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

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  • Except for the hotpants and blue legs of course.

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     The trail finished and I carried on down the small, quiet lane. Strangely, there were a lot of tyre tracks marking the white on the ground despite the deep snow and the continuing heavy drifts … and I could hear shrieks and loud voices. The view opened up and I realised that I had found THE sledging ground in Rugby. There must have been 50 people, adults and children sliding down the hillside on brightly coloured sledges, rubber rings and things that looked like (but surely couldn’t be? Well this IS Rugby …) bedpans.

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    I passed by the sledging hill and soon the tyre tracks were fading. I realised that the only marks on the snow were my own footprints and they were quickly filling up with snow too. It was a good day to run. How often do I get to run in snow? Also there were no pace guidelines, no limits. I had 2 hours to run, explore and make my own footprints in the snow.

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    I spotted a hill in the distance, gleaming white against the grey sky. I’d had my eye on this hill for a couple of months. I’d always meant to run up it but had always been stopped because the track leading up to it has always been too deep in mud. Mud wasn't a problem today.

     

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    I started up the track optimistically… but soon the snow was too deep for running … then too deep for jogging … then too deep for walking ... so I waded. The bloody mindedness that drives boyfriend, family and friends mad, kicked in and I waded up to the top where I triumphantly stood in my knee deep snow and wrote my initials. SF. Sarah 1, hill 0. Waded back down again and got on with some running.

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    A car passed very occasionally and whenever I heard one approaching I hopped up onto the verge. Better a slow run than a flat runner. Most of the cars were fantastic and gave me plenty of room if there wasn't a bank to hop onto but a few weren't as courteous. I didn't mind the shoddy driving but hoped they realised I wouldn't be helping push their car out of the hedge when their crap driving span them across the road and into the ditch.

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    Crossed onto the Oxford canal path to pick up the road I was on earlier. The snow was deeper and less packed here and it was harder to run. But at least I wouldn’t be able to get confused by the snow and take the wrong turning. I ran along the path for about a mile and picked up the lane again.

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    There's an acceptable level of looking strange when you're running. Wearing lycra is acceptable. Going for a run dressed head to toe in neon pink and other eye-burning colours - acceptable. But today I wished for a new level of acceptable … Swimming goggles. It was a gorgeous day to run, but it had been snowing non-stop since I started running and the snow blowing into my eyes had really started to become quite painful. I tried pulling my buff up over my eyes, but visibility was so limited it wasn’t a viable option. Snow might be painful but running into trees was probably even more so.

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    Took this picture but didn’t realise until I got home that I had been wearing ice as an accessory in my hair …

    Back on the lane and any sign of my earlier footprints had completely disappeared and the road was flat plain white again. Past the sledging hill again … now almost deserted.

    I cut onto the footpath and the footprints had vanished. Only the hard packed snow of the footpath suggested that it had been trodden by many feet earlier. It was quite surreal. Everything was white and blank.

    Why does the second half of a run always seem to take a lot less time? I got to the 2 hour point which was the time Steve Marathon Coach and I had decided on as an alternative goal. However … I was on 13 miles. It seemed a shame not to complete the original 16 mile goal. Especially as I knew such a nice 3 mile loop nearby …

    Was accompanied part of the route by a loopy Springer Spaniel who was thoroughly over-excited by the chance to run in the snow although ‘thoroughly over-excited’ is a standard emotion for most Springers. How can anyone not like dogs who love running THAT much?!

    Managed ‘Killer Hill’ without a stop despite the deep snow and ran back down again managing most of the nice long downhill on the road as there were hardly any cars. I realised why a few minutes later …

    Running down the last part of the hill, a few people were pushing a madly wheel-spinning truck back onto the road. The chap wound down the window and shouted at me "You're completely mad!"  I shouted back "…But it's fun!" Got a grin and a thumbs up in return. He was followed shortly after by a MX5 with its 4-ways flashing wildly slewing from side to side in an attempt to make it up the hill with a Springer Spaniel cheerfully looking out of the passenger window enjoying the ride.

    Another brief run on the Oxford Canal path, passing barges with yellow lights shining brightly against the darkness and snow. Having half a mile to make up, I did a lap of a housing estate and passed a man with either too much time on his hands or a miserable home life … shovelling snow off of his drive. In a snow storm.

    Garmin Info Here

  • Great pictures thanks RRR, we took a load of pics this morning as I went for a five miler up the trail and down to work, you did well to do 16 in that snow. Really hard work on the ankles. I wear sealskinz socks in this wear. THey are a bit warm but keep you feet bone dry so prefer that.http://www.sealskinz.com/

    Must work out how to get photos off my phone!! Lovely day here watching the birds eat from the feeder stuck on my office window!!image

  • Great description of run (and photos) but must have taken almost as long to write as to run! Good that you enjoyed run and felt strong and you did 16.

  • MalcsMalcs ✭✭✭

    Agreed Steve. Sarah - I'm thinking of replacing one of my weekly workouts with reading your posts, I'm freakin' exhausted! image

    Derrick Baldwin wrote (see)

    I,m trying my best to keep injury free and sticking to the training schedule mile for mile. I have thought of resting until sat and focusing on my endurance/long runs...does anyone think this is a good idea or should I just cut my milage down to half or a percentage. 

    Not sure I really qualify to offer such advice Derrick. It's always a difficult call. I've rested in the past and had things stiffen up badly only to find that continued lighter running with lots of stretching would have been a much better option. I've also tried to run through things when I should have stopped and seen a physio.

    For me 'niggles' have always appeared when I've overdone it. Either I've gone too fast or too long too soon. If it was me I'd ease back a little on the long mileage and the reduce or cut out any speeed work and then do loads of stretching.

    However, you can't really beat seeing an expert for peace of mind.

  • Well thumbs up from the physio regards to my back ......... there could not offer any advice on the knee . What they did say was it wasn't connected to the lower back complaint.

    I going to ease back on the milage this week and hopfully things will be ok. I believe its what Malcs said , Ive had today off and magically my knee is 50% better, must be the quads stretches.

     

  • Evening MCS

    Loved the pics you took earlier! You’ve definitely got the best commute to work EVER!! I didn’t find the snow hard work on my ankles – more my calves on the first run and then my butt!

    I’ll have to look at those socks … being prune-y for 2.5 hrs can’t be good for toes!

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach!

    Glad you liked the description and pics … writing it up afterwards DID take a while, but it’s almost like re-running the run so I quite like doing it! The 16 didn’t feel too bad at all, but I'm thinking it's because I dropped the pace a lot.

  • Malcs wrote (see)

    Sarah - I'm thinking of replacing one of my weekly workouts with reading your posts, I'm freakin' exhausted! image

    Evening Malcs!

    Sorry … there’s quite a lot of waffling going on in these run descriptions…! image

  • Derrick Baldwin wrote (see)

    Well thumbs up from the physio regards to my back ......... there could not offer any advice on the knee . What they did say was it wasn't connected to the lower back complaint.

    I going to ease back on the milage this week and hopfully things will be ok. I believe its what Malcs said , Ive had today off and magically my knee is 50% better, must be the quads stretches.

     

    Evening Derrick,

    Great news about your back although it’s a shame physio couldn’t advise about your knee. Good that the day off has helped so much … maybe it was just a bit of a rest needed. Fingers crossed all gets sorted for you!

  • Week 6:

    Mon Jan 21st:             Rest

    Tues Jan 22:               20 x 200m in approx 45 seconds starting every minute 6M total (6.02 min/mile)

    Weds Jan 23:             9M steady in 8:30-9:00

    Thurs Jan 24:             6M build up run - starting at 8:30s and moving down to 7s

    Fri Jan 25:                   Rest

    Sat Jan 26:                  Training day: 8M in total

    Sun Jan 27:                 18M relaxed in 9:00

    Week total: 47M


    ... sorry! I've just realised I haven't posted this! Will get the weeks training up on Sunday from now on!

  • Week 6, Day 1 (HOW is it week 6 already??!)

     

    Goal: 20 x 200m in approx 45 seconds starting every minute 6M total (6.02 min/mile)

    Actual: 20 x 200m in approx 45 seconds starting every minute 5.63M total (ran out of time on lunch hour!)

     

    The deep snow is still around, so I’m afraid that this is another treadmill session … yes – cheating AGAIN! If it makes it seem less cheat-y, the treadmill wouldn’t slow down properly as the touch screen wouldn’t work with sweaty fingers (nice, right?) so I did end up doing slightly longer intervals than intended all the while stabbing at the screen with a perspiring digit and swearing (in a muffled way so I didn’t get banned from the gym) while my legs span wildly trying to keep up with the treadmill belt.

    Yes, I really did look as silly as it sounds.

     

    Session:

    2 mile warmup at 12.5kmph (about 7:45 min/mile)

    20 x 200m at 16.2 kmph (about 5:58 min/mile)

    I did the recoveries at about 5kmph (although by the time the treadmill had slowed down to this, it was time to start it up again!)

    Total of 9km

    I’m missing 1km as I ran out of time on my lunch hour, so I’ll add this onto my longer run tomorrow to keep things neat and tidy!

  • well done on the session even if it was a treadmill one, so doesn't really count! Good speed so you are looking sharp at the moment. Hopefully the snow will be disappearing by weekend.

  • hi sarah...some more fabulous runs and photos to entertain and encourage us to get out there.



    Is that what im doing wrong....do you reckon I should start telling my patients not to drink mulled wine anymore for the common cold?



    Refreshing to see that you like tomato sauce with your steak and veg too. Im finding more and more people who use ketchup on meals that others regard as clashing with ketchup! I was shocked though when I realised how little you eat at lunch though. I thought I was bad (and am always starving by the time I leave work) but you have half the amount as me for lunch....how do you manage an evening run on just that...or do your snacks help to make it up?
  • Food Diary 22nd January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 2 teaspoons sugar.

    Lunch: tin of tuna and tbsp mayonnaise.

    Tea: Kipper, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, 8 slices of leek, 8 mushrooms, 2 fresh beetroot, asparagus, long stemmed broccoli – all steamed. Cottage cheese.

    Snacks: Large orange, apple, 4 x After Eights, packet of sultanas & raisins   

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

    Exercise: 5.6 mile run.

     

    Food Diary 23rd January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 2 teaspoons sugar. 1/3 banana.

    Lunch: tin of tuna, 1 tbsp mayonnaise.

    Tea: 5 pick n mix buffet items, 2 chicken legs (without skin), cauliflower, broccoli, 8 leek slices, 8 mushrooms, 1 x fresh beetroot, asparagus, long stemmed broccoli

    Snacks: 1 x apple, 1 x large orange, 3 x cookies, small glass of red wine.

    Drinks: 2 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 3 pints of orange squash.

    Exercise: 9.77 mile run

     

    Note: The cookies I’m eating are because I’m working my way through the Christmas biscuits ... they’ll be gone in about a week! image

  • Afternoon Steve Marathon Coach,

     Doesn’t count? I hope that doesn’t mean you going to make me add it on to the track session on Saturday! image

    I’ve enjoyed the snow runs, but it’ll be a relief to be able to follow the schedule a bit more closely again.

  • Hi Sarah!

     

    Yep – steak and ketchup ... I’m a complete heathen! Not ketchup with veg though ... veg goes with cottage cheese! Cooked carrots and cottage cheese – yum!!

    I’ve got an office job so I’m sitting down all day so just have a light lunch ... I have to get up to make myself a coffee though so not idle the WHOLE working day ... just 7 hours 55 minutes of it!image I think you're very busy at work, aren't you? Sounds as though you're working very long days.

    I eat before I go out for my runs in the evening though so fuel up at dinner! image And then graze in the evenings! The cookies will be my downfall ... I don’t normally eat things like that but I’m working my way through the last Christmas box! image

  • Week 6, Day 3

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

    Actual: 9.77 miles at 9:46 min/mile ... in the snow and ice

    As the snow still seems to be sticking around, I put my Yak Trax back on for this run and headed out to do the miles around the town. Just like my previous snow runs, I didn’t try to stick to the pace guidelines as I wanted to focus on safety. It would be gutting miss the Paris Marathon because of a broken leg ...!

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    Distance: 9.77 miles

    Avg Pace: 9:46 min/mile

    HR: AVG - 141 bpm MAX - 176 (actually remembered the HR strap!)

  • Hi RRR glad to see you're out there enjoying the snow, great photos image  Do you stop to take them?  Otherwise you must have a very steady hand image

    I've managed to get out for a couple of runs in the snow but find I'm not confident of avoiding ending on my backside when running downhill so i've been trying to find flat routes which is not easy in my part of Yorkshire!  Did manage 9 miles plus on the canal towpath at the weekend.  Tuesday's club seesion worked on the principle of safety in numbers when running in the road.

    Last night's gym running club session was moved indoors to treadmills and the instructor killed us.  He had 5 treadmills set up - hill sprints, intervals, sprints, endurance and fartlek and we did a circuit session involving all of them. Don't listen to anyone who says treadmill sessions don't count! 

  • RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

    Food Diary 18th January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 3 teaspoons sugar.

    Lunch: Bowl of spinach and 30g stilton.

    Tea: 25g of white rice boiled and a portion of chilli shredded beef (Woo hoo - it’s takeaway night!!)

    Snacks: 25g dried fruit, teaspoon of nutella, teaspoon of penut butter (nabbed while making my 3 year old a sandwich!), half a punnet of grapes, a babybel, a small packet of buttons, 2 x cookies.

    Drinks: 4 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 4 pints of orange squash.

    Exercise: 20 minute walk in the snow. 1.5 hours house cleaning. 7 mile run in the snow.

     

    Was it this night that rice upset your tummy? It  could be chilly beef as takeaways may have gluten added as fillers, thickeners etc
    sarah osborne wrote (see)

    hi sarah...some more fabulous runs and photos to entertain and encourage us to get out there.

    Is that what im doing wrong....do you reckon I should start telling my patients not to drink mulled wine anymore for the common cold?

    Refreshing to see that you like tomato sauce with your steak and veg too. Im finding more and more people who use ketchup on meals that others regard as clashing with ketchup! I was shocked though when I realised how little you eat at lunch though. I thought I was bad (and am always starving by the time I leave work) but you have half the amount as me for lunch....how do you manage an evening run on just that...or do your snacks help to make it up?

    I totally agree with Sarah on the lunch front ! I really don't know how you manage on this at lunch when doing all this running! The snacks will help for sure.

    I will be meeting you on Saturday - really looking forward to it.

  • hi RRR -  been a bit absent on here this past week or so but have been following.

    As for the food thing - I'm amazed how little most of you are eating. I eat all day - literally! Little and often but all day!

    My business partner (the world's unhealthiest bloke) says I'm constantly grazing!

    I won't post my dietry intake - you'll have a fit.

  • Hey RRR, looking good on the training. Like DS2, I too have been 'lurking' rather than posting but impressed at the runs your putting in with the weather

    I don't have a problem with eating little at lunchtimes too- and I tend to do most of my runs in the morning without eating beforehand so I suspect Ruth would not be impressed! I did read about some americans training without food beforehand and getting better results, but suspect it is unlikely to be my excuse image

  • Evening Andy!

    I have to admit, I stopped to take the snowy ones but only briefly as it was too cold! I actually took the pics with my nose as it was too cold to remove my gloves!! image

    Flat parts? In Yorkshire? Not sure you’re going to be finding many of those! Are you running in trail shoes or Yak Trax? I’ve found the Yak Trax absolutely fantastic – even on the roads.

    Eeek! A circuit session on TREADMILLS? Sounds really tough!! Bet that made you work hard though! What a good idea! … but can you actually WALK today??!

  • Evening Ruth!

    Regarding the Chinese - it may well have been the chilli beef rather than the rice. Oh dear, I’m not sure … but it the chilli beef  DID taste amazing! image

    I tend to eat before I run when I get home. I used to run with a friend who was just starting running and she could run no later than 6:15pm so I used to get home about 5:40pm, get tea in the steamer and wolf it down at 6pm and be ready to run at 6.15pm. It took a while to get used to doing that but it’s pretty handy being able to eat on the run now! image

    It’ll be great to meet you on Saturday! Can’t believe it’s time for the 2nd bootcamp already!! image

  • Evening DS2!

    I’m dying to know what you eat now … c’mon tell us all! You say you graze but is it all healthy snacks?

    I tend to have a piece of fruit either side of lunch but I just sit down all day in the office unless my run is short enough to do in a lunch hour … so I’m burning no more than I would if I were to sit watching TV all day! I think if I started eating at work, I’d be eating all the time …!

    P.s. Haven’t missed a training session yet …Hope you've put some money aside for those socks.

  • Evening Clive!

    It’s been a lot of fun running in the snow but I haven’t even tried to stick to the paces as I think I’d be constantly falling over … it’s really, really slippy! It’s so nice that the same boring old routes are completely different in the snow though – a whole new angle! Have you been out running in it?

    A morning runner? Wow … I have real issues with getting out of the bed into the cold at this time of year …so lots and lots of respect for you! I‘ll probably do more morning runs in the summer when I can reclaim some of the nice canal paths and it’s a bit lighter but not in January! image Do you prefer to run in the mornings?

  • well done on getting the miles in in the snow. I agree pace is not important and safety is more important.

    Of course treadmill sessions do count and they can actually be harder than running outside and certainly help the mental strength but it's not quite the same running to set a pace yourself outside or jumping on a treadmill which is going the pace you want it.

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

    Agree - I find the treadmill sessions a lot harder as I feel like a hamster on a wheel ... running but going nowhere - much prefer to be outside if possible!

    ... I'm afraid was back on the treadmill again this evening but the Rugby track's still closed and the roads are still a bit dodgy.

  • Food Diary 24th January

    Breakfast: ½ cup porridge oats made with water with dash of milk, 2 teaspoons sugar.

    Lunch: 35g peanuts & an apple (ran out of mayo for the tuna!)

    Tea: 1 x kipper, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, 8 mushrooms, 1 x fresh beetroot, asparagus, long stemmed broccoli, sweet potato.

    Snack: 3 x cookies, 8 x after eights (slapped wrist!).

    Drinks: 4 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 3 pints of orange squash.

    Exercise: 6.7 miles

     

    Ruth – Had a sweet potato yesterday but forgot to add it into my food diary on here!

  • Week 6, Day 4

    Goal: 6 mile build up run – Starting at 8:30s moving to 7s

    Actual: 6.7 miles total – Starting at 8:30s moving through 7s (well 6:54 min/mile but had to round it up to 14kmh on treadmill. Honest!)

     

    Had an email this morning confirming that the Rugby track is still closed due to the amount of snow. It’s beautiful outside, but not really great conditions for a run over about 9 min/mile. But I’m sure I’ll appreciate the extra intensity the snow is providing when it makes the later sessions easier. But in the meantime, it looks like tonight’s build up session will be yet another run on the treadmill ...

    It’s a build-up run so at least it will be more interesting than running the whole session at one speed, but 7 miles on a treadmill. Sigh.

    I’m really enjoying the longer runs in the snow, but I don’t enjoy treadmill running  ... there are no distractions. I listen to an audiobook, but then my mind wanders and I start trying to remember what’s on the shopping list and why I need a square battery and before I know it I’ve missed 3 minutes of the audiobook and have absolutely no idea why Jim Smith the student mage is now a zombie with no nose. And then I remember I’m on the treadmill. And then it all starts again …

    But … managed tonight’s 6 mile build up run:

    1st mile at 11.4 kmh (8:28 min/mile)

    2nd mile at 11.8 kmh (8:11 min/mile)

    3rd mile at 12.4 kmh (7:47 min/mile)

    4th mile at 12.8 kmh (7:33 min/mile)

    5th mile at 13.3 kmh (7:16 min/mile)

    6th mile at 14 kmh (6:54 min/mile)

    Total: 6.7 miles including warm up/ cool down.

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