P&D Spring Marathon 2021



  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Kate - well done for getting the sessions in, the biking and hiking counts too.

    Cal - im sure they'd call you in sooner if they were worried. I had an ecg one time which was classed as abnormal, but they just dispositioned it due to a developed heart from exercise.

    SQ - ooh, nice that's a speedy 20. Obviously nice and strong already. That av pace bodes well, i have to push it to get my 2nd half of long runs done around there which is nicely +10%.

    6m easy this morning, then a lot of queuing on the m4. Im in the wye valley for a week, so reduced training this week, but will put in a bit of overdue quicker work to get a bit of bang for my reduced training time.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I hope it's something like that, TR. 
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    6 miles done today - I was volunteering at Brockwell parkrun three miles away so jogged there and back. And oh my god I have never been so wet...it chucked it down on the way there, while I was marshalling and on the way back. I wouldn't have been any wetter if I'd jumped in the lido.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Battersea 10K today. I've done two of the Wimbledon Trail Series races but this was the first one with an actual medal. Of course it was still raining, and I had to contend with another appalling night's sleep followed by some intestinal shenanigans, but I sucked it up and ran the three miles to Battersea Park as a warm-up, picked up my number and got my chip onto my shoe.
    My aim was to do this as a tempo, keeping a nice even pace and hopefully going under 55 minutes. I didn't quite manage that (55:22) but wasn't too far off. Splits were 8:55/8:54/8:57/8:52/9:02/9:03 (and summoned up 8:20 pace for the remaining .2). A little fade there, so I guess my lactate pace is around 9 minutes.
    Obviously this is a long way away from what I was doing before lockdown, and I would have been disgusted by that time in 2019, but as it stands, I'm OK with it. Clearly I have a lot of work to do, but it's a good benchmark.

  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Good attitude cal, i like that. Good ttaining effect to be had, you sound inspired to crack on.

    Im near he Wye valley for a week. Theres an approx 1.5m loop round a hilly viewing road route overlooking the valleys either side of where we are. But i found a less hilly section yday for 10m inc 12x3min. Today i did an easy lap of the viewing road then tried to increase the pace for a mp+10% type pace average over 5 more laps, which i managed starting av 7.22 ending av 6.57 for ~7.5m av 7.11, 10m in total with over 900ft ascent (as well as all the assiciated descents). The inside running podcast boys love a hilly tempo, good strength work.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Good stuff, TR - I've missed doing proper hill training thanks to my hamstring. It's been mostly OK recently though - it seems to dislike speed more than hills so I think I can do hills or tempo but not both. Are you there for work or pleasure? 

    After a week of appalling sleep I was feeling pretty rough yesterday so didn't go to the gym until 11, and just did a bit of elliptical and the minimum amount of rehab. 
    A bit of a better sleep last night but felt groggy when I woke up so decided to eat and then go out after 9am. I got to enjoy the sunshine but I could feel my breakfast in my gullet despite having eaten it three hours prior. I just had my normal breakfast (oats with whey protein, chopped apple and walnuts) so I think I will have to go back to a carb-only breakfast again for later runs. 
    Legs felt heavy, too...I'd have thought the lack of a Sunday long run and an easy (gym) day yesterday would have meant they'd feel a bit bouncier, but I guess the lack of sleep has hampered recovery. Keeping fingers crossed I'll feel better tomorrow as I want to do a longer run.
  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    Morning all. Great training going on here.
    Cal: when the ECG traces failed to explain my symptoms they did an ultrasound & eventually a CT scan too. Fortunately nothing showed up so that was the final all clear. They’re just dotting the ‘i’s & crossing the ‘t’s. Well done for maintaining your training schedule, volunteering at pr and getting in some decent racing too.
    Ironically, whilst you’re in the Wye valley, I’m in your neck of the woods TR.
    Just finished working at a very muddy Wickham festival. Feeling pretty tired & sluggish. Managed to run between 4 & 9 miles each day but all around 8 min/mile GA stuff other than Portsmouth Lakeside parkrun where I managed to just squeeze under 20 minutes. Been dealing with dad stuff either side whilst in the SE & heading over to IoW today to sort out funeral stuff for the OH’s dad who died 3 weeks ago.

  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Keep at it cal, you've come a long way in recent weeks, so im sure you'll adapt soon.

    Jools - sorry to hear that. You've been very near my area, i live a mile or 2 east of lakeside at the bottom of the hill. Did you get the Brighton update? Its all kicking off due to the lack of bag drop unsurprisingly.

    Couple of easy (as easy as it can be running up and down valleys) runs, and a canoe down the river to report, something a bit sportier in a mo.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Condolences, Jools...sounds like a physically and emotionally exhausting time. Glad you're getting your runs in but take care of yourself eh?
    A long time since I've been in a canoe, TR...I rather enjoyed it, aside from the capsize drill.

    Got an 11 miler done today - pace was slow but I'm still carrying some fatigue so I was happy just to get it done. I did an almost-reverse of the Pollard's Hill route I've done recently, which meant I had to come down the 18% grass hill (I did look for an alternative way down but there wasn't one). So I went very slowly on that. My knee is still having a bit of a grump so I'm being a bit cautious.
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭

    Getting an 11M with an 18% hill sounds no mean feat, Cal. Let the knee rest and you will continue these fitness gains. 

    Lovely part of the world, TR. Enjoy. 

    Good effort on the parkrun, Jools. Sorry to hear about both fathers. Thoughts are with you. 

    A big 74M week closing with a couple of easy five milers over the weekend before a couple more on Monday and Tuesday. Thought this might recharge the legs a little in advance of Wednesday’s Bugatti 10k, but it seems not!

    Put on by my club, it is a great event. Road, downhill opening couple of miles before a tough and long drag over the last half including a couple of short but sharp ascents. I think I have run 38:18 before, perhaps quicker, but could manage only 39:25 for 10th. Frustratingly I got pipped right before the line - didn’t even realise I had anyone on my tail! 

    Lovely social though, and with warm up and down, it came to 11.8M for the evening.

    Thursday was the only opportunity for this weeks long run, getting out at 10am. With only 14 hours recovery, certainly didn’t plan any faster sections and it was somewhat of a grind for 22.5M at 7:31 pace. Managed to drop a gel somewhere, and felt my blood sugar level getting low in spite of some dextrose and a few salty dried apricots. Fortunately found a garage and paid used my watch to pay for a lucozade. Disgusting stuff. 

    So 34.4M in 17 or so hours. Does that put me in ultra territory! Not sure how specific it will have been for the marathon, but certainly good practise at grinding out a run on tired legs and a tired mind. 

  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    edited August 13
    Great mileage & paces on the LRs SQ. Not surprised your legs didn’t fancy the 10K. Still a very respectable time.
    You’re getting a good taste of my run territory there TR.
    Agreed, 18% is too steep to run down comfortably Cal.
    Just to be clear my Dad’s still with us - just needs help getting his house back into a habitable condition post-CoViD: he wouldn’t let anyone in for 18 months & can’t bend down anymore as he gets dizzy. Once they’ve been dropped, things remain on the floor. He’s also an alcoholic with very poor eyesight who doesn’t notice his surroundings. My Sister lives very close so we met in his garden for lunch last week. Although she sees him twice a week for shopping & dinner that was the 1st time anyone had been into the house since the 1st lockdown. It was in a shocking state but he finally accepted that he needs help so we were able to make a start on the hall & kitchen then. We fully blitzed the kitchen Tuesday after the festival. Hopefully we’ve not gone too fast for him as I’m hoping he’ll let us back to do the living room next week when I come back from the IoW.
    Enjoying some hilly trail running on the IoW though it’s felt like harder work than it ought. 16.7M with 2,000’ yesterday, picked up a CR on a 1.1M hill climb today & looking forward to parkrun tomorrow.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I guess he doesn't have a carer yet, Jools...might be an idea. Well done on your runs and CR.
    SQ, that sounds like a tough race. It still amazes me you can pay for stuff using a watch, but definitely handy for you under the circumstances.

    Yesterday was a slow 6 mile plod with some strides in the last mile. Today I took myself off to Dartford parkrun (one of the slightly easier outside London ones to get to - the park is not far from the station). It's a lovely park with lots of flower beds but the parkrun itself is a real mixed bag, featuring hard path, gravel path, wooden bridges, grass and one dirt trail section (mercifully dry) that features a small climb and a lot of tree roots. I did my best but am still missing my top gears and can only seem to manage around 9 minute miles, so I came in at 27:49. I don't know where my speed has gone but I'd like it back...it's not like I have a half marathon next weekend or anything!
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Cal - you are doing well, keep at it, some speed will come back as you get fitter.

    SQ - well done on the 10k and 20m combo, agreed good to grind a few tough long runs out, its a handy skill to have on mara day. I was grinding today too.

    Jools - you have a lot on yr plate at the mo, best wishes in a tough time. If you had known youd be at IoW at the mo, we could have met up and done the 1/2 mara tomorrow, first time i havnt done it in a few years, its a toughie and roughly comes out around mp imo.

    Back on the coast for a sweaty 21m in 2.52 today, i was tired and hungry and it became a trudge, i dont enjoy the time on feet long runs as much as the progressive +10% long runs, but i need to keep some of them at an easy pace to preserve marches.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Thanks TR. That's a very solid long run.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭

    Today's objective was to run 20 miles. A bit of a step-up from last week's 17 (and that was only 17 because I got lost and ran an extra mile) but Manchester is getting closer and, thanks to all the postponed races taking up my weekends in September, I've not a lot of time to get the big runs in.
    I settled on Wimbledon Common but decided to go vary the route there and back. I also decided to take my Oyster Card just in case I started feeling dodgy or something started hurting more than usual and I needed to cut my run short.
    The first part of the run was on known territory - down to Tooting then along the Mead Path trail to Collier's Wood where I picked up the Wandle. All through this part, my Oyster Card was moving all over the place, which I thought I was odd as it was in the same shorts pocket as my keys, which weren't moving at all. It was only when it migrated all the way down my butt to the back of my thigh that I realised I had actually missed the pocket entirely and had just shoved it down the back of my shorts. Oops. I retrieved it and put it in one of the pockets on my hydration vest, where it remained for the rest of the run.
    When I got to Morden Hall Park I went right towards South Wimbledon rather than left to the rest of the Wandle, as I usually do, with the intention of picking up a trail I'd found recently that runs alongside a rec and then the tram line. I backtracked a bit here as I thought I'd missed the turning, before realising I hadn't and that it was further along. That bit done, I aimed for Dundonald Rec, which I found, but it was still closed, which I should have expected as Merton don't like to open their parks until some stupidly late hour (just checked their website and it's 9 on a Sunday...wtf!). So I had to go around. I knew the road I needed next was a dead end with a foot path, but couldn't remember which one so I went up two dead ends before realising they were dead ends because there was a railway there, and I should probably look for the one with the railway bridge. Which I then found. And then walked over, because I am hopeless with stairs.
    After that it was a straight shoot to the common - it was just a question of which of the horrible hills I went up to reach it, so I picked Edge Hill. They're all awful, though.
    Once on the common I headed for the windmill and tried to do the first part of the Wimbledon Trail Race course. I got the first bit right, but as I got to the first alp I noticed lots of Thames Hare & Hounds course markers - obviously a race going on this weekend. So I followed them and that got me over the first alp. However, while the WTS course then goes on to the Big Alp then around Queensmere, the THH course skipped those and went straight for the Rifle Butts, which I was not intending to do today due to the mud. And let me just say, there seems to be more mud today, which I couldn't figure out as I didn't think it had rained much since the last race. I was reduced to scrambling around in the holly bushes to avoid the mud, so it was very slow progress.
    After that horror, I headed for Beverley Brook and saw more course markers (and a 1km marker so it seemed their race started with that and ended just after the Rifle Butts) so I followed them, hoping they would take me to the elusive Toast Rack. They did. So I got to enjoy that again.
    After I got off the common I ran back down to Wimbledon town centre. I was hoping to run through South Park, which had been locked last time I'd looked for it. Only I turned too early this time and couldn't be bothered to loop back through it as I was tired.
    From here the intention was to go through Garfield rec and on to the Wandle Trail, only the path between them was under water. I'd noticed a small trail leading off just before so I went back and attempted to follow it. What seems quite wide at the start got narrower and more overgrown as it went on. I could've done with a machete - I practically had to limbo under a fallen branch at one point and got well stung by nettles. Still, it came out in one of the Wandle nature parks so I was able to get back to Tooting, which I did by choosing a road with another bloody railway bridge in it. This came out by the hospital so I took the opportunity to go through another couple of recs before heading up the hill to Balham. At this point I caught my toe on an uneven paving stone (my stride must have got more shuffly than ever thanks to fatigue) and stacked it. It wasn't a very hard fall but I have some minor abrasions on my hands and took some skin off my left knee. It didn't hurt too much but I got a lot of looks as I ran back home with a bloody kneecap.
    Anyway, it was very slow, but I got the 20 miles done, mishaps and all. I think I will pick a flatter and easier route for the next one.

  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Well toughed out cal, that was a bit of an adventure. Im good at that tripping over on raisex paving slabs due to tree roots on a main road near me.

    10m here today, legs weren't too bad after ydays 21m.
  • HazelnutCHHazelnutCH ✭✭✭
    Ups getting behind.

    Spotted a good pic of Cal over the page - you look very determind to catch that lady up.  What half are you running this weekend?  (I think).  Good idea to walk stairs as it is a great opportunity to fall over as well!  You were brave to go out seeking some hills, mud and nettles on a long run, even if some of that wasn't deliberate.

    Well done on getting the training in despite being away Kate.

    Not sure on my target yet SQ I know I would like around 3:20 but will see how things progress. PB is 3:26.xx so a chunk off.  Going by 10k / HM PBs (42:xx / 1:34:xx) 3:20 isn't totally unrealistic but I ran those a couple of years ago and not much fast racing since.  Like the idea of you running to the cricket.  Good for you to bag another 2 long runs, and big mileage anyway.  That 10k didn't look easy with the down and back up again - the other way around is much easier!

    Hope you have had a nice week away TR.  If the legs are up to it it can be tempting to speed up a trudgy run just to get it over with but as you say saving the matches is important as well.  Good mileage with 31 in 2 days!

    Sorry to hear about your OH's loss Jools and that is a tough situation with your own dad.  Well done for fitting in the running around the festival and have been keeping up with your IoW outings on strava.

    Decent week behind me - 66 miles.  Bit tough with increasing heat and humidity towards the weekend - apparently the hottest weekend of the year (30+ on Sunday).  Got all of my planned runs done though.  Friday saw my first decent race of the year - 7.1 miles in 58:xx with around 300m of up and down, partly on tarmac, decent forest roads and a bit of single trail but nothing technical like Jooligan might do!  28 degrees heat meant I had to be careful with the effort levels to get round ok but I got distracted by a good tussle with another lady (beat her by around 20 seconds at the end). Fast downhilling meant DOMS though for Saturday and Sunday's 20 miler - good thing that was flat.  Had to get out at 7am for that to avoid the heat - not so great at early running.  
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭

    Agreed, Hazel. Always prefer an up then down race. Chichester 10k old course was the dream for this. With those PBs and recent strong running you have an excellent chance of sub 3:20. 

    31 in two days is no mean feat, TR. 

    Well done on the 20, Cal. You like a challenge for sure. 

    That is a very tough state of affairs for your dad, Jools, and you and your sister. I’m sure your help will be really appreciated and make a massive difference. I like your current running trig point challenge. 

    Hadn’t run hard since last Thursday, so was looking forward to this morn. Standard jog to and from track, with another tempo sandwich on the cards. 

    Session is written as 20 mins MP, 5 x 3   mins 10k, 20 mins. Rough conversion gave me 5k (600 jog), 5 x 800 (400), 5k. 

    Fist MP felt cruisy: 20:58 or 1:40 a lap. 800s bloody hard and couldn’t locate top gear: 3:01-3:04. Then the final 5k in 21:01 was tougher but still in control. Suspect the HR from that section is a good indication of race day target. 

    All in 17.7M at 6:59 average, albeit with the pauses to walk in and out of the stadium. As I wore the Adios, I suspect my calves might know about it tomorrow. 

    Got home to an absolute treat. My wife’s friend is doing a Level 5 Sports Therapy Massage qualification. £20 for 90 minutes! Felt quite the professional athlete. Quickly dispatched this feeling by then looking in the mirror. 

  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    SQ...  :lol: Still, that's some decent pacing there. You're a lot closer to professional standard than I am, that's for sure.

    I took an extra day yesterday (did elliptical and rehab instead) to recover from the 20 miler so the 10 miler I did this morning wasn't too bad. Stride length is dreadful but legs didn't actually hurt or feel heavy. Quite enjoyed the run, even though I feel rather dismayed by my current pace. I think I'll be hard pressed to manage a sub-2 on Sunday.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Six miles today...nothing too interesting to report, but I did see a heron.
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Hazel - sounds like it's warmer where you are than it is here.

    SQ - nice one on another BAC session, backed up with a budget massage.

    Cal - nice, i see one sometimes on my travels. Plenty of pheasants and buzzards about at the mo.

    Been a solid week here, 10m mon, 10m inc 14x3min tues, 10m weds pm and an ultra rare run double today (5+10) to make sure i can run in tomorrow which allows me to ride my bike home as ive 10 days off so want the bike at home.
  • Tough times Jools, hope the bike/running provide some relief, escapism or whatever you need.

    Cal - some great racing back there, great race photo and strong finish.  You are definitely moving in the right direction.  I reckon I could be dropped in S London and would have a reasonable chance of escaping armed with your race reports.  I came across the River Wandle in the course of work and wanted to shout out “I know all about this !”.

    SQ - well done on the 10k, I find that a few lumps and bumps seem to extrapolate that tiny under preparedness if that makes sense.  Tough sounding session, was the last 5k @ MP or all out? Lol at TRs “budget massage”😀

    Hazel - well done on the racing, and further back beating the tempo runs demons, that’s one to tap into on race day.  I do like a stretching but achievable target, well done for putting it out there, I try to channel my inner Delboy “he who dares Rodders” or something like that.

    Kate - sounds like an active holiday so well done for getting any sessions in, always a bonus.

    TR - the 21m time on feet will serve you well, backed up with some decent double digit runs, nothing wrong with your engine. Enjoy some days off work.

    I’ve had a few days away (Brighton) so a case of fitting in what I could. I squeezed in a 10k race, 2 secs off PB and good enough for a club age record so pleased with that.  All permissions in place for a trip to the big dance next week, I’ve done a few 1,000 ft sessions, now just have to string 30 of them together.
  • JooliganJooligan ✭✭✭
    That’s a smashing 10K Macca. Good luck with the 30,000’ epic.
    Solid as ever TR.
    Good sticking power Cal, I saw Egrets whilst kayaking on the Wye a coupla weeks back.
    Well raced Hazel.
    First session in ages this evening: after a 5K wu with strides I did 10x 3’@10K pace/1’ GA/1’@5K pace with 3’ easy between sets. The 4th was up a massive hill which destroyed me for the rest of the session. Only managed to average 6:56 & 6:28 for the efforts but there was almost 700’ of climbing in there.
  • HazelnutCHHazelnutCH ✭✭✭
    Bet that massage felt good after such a session SQ. 

    Good luck for Sunday Cal - don't put yourself under too much pressure for the sub-2. Better to get in a solid race result maybe with a faster second half than tie yourself to a pace at the beginning and not be able to maintain it.

    Nice to have 10 days off to look forward to TR.  No pheasants but plenty of buzzards too.  I have a couple of no-go routes until around September as they sometimes attack runners, I've had it happen (damage free fortunately).

    Well done on the 10k Macca - glad you are sorted for UTMB.  Just scanned through the site a bit.. (and should stop drooling - that is definitely too much for me..).  Interesting looking at the qualifying races list - I might have a look at one or the other (2-3 points, not the 5 point monsters..)

    Tough enough session without that hill Jools, with it decent paces!

    It has taken some time to recover from last Friday's race and Sunday long run combi, made more difficult by a mid-week 14 miler.  HM tomorrow for MP practice. 

    Have a good weekend all.
  • SorequadsSorequads ✭✭✭

    Good run mileage and pre break planning, TR. Also enjoyed your ‘budget massage’ - almost sounds like tax fraud. Not sure teaching is the right game for that 😆 

    Macca - second MP on the track very controlled. Def could have gone harder. Pleased I didn’t given how destroyed I was the next day! 30,000ft 😱. Go well mate. Have an amazing race. 

    You sound disappointed, Jools. But with that climbing those paces are very impressive. Good session. 

    Destroyed after Monday for a day or two, but good run this morn: 10 easy, 10 MP, little warm down. 

    Felt humid and sluggish in the first section, in spite of the very early start. Pleasant enough lap of some quiet lanes and parks. Completely dark for a while, which was a shock, but nice and peaceful. 

    Lucky enough to have a friend to pace me for the tough section. Whilst he has only managed 3:20 in a (virtual) marathon, he did run a legit sub-17 5k in Hereford last weekend. I must get on that course!

    Ten miles came out at something like 6:39 pace. If I am honest, I was working too hard at the end for it to be MP, but a great workout nonetheless. Almost certain I couldn’t have held it without a mate, so kudos to him. 

    Total of 22.5M at 7:12 pace, so solid endurance training. 

    Back to plodding for a few days at least. 

  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    edited August 20
    That 10k sounds good macca, esp if it was a club record. Good news on the clearance for take off.

    Good to see you doing the odd session jools, sounds a toughie too.

    Hazel - you've had a good week. Good idea on the 1/2 as an mp run.

    SQ - that was a strong run. For me mp is pretty much as hard as i can go on the day ifs its a long block within a 20ish. So that might be mp after all. Your mate sounds decent, 3.20 in a virtual is good going.

    8m back in this morning, few frothies then a long run tomorrow, might join SQ for a 10m effort within the 20ish. Will see how i feel after a few miles.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Well done on your HM, Hazel (saw it on Strava!)
    Excellent running, SQ.
    Good work, TR.

    Today's parkrun was Wickford Memorial in Essex, a nice park with mostly grit paths and a small stretch of grass. Very friendly event and mostly flat (one small incline at the end of each lap...there were two and a bit laps). The sort of course I'd normally do in around 25:30, but unfortunately I am still struggling so I could only manage 27:33. I was hoping for some improvement over last week, but it was a vain hope.
    I am hoping I can still go sub-2 tomorrow but I think it'll be a big ask at this stage. But I am running with a clubmate who is also hoping for the same thing so maybe we can help each other along.
  • TRTR ✭✭✭
    Cal - keep plugging away, it will come good. Hope you and yr club mate help each other to a sub 2 tomorrow.

    I wasnt really feeling frisky enough for a ard run today but spired by SQ i went for it. Wet and humid 6m, 10m ~mp, 5m crawl home on trashed legs. Quads didnt want to know in the mp section and were pretty hurty, went with a "one more mile approach" and got it done, only 6.43 av but HR was lower than normal. Running on dead legs is good practice i suppose, ive given my legs some stick in the last few weeks so no surprise. 84m for the week.
  • HazelnutCHHazelnutCH ✭✭✭
    Great 22m run SQ - your mate should have a go at a real mara - does he have plans for one maybe?  In terms of daylight it does feel like autumn is approaching quite fast now.

    Good attitude towards the MP runs TR - I tend to fix on a pace too much.  Great run from you too today - wet ok but humid isn't nice for a hard run.  Only 6.43 av makes me smile as it is faster than my 10k pace but I shouldn't compare with others anyway.  Good idea with the one more mile approach - I sometimes do it in km - the advantage is they are shorter!  Great mileage for the week too.

    Hope you had a good HM Cal and were able to profit from running with your clubmate (or maybe also the other way around?)

    Tough HM for me yesterday I will shamelessly repost my report from other threads below:

    The Hagneck Canal HM takes place as a parallel event to the Round Lake Biel Ultra (50k). An out and back with one water station at the turnaround point. Nice route – minor roads and paths along the lakeside with 3 minor climbs (in total 150 metres according to the GPS). With it being a warm and sunny weekend the area was pretty busy at 9 am already – numerous cyclists and dog walkers in particular. This is a low key event – no chip timing but not necessary with a small field as straight over the start line. 40 in total took part in the 50k, 4 walkers took on 40k and 20 runners in the HM.

    My aim was to run at my goal MP (4:44/km), a HM seemed a good way to deal with the 12 miles @ MP on the P&D plan I am currently following.

    I got to the start a bit later than I had originally planned so did a 1.x mile warm-up checking out the first bit of the course. Brief instructions at the start – follow the yellow arrows on the ground and we were off. I put myself towards the front in the expectation that the HM runners would set off more quickly which was the case. I didn't however try to follow the leading pack of around 5-6 including the first HM lady as I already felt that the pace was too high for what I had planned so let them go. First km was 4.30 – HM PB pace but at least I hadn't started off at 10k PB pace. That was the start of what basically turned into a solo time trial with a number on my front. With it being an out and back route I met the front HM runners on their way back and on having turned myself met the rest of the field coming towards me. Many runners encouraging the others on – nice. I was otherwise caught by one man just before the drinks station who then proceeded to run away from me as I started to wilt on the second half.

    Splits were a bit uneven on the out stretch and a bit fast – I would have been better off slowing down a bit to reserve something for the second half. I could also already feel the heat a bit too much. The hill at 2.5 miles was a bit of a drag. I was glad to get to the drinks stations at half way – for once I actually took time to take a few swallows as I knew there would be no more opportunities. Nonetheless I took on air as well as water resulting in an uncomfy glug-glug-glug stomach the whole way back. I struggled to keep the pace up as of two thirds distance already and started to give up mentally. The stretches in the sun were particularly hard work and I resorted to a short walk before the return hill in an attempt to get my pulse / breathing down a bit. From the hill onwards I struggled to find any sort of decent pace – I think it would have helped to have other runners around me but as it was I had to keep on alone and get back to the start/finish. Over the line in 1:42:27 as 2nd lady (1st: 1:33:30) and a bit disappointed the run had not gone better. I did a mara pace over 10 miles a few weeks ago and yesterday felt quite a bit tougher. Possibly a combination of the conditions, a bad night's sleep, accumulated mileage and a lack of PMA when it got tough. I have another HM at the beginning of September to repeat the exercice, I should then better know what to set for my MP.

    I was pleased that there was an official prize giving ceremony and an opportunity to have a shower / get changed – something that has been missing on most events since Corona got going. I won a nice beer glass. Otherwise I lounged around a bit to recover in the shade and helped clap in the other HM participants. If I had hung around a bit longer I would have seen the first runner come in for the 50k – a new course record of 3:04. Very impressive considering the warm conditions.

    5k Splits:

    Last bit: 6:16

  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    That's excellent you won something Hazel (even if you weren't all that happy with the race)...congratulations.

    No such luck for me. I should have stayed in bed. My worst half marathon since 2015, before I'd even joined my club and had no idea what I was doing. Haven't go the results yet but it was over 2 hours 8 minutes - the race I did round the same time in 2015 was a tough four lapper in Richmond Park (so more undulating), on a very warm day, when I was heavier than I am now (and it was a PB at the time, which I then knocked down to 2:02 by the end of the year).
    First mile was OK but I just couldn't keep up with my clubmate and then I just got slower and slower and I was not enjoying it at all. I kept trying to find something positive (after all, we've been waiting for the return of the big races) but it eluded me. I don't know what's wrong with me but it can't just be the injury...I've had comeback races before but nothing like as slow as this.
    During the race I was thinking about cancelling all my remaining races...not sure I'll go that far but I am at a loss.
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