Auviour Paris: So long and thanks for the cobbles

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21/10/2012 at 07:35
Go Oscarr and Mike up early waiting for wife to return from her run so I can go.....have an ace day boys go do it you have down the training, you are strong and you have friends watching you go, go, go all the best. Slowand steady Oscarr then zip up the zips and finish it off. Text me your time later if you Feel up to it will be waiting in anticipation.
Feeling nervous sat here go on you can do it Oscarr, we are cheering you on!!!
21/10/2012 at 14:00

Fantastic news folks - oscarr has just checked in - he ran a new PB of 4:05:40 (4 mins and 24 seconds faster than his previous)!  He says he was on target for sub 4 til 24 miles but his legs would not keep the pace up.  He ran all the way and really enjoyed it and Mike also ran well.

Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooop whooooooooooop - take that coldy flu germs - you can't defeat our oscarry-boy!

Gotta like that - PB, PB, PB - I'm so proud, I'm doing a little dance! Just can't fault that - fantastic way to end his marathon year! Really glad he's now broken that 20 + mile barrier before he feels the distance - that's an impressive strength gain!

Well done both - will look forward to the full tales - hope it wasn't as Harry Potterish as it is here!


21/10/2012 at 16:20

Abingdon short story:

Had a nice chat with Oscarr while in, ahem - one of those queues, and then with a handshake, we went into our own routines and joined the throng on the track.

I ran in lockstep with a runner from Enfield chatting away through halfway in 1:41 (being told off by the marshalls:"If you can still talk, you should run faster...").

Anyway, at 18m I upped my pace and no-one went past me from that point so I ground out the rest of the race by picking off small groups of runners ahead of me.

Glory lap of the track to finish with a chip time of 3:24:12 - an 8 minute improvement on VLM 2012.

Ecstatic after missing 6wks training during the summer and especially after a 2:58:xx club member advised me to pull out!

21/10/2012 at 18:36

Mike - in true thread tradition - you have just earned yourself some of these:

"Those" queues are always useful! LOL  I always seem to get chatting there too!

Sounds like you had a good run - well done that man.  How many consecutive weeks training beforehand did you manage?  I know they say you as long as you do 90% of the schedule you're likely to achieve the same as if you've done the whole 100%.  What % of the total of your plan do you reckon you did?

Hope you're moving about ok and treating yourself to some well earned cake

21/10/2012 at 18:43
Congratulations guys awesome running
21/10/2012 at 18:44

Congratulations for Mike & Oscarr. I got to the track to watch some finishers come in and saw quite a few come in. I also checked out Oscarr's chip time, gun time & position. We arrived too late to see both Mike and Oscarr finish
However I did get to cheer a few runners on, and that seemed to be appreciated

As its so close to where I live, I'm considering doing it next year Hopefully I'll have picked up my pace by then to be considering 4hrs.

21/10/2012 at 19:13

Well done both Oscarr and Mike - amazing running, PB glows abound I trust. 

Oscarr I watched our chums from Paris yesterday when I was relaxing too, what inspiration, the journeys are so moving I always find.

Meanwhile I also had legs abandon pace i the last two miles of Cabbage today - a mere 10 miler, had a course worst in 83:49.  I went out in 8s ish, and was at 5K under 26 mins, 10K in 50:30, was planning to speed up s well, and maybe the fact that a colleague [20 years younger but hey] overtook me at 8 miles] had an impact, it ws wierd.

Here's the funny part [apart from the splits that don't lie - had two mental miles in the 2nd 5K], and it concerns Mr Zip.  I introduced him to the concept at 5ish, and promptly felt very floaty and glidey - it was all flowing and easy, BUT I was going backwards.  So the illusion of ease was for real, but without that effortlesss speed attached.

Sometimes my legs say that's it at a certain distance, rarely, but it has happened before once or twice when I've got used to shorter races. I'm talking rubbish again though, have mainly done halfs lately, oh well the Zips also lead to delirium.

Condiitons were good, 11o, no rain during, bit wet along the river in patches, plenty of the usual congestion as ever, dead easy and lovely course though.

Just managed a top half overall, 828/1640; 206/732 females, 34/176 FV45 from which I shall graduate in 3 weeks' time so that's when I start getting serious.

I went to the spa afterwards for the freezing plunge pool mainly.  Managed 4 x 2 mins AT LEAST standing in that much to the entertainment of your more sane clientele, in between scorchers of sauna and steam. 

Then Mr Sainsbury brought round loads of comestibles so I spent an unplanned two hours cooking.  With some appealing results.

Hope our stars are enjoying the evening, and Oscarr, tell us more when you are ready!  I had a colleague running Abingdon too, haven't heard anything from her yet.


21/10/2012 at 20:11
Thanks everyone - will post a full report tomorrow.
21/10/2012 at 21:16

reiki very jealous - you seem to have access to a whole variety of 10 mile courses!  34th out of 176 makes you top 20% - personal worst or not - that's blimmin' impressive!  You're very hard on yourself - have you noticed that???  Maybe it's just the end of a long year starting to catch up with you a bit - you've been racing loads lately or so it seems

AC8 - it's amazing the difference a bit of a cheer makes at the finish!  Good on you for going along. I'm looking forward to hearing about the course when the boys have recovered a bit!  I don't know Abingdon at all - is it a pretty course?  Should I be adding it to me list?

Chin, chin all you speedy bugs - sleep well - catch up tomorrow

22/10/2012 at 08:08

Thanks SB, I was thinkng along the lines of a 25% disimprovement on the same course in 2 years!  

Looking forward to that report, and am very interested in thecorse too for next year. 

22/10/2012 at 08:48

Congratulations Oscarr and Mike!  Fabulous achievements both of you.  

Reikki - I'm jealous of your personal worst - I still aspire to that time!

Yesterday, I gave my knees a thorough workout - going up and down the stairs at the Science Museum and Natural History Museum.  Although it was an "off" day from training, I felt as if I had run a marathon by the time we got back home.  

22/10/2012 at 10:00

May I add my congratulations to the athletes racing yesterday. AWESOME EFFORTS well done you are the men. Brilliant to PB Oscarr fantastic.  Any PB as you move along in years is a massive achievement. Well done.  You are an inspiration after the tough year you have had.
Well done Mike brilliant time......looking forward to hearing more. Was it  a flat course? Good weather up here in the north.....went mountain biking as a sore knee at the moment............and needed to be back early.............beautiful day with fog/mist in the valleys as I hit the tops........ Smiley faces all round hope you runners are not too sore today, enjoy the after glow.

22/10/2012 at 10:16

Race report from Abingdon marathon - before i start i must congratulate Mike on a stunning run and performance in what i think is only his second marathon; he was 4th MV60 but significantly only 2m40s behind the MV60 winner; impressive in a race used by so many clubs as their championship race - take a bow Mike and who knows what you are capable of if you trained properly .

My stats - 4h05m40s and 554th out of 732 finishers and a PB by 4m34s.  Will give the race report then finish with some reflections.

Day started early with up at 5:45 feeling good after a flu scare the day before.  Good breakie then a 30 min drive to the start area.  Car parking plentiful and a 10 min walk to the start which is a running track and clubhouse.  clubhouse was good as used a locker for my gear and it was warm !!  Met Mike in "that" queue and recognised him from the details he gave before (lesson there).  Well organised start and on time - one lap of the track then we were on our way.  I started at the back and even so it only took 50 secs to get to the start line, the beauty of a small field event.

Plan was 8:45 then review.  First mile in 9:15 nice and easy.  By mile 3 this was down to 8:47 average so settled there.  By mile 5 it was down to 8:45 average and this was around the time i felt like i had settled into some sort of rythm. Mile 10 was the first real review (8:47 average now) and at that point i felt good but did not want to push things and decided to ease back very slightly to give me more chance  in the last 6.  

Went through halfway in 1:56 and smiled to myself that sub 4 was on.  All the way i kept telling myself that i was going to do it, that i had done all the training, all the races, all the hard work and that this was it.

To be continued....


22/10/2012 at 10:53
mcs wrote (see)

Any PB as you move along in years is a massive achievement. 

I'm intrigued by the idea of being able to get a PB without advancing in age 


22/10/2012 at 10:57

Can't wait for the next episode Oscarr - keep 'em coming!

Shame I already know the ending though 

22/10/2012 at 10:57

Part 2.  You know that saying sports people use "in the zone" - well that's what 13 to 20 miles felt like.  As mentioned, i had settled into a nice rythm but still felt like i was racing, all the time buoyed by the idea that i was going to go sub 4 - not maybe, but certainly.  Planned to take 4 zippy gels at 1hr/1:45/2:30/3:15.  First 3 taken on plan with the 3rd being the caffeine baby.

Went through 20 miles in 2:59 and i knew that sub 4 was well and truly on.  The caffeine gel was kicking in and at the water station just after 20 miles i found myself shouting words of encouragement to myself and the other runners, much to the enjoyment of the water crew who joined in and we made a right racket!  I had to talk to myself at this point to stop myself going too fast too early so settled back into the same pace - amazing that i had to check the effects of a gel, thought it was the other way around !

Decided not to push at this point - I had an hour to do the last 10k so knew if i maintained current pace (8:57) i would get there so it was hold the pace.  Had such  clarity of thought throughout the race about tactics and times etc.

Mile 22 in 3:19 so i knew i had slowed a bit but still OK.  Took the final gel just before this when started to feel the legs - this worked and i picked up a bit.  This was the toughest part mentally and i had to use all my mantras to keep going - "strong at 21" - "glee at 23" etc.

By mile 24 i was still on plan when we went back through the town centre.  3:40 at this point so i knew i had to up things to a 9:00 pace to do last 2.2 in 20 mins.  Energy levels were still good but the legs had been hurting for a few miles now.  Mind said "beat the pain" and i thought of Brendan Foster's commentary on Mo's second gold - "he's got to lift his legs and pump his arms".  I tried and it really felt like someone was jabbing knives into my quads (my hips had gone numb a long time previous).   For half a mile i pushed and pushed and pushed but the legs were almost spent and i knew i was not going to make it.  Then the rush of excitement that i was DEFINATELY going to smash my PB and i was not going to stop and walk.

I pushed myself as hard as i could and ended up doing the last 2.2 miles at around 11:15 pace.  I NEVER STOPPED AND RAN ALL THE WAY.  It's a great stadium finish doing almost a full lap of the track to the finish line in front of the stands.

I felt euphoric at the finish line but this time managed to hold back the tears.  A little boy was ushered forward to give me my goody bag and medal - i lent over and asked him to put the medal around my neck (which he did with great style) cos in my mind i had won my own gold medal.  (Coincidentally, the medal is round and gold !!)

Up the stairs to get a free cuppa at the top of the stand (Ok, only a dozen steps) was one hell of a challenge!!  Locker, changing room, chat with Mike, food, drink then a pleasant recovery walk to the car and home a very satisfied little chappy.

To be continued...

22/10/2012 at 11:09

Quickest response ever!  

Wear that medal with pride!

22/10/2012 at 11:12

Great report Oscarr and a PB that you really "gutsed" out and with such focus. You should feel very proud of that achievement.

I waited and waited at the finish to shout for you but as the clock swept past 4:00:00 I was starting to get really chilled and actually thought I must have missed I went inside!

I'll put my own report up later - my wife has just heard that her father is seriously ill so I'm jumping in the car to take her to Heathrow....more running stuff anon. 

22/10/2012 at 11:44

Well done Oscarr good to hear you are a satisfied little chappy!!!! WELL DONE seriously briliant, I can so feel those last three miles with you, such a similar story to my Edinburgh jaunt........except you ran every step awesome.........enjoy that gold medal you deserve it.
And yes I am moving along in years Ten.....must have been Oscarrs report that set me off writing emotional twaddle!!!  Mind you Mike SHeridan is a legend, only a second marathon, perhaps shows the value of training on shorter runs as Mike has.....5k and 10k speedy times. What a great time

22/10/2012 at 11:44

Part 3, reflections.  Running and racing is far more than just putting one foot in front of the other - for me, it brings out all sorts of emotions.  Losing my lovely wife earlier this year makes me realise that the only really important things in life are your family and loved ones and your friends - all the rest is just what it takes to get through life and if you are not careful things that really have no importance can take over if you get obsessive about them.  So it is with racing and times etc - i do have an afterglow from yesterday but as long i did my best then the result is not that important - i still set targets and goals but if they elude me, so be it, i did my best and no-one got hurt - if i achieve my target (like a PB yesterday) then great but it dosen't make the world go round.

Two races this year have left me feeling that i have finally become a "marathon runner" after 12 goes.   Every time in the past events when i have gone for a time i have ended up walking/jogging the last 5 miles in considerable discomfort.  Yesterday's achievement of racing and running all the way is a landmark for me and, coupled with the same at the extreme Lakeland Trails Marathon earlier this year, gives me a great boost.

The Abingdon marathon is a small field, very well organised event with great marshaling.  It is a classic PB course.  I loved it as it is local to me but think that unless you are wanting a PB course then there are other ones if you want more of an event or an adventure.

Fuelling worked brilliantly yesterday - good carbo load before and the gels (zipvit) worked very well - that caffeine one is an absolute blaster.

I wouldn't have changed any of my training for this event.  The endurance training certainly paid off and this, plus the fuelling, gives me no fears about racing the whole way.  I need to do some more strength training for the legs in the gym.  Pacing during the race was spot on as well.

I know i gave it all yesterday cos my legs really, really hurt today - i woke up feeling very sore indeed.

What next - a winter of XC and strength training in the gym then a lot of endurance work building up to Cape Wrath and The Wall in June.  Thereafter, who knows. (Oh, i am doing the Cyprus 4 day international challenge in about 5 weeks time !!).  Will i do another marathon PB attempt - certainly not before June next year then we will have to see.

Final reflection is that i have to say a big thank-you to you all on this forum - you have been my virtual coaching staff and i report a lot of my runs to you all with great enjoyment and receive lots of advice and encouragement.  Most importantly, i have made a lot of very good friends at a difficult  time and for this i am most grateful.  Long may this thread continue. God Bless.

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