Shades Marathon Training

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  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Big G - you're making a good steady recovery.   
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
     Big G-Great finish distance,unreal how someone can go that long.
    Rcouture-You have definitely got this tonight,have a real good warm up,should get the legs going again,then go and do it.
  • Rcouture good luck tonight, you're in fine form.

    Big G that's some distance, started watched the documentary about SBYU they talk about how they struggle to keep their pace so slow.

    Shades the half pb is from 2011 but my 2018 time is 1:36:20, I still feel my marathon time is a little light though.  Frustratingly I don't know when my club races are or what they are, also got xc races thrown in as well.

    Rest day today, started doing some s&c at home then got side tracked by tv.
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Robert - you know that marathon PB is there for you to deal with one day.   :)

    This is all I have on the list for 2021, so if there is anything to add please let me know..


  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Robert, on the daytime laps at Big's, there is an out and back section, so they go back through the start/finish line before carrying on with the lap.  I don't know if they had lost their minds at one point, but Harvey and Mori were sprinting through that like the were doing a 5K race - no idea why, but that is what they were doing by all accounts!  Apparently the reason that Mori stopped is that he fell over and didn't get back in time to start the next loop, so he finished 3rd.  Gutting for him.

    It is a fascinating format.  I was just watching Jamil's Mountain Outpost podcast and learned a couple of things.  The person I thought may do well, Michael Wardian, did the Chicago and Boston double the weekend before (I just checked his times and he did 2:52 and 2:56.  Probably that is nothing for him, but not sure if that is the best prep for something like Big's? Any thoughts?  I knew that Courtney had done UTMB a few weeks before, but Jamil was pondering if she may make Big's a goal next year, noting that Salomon had sponsored it this year.
  • Big G John Stocker winner of the Suffolk event done Grand Union Canal the week before (145 miles).  Just watched the film of the event and loved it, gave a great account and leaves it upto you to decide what must have been going on in their heads.  I think it's the minds that get them to stop, loved the bit where Lindley the RD almost bangs their heads together... they were asking abut sharing the prize one take the win the other the record.... in what world could that even be a possibility in a last one standing event!  I'll try and share the video if I can.

    Shades nothing now until 2nd of Jan for me East Hanningfield.  
  • file size of the film is 12gb so struggling to upload and share, however well worth £2.50 for a week rental or £5 to own  https://vimeo.com/ondemand/81yardsabackyardstory

  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Big G-When Wardian won the quarantine ultra last year,he did 63 laps,still a massive jump to 83.The stop start of that would wreck me.
  • So then been a few years since I last did this one, 2015 was last time cos I looked. The route is more or less the same and the entire canal path is tarmac (with a few short bits of shingly crap) albeit can still be muddy under the tree lined bits. New company running it so start and finish are different to old lot adding a bit more distance 56 not 54 miles now.

    You do get 14 hours to do it now but with a 6am start making the usual policy of stay in Edinburgh and get the train over on race day totally non viable. They will however transport your bag to the finish for you which is what I did.

    As it's a new lot the start was at the Riverside museum which isn't much difference in distance to the start for me. Normally it's a few miles from the station this time a few miles from hotel at Charring Cross station. Did go explore the day before fastest route and found it on the return. Mostly did this as room wasn't ready so had time to kill. Handily when I went down stairs for the walk to the start there was a cabbie waiting for a guest who never showed up so I er stole their ride to the start ;)

    Got to the start registered and then just waited for the off. The new route was around the museum then alongside the River Kelvin up to the canal to Edinburgh but from the other side this time. The first 4 miles odd were in the dark, well ok semi headtorch lit by others, paths weaving around Glasgow. Then you head up the locks and get onto the canal before heading into the dawn towards Falkirk.

    Seemed hot and sweaty early on despite not going overly fast but was happy with my progress and merrily carried on on my way. Approaching the first check point gained a walking friend namely a ginger chat who decided to follow me along the canal path for a while. I assume was out and about hunting for brekkie that time of the morning.

    Started raining not much after checkpoint 1 and didn't really stop for another 4.5 hours. Wasn't heavy rain mind just light stuff and with the warm weather was pointless bothering with rain jacket as i'd just be too hot under it. Reaching Falkirk wheel aka checkpoint 2 things were nicely on track still and the checkpoint is now halfway up the hill.

    Moving onwards I as per usual forgot how far along the tunnel was so walked further than I should have being I was eating and walking out of the checkpoint as per normal. Amusingly the tunnel doesn't exist according to my Garmin as instead of playing join up the gps points as I thought it did it went with the ignore everything approach thus the tunnel was a mere 0.1 miles or so long by watch where as its a good half mile or so in reality. Oh well.

    Checkpoint 3 saw me get confused and take until the following day to actually realise who had randomly appeared to cheer me on. Yes really. Sorry Rhino :p Things from here on were much more walk than run which was fine there were a few of us in a group and were moving at a good rapid walking pace. On the way to checkpoint 4 my walking speed was slowly a bit and I assumed the heel aches in my left foot were achilles related as had a on off issue most of the summer. It wasn't but we'll get to that later on. Attempting the run a bit to close the gap failed as knee was now in a walk if you must run if you can handle the pain mode. So yes walking to the finish it was then.

    Checkpoint 4 said that it seems the distance is a bit out what with it being nigh on 50 miles when I got there and there were 7 or so to go still. A minimal stop then off on my way again. Probably walked further than I should have but the canal path has cats eye style lights along it and I was not interested in stopping whilst having a good spell of walking. Waited to a under road section with better lighting and got out the bike light to use when I needed it. Mostly when bikes or people were approaching from opposite direction as I have no trouble seeing where to go in this sort of minimal light.

    Not much before the point where you go over another aqueduct and drop down onto the Water of Leith for the last few miles to the finish a group emerged from higher up going the other way. Stopped and pointed out this was the way you were meant to go but one said they'd rang someone and there way was right. Two followed me the rest disappeared the other way.

    Quarter of a mile further on other the aqueduct and then down some highly dodgy steep steps on to the Leith then walking to the finish with one of the two who came with me. Walking cos we knew we'd be over the 14 hour cut off but as it seemed a good mile longer than expected and still being under 15 min miling I assumed this would be fine. Got to a bit where you cross a road with a staggered access point bit and saw no markings so we briefly went down the road until I fired up maps on the phone again having already done this not much earlier to show I was indeed going the correct way. Quick reverse course onto the last bit then into the stadium finish. I did not run around the lap as sod that ;) It also hurt too much.

    Got my medal, had pic taken. No not sticking that anywhere you can find it on the race FB page. I look a tad grumpy shall we say. Collected my other bag then as it was a Sat night and taxis were long waits set off on the 2 mile walk down to Haymarket and my hotel. Ambled/hobbled into the hotel checked in then cleaned off the mud before collapsing on bed to sleep til morning.

    Morning was a tad slow moving but having sorted out my stuff and dumped pretty much all my left over food I set of on the slow walk down to Waverly for the train home intending to get pasties but alas that one wasn't open. Progress was slow as on more awake inspection my right foot had a bit of a rubbed through blister on the hell and the left foot was er way way worse. That one was a good inch long or more plus some other bits of rubbing and hurt somewhat. I'd also forgotten to pack spare socks somehow so was having to wear the manky ones from the race too.

    Slow walk back to mothers to collect car then a drive home to a large pizza and a D&D session. Oddly I wasn't that into my food and was at best half awake thru the D&D session. Monday I walked slowly to work and we went and raided the first aid kit to see what they had. Amusingly nothing suitable to deal with it so got stuff in Tesco's after work and tapped the plasters on. Mostly did the job but the left one is still a tad sore now shall we say and I upgraded to Compeed ones Sunday.

    Took until the Friday afterwards to stop feeling tired randomly and to properly get back to eating which for those who know me know that means it took quite a bit out of me. Also took that long for my shoulders to stop aching too.

    Wasn't overly helpful being I had a job interview on the Tuesday morning and I do shit at interviews at the best of times let alone still tired from a ultra. Did find out Friday morning I got the job mind which was pleasing and I didn't over celebrate whilst down in London. Which is why this is late to appear mostly, didn't have time busy doing stuff down there.

  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Keith - Cracking report and congrats on the new job! I do wonder what happened to those lot who chose not to follow you 😀.

    Annoying 5k for me. Went out sensibly and felt really strong. It was almost pitch black in parts of Battersea park where it was being held but great conditions otherwise. I thought I’d paced it perfectly for once at 3:59/km (4:00; 4:03; 4:01; 3:56; 3:56) for the whole thing. Came in at 20:17 😩. I don’t know if the course was long, my GPS wonky or it was the weaving around folks but it was gutting. The guy who finished just in front of me had the same issue. Irritating but frankly partly my mistake for not giving myself a bit more breathing space time wise. 

    I don’t know why I keep underperforming in the shorter distances vs longer stuff. Certainly according to these race equivalency calcs. It doesn’t make much sense to me as I could barely run 5 miles at any pace 3 years ago and I’d never done any endurance sports in my life. Conversely I played on the wing in both football and rugby until my 30s and ran decent 100m times in school! Who knows. Anyway not sure when I’ll try again as don’t think I can fit in another race when I need to focus on Florence.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Great report, Keith!  As a matter of interest, I contacted the organisers earlier asking about luggage and explaining Id be flying so would have a suitcase and they said they'd only transport a small/hand luggage suitcase.  Tell me - what is that sudden/steep elevation jump in the Strava trace; is it a set of steps?

    Bad luck, RCouture.  I am not sure what to say really because as you say it looks like you paced it really well!
  • In the middle ish?? Falkirk Wheel where you change canals. Uphill path check point 2 where the feed station is halfway up.
  • Rcouture that’s a well paced run, it’s difficult to judge if races or garmin is inaccurate especially with shorter races.  I always try and have a stalk around Strava/ map my run for people who have done the race in the past to see if it measures right or not and then adjust my paces.

    keith great report and congrats on the job.  How was the organisation, one of my club mates raves about GB ultras,  not sure if the race appeals to me, not sure I can run on flat for so long.  Don’t blame you for not doing the lap outside cut off, it sounds a cruel way to finish an ultra.  I’m considering centurions SDW50 in 2023 and SDW100 in 2024 both finish on a track in Eastbourne.

    Just heading out for an easy 5 miles 


  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 21
    Keith - it was certainly worth the wait for that brilliant report.   Well done again, a very tough day at the office.   What did you eat during the race?   Not like you not to mention that  ;)   I'd quite like to see the photo of a grumpy Keith.  ;)  We all know that race photos are not the most flattering and at the end of an ultra the tiredness shows too.

    Congrats on the job promotion too.

    Rcouture - well done, another good attempt at a sub 20.    It's more important IMHO that you excel in the longer distances rather than the short fast stuff.   

    I'm sure you can do a sub 20 but I'd suggest you postpone your next attempt until the spring/summer next year.   Definitely don't race in the dark and find a race that you don't have to weave around other runners.   This might mean travelling away from London and the big events with too many runners.   We have several 5k events around here organised by clubs, I've never run them but I never hear runners saying they were impeded from getting a PB due to the other runners, Big G can probably verify/advise on this.   If these type of events are around here they must be all over the country, so maybe a weekend away with the family next year somewhere rural and get the 5k time then.


    Getting a bit fed up with the dark mornings so I planned to head out at 6:30 a.m. on the main road and then I would get to the cycle path at dawn.   However, due to a full moon I was able to avoid the main road on the way out, then it started to rain and the clouds obscured the moon but I could just see where I was going.   So managed to get to the start of the cycle path only to find that it was flooding and the water was rising fast, it wasn't raining heavily but the rivers are tidal.   So a bit disappointed had to turn around and retrace my steps, 6+ miles done.  

    Gym later
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Keith, yes, roughly in the middle.  Thanks.   

    Shades/RCouture, yes, when I first went under 20-mins it was at a club race on roads with plenty of space.  It was flat, with no severe corners and I found myself amongst a group of people who were clearly going for the same time as me, which helped.  No weaving about or anything and we just ran in a group.  My PB is actually from a race (well it was a time trial really, as we went off in pairs) that isn't on my favourite course, but there wasn't much else around at the time with Covid, and I just wanted to get it done.  That one was an out and back on a narrow path used by cyclists, so it wasn't ideal.  The road race was definitely preferable and I would go back there again if I wanted the best chance of having a decent run out - I did email them a few months ago asking if they were going to put it back on again, but the place was being used a a test centre I think which was causing the organisers some problems at the time.   

    I did about 70-mins on Zwift yesterday, which is the first time I have done two lots of exercise in one day since Covid, and I feel okay this morning.  I don't want to push it though, so no running today, but I will jump on Zwift again later.  I have been going over whether to make the trip to Newport, but I have reluctantly decided not to go.  I know I could get around, but I also know from my HR stats that I am not in PB shape.  The reason I entered it was to have a good crack at it, and I don't want to struggle around at this point, so I am not going to go.  It is a shame but I think doing, say, a 10 miler over the weekend would be better for me at this stage, as I think probably a marathon would just take too much out of me.  But on a positive note, I feel that things are improving steadily and my weight is still very good, so if I just keep chipping away I will hopefully be able to resume training most days in the fairly near future.  
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Big G - that's a sensible decision re Newport.   I'm sure you'd get round, but not worth the tiredness and possible set back from your Covid recovery just to add another marathon to the list.


  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Shades, yes, that is the thing.  I had said to myself that if I could do 10-miles at a reasonable pace at my MAF rate by Wednesday (yesterday), I would have gone.  Although yesterday was a better run out, I didn't feel 10 miles was sensible and also the pace was still slow, so that is the reason I am not going to go.  I reckon if the race was in another week or two I may have gone, but it is just a bit too soon I think.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    A nice surprise from Newport, as they are going to give me a credit note.  I really wasn't expecting anything, especially this close to the race, but I explained my situation and after I sent proof that I had had Covid, they replied saying a credit note would be wth me next week.

    A nice 90mins on Zwift earlier, which was very enjoyable.  Still nice and easy with nothing at a harder effort at the moment, but it was a nice ride on there today.
  • Big G that's good of Newport to do that, I imagine they consider some people may turn up with covid at the risk of losing a few quid on an entry fee.  For what its worth I think it's a sensible decision not to run, you had ear marked it as a PB opportunity which looks like was out the window, you'd be 'plodding' just for the numbers and not a great memory.  Now you get a chance to go again next year and chase the PB again.

    Shades you must be looking forward to clocks going back an hour, get a bit more daylight in the mornings for a short time?

    Lots of puddles about this morning, tried to avoid any flood paths but came across one at the end of my run that I had to wade through.  Club has announced plans of other club champs races, not much appeal to me so will only pick a couple more for the minimum.  None of them particularly local and all of them have featured in last 2 years races championships.
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Big G - that is very good service from Newport, just as well you contacted them and didn't just not show on the day.

    Wonder if they'll go back to a spring marathon next year.

    Robert - I won't really notice much of a difference as the days get so much shorter so quickly in November.

    Perhaps the optimism isn't there yet for the club to be more adventurous with choice of races for the club championships.  Or is this just same old, same old?


    Had to cut my gym session to 45 minutes as felt tired and glycogen depleted.   I have done 3 gym sessions in 4 days, first consecutive days today so knew it would be tough.   No gym tomorrow, chance to restore my energy.
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Big G-Great service from Newport,is the note for any of their races?
    Rcouture-I was convinced you'd be sub 20 no issues,looking at your speed for the last 0.1 I take it you still had a gear change left? So annoying,it will comfortably be ticked off at some point.
    Keith-Great report,was it easy to navigate? Wondering how they went the wrong way? I see entries have opened for 2022,you can defer 8 weeks before so tempted to put it,but I might do Chicago next Autumn,decisions decisions.
    2 days off as I expected so about to go out for an easy 7,this cough has been lingering but coming out the other side now,just as OH as picked it up.
  • RcoutureRcouture ✭✭✭
    Shades - Yes I will park the 5k attempts for now and revisit post Florence. I am hoping that by then, fitness would have improved such that there won’t be too much doubt. 

    Ian - Yes it’s annoying as I could have pushed the pace more in the first couple of Ks. Wasn’t dead by any means at the end. Hope the bug clears. 

    5 miles into work this morning and will do another 5 home later. I’ve entered the Chicago non-guaranteed ballot. Apparently the cutoff for a gfa (<3:20) is 2 days after Florence and I can then reapply for a guaranteed spot if I get it so that’s a good target. However I am a bit nervous about travel restrictions being reimposed this winter to be honest. 
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Rcouture-I didn't realise chicago had opened yet,I can go the GFA route depending on dates,will have a look.
    Easy 7 dome,feel good when running so hopefully the bug is nearly gone.
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Ian, the email says the voucher is valid for any of their events.  I too keep on going back to G2E and thinking I want to enter.

    Car passed its MOT today, which is good obviously.  I have been thinking about getting rid of it but I am going to keep it and just run it into the ground I think.  The thing is, it is 10 years old now and it really isn't worth much second hand, and as it is cheap to run I am going to keep it. I had been thinking of using the van for everything, but the car is obviously easier for those quick trips over to see Dad etc. 
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Big G-Good news on the car, always a bonus when it passes.
    Checked Chicago and they are taking tines from Jan 19 so I'm comfortably under the GFA,also had confirmation I can have Easter Monday off so looking in to Boston now,have to work Saturday but could fly to Dublin Sat night then an early flight to Boston, expo Sunday afternoon then race Monday, then down to NYC for a few days with OH and son.If I do that I will probably do Chicago in the Autumn.
  • The organisation is great navigation should NOT be a issue being it's along a fecking canal where you NEVER swap sides which is unusual in it self. No idea how the ended up there and going wrong way they er managed to finish as i was leaving which was prob 5 mins after i had finished the race. We walked to the end cos sod it they might have ran some to catch up. They know when you go wrong cos of the tracker albeit it has some lag shall we say and people were intrigued as the accuracy is off a tad cos they wondered where i had gone to on another forum ;)

    I didn't really eat massive amounts mostly a few handfuls at the check points and i def didn't drink enough but i er cba by later on plus was only walking anyway.

    Shades intrigued Solway in May now. IS that not Windermere weekend too??? I did both the half and the marathon this year as they were not the same day. Just looked Fetch says yes same day. Gonna need to order calendars for next year asap i think so i can plan ;)
  • Robert OHaraRobert OHara ✭✭✭
    edited October 21
    Big G good news on the MOT in a similar situation our car is a bit older but touch wood not had any issues other than wear and tear so will keep it until it’s not worth fixing and scrap it.  

    Ian good news you can get the time off work for Boston, is the gfa a guarantee how London used to be or only a certain number of places?

    Rcouture that’s a good incentive for Florence 

    shades it’s pretty much same old for the championship races.  Because of injury I’ve not done any of the races so not too bad, we need to do 6 I’ve done 2 and got 4 booked although the last one is a club social mile on the track 6 days after DD! 

    Looking forward to having a week off next week, means I can get some training done in daylight rather than trying to squeeze it in the mornings or after work.

    what are peoples thoughts about winter and possible lockdown? I can see masks being mandatory but people won’t use them, also can see them restricting numbers indoors again which I can’t see anyone sticking to either.  
  • Keith I’ve started to use my phone calander and shared it with the other half, she now can’t complain about me not telling her about races lol 
  • Big_GBig_G ✭✭✭
    Robert, OH and I were wondering which way it may go regarding winter.  Cases are rising again so who knows what may happen.  Personally, I would be disappointed with another lockdown but only because it is a depressing thought, although of course I would abide by it if it came to that.  It seems the government don't want to go down that road though, as their Plan B is quite tame at the moment.  In terms of booking/planning things though there is still that uncertainty I think.  Also, is there the appetite for another lockdown in the country, I wonder?
  • SHADESSHADES ✭✭✭✭
    Ian & Big G - get your entries in for G2E, you both obviously want to do it.   :o   And there is a deferral option if your plans change.


    Ian - that's great you can do Boston next year now, I know you've wanted to do that race and the trip with family for quite a while now.


    Rcouture - that's sensible race organisation that you can send a GFA entry in after already entering the ballot for Chicago.   Is the general ballot very oversubscribed, as with NYC?


    Keith - I saw yesterday on another website that Solway was down for 22nd May, so clashing with Windermere.   On RunBritain site as April, so they need to correct that.   Worcester is on RunBritain as 15th May but on race website also as 22nd May.

    Well you did eat enough to keep you going, it's not easy to eat nor drink enough during those ultras.


    Big G - if the car is cheap to run and still useful for you, keep it.  


    Robert - ha, ha, a mile on the track might not be your finest 6 days after DD  🤣

    Love the idea of sharing your calendar with OH, means it's quite likely she won't be in the same room/house as you when she sees what you've got planned.

    I don't know about another lockdown, but I don't think the economy and people's livelihoods could withstand it and that would be catastrophic for people's mental and physical health too.   Cornwall's Treliske hospital has announced a critical level, but they've always been under pressure and struggled on a regular basis pre pandemic.


    Rest day for me today.


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