Cobbles & Red Wine - Sarah’s Paris Marathon Plan: Sub 3:35



  • Morning Ady!

    I haven’t actually tried a build up run in the daylight yet ... might be an interesting comparison to my usual ones running around industrial estates in the dark! I do find the pacing a bit more awkward at night though as have to keep putting the light on on the Garmin to check I’m doing the right speed ...! Do you find much difference?

    I think we went a bit overboard at Christmas ... the entire top shelf of the fridge is still completely full up with chocolate and I’m eating Xmas tree shaped pretzels ... and I don’t even LIKE pretzels!!

  • RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    it doesn’t matter HOW far you push the seat back you always end up banging your elbow on the door and knocking the gearstick with your knee!

    Sorry, but that quote was just begging to be taken out of context image


  • Hi RRR, yes treadmill seems crazy- no wonder I wasn't that commited- I'm now a firm believer of there's no such thing as bad weather for running, only bad clothing... That being said bad weather cancelled 3 of my planned races in 2012 image

    I was kinda transitioning from being a rower, where the gym (rowing machine) often gave u a better workout than a wobbly boat!

    The Halstead and Essex marathon #4 in top British marathons according to runners world is on May 12th- you tempted? They apparently hand u ur own drinks t the aid stations like ur an elite image
  • Had a dark, flipping freezing minus two run 6.7 mile run to work through the Monsal Head Tunnel brilliant emerging from the tunnel to the light and the frost everywhere. Kept the pace down apart from one mile to 7.50mm and an 8.09. So cold though when I got to work, thank goodness for a hot shower!! Reminded me of school cross country with frozen hands even with gloves on and we didn't have gloves at school...... Hows it going down your neck of the woods?image

  • Stilton oh lovely one of my favs with a cheese rice cake and butter for supper cant beat it!!!image

  • Come on Sarah - you know you want to!!! I was going to do both if you hadn't stolen my place in Paris!image

    It's a brilliant event - not too many people but plenty to keep you company all the way around. And as Angela says they hand you your own personal drink! Lovely countryside course to boot! I've done it the last two years and intend to for many years to come even if it's not to run flat out.

    If you turn up for that I promise to wear the pink fluorescent compression socks!image I think Tony'sonthebeach is thinking about it as well! The Halstead marathon, not the socks!!!

  • Afternoon Tenjiso!

    Tenjiso wrote (see)
    RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    it doesn’t matter HOW far you push the seat back you always end up banging your elbow on the door and knocking the gearstick with your knee!

    Sorry, but that quote was just begging to be taken out of context image



    Yes... I did leave myself open to that comment really, didn’t I! image

  • Afternoon Angela!

    Wow! I know 2012 was a bit crazy weather –wise but how disappointing! Which ones did you miss?

    Hand you your own drinks? I hope I wouldn’t have to identify my own ... my brain stops working after a few miles and I’m quite capable of accidentally grabbing someone elses and wondering why my bottle has changed colour ...

  • Afternoon MCS!

    I’ve googled the Monsal Head Tunnel – wow!! What a gorgeous part of the country you live in!! What was it like running through that tunnel - how long does it take?!

    It’s been very misty here the last couple of days ... Feel like I’m about to be part of some sort of low-budget horror film! Wooo-ooo-oooo!  ... So long as it’s not a film about a runner getting mugged for her head torch!!

  • Afternoon DS2!

    Halstead marathon DOES sound nice ... ! Is it all road? I’d quite like to have a bash at a trail marathon at some point ... although I was thinking about leaving more than 6 weeks between marathons!

    What? Can’t you persuade Tony’sOnTheBeach? I think matching His and His socks would look adorable ...image

    I’m not sure what time of the year it is but I like the look of the Endurance Life coastal path runs ... the half marathon looks really, really good! I loved running the coastal paths in Cornwall earlier in the year. 

    What other races have you got coming up?

  • Week 4, Day 3

    Goal: 8 miles at 8:30 – 9 min/miles

    Actual: 8 miles at 8:27 min/mile (I would have been bang on target if I hadn’t remembered the chocolate coins in the fridge on the last mile and sped up too much)

    This one was to be another night run and it was very cold and misty so I wrapped up well. It was a bit of a gloomy night so I took my headphones and decided I’d listen to an audiobook and enjoy this run as it was a nice steady session.

    I had been listening to Woman in Black but I hadn't felt a ghost story based in mist would be very appropriate to a misty run. Some dog walker would materialise out of the fog and be treated to the sight of me simultaneously soiling my Lycra and falling into a hedge in terror. It probably wouldn’t be terribly good practise for pace control and how would I explain to Asics why I needed new running tights?

    I decided on Michael McIntyre’s audiobook and it kept me entertained the whole way round. The only problem was that because I was doing loops I was passing the same people ... they must have thought they were being circled by a lunatic as every now and then I’d materialise out of the mist grinning like a pumpkin (at the audiobook) and then vanish again ... leaving only the fading sound of running footsteps and an occasional snort of laughter.

    I did my usual 4 mile loop twice to make up the distance so I didn’t really have to think about the route and could just enjoy the run. I didn't bother with a headtorch as I’d left my usual – and favourite - one in Dorset so I would have had to rely on my 2nd best one which has a tendency to flicker and fall down and bump on the nose. OK in a pinch but not really worth the nose blisters for a run on street lit pavements.

    Garmin Info Here



    Time: 1:07:34.

    Distance: 8.00

    Average Pace: 8:27

    I felt that my pacing wasn’t too terrible except I got a bit carried away on one of the good downhills at mile 3 and at mile 8 I got a bit excited at the thought of the chocolate coins waiting for me in the fridge and sped up a bit too much which took the pace average a bit higher than I wanted. But overall only .03 min/mile outside the time range ...! Woo!


    Mile1  8:40 

    Mile 2  8:40 

    Mile 3  8:16 

    Mile 4  8:25 

    Mile 5  8:32 

    Mile 6  8:25 

    Mile 7  8:23 

    Mile 8  8:09 

  • There was one in Norwich that I just couldn't find... it was a really icy day, and I was borrowing my dad's car for the first time in ages... There was no wiper fluid, and the muddy ice kept getting splashed only my windscreen, so i kept having to stop the car to clean it off image

    Then I went to to the New Forest 10... This was cancelled due to flooding, but it wasn't all bad, my boyf and I went out for a fancy dinner instead, and he drank a bit much and hit his head, and ended up proposing to meimage though I made him do it properly later 

    Then NYC marathon - Hurricane Sandy.  You wont believe how annoyed I was by that- at least they are now refunding the race entry fee, but wow, I was so anxious about this one even before the race was cancelled- would have had to be at the start for 3 hours before starting the race, and with no baggage option- seems a bit rich for a £300 entry fee!!!

    Dunno how the own drinks thing works, as I've not done it before- maybe DS2 can explain! image  Perhaps the marshals look out for your race number image

  • New trainers worn last night - Brooks Ghost with Gortex - so actually looking forward to wet weather in order to check out the footwear. 8 miles mid week after work was a shock to the system and at mile 6 my stomach started telling me how long it had been since lunchtime.

    Is anyone else eating more than they used to? I'm like a human hoover!

  • RRR - since Angela is doing Halstead I may as well assume that it won't go ahead and book somewhere else!!!! Some people have no luckimage

    Tenjiso - that did make me laughimage

    As for the drinks at Halstead. You can take up to 3 of your own and you put them in containers to be taken to the drink stations you want to collect them from. You write your number on the bottle and as you approach the stations a marshall 100 yards or so before will ask if you want to collect a drink. he/she then shouts out to the people manning the station your number and by the time you arrive they are standing in the road holding it out for you. I tape a gel to each of them as well so it saves me having to carry those as well. Works like clockwork!!!

  • Nearly time to get cold again, boy its freezing out there.......

     Run over this viaduct to work...........



  • Hey RRR! How are you RRR? Sounds like your having great fun RRR!  What have you done today RRR?

    Haha sorry couldn't resist!!!

    Things are bouncing away nicely thanks! My 20 mile race isn't until 17th March, I have a mish mash of a training plan, from My Asics. Clearly left it too late so as far as my training plan is concerned I am doing a marathon on the 31st March.... when really I'm thinking of my first tri on that date.... but shush don't say anything image

    I'm really enjoying reading your tread by the way especially the food bit! I have a thing for pink grapefruit at the minute! in the evening when your bored, thinking you WANT to eat rather than NEED to eat! I cut it in half and eat all the flesh not the skin as its bitter!! takes me a good 45 mins spooning it, out by that time can't be bothered to eat anything!!!

    And as I know your rather fond of your cheese.... if you grate your allocated amount on the small holes looks like you have twice as much!!

    On that note I'm off to make chilli!!

  • oo and forgot to ask..... I may have missed it earlier... but which half marathon are you doing?

  • Thats what I was just about to ask tigger!

    Sarah/RRR can you run on ice cream?

    I slice fresh banana up...its quite yummy, well I think so. Have you tried a little bit of honey in your porridge instead of sugar? Thats really nice and probably a little better for you (I think)!image

    Haha, you getting told off for running at MP made me feel just itching to go faster, did my speed session last night and loved it, have really missed the quicker pace, and it had only been a week!



  • Runningforchocolate wrote (see)

    Ruth you obviously aren't aware of Sarah's stomach post bread.... it ain't pretty....Please I beg you dont tell her to eat bread - i do have to share a bathroom with her at our parent's house form time to time...... 


    RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    Evening Ruth Mckean!

    Thanks for the feedback – this looks really, really helpful! Cornflakes tend to be a bit of a special treat. They don’t really fill me up (I’m always ravenous by lunchtime!) so I treat them as a bit of a ‘special occasion’ food. Nice to have but probably not the best option! image

    I definitely have a weakness for Stilton and cottage cheese but the other types of cheese are again ‘special occasion food’ so hopefully these won’t be too much of a problem. I rarely have sauces on my food except I eat a lot of cottage cheese with my fish and veg … I wouldn’t like to cut this out but would if it’s absolutely necessary.

    I tend to eat mainly whole food (except at other people’s houses) and it tends to be a lot of veg and fish … I have a horrible suspicion you may ask me at some point to cut down on the amount of fish I eat … I'd have it with every meal if I could ...

    I tend to get most of my carbs from the veg I eat. I can’t eat bread and I’m not much of a fan of rice, pasta or potatoes. Would sweet potatoes be ok?

    I tend to be ok to run straight after eating so long as I’m not having to run too quickly (thanks to having to take a beginner friend out on runs straight after tea – it’s come in quite handy!) but I wasn’t sure what was the best option. I’ll make sure I keep the snacks light and low-fat. I hadn’t considered things in a tomato-based sauce but I’ll give that a try!

    I’m back at home now so my food-diary should be a bit more typical. I tend to eat a lot of the same things … so I have a horrible suspicion I will be told to branch out a bit! image

    Sorry missed the post on bread - thank you RRR sister.

    RRR cottage cheese I have no issue with. Lots of fish is fine but a few times a week is enough for health as some would argue that eating too much fish from our not so clean sea is not good but up to 3 -4 times would be fine. A couple of tins of tuna per week for women of child bearing age is recommended (especially if pregnant or feeding) due to possible mercury levels in these fish but this advice may be over cautious... so variety is always best. Too much of anything is probably bad for you (now I really sound like a dietitian!)

    Sweet potato is a great choice so add to lunches and evening meals when can. Also would you eat cous cous (different texture from pasta?) or quinoa to your lunch/evening meals?

    I would also focus on handing out some of that chocolate to friends! image 

    Do you not get really hungry in the afternoon with lunches as they are?


  • Another good training run last night - you are doing your runs quicker than me but pacing it well.

    Ruth didn't answer your query about creme egg and marathon training so may be best to wait until after pParis and save them up for the Post Paris carbo reload.

  • Morning Angela!

    Oh how irritating about now being able to find a race!! Argh! That sounds like my worse nightmare! I always get worried that I'm going to miss the start at races!

    Were you already in New York when you found out the marathon was cancelled? £300 entry? Gosh that’s a bit steep!

    Love, love, love how your boyfriend proposed!! Glad you made him do it properly though!!

  • Morning Sarah Blunt2!

    So … how were new trainers then? I cheated and had food BEFORE my run on Wednesday! I don’t do very well if I run when I’m hungry! Although maybe there’s an extra incentive to speed up an get home for some dinner?image

    I seem to be eating more chocolate and crap food than usual … but I’m blaming that on the huge amounts of Christmas food still around!!

  • Morning DS2!

    Thanks for explaining that – sounds a really good run! Love the idea of being treated like an elite … AND of being unable to pick up the wrong drink! Definitely a win!!image

    Have you done the Halstead one a few times?

  • Morning MCS!

    Wow!! That’s such a gorgeous view!!

    Looks pretty hilly too …! Reckon you’re going to breeze that fell race!image

  • Morning Tigger!!

    Hee hee!! On your next post I’m expecting a post completely absense of Rs … having worn your keyboard out!image

    First tri?! Eeeek! How exciting? What distances? How are you finding the training?

    Ooh I like the grapefruit idea … I’m definitely more ‘mouth hungry’ rather than ‘stomach hungry’ in the evenings … eating the chocolate because it’s there rather than because I actually want it. I’m definitely adding grapefruit to my shopping list today!!

    I’ll have to try that with the grater … not sure whether grating will work on the stilton or cottage cheese … so if I message you later asking how to get cottage cheese out of my hair you know the plan went wrong!!

    Mmm … chilli!! That sounds AMAZING!! 

    I’m planning on doing Dorney Lakes as a pacing exercise and I’m entered into Silverstone – but that one will hopefully be a PB one … keep your fingers crossed for me!!

  • Morning Sarah Osborne!!

    I HOPE I can run on ice cream (Looks at Ruth for confirmation) … I could definitely add a tub of chocolate ice cream into my training plan. What do you reckon Ruth … is one tub a day overdoing it?image

    I’ll try the bananas in the porridge … I need to get rid of the sugar really. I love bananas. One of my twitter running buddies gave me a recipe for banana pancakes – they are AWESOME!! image

    The speedwork is pretty new to me … I’m really enjoying adding it in and doing the build up runs! Although after Ady’s comment the other day I’m thinking about trying at least one in the daytime!! What’s your favourite speed session?

  • Morning Ruth McKean!

    Thanks for your advice. I’ll remove one of the fish meals and add in some chicken one of the days. Maybe in a stir fry or something?

    I’ve added cous cous to the grocery list. I’ve eaten it in the past so will give it another try. My only problem is that I like fish so much I tend to have that rather than other things so I’ll make sure I add a few different things in.

    Quinoa I’ll add to the shopping list and I’ll have a search online for some recipes. Any recommendations?

    Give my chocolate away? Nooooooo! Well … I’ll see …image

    I don’t tend to be hungry in the afternoons but I’m ready for tea when I get home in the evenings ... image

    Also …. Um … Friday is takeaway night … that’s still ok? (Clasps hands together and looks beseechingly at Ruth)

  • Morning Steve Marathon Coach,

    Well that’s definitely a wakeup call for me to slow them down and sort it out then! Doing structured sessions is quite new to me and I’m petrified that I’m going to do one too slowly and that Runners World will say “Sorry RRR you’re just too slow … we want the kit back now!!”image

    You realise I’m going to stockpile Crème eggs now? It’s ok Ruth … Steve told me toimage

  • Food Diary 10th January

    Breakfast: Cornflakes, skimmed milk, 3 x teaspoon of sugar

    Lunch: Tin of tuna, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.

    Tea: 125g salmon, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, 1/3 portion of stirfry mixed veg (pak choi, lemongrass), 13 mushrooms, spinach, green beans.

    Snacks: 1 x apple, 2 squares of dark chilli chocolate, 1 x large orange, 50g of wasabi peas (utterly revolting but I couldn’t stop eating them!), 2 x Thorntons chocolates, 1 x babybel

    Drinks: 5 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 2 pints of orange, 1 x glass water.

    Exercise: 7.8 miles run.

  • Week 4, Day 4

    Goal: 10 x 400m starting every 2 mins 30

    Actual: 10 x 400m starting every 2 mins 30


    Was this the impossible session?

    It was a session I’d been dreading. I’d psyched myself up for it on Tuesday … and then the track was closed so the dread had been growing bigger and bigger in my mind throughout the week. A 6 – 6.22 min/mile pace sounded very quick and it was speed I’d never attempted before. And a speed I didn’t think I could achieve without falling off a cliff.

    In the absence of survivable, exactly 400m cliffs, I went along to my local track to get going. I did a 1.8 mile loop around town to warm up. It was a cold, dark evening and as I ran I talked myself into the session.

    “It’s between 6 and 6.22 minute mile. If I aim for the slower end then it’s only .25 seconds a mile slower than my entire 5k on Saturday.” My brain would occasionally interrupt with things like “It was a new PB … what if it was a fluke?” or “What if your legs just don’t GO that speed?” I ignored my brain. Either I could or I couldn’t. I would TRY. And if I ended up throwing up on the track or fainting or something equally embarrassing I’m sure someone would do something. Throw a trainer or hand me a mop. Or something.

    Deep breath. The track was very busy tonight so there might be a fair amount of dodging involved as there were a lot of sessions going on. I chose a far corner of the track as my starting line and went.

    I’d decided not to use any complicated settings on the Garmin but just to keep it running and press lap at the start and end of every lap and use the timer as the reminder to go. My brain stops working when I run and I thought there was less chance of ‘Porridge Brain’ confusing things if the settings were simple. It did mean that the Garmin didn’t give me an accurate pace reading until I was almost 150 metres around the track but once I’d done the first few laps I had more of an idea of the pace I was aiming for.

    The pace was fine. And just as importantly the distances were small so as soon as my brain twigged the speed I was running, it was time to stop.

    There were 3 laps just over the pace specified by Marathon Coach Steve, but most of the laps were fairly evenly paced which I was very pleased with considering it wasn’t a pace I’d tried before. Best of all, I completed the session … at the right pace … and I didn’t throw up, faint OR have to fall off a cliff to do it. Win. 


    Garmin Info Here

    Mile splits:











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