ASICS Target 26.2 - 2013

A great prize & challenge

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28/09/2013 at 17:29

posted that before it vanished! short n sweet posts are the way forward!!

Angela, the ultra I have planned is 40miles. I may start the training and see how my legs handle the miles. IF they start complaining too much, I will just concentrate on London. ( especially now that I have a bouncy running buddy as well as your good self!!) It is a friend of mine who organises the ultra, I'm sure I can defer or just allow him to give my entry money to charity.

28/09/2013 at 17:37

Sarah, I just love your reports, I smile to myself every time I read 8.08-8.30 described as 'slow'

28/09/2013 at 21:44

Evening everyone. Sounds painful Malcs, still a few weeks to go though. 

They've put up the warning signs round Chester now, and I think I saw one of the organisers earlier checking something on the route, so the anticipation is building.

still a bit bunged up but i ran a couple of miles over the fields today and felt ok so tomorrow I'll go and join the last official training run on the greenway, 12 miles, which I hope to do at 8mm.

lots of good races coming up too, Conwy half marathon is good, the longest hill I have ever run up, but boy can you fly down the other side, then Stockport ten, our boxing dsy race round the city walls, then the Four Villages half in January, it was cancelled this year due to snow.


29/09/2013 at 12:03

Morning all...

How exciting- all the girls got VLM slots- Jen, Angela and Tigger!! Delighted for you all, and suppose I'll try again next year. There is a little bit of me relieved, as think I need a bit of a rest after Cologne to let the heel settle..

Mr P- glad you're feeling a bit better. How did the run go today?

Sarah- that was a good 20 miler to settle down for the taper. What do the next 3 weeks look like. I was in York Thursday/Friday on an exam writing panel for the Intercollegiate Specialty Board. Its quite interesting, and a good way into the College set up as I would like to be an examiner in a few years time for the Exit exam.

Malcs- glad you managed to get the distance in, but seem to be mixed emotions as you had to stretch so often... I take it you are still going to York? If rugby/football for the kids allow, I might come over to cheer you on. You asked about the heel pain- it is on the underside of the heel- not sure if it is almost bruising, although it is only painful when I put weight on it. It is also more uncomfortable when I roll over the foot laterally. I am doing lots of stretches on my achilles and arch and have to say not noticed any real results.

I did 15 miles today- fast finish long run- with the last 10k at MP or quicker. Felt really sluggish from the off as hadn't slept well after going to friends for a take away last night. Had to change the route as  the Great Yorkshire 10k was on, and jobs worth stewards wouldn't lt me run on the road even though the race wasn't starting for another 2 hours . Managed last 10k at 7.19 pace, but have to say it was hard work. Needless to say, heel remains sore   In taper properly now, so hopefully will settle a bit.


29/09/2013 at 15:54

Mr P - yes, it's not over till the fat lady sings so I'm clinging on and hoping that I can turn things around.

Ooh - exciting stuff. I do like it when the signs start going up. Not long for you now and I'm sure the cold will be dead and buried by then. Hope the 12 miler went well today.

Clive - sorry to hear you didn't get the nod for VLM. I think it's the boys turn next year

10K at 7:19! And all that with a dodgy heel. As long as the heel isn't getting any worse then that's pretty damn good going. Taper should surely help things.

Hmm, maybe you've just over stretched something. Did the golf ball rolling not help? I use a small bouncy ball that used to belong to the kids (until I nicked it). Painful but works wonders. 

Yes, still planning to go to York whether I run or not so would be great to see you if you get the chance to pop out.

Jen - thanks, save some fairy dust for me! 


After yesterday's run I was expecting to be in agony today so I was quite shocked to feel really good. The tightness felt lessened and there was no burning pain. 

I did the mini rugby session and that was fine too. How does that work? Maybe I should run 13 miles every day?


Don't get me wrong, there is still something there but it feels alot better than it has for quite some time.

29/09/2013 at 18:22

20 miler for me today n feeling GOOD!

 Will write properly tomorrow when on work computer cos that doesn't constantly wipe my posts!!!

29/09/2013 at 19:24

I did ten in the end at 8mm with a group of other runners, sweated really badly, but no ill effects. I dont think Sunday will be my 3:30 day, I just want to enjoy it and not blow up.

Sounds like everyone had a good day .


29/09/2013 at 21:02

 Fantastic news Malcs so glad to hear that you managed 13 miles and your legs felt great today. I was about to suggest running york in fancy dress for charity until I read todays post and now im thinking more positive again. Glad that its nothing serious like a tear.

I didnt enter VLM as I enjoyed it so much this year I was worried about doing it again and it not being as enjoyable and it ruining my memory of it. 

 celebrations all round, glad youve had a good run Jen Have you entered the taper now? Its made me smile, knowing that I have made you smile

Mr P your boxing day run and the 4 villages half sound tempted with the permitting of course! I think 10miles is a better distance to do than 12 anyway the week before a marathon so I think you did right. Ive everything crossed for you that your cold does one by the weekend and it is your 3:30 day, you deserve it.

Fab run Clive you did your last 10k at the pace im hoping for at york. I cant believe that they didnt let you run on the course with it being two hours until start...thats just radiculous. Its nice to get involved with exams and things...not in the same league as you but ive just started teaching the medical students and im really enjoying it. 

I did a 10k race today and had my good head on-aiming to run it all at marathon pace (roughly 7:20 mm). I managed to do the first mile over tarmac, woodland and grass spot on. The second mile acording to my watch was a little slower at 7:34 but I think my watch was playing up in the woods because as soon as I left them and started mile three I was running at 7 mm. My 3rd-5.5th miles I was constantly slowing myself down. This section was on gravel around an old air field. There was a head on wind but there were loads of people I just couldnt help but over take. Miles 3-5.5 I did between 7:10-7:18 and then the last 0.7 miles I decided to allow myself to speed up alittle to half marathon pace. My average pace 7:10, so not far of my target . Was 4th lady....a bit annoying as if I had run 10 sec per mile quicker (which I think I ould have comfortably done) I would have won a prize! fingers crossed it will have benefitted the marathon!

29/09/2013 at 21:39

Next week I think my speed training on tue will consist if 800m reps and my long run will hopefully be 15 miles with half at MP. The following week im aiming to do 400m reps and 10 miles slow for my long run. I will do a mid week run I think of about 5 miles with the middle three at MP for both those weeks and my other run will be just to total up the milage. My gym membership ends tomorrow so I will be doing it all now either on my own treadmil or outside...will feel so strange not going to the gym after 5 years!

29/09/2013 at 21:48

Sarah - well done on showind such good discipline. The temptation to go for it must have been very high. I'm sure you'll reap the benefits of your retraint come marathon day.

Hmm, interesting logic re. VLM! You know there's every chance your next VLM could be even better! I've done 3 and each one has surpassed the next. So stop worrying about spoiling memories and get your name down for GFA next year!

Thanks for the support - much appreciated from everyone here. I don't feel like celebrating though. Today was a nice surprise but I can't forget that the run still showed problems and was too broken up. Maybe it has loosened things? I'll see when I have a little run out tomorrow.

Mr P - well done on the ten miles. Sounds like you're in a good position for next week. If you're relaxed about your time then like you say you can enjoy it.

The temperatures do seem to have risen this week so I know what you mean about the sweating. I hope it cools a bit for you on Sunday. 

Have a great run in week and look forward to that carbo load !

Jen - well done you, 20 miler bagged and tagged! Are you using that fairy dust on yourself? Save some for the rest of us!

Edited: 30/09/2013 at 07:53
30/09/2013 at 10:11


Hows everyone after the weekend's exertions?

Jen- great to get the 20miler done, especially after you felt the run last weekend didn't go so well. always feel like crossing the magical '20' is a huge boost pyschologically. Can I have some fairy dust for Cologne please?  

Sarah- well done on holding back and not pushing it, especially when you know you have the speed! As Malcs says, sure it will pay off in 3 weeks time. My next 2 weeks midweek sessions are also 800m and 400m repeats.

Mr P- well done on the 10, best not to push it and enjoy next weekend

Malcs- glad to hear that you felt good today- definately a turn up for the books that! You must be pretty relieved to have got that run bagged, and with no ill efffects. what other runs planned fo rthe next 3 weeks?

My legs feel really tired after yesterdays run, more so than after GNR. Considering that was only 10k at faster than MP at end of total 15miles is a bit of a worry for 2 weeks time. Not sure if I could keep the faster pace up for the whole marathon. Maybe I should write it off as a bad job, and settle back into taper... Might try for 20-30 minute recovery at lunchtime if I can.

30/09/2013 at 10:31

Wow, busy weekend on here.  I can see taper madness is settling in well for some of you (Clive)

Malcs, I really feel for you with your injury. but I'm glad that the mileage you're managing keeps creeping up.  My problem with going into races undertrained has always been cramp/exhaustion fatigue, rather than injuring myself.  Cramp is no fun either though.  I think Sarah's idea of running York in fancy dress is a good idea.  Its part of your charity challenge anyway, right? and adding a bit of fun to the whole thing will still allow you to meet the goal of completing the race, whilst taking the pressure off to run it all.  However, for those of us that take longer than 4 hours to run a marathon, on the fuelling side, you do have to treat it like an ultra you'd be exercising for a very long time.

Jenf, Tigger, so excited you're both in London! Jenf, 40 mile ultra... that is neiither a super duper duper long one, nor one thats just over marathon distance... hmm.  I wonder if you might like to concentrate on London this time around, given you've been lucky to get a ballot place, although I reckon ultra training will really help your marathon.  Its funny, we focus on the marathon so much and how anything contrary will affect our marathon prepartion.  But, if you do speed work, you will get quicker.  If you do back to back long runs, as you would training for an ultra, you will get quicker at the marathon.  If found the key to marathon prep is nutrition and recovery (well and actually training for the thing), but I reckon that the recovery aspect becomes even MORE important when trainning for an ultra.  If you get smart at that, I bet your marathon experience will become infinitely better.  Well done on your 20 miler!  Can't wait to hear about it.

Mr P, sorry you've had a cold  but like Clive/Sarah says, better to have it now and out of the way for Sunday.  I'm so jealous of you doing a marathon THIS weekend!  I was supposed to be doing Bournemouth, but alas, RRR is running in my place!

Sarah, only you could take a 10k easy and still come in 4th!!!  Congratulations  I'm amazed at the speedwork you have planned the next couple of weeks.  These are the type of sessions I was doing to tune up for the 10ks and half marathon.  Most of my marathon plan that I have prepared for Manchester has either continuos running at marathon pace, or 2 mile repeats done at marathon pace.  Anything done any faster tends to be in a drills setting.  Still, there's a reason you're going for a time an hour faster than my last one, so I trust you're doing the right thing for you



30/09/2013 at 10:39

Clive, I think its quite normal for legs to feel pretty awful in the last proper week of marathon training before the taper, but if they aren't starting to recover in the taper, then its probably worth stepping back, taking extra rest days, having ice baths, getting massages etc.  Anything to help on recovery side of things.  Remembering there is not much you can do in the last couple of weeks to improve your chances, but there is plenty you can do to worsen the experience.  Taper time is supposed to be relaxing

So, today I officially start my training for Manchester and VMLM.  Its a 28 week build up - a bit longer than most, and I've based it off a plan from Jeff Galloway in his book 'How to Qualify for Boston', and then switching to Hal Higdon's Intermediate 2, whilst maintaining the technical aspects in Galloway's plan.  I got on really well with Hal Higdon's intermediate 1 for my last marathon, so that's why I'm incorporating his, rather than using Galloway for the whole 28 weeks - for reference, his training plan is 29 weeks long!  But yesterday, I went out for a 'fun run':

I had had the last week completely off running, trying not to think about running and eating whatever I felt like too, which lead to some poor choices, but yesterday, I just wanted to get out there.  I think the good weather helped with that.  Given Manchester is a flat course, I think most of my long runs will have to be on the flat, so that I get used to fatiguing the flat running muscles, so rather different to my training for Halstead.  I had initially planned to run my usual long run route along the Wivenhoe trail, which largely follows the river Colne out toward Brightlingsea, but given today I didn't need to worry about pace, I thought it would be fun to do a more exploration type run.   I decided to do part of the Essex way, but in the opposite direction of the relay race, so I didn't bother with taking the printed route instructions.  I  took a look at the local map and saw that the Essex way crossed many footpaths in the area I used to go on walks with my dad, in the fields behind my parents' house.  I could then find my way back home on the roads, hopefully making an approximate 10 mile loop.   I jogged along to meet the Essex way near west Bergholt church.  Took a little while for me to find it, but I'm getting used to navigate by waymarks.  I looked out for one, and eventually found it at the entry to a dark overgrown alley, and away I was.  After a few hundred metres, it opened out into a field, and lush countryside:

There were a couple of direction changes that were obvious, and then I came out onto a clearing with a ruin. The next part wasn't so clear, and there wasn't a way mark, but there was an arrow, so I went with it.

Eventually after a couple of miles on the footpath, I started to recognise things, like footbridge to the cow field

And Fordham hall estate

I was concerned about when I would meet the roads I knew, I thought it was very close to my mums house, but then I saw this sign, and knew exactly where it would meet the road:

Continued on and saw another runner, a walker and a man walking his dog, so clearly I was getting rather close to civilisation now, and another sign to assure me I was on the right path:

Eventually, I got out onto the road, and the pub, which unfortunately shut down a couple of years ago. A shame, as my parents and I would often take a little stroll to have a pub lunch there.   Bt I was now on the main road that goes through the village my mum lives in.  I stopped in to see my mum and refill my water bottle.  She insisted I had a look at the apple tree:

And take some with me, but I could only fit one in my bum bag.  I also looked in to say hello to the guinea pigs:

They're very camera shy.   I went off on my way to take the road route home.  On road, my pace was much quicker, but when I was up to 8 miles, I could really feel my legs were getting tired.  This surprised me, but I guess I hadn't eaten all that much this morning, and I have raced every weekend in the last 3.  Also I usually use my compression socks on a long run.   Paces: Mile 1: 9:45 Mile 2: 9:59 Mile 3: 11:07 Mile 4: 11:38 Mile 5: 12:56 Mile 6: 10:51 (on road but uphill) Mile 6.18: 9:13   Mile 1: 9:18 Mile 2: 9:27 Mile 3: 11:22 (as well as tiredness a few major roads to cross) Mile 4: 10:01
30/09/2013 at 13:21

Hey Sarah, nice 10k!! You are storming it! Are you going to carry on doing wts at home now that your gym membership is finishing?

 I like your timetable of races Mr P, I've not given thought to anything other than my big races..but you have tempted me to look for some smaller ones. I quite fancy trying an off road/trail race.

Clive, I have 3 words for you, Taper, Taper, Taper! Your heel will benefit from NOT running, and as the others say, you'll get no more improvement to your fitness/finish time in the next few weeks. But your heel can heal.

What compression socks do you wear Angela? I've been thinking of them recently as I'm suffering with tight calf muscles. Do you think they would help? Any views anyone?

Malcs- Fancy dress! yes! do it!!! we want to see photos.  

My 20miles yesterday was most enjoyable (never thought I'd ever say that!) I ran the first 5 miles on my own, it was an absolutely beautiful morning. I had arranged to meet with some club members at 9.00, as usual they were all late/faffing around in the car park, so I did another mile of laps of the carpark waiting for them! We set off up the Path Of Doom, ( a long slow incline) , enjoying the sunshine and gossiping about films, before I was aware of it my garmin was saying 17 miles! I was still feeling very comfortable. I only started to feel a bit weary in the last 2miles after I left my running buddies. My calf muscles did tighten up that afternoon, and they are still a bit tight today. However I now have a few weeks to treat them more gently. I'm doing a half marathon next weekend, then 3 weeks taper.

Fairy dust is attatched to this post, any reader will be sprinkled!

30/09/2013 at 13:37

Hi Jenf, I use compression socks by x-socks... But they are quite expensive - a symptom of going to running shops based in the square mile!!  I think there are other brands that are much cheaper, and just as good.  Sarah has mentioned More Miles to me before, but I never tried them.

I find my calves to be the most vulnerable part of my legs when I run.  The compression, as well as aiding bloodflow, which is good for recover, is supposed to stop ur muscles shaking so much with each impact with the ground, and so delay fatigue, preventing the microtears that cause DOMS etc.  As I said above, I have been using my one pair (see if u buy expensive ones u have to do a lot of laundry) for all my long runs, and races, and I haven't had the soreness and fatigue I  used to get, so I guess they work for me, but that could be down to generally training better, not going out till 4 in the morning before a 14 mile long run, that kinda thing...

Then I have these compression stockings, which are very unflattering, but very very tight, which I squeeze on after a particularly hard session or race - they are full leg length.  for example after ipswich half marathon where I really felt it in my hammys and quads 'coz of all the hills.  My sister, who is a Dr, saw me using them, and verified the claims about encouraging bloodflow, saying that they give patients similar things to wear after surgery...  


Edited: 30/09/2013 at 13:38
30/09/2013 at 19:24

Fancy dress? I missed that one from the pocket rocket. Hmm, worth thinking about. Rhino costume is definitely not an option but something lightweight maybe....

Jen - thanks for the virtual dust! Great 20. If you got to 17 without feeling tired then you'e in a very good place indeed with Snowdon not too far away. Nice one!

Clive - having suffered badly at the hands of the madness in April I can recognise the signs and I'm sorry to say that you appear to have a bad case of it  I remember in the weeks before GWM thinking I had no chance of keeping to 8mm pace having never ran quicker than 9mm in the past. 

The day before GWM I was convinced I had no chance of keeping the pace up. I remember DS2 telling me stick to target MP and see how you are after the first 6. If you're finding it tough then back off a bit but don't start slower and try and speed up.

That allowed me to relax because I didn't have to worry in advance about whether I could hack the pace. All I had to do was roll up and give it a bash.

Now, I'm sure you know that 15 was just the gremlins playing with your mind. You know the legs need some rest and once they get it you'll be sorted. But if you can't convince yourself then don't worry - just start at target MP and see how it goes. I bet anything that after 6 miles you just keep going.

Angela - another top report! Love the sign that showed you were on the right path

Wow, a 28 week build up! I don't think I'd survive that long. I'm thinking of shortening mine even further to give me less time to pick up injuries

Anyway, great to hear that you're back running and have started on the journey to VLM! 

I did 5 miles today. Stretched after mile 1 but managed the rest without needing any further stretching. As suggested by Angela I tried changing shoes - in this case from support to neutral. Good shout Angela as this could have made the difference. We'll see when I do my next one. I still had a bit of achilles/calf pain after cooling down but it wasn't too bad. Anyway I can handle afterwards, it's during that I need to sort.

30/09/2013 at 19:27

Of, forgot to say - in case Tigger hasn't got to you already TR24 entries open on the 15th October.

Mr P - would be great to see you there if you fancy it. Same goes for you Jen! Tigger was talking about smaller teams this year so everyone gets more of a chance to be struck by lightning

What am I talking about? Lightning never strikes twice in the same spot - we should be'll probably snow instead.

30/09/2013 at 19:40

Clive - sorry, forgot to answer your question. Hoping to do 15 at the weekend. I would love to be able to reach 18 like Sarah suggested but I'm not sure my calf issues are improving fast enough to allow for that. If I can, I'd like to do 8 midweek with some small runs in between.

How are you planning to tackle the heel pain? Will you go for any physio or stick to RICE. Are you just going for a normal taper or are you easing back more sharply to give the heel more of a break?


01/10/2013 at 07:13

Jenf, just saw this article about compression socks on twitter x

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