Halstead marathon



  • Been at the caravan for the weekend and no internet access. It seems St Osyth is the only place in the country that hasn't yet made the 21st century!

    Sounds like a lovely run Minks, and you are in great shape for Sunday.

    I've been trying to acclimatise to the warmer weather. I decided not to do the 13 miler at the weekend on the basis that I'd already run 17 hardish miles on Tuesday so didn't see any potential benefit. A 6 miles hilly steady yesterday at the height of the sunshine was fun and my legs felt good. Just hoping the weather will be kind but we can't control it so whatever will be will be!

  • Minks, WOW, Having done Orion 15, there is no way that the hills in Halstead are anything like that!  Some of those hills in Epping forest are basically cliffs without Sea at the bottom!

    DS2 you should have come to our parkrun!  I'll be there this Saturday, but just to watch. Definitly wouldn't run it, and all the volunteer spots are full already.

    I did my first hash run yesterday, starting in Aldham, which for those not in the know is a lovely village about halfway between Colchester and Halstead.  Very sociable and fun- probably covered about 4.5 miles in the undulating fields around there. 

    Unfortunately, I woke up with a strain in my back, which I now think is due to trying for a long time to clip into my clipless pedals unsuccesfully on Sunday.  As such, when I did the run, I could feel my calf on the edge of straining itself.  I've had a tear there before, which physio suspects is caused by something nerve related in my back.  It seems to have eased off a bit today, but yesterdays experience tells me that over the course of a marathon it would be very uncomfortable.  If its not better by Thursday I'm gonna call in my massage guy to sort it out...

  • Angela - be careful there! You may need to open the pedal a little to enable you to clip in. I had the same problem when I first converted to clipless pedals. There should be instructions with the pedals - if not take your bike with pedals back to the shop and they will help make the adjustments.

    May be best not to try this week!!!

    Also, make sure you have the massage early enough to get over the soreness it will cause. I have one booked for Wednesday morning.

  • The person I see for sports massage has a wonderful way of relieving the tightness with no pain! Its quite miraculous - he's only very recently trained, so I think the new philosophy is that massage shouldn't hurt!! - I might see if he's free thursday evening anyway image

    I'll leaving the bike and pedals until next Monday, when i can hobble to the shop and make them fix it!!  image  The instructions only tell u how to install the cleats and how to ut the pedals on, but not how to adjust the tightness image

  • There is normally a little screw by the bit that clips in. If you release that by a quarter of a turn you may find the cleat then fits in easier. It will also mean that you can unclip easier which when you are starting out takes some practice!

    If you don't fall on your side once or twice the first few times you stop I will be amazed! But once you get used to them you will never look back!image

  • Thanks image  I have fallen over a couple of times when stopping as I couldn't release my trainer from my sturdy metal toe clip, so I know what falling on the road feels like image and I would definitely want to avoid it...  Roads are hard!!

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Hey, everyone's back!  Hope you had good weekends - weekend away sounds nice, DS2, especially with the weather we had.  Have just had to dash into the garden to bring the washing in, as it is unexpectedly raining here after a glorious sunny morning.

    Plans a bit scuppered for the week now.  I'd planned 5 miles fast-ish today, then 5 easy tomorrow, rest Thursday and an easy 3 Friday.  But have had to keep my son at home today as he woke this morning complaining of a sore throat and could hardly speak.  As is usually the case with kids, he was completely fine by mid-morning so I could definitely have sent him to school - but means I can't do my planned run today now as hubby's rowing tonight.  So will probably do the 5 tomorrow fast-ish, easy 5 Thursday morning and 3 Friday.  I didn't really want to bunch everything together this week like that, but don't feel that two runs before Sunday is quite enough.  Oh, well - my training is invariably not ideally spread out as life tends to get in the way so as long as I don't do the runs too hard I should be OK.

    Not quite sure what the weather is going to do on Sunday yet.  It looks as though it will be cooler, but I don't like the look of the 15 mph winds they're predicting ...

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Angela, LOL at your description of the hills in Epping Forest!  Yes, some of them are very steep, aren't they?  There's one they call Pig Hill and I can tell you it's aptly named!

    I would be far too scared to try those pedals - a friend of mine grazed the entire right side of his body when he failed to get his feet out the clips quickly enough at some traffic lights!  I don't even own a bike any more - the last one I had was when I was a student and it got stolen from outside the student union!

  • Hi Minks - we had a good weekend but had to dash from the East Anglian coast on Sunday to Brighton to watch Leona Lewis (one of the twins is a huge fan!!!). Then had family stuff yesterday so no time to get back online. I understand where you are! I don't want to pack the runs in either. I will probably cycle for half an hour tonight after a hardish run yesterday, run an easy 6 tomorrow with a couple at MP thrown in. I have a massage after so will rest Thursday, run 3 or 4 easily on Friday and that will do me!

    I hate the wind. The forecast keeps changing so I'm not worrying until the end of the week. 11 or 12 degress with a light breeze would be nice!

    Out of interest, what have been your other race times recently?

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    I REALLY hate the wind.  I have been known to shout and swear at it (when I'm alone, of course!) - I think it was windy for pretty much every one of my 20-milers this year, so I guess if it is windy on Sunday I will at least be used to it!

    I don't really have any recent race times as I don't race much.  To be honest, I don't much like racing.  I get very stressed and put myself under far too much pressure.  Last year I did a couple of 'different' races purely because they had no PB potential whatsoever to try to do them just for enjoyment.  It kind of worked, but then I didn't see the point of doing them if I didn't have the goal of a new PB to aim for!  I'm actually surprised by how relaxed I feel about Sunday.  I think maybe after all the build-up for London  and then the disappointment, I just don't have the energy to be stressed.  Plus I haven't told anyone (apart from my husband) that I'm doing it so I feel there are no expectations.  At best I'll get a new PB and a GFA for London if I want it, at worst I should get a GFA for London so it's win-win.

    Just trying not to build it up in my mind too much.  Not even concentrating on carb loading or anything - will just take it as it comes and enjoy it.  I'm actually looking forward to the smaller field, rural setting and complete lack of razzmatazz! 

  • Oh Minks, this is Essex, there will be razzmatazz image  maybe some vajazzle's if you're lucky image

    One of the people my fiance works with is on Halstead town council- apparently he knows what's in the goody bags... but he aint telling!!!

    What do you need for a GFA?

    I spent a lot of this morning looking at RW reviews of halstead image excited now image

  • Minks - I know exactly what you are saying. I have raced only twice this year and even one of them was more of a training run, starting slowly and running second half faster. I do them to give me an indication of where I am to be honest, but next year intend to take them more seriously because I think I can be quite competitive in the next age category (V50).

    I did a half 4 weeks ago and ran 1:30:44 which indicates 3:20 as more than possible but it was a flat, fast course in ideal conditions.

    I used to like racing but it all becomes so stressful with travelling to the venues, arranging family etc so I hardly bother now.

    Angela - it gets rave reviews and quite rightly. It's actually quite low key and I like that. I never ran very well in London, even when I was running faster. In fact I set my PB on a course really similar to this in 1994 and felt pretty comfortable. It was intended to be a training run and I was in shape to run 2:37ish at London but got caught up in all the razzmatazz and flunked.

    I'm  not getting overly worked up by any of it for Sunday. I will eat a few extra carbs on Saturday but won't do much else differently to any other long run. As minks says, there isn't any point in wasting the energy!


  • According to one of the reviews they even set up a meeting point for RW forumites,soi guess we all meet there? image

    davids gone out so I'm happily watchIng VLM coverage that I recorded as I was on holiday image elite women have just started.

    was wondering does anybody know the point of all the hot air balloons?

  • Minks wrote (see)

    I REALLY hate the wind.  I have been known to shout and swear at it (when I'm alone, of course!)

    I know THAT feeling! My last 20 milers immediately springs to mind as the last quater was almost directly into the wind and I could feel myself on the brink of stalling image

    Morning all, it looks like everyone has had a good weekend (Leona Lewis concerts aside image) ours was manic and the pup is keeping us on our toes, I'm still not sure how something so small can be so EXHAUSTING!

    Does anyone else find they almost can't be bothered with their runs in this last week? 

    After all the training they seem so short and so slow there barely seems to be any point!  My head know's this isn't the case but I just struggle to get motivated for them.

    On the flip side I am looking forward to Sunday now, it's only my second marathon so I'm still a little unsure what to expect but I keep defaulting to all those cheesy war films where the grizzled  sargent is shouting "REMEMBER YOUR TRAINING AND YOU WILL MAKE IT THROUGH" image


  • Hi Kandinsky,

    I know what you mean about runs this week - when I think back to the advise given to the 26.2 crew, in the last 2 weeks, if you're feeling like not doing a run, for whatever reason, you probably shouldn't.  You wont gain any fitness relevent to the marathon by doing it, and if you're feeling tired, at this stage, much better to rest.

    I didn't do my 8 miles on Sunday as I just couldn't fit it in at a sensible time, and I didn't feel the slightest bit of guilt about it.  Not fretting has certainly done me good, and despite a bit of a strain in my back the last couple of days, which has now thankfully gone, I am feeling stronger and fitter everyday. Hopefully it will make a nice peak around 10am on Sunday image

    I'm having my last day of allowing myself slightly naughty food - had a chai latte and blueberry muffin for breakfast.  Carbo load starts tomorrow image

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    DS2, know exactly where you're coming from - maybe I can be competitive in a couple of years when I turn 45.  I have always run well at London - first marathon in 4:01 (2004), 3:40 (2005), 3:23 (2006) then a break when my son was born in 2007.  Entered for 2008 but just wasn't motivated to train so decided to withdraw, then got a place for 2009 but decided to defer to 2010.  Ran 3:19 in 2010 which is my PB.  Didn't enter in 2011, entered via GFA in 2012 but a back injury forced me to pull out with 5 weeks to go.  This year's entry was my deferred place from last year and the worst experience I've had at London.  Having always run well there, I'm tempted to enter next year just so my memories of the London marathon don't stop with me sitting on the side of the road in tears at the 12-mile marker.  You've had some speedy times in the past, DS2 - hope I don't hold you back on Sunday!

    Seems we are all in agreement in our dislike of the wind!  Sunday is currently looking fairly unsettled, blustery winds (about 14 mph at the moment, which is a lot better than the 20-23 mph shown for Thursday, Friday and Saturday)  and fairly cool, 12 degrees or so.

    I always find I feel sluggish during the taper.  But I am so laid back about Sunday at the moment I don't think it's actually entered my conscience that I'm running a marathon.  Weird, I'm usually a bag of nerves by now!  I haven't run since Sunday, but will do 5 tonight fast-ish, 5 tomorrow morning easy and 3 easy on Friday.

    Angela, I need sub-3:50 for a Good for Age which shouldn't be a problem unless I have to pull out!

  • Kandinsky - I know what you mean. I always feel lethargic so I try to mix it up a little with the odd mile or two at MP. I did 6 miles this morning with the last two at 7:25mm. Just had a sports massage so hopefully will be perfect for Sunday.

    Minks - I USED to be fastish but not anymore. I think I will be delighted if I can set off at 3:16-17 pace and hold it together for 26.2!!!

    I hate the wind but it is quite sheltered in places so we will get some respite!

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    DS2, I will be more than happy to run 3:17-3:18; 3:16 would be nothing short of miraculous but we'll see how we go on the day.

    I have just had a HUGE lunch out to celebrate my 10-year anniversary where I work, so anything fast tonight may no longer be on the cards (especially after some bubbly and a post-lunch liqueur!!)

  • Congratulations on the 10 year anniversary Minks. I doubt I would bother running at all tonight!

    I was thinking of setting off around 7:35 pace on Sunday. How would that suit?

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    I was thinking the same, DS2 - that pace sounds perfect.  We can always up it later in the race if we feel good image

    Despite large lunch and still feeling stuffed, did a run through the woods near where I live this evening.  It's a deceptively tough little run, straight down into a valley and then steeply back up again, and as it's an out-and-back run the nice downhill bit on the out section becomes a tough incline on the way back!  Splits were 8:07 (I'm always slowest in the first mile), 7:40, 7:50 (hard uphill), 7:32 (still uphill), 7:18 (flat road section back to home).  Pleased with that, felt good.  Now just have to rein myself in for the next couple of days and keep it easy so I don't knacker my legs before Sunday!

    It was SO windy out there tonight, partly why I chose a run through the woods as I figured the trees would offer some protection.  When I emerged onto the road at the end, the wind hit me like a truck.  Hope it dies down a bit before Sunday or DS2 may have to put up with me shouting at it!!  (I'm not a nutter, honestly ... image).

  • Sounds like A confidence booster Minks! I had one this morning as well. Ran a similar pace to you and felt relaxed but need to put a lid on it now!

    I'll be shouting at the wind as well.

    almost there everyone - hold the head together!

  • Just finished painting my nails red whit and blue to match my team gb replica kit for the race image

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Angela, seriously?? image  I envy anyone who has time to paint their nails image

    Haven't decided on race-day kit yet.  I will probably wear my bright orange t-shirt that I bought for VLM - at least my family will be able to spot me easily!

    Run this morning was a little faster than it should have been but it felt easy enough.  Hamstrings are a bit tight from yesterday so I must rein it in now.  Unbelievably windy - not too bad when sheltered but felt like I was running on the spot a couple of times!


  • I used to do it every Sunday night, but marathon training has left me too exhausted to bother, so yup, glad I had the time yesterday - the joy of not having children yet I think...

    If you want to check them out I put a pic on twitter @AngelaIsherwood


    Incredibly windy in London today, in parts, though it always seems worse with all the tall buildings around here creating wind tunnels...

  • I was hoping to paint my nails last night but ran out of time!!!image

    I live in a house with 4 women and there is always something like that going on!!!

    minks - orange is a good idea. last year I ran for the MS society in one of their vests which was bright orange. Stood out like a sore thumb! Pity I won't be this time because your husband would easily spot us if we were both in orange! I'm actually running in my 'Action medical Research' vest this year which is white with large blue spots. Not sure it will stand out that much!

    After my massage yesterday I decided not to run this morning. My legs feel good though so reckon an easy run tomorrow will do it. I am stupidly busy at work so couldn't really fit a run in today anyhow.

    It sounds like you are in a good place Minks. Nice and relaxed now!

    Angela - you have had a good winter training for this. I am sure you are in PB shape. You have a plan and it just needs implementing.

    My favourite mental note to take into the race is always 'when it starts hurting others around you are hurting more - take energy from that'.

    Mrs DS2 is off to Norfolk with some friends for the weekend so I am on sole kids duty so may struggle to get on here much over the coming days. Hope to meet up with you all on Sunday and have an enjoyable run.

    Very windy here today but it's expected to drop off a little through the weekend. let's hope so!

  • Thanks DS2!  I'm getting very excited... before the inevitable nerves hit on Saturday.  Might go for a 2-3 mile jog tonight.  Working from home tomorrow, so I can concentrate on the carb load and generally not stress about the commute into or out of london.

    I'm sure I'll be on here non stop, but for DS2 and any others who wont, GOOD LUCK for Sunday! image

    I really appreciate all the support and encouragement along the way, as well as very sound advise.  Special mention goes to Jason, who's smileys have made this thread a real joy!  Can't wait until you can join us on a race sometime with the full support of your club and medics image

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    I live in a 'boy house' and as I have always tended to be a bit of a tomboy myself, nails only get painted for special occasions.  And as my feet are usually minging from all the running I do, painting my toenails only draws attention to them so I only do so when the weather is warm enough to force me into sandals!

    Just got caught in a torrential downpour, having picked the only moment all morning that it chose to hammer it down to nip out to M&S!  Grrr!

    My husband managed to pick me out in London, DS2, so with a much smaller field and fewer spectators he should spot us easily.  He will be accompanied by a little blond boy who will no doubt yell "Mummy!" really loudly when he sees me, so we will have some good support!

    Feeling uncharacteristically chilled and relaxed about Sunday.  My main aim is to enjoy it image  As far as motivational phrases go, my favourite is 'it's better to die on your feet than live on your knees'.

    Not long now folks!

  • We used to do it for rowing competitions image  Christ Church colours are the same as team GB colours, so I do have potentially 2 sets of kit to choose from image especially if it rains an awful lot between now and then...

  • Hi everyone, been really busy so not been on to post.

    nothing out of the ordinary for the moment, no date set for my Heart scan so it can either be very good or the NHS doesnt respond that quick image.

    10 mile slow on sunday followed by a slow 2-3 on tuesday. Moved the Wednesday training sessions to Felstead now as its the summer part of training image which is fantastic place to train, absolutely beautiful aswell. done a very tough 6 their up a nice 'undulating' hill image last night.

    ill certainly be on here 2moro to keep anyone company image.

    Thanks angela you've been very good company through my hectic/mental training regime. Ofcourse ill be running with everyone some day in the future (fingers crossed!!)

    Best of wishes to everyone and will definately try to give that extra encouragement when i see you on sunday.


  • Hi Jason, good to hear from you and glad to hear you are running. I'm sure everything will be fine but please be careful until they give you the thumbs up. 

    Hopefully we can run Halstead together next year. Hope to meet up with you Sunday. I'm number 81 and should, all being well come past the 25 mile point between 3:05 and 3:10. Hopefully I'll be with minks who will be in a bright orange t - shirt!!!

    give us a big cheer!!!

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