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



  • Evening Tenjiso!

    What can I say … best not to leave any travel organisation to me! … or Mel! image

    I’m using the High 5 gels – you don’t need to take them with water – they’re pretty palatable and fairly runny so not too bad. I forgot to take any water at all on my last 20 miler and just used the gels and they were fine. Yes – 6 during the marathon sounds right. I’ve never had any problems with these (upset tummy or anything) but I’ve never tried any others either – didn’t see the need to once I’d used these and got on ok with them image

  • Evening Mike!

    Eek! That doesn’t sound like a nice surprise! A thick gooey gel you weren’t expecting in the middle of a marathon! I thought of you when I saw some Lucozade gel on sale earlier! image

  • Evening Derrick!

    That’s fantastic – sounds like you’re perfectly on track with your long run! Bet it was a great confidence booster – I love it when a long run goes just right! Have your legs eased up today?

    With regards to the proportions of carbs, proteins etc, I log a food diary on my phone and since I started training on the 17th December, it looks as though the ratios are approx protein 22 %, Fat 33 % and carbohydrates 45% (the app includes fruits, veg etc in carbohydrates). I don’t know how accurate the app is (I’m using Tap’n’Track) but these are the values it’s giving me.

  • Evening Ruth,

    Not nagging – please DO say if you see problems in my diet! I’d prefer you to say and for me to be able to fix them before they cause issues!! image

    Yes – I’ll add in the protein drink every evening. It’s actually really nice – I make it with milk so it’s like a really creamy, yummy milkshake so I’m perfectly happy with that!

    The crackers were ok, but they weren’t very filling. I may as well have had a banana instead to be honest. I’ll take rice cakes and the nutella and honey with me and make sure I can stick as closely as possible to the ‘food before race day’ that you worked out for me. Things like the baked potato and the salad should be fairly easy to find in France, wherever we decide to eat I should think. I don’t think an Italian restaurant would be a problem for me as salads or a chicken dish would still be available I should think. 

    With regards to upping protein – would linseeds in the porridge be a good idea? Or nuts as a snack? I’m just wondering about easy options that will travel well… image

  • Evening Andy,

    I only managed 5 miles of the long run yesterday before giving it up as a bad job. I got the antibiotics from the doctor today so hopefully these will start to kick in tomorrow. I’m all breathless and tired at the moment. Not good when I want to be out running!

  • Evening CailinAgRith

    Still feeling rubbish. I’m a dreadful patient – really grumpy and sulky when I can’t run. I expect I’ll be locked out of the house with my running gear before long in an attempt to shift me out of my bad mood! Running always makes me feel better … well when I can breathe and I’m not coughing all the time, that is!

  • 21st February 2013

    Breakfast: Porridge, 2.5 tsp sugar, dash of milk,

    Lunch: Christmas pudding

    Dinner: salmon fillet, 6 mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, ½ courgette – all steamed, 1 x fresh beetroot, portion of cottage cheese.

    Snack: Tangerine, twix style mini choc bar, 1 x chocolate.

    Drinks: 5 x coffee, 3 pints of squash, 1 x tea

    Exercise: None


    22nd February 2013

    Breakfast: Porridge, 3 tsp sugar, dash of milk,

    Lunch: Tin of tuna and tbsp mayonnaise

    Dinner: Saveloy, chicken quarter, chips.

    Snack: Satsuma, yoghurt coated raisins, crème egg, banana

    Drinks: 2 x coffee, 3 pints of squash

    Exercise: 1 hour housecleaning, short walk


    23rd February 2013

    Breakfast: Porridge, 3 tsp sugar, dash of milk.

    Lunch: banana, 3 tbsp mixed seeds, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 x tbsp nutella,

    Dinner: salmon fillet, 3 mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, ½ courgette – all steamed, portion of cottage cheese.

    Snack: crème egg, 1 chocolate, 1 x large orange, slice of lemon sponge cake, small amount of Christmas pudding.

    1 x protein drink, 3 x coffee, 3 pints of squash

    Exercise: half hour house cleaning, 1 hour of running,


    24th February 2013

    Breakfast: Porridge, 3 tsp sugar, dash of milk.

    Lunch: Roast chicken, 4 x slices of parsnip, 2 x new roasted potatoes, slice of sausage meat, Yorkshire pudding, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, gravy, stuffing, mushy peas. (Cooked for me!! image

    Tea: Mushroom stirfry

    Snack: Banana, crème egg, peppermint cream bar, 3 x chocolates

    Drinks: 1 x glass water, 4 x coffee, 3 x pints of squash

    Exercise: short walk, grocery shopping with 3 year old, hour running


    25th February 2013

    Breakfast: Porridge, 3 tsp sugar, dash of milk.

    Lunch: tomato and basil soup, tin of tuna and mayonnaise,

    Snack: crème egg, 1 x chocolate, 1 tbsp nutella

    Dinner: salmon fillet, 3 mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, ½ courgette,  – all steamed, 1 x fresh beetroot, portion of cottage cheese.

    Drinks: 3 x hot chocolate, 2 x coffee, 3 x pints of squash, 1 x protein drink (having just seen Ruth’s instructions! image

    Exercise: 30 mins housecleaning, 30 mins walking.

  • Week 10, Day 7

    Goal: 22 mile long run

    Actual: 5 miles ... very slow

    As per Marathon Coach Steve's advice, I did this run very slowly to see how I felt. I kept slowing down deliberately and although I didn't feel too bad while running, it was a lot more effort than it should have been. I stopped after one lap to see how I felt and although I hadn't felt too bad when I was running, I was quite breathless when I stopped and had coughing fit after coughing fit on the way home, so I think I was right not to push it and stop when I did.

    Booked a doctor's appointment today and came out with antibiotics. Hopefully these will shift it and I'll be back running properly shortly. I hate being ill - I'm a terrible patient and the sooner I'm back running the better!

  • well done on finishing early. hopefully anti biotics will help though some find even if they get rid of the cough cold etc, they make you feel very sluggish so you may just have to ease into training when you do feel better.

  • Poor you!

    I haven't run for over a week now as I've been down with something like flu and I'm still trying to recover. I might try a slow 3 miles tomorrow and see how I do. I feel exactly the same as you about running - it cheers me up and makes me feel better- so not being able to do so drives me mad!

    get well soon.

  • Afternoon RRR

    Sorry to hear you're still struggling image  Get well soon.  Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in over the next couple of days.

    You still hopeful for Silverstone?

  • RRR,

    Linseed in porridge and small handful of nuts as a snack would be great. We can discuss  in detail at weekend . Willing on a speedy recovery!

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

    Ok, I’ll play it by ear and keep you updated. Hopefully it’ll start to go once the antibiotics kick in and I can get straight back to training.

  • Evening Buffy,

    Thank you. Sorry to hear you’ve got the lurgy too – get well soon! Let me know how you get on with your run tomorrow – hope it goes well and you’re feeling better.

    Although on the plus side ... all this non-running means I may finally have a set of 10 toenails again! Woo!


    Evening Andy,

    Thank you. I hate being ill – I get very grumpy when I can’t run! I must be an absolute pleasure for everyone to be around ... um ...! image

    I don’t know about Silverstone. I don’t think my chances of a PB are looking terribly good on the strength of this last week of running …! I’ve got bootcamp on Saturday so I’ll see what Marathon Coach Steve says about it.

    I’ll be there to support I expect whether I’m running or not so you WILL be able to lap me after all! image

  • Evening Ruth!

    Ok great! I’ve bought some nuts and some seeds when I went shopping and stocked up on yoghurt so I’ll add these in. Also I’ve got some linseed for the porridge. Also got some more sweet potatoes … I’ll make more of an effort this week. My food hasn’t been very good recently – I tend to eat worse when I’m not feeling great but that probably doesn’t help the recovery at all!

    See you on Saturday!

  • RRR yes probably not worth going for a PB at Silverstone and if you decide to do as the illness and missed training will mean you won't be in the shape you were a few weeks ago, it might just be worth doing at marathon pace. Birmingham session was not going to be hard so you could race hard the next day

  • Hi RRR

    Being ill is a pain - both for the patient and their nearest and dearest. My wife hates it when I come down with man-flu image

    I can fully understand you won't be in tip top form at Silverstone & your attempt to get your excuses in early has been duly noted. I suspect I'll still be buying the coffees as last one in image

  • Andrew Mitchell 14 wrote (see)

    I can fully understand you won't be in tip top form at Silverstone & your attempt to get your excuses in early has been duly noted. I suspect I'll still be buying the coffees as last one in

    .... and drinking the coffee through a straw, once Sarah gets hold of you for that comment image

    Let's hope the cold wind has died down for Sunday!


  • No run tonight - just not well enough yet.image

    Hope your recovery is going better than mine!

  • Hi sarah, thankyou for doing a little dance for me at the weekend. Really enjoyed Belvoir challenge and would certainly do it again. Enjoyed getting muddy...again, beats road running, but its much tougher and slower!

    Just wondering have you lost any weight since starting marathon training or have you ate enough to maintain your weight? After reading your thread im trying like you to eat more carbs and protein, but its so difficult (if were not counting fruit and veg as carbs). Think my evening meal is the one that puts me to shame.

    How are you feeling with the antibiotics?

    Hope your feeling better soon.
  • Hi Andy,

    One of my male friends tried to tell me quite sincerely on Saturday that men DO get flu worse than women. It’s amazing how fast he could run when chased with a blunt instrument …

  • Evening Tenjiso!

    Hee hee!! Heed this wise man Andy!image

    Yes, there has a been a cold wind although it looked quite nice outside today. Don’t know what the forecast is looking like for Sunday though … fingers crossed for a bit of March sunshine! image

  • Evening Buffy,

    I'm really sorry to hear that. I’m feeling a bit less tired today but still coughing like mad. Have you got the awful tired feeling too? I think it’s meant to be a bit warmer tomorrow. Hopefully you might get a chance to go out then?

  • Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

    Yes, I’ll see how I feel and aim to complete it at marathon pace. It’s disappointing, but I’ve got to tell myself it’s not the goal race … there’ll be plenty of time for half marathons after Paris …

  • Evening Sarah!

    Yep! Me too! Will take a trail race over a road race any day! Although gosh those Cross Country people are SO quick!! Like a whole other breed of runners!

    No – my weight has stayed almost exactly the same! Although I have got smaller as I’ve put more muscle on and lost a bit of the padding. I’ve tried to eat better too although I’ve struggled a lot the past week as I tend to eat worse when I feel worse. I probably won’t fit into the lycra after this past week … I’ve been pretty awful.

  • Week 11 Update

    Ring the bell. Paint a cross on my door. I seem to have developed the plague.

    I’m feeling breathless, drained of energy and I’ve got a cough to rival any 60-a-day smoker. All I want to do is lie in bed but I can’t even do that without coughing. I’m not getting any running done, but my stomach muscles are getting lots of work from all of this hacking and coughing. My legs feel like cooked spaghetti and I’m sulky, grumpy and feeling sorry for myself. So altogether, I’m wonderful company right now.

    I’ve been given a round of antibiotics and been told by Marathon Coach Steve to lay off the running for a week. I’m sulking about not being able to run and about not being able to train. 

    However … I still seem to be doing better than the boyfriend who has the same thing and ended up at midnight going to walk-in clinic at the local hospital. He got prodded to within an inch of his life and they shaved bits of him for an ECG. With his hangdog look and now patchy body hair, he’s ended up looking like a chimp destined for the lab. I know I should be more sympathetic but I’m using being poorly as my excuse to be unsympathetic. And to snigger at his new pie-bald look.

    I just want to run. When I don’t run I feel crap. I can’t quite get my legs to understand that running now will make me feel worse, not better. My body is in revolution – my brain wants to sleep, my legs want to run and my stomach wants to eat crap food. We’ve reached an uneasy truce. I give my stomach crème eggs and ignore my legs and brain.

    Although all this non-running is giving my toenails a chance to grow back. I wouldn’t say that my feet are ready for non-runner eyes just yet, but they’re probably past the vomit down the front of your shirt stage now. It’s all glamour, this running lark. 

  • Hope you make a quick recovery. I didn't say don't run for a week - you just have to take it on a day by day basis but it is best not to run until you feel you have made some sort of recovery and it won't make you worse. You can take anti biotics and run but some feel sluggish when they do.

  • Thanks Steve. I'm feeling a bit better already. Not quite so tired so I'm going to have a quick - well short - run tomorrow and see how I go. I've got all of my pessimism out of the way in the update above image Ready to crack on now.
  • Eeek!! I need to apologise!! I've just realised I didn't give you an update of the Bootcamp 2 that happened 26th January!! So ... here it is .... very late!!

    January 26th 2013:

    The snow was still hanging around so I decided it was probably safer to book a train. Safer than driving anyway. Not necessarily for me getting there on time.

    Trains should be simple right? You buy a ticket for where you want to go ... and then get on. Apparently not. The time on my ticket said train departs 6:58am. Turned up – the train was in the station so I asked the Virgin train man. Nope, apparently the train I want is 7:17am.

    I'm confused. Again. Sigh. Decided he knew what he was talking about so got onto the next train.


    I hadn’t had time to finish my usual coffee that morning and hadn’t had a chance to grab one at the station, but decided that getting one from the Uni coffee shop would be the best option. I listened to an audiobook on the train on the way down and enjoyed the novelty of being able to sit and do nothing. With an energetic 3 year old it’s a treat to be able to sit down.

    I got to Birmingham New Street station needing a wee. But apparently you needed to pay 30p. THIRTY PEE? What happened to spending a penny? I only had notes on me. I looked despairingly at the attendant. She either decided that I wasn’t a budding graffiti artist, either that or I was about to wet myself and she let me through for free. Phew.

    Had a wander aimlessly around the station and then gave in and asked a train man. Managed to get on the right train for the Birmingham University. The route was surprisingly scenic and we passed the canal, frozen solid and with the paths packed with snow and ice. A runner in a hi-viz running top was stopped and was stretching out his legs. I watched him until he was lost to the distance.  A good sign of the day to come.

    Arrived early and met Tom who was doing the photography. We decided that the first and best idea would be to source a good strong cup of coffee. Coffee shop was shut ... until 10am. An hour and a half to wait.

    We went and posted some money into the instant coffee machine in the lobby. Nope. It decided that under no circumstances was it going to dispense any coffee today. Argh! We texted the others asking them to bring caffeine. Urgently. I was dispatched to the Starbucks on the other side of the campus to try and track down 2 Americanos. Starubucks was also shut. Anyone would have thought students didn’t get up early on Saturdays. Oh.

     Everyone else arrived, having had their caffeine hit at the station. Grrr!

     However, it was lovely to catch up with everyone. Shady_Ady looking very swelte – obviously a combination of tracking his food and hard marathon training was paying off! Mel looked fab and smiley and again ... we were wearing the same kit. Down to the trainers. Sigh. It looked as though this was going to be a theme of our training days.



    (Pic: Mel having a chat with Sarah Connors in the lectrure theatre)

    Alex had decided that although he may be miles quicker than the rest of us, we wouldn’t lose sight of him by wearing a pair of beautiful but eye-burningly orange trainers. Today it really DID look as though he was leaving a burning trail like the De Lorian in Back to the Future. B

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