P&D Autumn Marathon 2019



  • Hi everyone, long time no speak. Sorry that I haven't been popping in from time to time, I found it really hard being completely off running and didn't think reading about all your awesome training and racing would help. That being said, hopefully target races have gone well. From when I've been looking at Strava, there seems to have been some very solid performances. SQ, I assume you've welcomed the new arrival by now so congratulations.

    I've not been running since mid September, when I experienced pain on the outside of my right leg, right around where the peroneals are. After a week or 2 of this persisting through everyday life I got my act together and sorted out seeing a specialist. The order of the day was a barrage of MRI scans and after a lot of messing around with booking, I had them at the start of last week and got the results on Friday. The outcome is a grade 1 tibia stress syndrome, or rather that was what I heard in the consultation, but googling this afterwards shows he probably said medial tibial stress syndrome. Now on further research this is the scientific term for shin splints, which worries me as the pain seems to be in totally the wrong area and different to when I've had shin splits before.

    I've been referred to a sports exercise and medicine specialist, so I'll discuss my misgivings with him about the original diagnosis. In the short term I've been told to refrain from running, so if Valencia wasn't off from the already 6 week hiatus, it certainly is now. 

    Ending on a positive note, I got into London through the ballot so should hopefully be there with you all next year if I can get back into running in time for a decent build up.
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Evening all. 
    Great report John. Especially enjoyed the MIL logic. Sounds a super race. You’d certainly want to be aware of the tougher second half. 
    No difference in my 5k/10k pace, Millsy, so a good excuse to go off too fast! Probably shows my need to get the speed up. Well done on the 10M. Losing a bit of weight pre Christmas would certainly do me some favours as well. And I’m developing baby burping ‘guns’ as well - not useful for an endurance runner!
    Good luck for the XC, HA. I feel there aren’t that many opportunities my way, but Jools may disagree. 
    Really sorry to hear about the injury woes, HPR. A real pain in the, well, leg?Hope the expert help can guide you back into it safely. And will be great to catch up with you again in the pic after London. 

    Listened to a Magness and Marcus podcast the other week that summarised the biggest names in training methodology - but also tried to go a little behind just the well known headlines. The key take away for me was including snippets of speed more often. So in the spirit of this, I did 5M recovery today, but also included 4 x short hills and 4 x short strides. 
  • John - well done mate, stellar job. Look forward to the full report!

    Millsy - some good, hard racing will help you sort that weight. One of my main focuses at the moment. Do it nice and steadily so you don't miss out on training intensity/get sick.

    Hamo - nice podium, how's that ankle?

    SQ - classic pacing strategy, I suffered with the same thing at parkrun saturday. Definitely agree with you re; the strides etc, I'm doing a lot of that at the moment.

    Chick - good to see you back posting. How did it go on Sunday?

    HA - glad to see you getting back into it mate.

    HPR - really sorry to hear that, hope it's sorted sooner rather than later.

    I've got a big birthday this Sunday, will be moving up an age-category as 2 swtiches to 3..

    Katie had booked us a surprise trip to Chamonix this weekend just gone (pre-celebration), which was great despite the fact it rained all weekend. Naturally we took in parkrun at Lac de Divonne. I went out way too hard with two other chaps and faded badly after they dropped me to end up with 18:05. Fastest run for a while but still way off where I've been.

    Katie walked around the course on her crutches - what a hero. My first visit to Chamonix but definitely won't be my last. Unfortunately very wet and with KL in a boot we couldn't do too much walking, but had some good food and I did a decent hilly long run Sunday morning. When I looked up at those mountains it brought Macca's achievement into clearer context - just incredible. 

    3x10 min tempo on my commute to work this morning. Pace nothing special but effort levels were there. May be having a few beers at the weekend in between some running..
  • Nice one Joe. And happy birthday for the weekend. Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over 15. A sneaky trip to Chamonix is a great surprise - you’re a lucky man. 

    Great hill session with spoons this morning. 6 x 2:15ish up a slope that is pretty steep in the middle section. 6 reps and I was absolutely done. Great to mix it up and having company made it so much more enjoyable. 
  • Joe - Happy Birthday for the weekend! Nice surprise trip to Chamonix too!
    SQ / Spoons - Nice hill sessions.
    8 miles yesterday and another 4 today with some strength work (squats, deadlifts, lunges etc).
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    SQ - ive done a bit of reading up recently and it seems that older folks like me need to include some hard and fast running to avoid the ravages of slowing with age. So im aiming to do more of it.

    Hope the weekend goes well Joe, you had best get yr ID ready.

    Getting back to it a bit, as im hoping to go well at gosport in 10 days, but im still not up for it after a long year. But im still hoping to find some freshness and a bit of the eye of the tiger, plus some good weather for it.
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    Joe - Happy birthday old fella. 30 hey, those were the days. Great surprise trip by Katie.

    TR - I wouldn't be rushing back into things. It was a big build up for Abingdon. I've just been looking back at my post London running. At the time, it felt like I was taking it easy coming back but in hindsight I should've taken it much easier still. I think that it lead to my niggles and lack of motivation over the summer.

    HPR - Hope you can get back to it soon. The tibial stress reaction they found on MRI might be asymptomatic and it could be something else altogether causing your pain. Something that doesn't show up on the scans. Good news on the London ballot.

    Steve - consistent with that strength work, good stuff. Are you building towards anything at the moment?

    Nice hill session by the Worcester boys.

    Hill session planned for me today too. Took my son out for a run yesterday afternoon, just a couple of miles with a few sprints and short hills. He seems to love it and has an interschool XC next Friday. Unfortunately my boss has booked something in all that day so won't be able to leave work early to watch.
  • TR - Your mindset might change when you get on the start line!
    HA - Thanks, trying to keep with 2 sessions a week. I wasn't going to put it out there, but I'm going to be doing Manchester marathon! Haven't run/raced a marathon since 2017!!
  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Had a long time on the plane to write a race report so here goes:

    New York City marathon 2019

    The last 2 years I’ve managed to convince the family that it’s a good idea to go on holiday around a marathon. Boston and London worked out well as they were both in school holidays but for New York I would be travelling alone, or a good opportunity for “me time” as a friend described it.

    For marathon runners Boston may be the dream race but for those wanting to tick off a city marathon, New York has to be top of the list. The biggest in the world, in the city that never sleeps, with probably the largest crowds. 

    After disappointing races in Boston and London, I went into New York with high expectations having run 2:50 in Sydney just 7 weeks earlier. For once the weather was forecast to be perfect and I resolved to take it easy in the days leading up. However not helping was the 24 hours of travel, 9 hours time difference and trying to taper when there are so many great running events on. 

    I joined a few shakeout runs (plenty of freebies) and it was so enjoyable getting caught up in the excitement around Central Park and at the Expo. When so much time is spent running by yourself, it’s refreshing to just strike up a conversation with a random runner without embarrassing yourself, especially with 75% of runners coming from overseas. Herds of runners circled Central Park each morning, some carrying country flags, some with their running club and others just doing their regular training. The Expo was well organised although the crowds were crazy hoovering up every piece of kit they could get their hands on. Over the weekend there’s no mistaking who was going to be running the marathon. 

    Race morning began early, earlier than I’ve ever woken up before. Just after 3am, which actually wasn’t too bad as I must have gone to bed at 8pm, one of the few benefits of jetlag. It was so early that there were no crowds at all getting to the start and I was there just after 6. That meant a long wait for the 9:40am start but at least it was dry and spacious. I whiled away the time having a second breakfast of bagels and coffee - so much for nothing new on race day. 

    It was soon time to shuffle/sprint towards the Verrazano Bridge, line up behind the elite men, hear the national anthem, a 3 helicopter flyover, then a cannon to start the race. The atmosphere was electric and we set off to the strains of Sinatra. 

    Straight away it’s a mile uphill and that gave me time to take in the views ahead as well as across to Manhattan in the distance. I looked behind me and a helicopter was cruising along the bridge at road level just beside me - maybe the most Hollywood-esque moment you can imagine. Over the other side into Brooklyn and the crowds are deafening. There are 3 separate starts due to narrow roads but that just intensifies the noise. Despite the bridge, I still managed to go through 5k in 20:13, around 2:50 pace. 

    It’s a pretty straight course but I was surprised at the number of potholes and recently patched road surfaces (some looked like they had been done that morning). It made it tricky to follow anyone too close and in any case I couldn’t find a big group going at a pace I liked. It was also constantly undulating, so hard to get into a rhythm. It felt maybe a touch too fast but I got to 10k in 40:35 and felt amazing, so decided to keep going. 

    There were water stations every mile so it was never a bunfight to grab water or Gatorade. The Brooklyn crowds were also great, maybe the loudest on the course. At mile 8 all 3 starts came together and it felt like we were all working together now. I got to 15k in 1:00:48 and still felt pretty good. 

    The halfway mark came as we crossed the bridge over from Brooklyn to Queens. This was another nasty surprise, short but steeper than I thought it would be. I crossed in 1:25:43 and at this stage felt good about 2:55, although I knew the second half was tougher. 

    A few twists and turns around Queens and then onto the bridge everyone fears, the Queensboro Bridge. This is also a mile uphill but comes at 15 miles and seems to go on forever. It’s also completely silent except for the sound of Vaporflys, however I actually found it a nice mental break from the crowds. 

    Soon we heard the cheering again as we entered Manhattan, well before we could see them. Then we looped onto First Avenue and it hit us like a wall of noise. Maybe 5 or 6 deep on both sides and it stretch straight ahead of you for 4 miles.    I’m sure I sped up at this point and thought to myself: it’s showtime. It was thinning out around me by now and I got to 25k in 1:42:18. 

    Another steeper than ideal bridge into the Bronx and for the first time I noticed I’m being overtaken more than I am overtaking others. It felt harder and it showed as my slowest 5k came up at 30k in 2:03:13. With no one to work with I plodded on. Coming over the last bridge back into Manhattan I worked out that I needed to run the last 10k in 42mins to go sub-2:55. At my current pace that seemed a stretch but I hadn’t given up yet. 

    Onto Fifth Avenue and runners were now passing me on both sides. I tried to focus on the road ahead of me but started dreading the hills in the last stretch. 35k in 2:25:18 and I got to another mile of gradual uphill. I hadn’t even noticed this the day before but now I was practically crawling up it. I had one more gel left but couldn’t face taking it, it would have been the sensible thing to do but my stomach  wasn’t cooperating. 

    Eventually we turned into Central Park for more rolling hills and for the first time I wondered if the 3 hour pacers would sweep me up. Mile 24 was my slowest in the race but I dug in and searched for any speed that I had left. I got to 40k and saw it tick over to 2:50 and thought I’m going to miss 3 hours. It’s only later that I find out I had a minute extra on chip time, but my brain didn’t click that I had seen gun time. 

    Nevertheless after hoping for sub 3 at Boston and London and coming out with 3:31 and 3:14, right now I knew I still had a chance to do it. I dug deep again and went up the final hill, finally seeing the 800m to go sign. A glance at my watch and I had almost 4 mins left and realised it was going to happen. Even so the end seemed to take forever but the flags and the grandstands appear and I finish in 2:59:20. 

    I spent a few minutes holding myself up on a barrier, exhausted at the effort but relieved to have done it. It was a long walk out of the park but I was smiling all the way. New York is definitely the hardest marathon I’ve done, with a much hillier course than expected and a brutal second half. However it may be the one I’m most proud of finishing and definitely the greatest experience. I’ll be back one day to have a proper go at racing it. 

  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
  • John - Great reports and photos!!
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Great report and amazing pictures Jon. Still not quite as impressive as the 2 laps of the industrial estate that the Abingdon runners are blessed with!!! Good luck to anyone doing XC This weekend. I may be racing in spikes for the first time after my spectacular A over T in the last fixture. Wore them at track on Tuesday and the calves fared reasonably well.
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    Great report  John. Sounds an awesome event. With that tough second half too it was a great effort to get under 3 hours. Good that your name is right on the edge of that board. Who's in the pics?
  • Good to hear from you HPR and sorry about Valencia.  Hopefully with a diagnosis you can move forward and prepare for
    London when you are fixed.

    Joe - happy birthday this weekend.  What a star whisking you off to Chamonix, hopefully you saw enough to convince you to go back. 

    John - great report and photos.  I caught a bit on the TV and it just looked like running through a massive film / TV set.  It sounds like you sucked in the whole atmosphere and still managed a sub 3 on a tough course.  Sold it to me.
  • Nice one squeezing in the strength work, Steve. I find I can get a quick but effective session in ten minutes with weighted lunges, straight leg deadlifts etc. Prob not as effective as with big rest, but definitely better than nothing. 
    HA I believe it’s Mario Fraoli, who presents and writes The Morning Shakeout. He recently interviewed Mary Ngugi and Jared Ward. She has a pretty similar PB to you. Although did come top six or so at NYC. Fantastic to run with your son. Really hope to manage that one day. For now it is chasing round at a trampoline park with a ninja warrior section. To be fair, I really enjoy a bit of soft play. Great cross training!
    Fantastic report, John. Sounds a great adventure. Well toughed out. 
    Hope XC went well, Millsy. How were the spikes? You did well if avoiding sore calves. I love donning them, but unfortunately a pretty rare occasion. 

    A fun random and very easy run in Bristol yesterday after rugby coaching. Managed to link up to a mountain bike trail in Ashton Court. Great city with so much outdoor fun on offer. Today I had an hour to play with, so did 8 x 3 mins tempo, 2 mins float. Probably about 6:25 average pace. Solid if not spectacular session. Managed to hit just over 50M for the week. If I can stay consistent with that until NY it will give a degree of base. 
  • John. Saw you got some kudos from a very well known ultra runner as well. 
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Cracking stuff john,well done on digging out the sub3.

    HA - shame you wont get to watch yr nipper run. Plenty more times to come though, hopefully.

    Millsy - how was the xc? It was wet yday !

    SQ - nice session, i did some 3 min reps earlier in the week.

    Im repeating my pre Abo taper now, yday was 12 inc 5m effort, before Abo i did that at approx mp, with Gosport 1/2 next week i tried to run faster, not sure i can run 5m at hmp in training so we'll call it 12 inc 5mp hard.
  • Great report & photos John. Nail bitingly close finish. Well done on notching up another sub 3
    Surely that concludes the Autumn marathons: time for a new Spring thread?
    Commiserations HPR. Hope you get it sorted in time for a decent London build-up. Still 6-8 weeks away so should give it time to settle.
    Congratulations Joe - I'm sure there will have been some birthday parkrunning & possibly XC too.
    Big w/e for me. Raced event 7 of a new parkrun course in S Wales: Brynaman. I was 5th but it was a small field & the time was disappointingly slow. Fatigue & freezing rain meant my HR was actually below average for a change. My clubmate Pete was 1st in 17:40 smashing the course record by 16s. We then carried on to Pembrey Park nr Llanelli for 6M of XC. Fortunately the rain held off apart from a brief shower during the final K. I've raced this course 4 times now & unsurprisingly this was my slowest time by some considerable margin but it was an improvement on Cardiff last month finishing 46 places higher so headed in the right direction.
    Then had a late night out in Bristol & a long lie-in followed by a fry-up so would have been all too easy to card a zero today but I used the final daylight to run a HM along the Bristol & bath Railway Path at bang on 8 min/mile pace. The Garmin robbed me of some distance going through Staple Hill Tunnel so I ended up running an extra 0.3M to be sure. Brings me to 48M for the week: biggest since the end of June B)
  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Millsy  :D at least it makes it easy to zone out, I probably used up extra energy sightseeing and high fiving kids

    HA77 - it certainly is a hard 2nd half, none of the runners I followed managed a negative split so I am in awe of the elites who can blast around those hills. I assume you were asking about the NYRR event and not the legend that is Bill Rodgers or the yawning guy on the finish line... SQ was spot on with the interviewees, really insightful talk that was just released as a podcast. 

    Macca - all of NYC is like a film set- steam coming out of street vents, Friends-style apartment blocks with the outside fire escapes,  Pelham 123""-like subway trains (showing my age with that last one)

    SQ - haha yes not sure how I ended up connecting with her other than having the same surname, she also ran NYC in a not too shabby time.

    TR - thanks & good luck at Gosport, will be good to get a bonus payoff on your marathon fitness 

    Jools - good to see you're back to your old self  B). I think Joe still has Valencia coming up?
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    John / SQ - Funnily, I read the Morning Shakeout each week. Mustn't take much notice of the pictures though. Good session SQ. You've been very consistent considering the new arrival.

    Jools - Great weekend of racing, solid mileage too.

    XC for me yesterday. Weather was great for running. Course was at Eton, which is completely flat, mostly muddy paths along the Thames and muddy fields - not very exciting. Managed 4th this time, which is another improvement. Position always depends on who shows up, with a number of irregular guys who could easily beat me. Still feel there is more improvement to come. Work training course Wed-Fri this week means no lunch time runs, which is a pain.
  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Jools, great weekend of facing & running. Good to see you getting back into it.

    TR, XC was horrendous but still fun. Was still frozen from RD’ing parkrun and it started to pour with rain when we turned up. Course was a total mud bath so glad I’d gone with spikes, I witnessed a few awesome wipeouts . I know it’s a totally different ball game but it’s still odd to look at your watch, when you are blowing out of your backside, to see that you ran 26.2 miles at 25 secs a mile faster. Looking forward to Gosport on Sunday. Think I’m currently in 1:23-24 shape. 
    Also did 15 miles of trail yesterday with a few club members, most of whom had also done XC so the pace was much more leisurely than normal.

    Joe, Happy birthday, saw a few pics / videos of a nice running outfit. Congratulations! 
  • Good to see you posting again Chicksta, congrats on 2nd place. 

    Congratulations on New York John, well done on toughing out those final miles. Great report and photos too. I adore New York, and went quite a bit when I was younger, but haven’t visited since I started running. Definitely want to run the NY marathon one day, despite the hills! For now the occasional Zwift session around Central Park will have to do :lol:

    Sorry to hear you’re still struggling with injury HPR. Great news about the London ballot though, hope the specialist gets you sorted and in a place to start training in the new year.

    Happy Birthday Joe, hope you had a good one.

    Great news about Manchester Steve.

    Sounds like everyone else is ticking over nicely.

    Long time no update from me, I’ve been pretty busy with work. Guy Fawkes 5 last weekend. It was good to catch-up with SQ, and his performance was superb given the lack of sleep. I briefly entertained the possibility of sub-30 but it was clear by the end of the first mile that wasn't going to happen. I ran a fairly steady effort though, not really being passed by anyone, and ended up running 30:59. A long way off my best, but a decent first real effort post-Berlin I suppose. 

    Amazingly, I was the one to suggest running a hill session on Wednesday. It was really good to have SQ there to work with, and I was pleased my legs didn't feel too bad afterwards. I also ran parkrun on Saturday, on a modified route as parts of the racecourse are still flooded. 19:47 on a course that I suspect was slightly long, although that makes up for all the times this parkrun comes in short :D

    So still feeling a bit slow and off fitness wise, but gradually building the miles and feeling more myself. I'm still half a stone heavier than before Berlin, so hopefully if I keep plugging away and drop some of that I might manage a decent showing at Telford. But I suspect any hopes of a PB will have to wait until next year. Quite enjoying working off a much looser plan though, good to have a more relaxed approach for a bit.

  • Morning all. Thanks for the report John, really enjoyed that and sounds like an incredible experience. Must get over for that race at some point.

    Jools - nice weekend of racing/training, and very impressive getting out on Sunday pm after the less than perfect prep..  :D 

    Millsy - XC is just so brutal, I chickened out on Saturday pm and just went to watch instead. Thanks for the well wishes.

    HA - no shame in 4th! Although I'm not sure it's proper XC if there are no hills involved..

    Spoons - always good to take the mental stress off and follow something a bit more relaxed. All helps with the bigger picture/recovery process.

    Had a cracking birthday weekend. Clapham Common parkrun sat morning (18:42), which was a decent tempo effort on a pretty muddy/twisty course. A beautiful morning morphed into a pretty grim afternoon so we wrapped up and went to watch XC, positioned ourselves at the bottom of a hill, and probably over-enjoyed observing some pretty spectacular falls - soft ground so no injuries, don't worry. 

    Saturday night had a bit of a surprise party, lots of drinks and a groggy head for Sunday mornings 19 miler. Just an easy run with a couple of mates, before more food + cake - put on a few pounds this weekend but it was worth it.

    3 weeks until Valencia, but I have no objections to a new thread being started!
  • p.s - what's the only thing anyone would want for their 30th birthday - a pair of pink next %'s obviously  :D 
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Hey guys - sorry I've not been around but I took a total break from a lot of running stuff post the last race.
    Felt like I needed a mental break. I recovered surprisingly quickly physically and its been great not having the pressure of following a plan and just running when I feel like it. I certainly feel refreshed again and looking forward to a new training block come 2020!
    I've not had time to read back in detail but I did see a few highlights:
    John: superb pics and great report - last last stretch of the marathon sounded tough but fantastic to come under 3 hours so soon after the last race.
    Joe: great pics of Chamonix/birthday pics on Strava! Congratulations on the big 30. I've got the big 40 in January!
    SQ: congratualtions on the baby - fantastic news. How are things going?
    HPR: sorry its not good news - hope you get back fit soon, and fingers crossed for a good build up to London
    Nothing planned for me this month other than running when I feel like it.
    I've booked a couple of races in December:
    - Salisbury Plain Marathon on 7th
    - Meon Valley WinterX Ultra (45mi) on 28th
    Just planning to run them for fun to give me some kind of focus for the last couple of months of the year with the emphasis being very much to enjoy them!
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Bonkers stuff Jools

    HA - well done on the 4th place.

    Sounds grim millsy, i font fancy xc at all. Id put you quicker than 1.23 on a still Gosport day given your Abo time. Lets hope its a decent day weather wise.

    Joe - good that your birthday went well. Nice birthday pressie. Im trying to decide if my moral compass will cope with me getting a pair for vlm.

    Thats a tough december planned AWC, im having some non racing time after Sunday.

    Spoons - the odd race will keep yr mojo up even if you arnt in top shape.
  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Found this photo of the helicopter beside the runners on the bridge. Surreal moment!

  • JohnOzJohnOz ✭✭✭
    Joe - happy b-day on the big 3-0, looks like a great trip. Good luck with having a crack at Valencia, I think you've got a great chance with getting your mojo back and it being such a fast course.

    HPR - best of luck with recovery and hope the specialist gives a reasonable 2nd opinion. FWIW when I had what I thought was shin splints earlier this year it was on the inside of my shin rather than the outside so maybe you're right with your doubts. The upside is after I recovered from it I had the best year of running yet so fingers crossed for London.

    AWC - love it that you can fit in so many endurance races, you're clearly a machine.

    Millsy and TR - good luck at Gosport

    HA77 - nice XC result, moving up the field every race. Is a win on the cards at some point?

    I noticed that the London Marathon announced that Virgin will stop their sponsorship after 2021, must have missed that news. Wonder who will pick it up?
  • AWCAWC ✭✭✭
    John: nice pic of the chopper - must have got the blood pumping a bit more running beside that!
    Commute home last night and back in this morning. Normally struggle with the morning one as its a rush to get the kids fed and nappies changed etc before leaving but today I was feeling great. Definitely nice just being able to run without any plans in mind and just enjoy running for the sake of it.
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Blimey, i nearly spat my tea out with comments like that AWC.
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