starting to feel v old for all this running lark!

    PB for you too Angela image .Hey this is definately the thread to be on!

    Mr P, I loved the book extract. I've read lots of exploration/adventure/travel books, I find them really inspiring. I feel another adventure trek calling me...

    Malcs, how is your ankle/calf? I have to own up to still owning one slightly sore calf since my hill sprints, which I am treating very carefully with ice n my roller. I hope I can stop it developing into anything major. I had no problems this week on my 18miler, but I'm going to avoid hills/speed this week.

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Wow, it's raining PB's! image

    Sarah - that's a brillinat result. I think you should indeed count that as a sub 1:30 image  How did Chiris get on - I hope he got round in as little pain as possible?

    Not nice to hear that someone went down at the end of the race. Always very sad to hear. I didn't see anything on the news about it either.

    Clive - nicely done sir, you absolutely nailed it. All looking good for Cologne now. Well done!

    Mr P - bit of a bummer when your hardware fails on you but I'm sure the extra 1.3 miles wouldn't make that much of a difference. It may even be better that you came up shorter, you never know.

    Can't believe it's tapeer time already. How did it go sans camelback? Was the bottle strategy ok?

    Angela - wow, that's a great PB you got there! Very good pacing for the park run too. And to cap it all the dress is sorted as well. Not a bad weekend's work image

    Jen - well done on the 18 miler. Great to hear that you had no problems - you see, that 16 miler scare was just a blip!

    Very sensible to treat the sore calf with care. I'm sure it'll be fine if you look after it. 

    I bit the bullet and tried running on Sunday afternoon. I can't remember the last time I ran but it was at least a week ago. First half mile felt absolutely fine but then I could feel it all tightening again.

    I had dediced from the outset to do this as a run/stretch/run. I did laps of the park (0.6m) and stretched out on every lap. To be honest, I needed to because by the time each stretch came I was starting to get sore. Stretching eased it off though.

    So 4 miles done but still feels a long way off. In fact not running doesn't seem to have had much effect. So my plan now is to keep to short runs with frequent stretching and not allow it to really tighten up. I'm going to run every other day this week with cycling on the days in between. We'll see how it goes.

  • Ello all, well I thought I'd better write something as the races are where we see the results of the training and whether its working, but I don't feel like I have an awful lot to say, as I was really working as hard as I could on this race.  So focused on running that I didn't really see anything apart from the road and other runners.

      This was a nice late starting race, at 11am, so although I woke up at a usual early time of 7am, I rolled over and went back to sleep until 8:30.  I had been worried it would be a washout, but actually it was a bright sunny, though cool, morning.  I got up and yay, I could have warm porridge.  So much easier as a pre race fuel than trying to find something cold that's easily digestible yet provides enough energy.  I had that together with a cup of tea, a cup of oj, and sipped on 500ml water with an SiS hydro tablet in it.  I felt a bit dehydrated after the couple of gin and tonics the night before.   I had to pick up my race number from race hq, so was getting a bit irate when David wasn't ready to leave when I was, as it was cutting into my warm-up, and I knew a decent warm up could make all the difference in a race this short.   Still, I wasted more time trying to figure out which queue to get into.

    Is it normal to label the alphabet backwards? Or to have to go to the left of a sign to be in the right queue?  Because of the backward alphabet, I just couldn't figure out which section I would be in.   When queuing for the toilet, I realised this was the field where I started my Essex way run out to Harwich a few weeks back ( I saw the way mark on a post).  At 10:45 they started calling runners to the start- damn! I was hoping to warm up.  I had a quick run around the field before going down to the start.  At least this would hopefully be enough that I would be working aerobically at the start of the race, rather than 5 minutes in.  I saw lots of the local club runners, though not many from Colchester.  I noted there was one girl from Colchester Harriers though, and I wondered how I would do compared to her.  I lost her in the start area though.   As usual, I started a bit too far back for my intended pace, and spent the first half mile dodging people trying to get up to pace of 7:50.  At times during the first mile, the garmin said my average was7:40, but there was a steep uphill toward the end of that first mile, which tempered it a bit to 7:55.  I had to go faster if I was going to get some time in hand, as I thought I would need if I wanted a pb.  I knew the last mile was downhill, so that would help. But I also knew the course was fairly hilly.  The 2nd mile was mainly downhill, and when garmin said 7:20ish, I was scared I was overcooking it.  Bt this was my last10k for a while, and my pb was only 2 months old.  If I had any chance of breaking it, I had to push really hard! The second mile came in at 7:23.   This is where the course started to get interesting.  The hills in this course were mainly steep and longish, rather than rolling.  To add to this, there was a long section alongside a field (one of our cycle routes too) that was incredibly windy.  I still felt like over taking people but then there was a strong gust, and I decided drafting 2 taller and wider men was a better idea.  They were going 7:46 pace, so I decided to stick with them for the rest of the race.  This pla
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