Cobbles & Red Wine - Sarah’s Paris Marathon Plan: Sub 3:35

Asics Target 26.2 - Previously lardy girl goes for a Boston Qualifier

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10/01/2013 at 22:57

Another good training run last night - you are doing your runs quicker than me but pacing it well.

Ruth didn't answer your query about creme egg and marathon training so may be best to wait until after pParis and save them up for the Post Paris carbo reload.

11/01/2013 at 12:29

Morning Angela!

Oh how irritating about now being able to find a race!! Argh! That sounds like my worse nightmare! I always get worried that I'm going to miss the start at races!

Were you already in New York when you found out the marathon was cancelled? £300 entry? Gosh that’s a bit steep!

Love, love, love how your boyfriend proposed!! Glad you made him do it properly though!!

11/01/2013 at 12:30

Morning Sarah Blunt2!

So … how were new trainers then? I cheated and had food BEFORE my run on Wednesday! I don’t do very well if I run when I’m hungry! Although maybe there’s an extra incentive to speed up an get home for some dinner?

I seem to be eating more chocolate and crap food than usual … but I’m blaming that on the huge amounts of Christmas food still around!!

11/01/2013 at 12:30

Morning DS2!

Thanks for explaining that – sounds a really good run! Love the idea of being treated like an elite … AND of being unable to pick up the wrong drink! Definitely a win!!

Have you done the Halstead one a few times?

11/01/2013 at 12:30

Morning MCS!

Wow!! That’s such a gorgeous view!!

Looks pretty hilly too …! Reckon you’re going to breeze that fell race!

11/01/2013 at 12:31

Morning Tigger!!

Hee hee!! On your next post I’m expecting a post completely absense of Rs … having worn your keyboard out!

First tri?! Eeeek! How exciting? What distances? How are you finding the training?

Ooh I like the grapefruit idea … I’m definitely more ‘mouth hungry’ rather than ‘stomach hungry’ in the evenings … eating the chocolate because it’s there rather than because I actually want it. I’m definitely adding grapefruit to my shopping list today!!

I’ll have to try that with the grater … not sure whether grating will work on the stilton or cottage cheese … so if I message you later asking how to get cottage cheese out of my hair you know the plan went wrong!!

Mmm … chilli!! That sounds AMAZING!! 

I’m planning on doing Dorney Lakes as a pacing exercise and I’m entered into Silverstone – but that one will hopefully be a PB one … keep your fingers crossed for me!!

11/01/2013 at 12:31

Morning Sarah Osborne!!

I HOPE I can run on ice cream (Looks at Ruth for confirmation) … I could definitely add a tub of chocolate ice cream into my training plan. What do you reckon Ruth … is one tub a day overdoing it?

I’ll try the bananas in the porridge … I need to get rid of the sugar really. I love bananas. One of my twitter running buddies gave me a recipe for banana pancakes – they are AWESOME!!

The speedwork is pretty new to me … I’m really enjoying adding it in and doing the build up runs! Although after Ady’s comment the other day I’m thinking about trying at least one in the daytime!! What’s your favourite speed session?

Edited: 11/01/2013 at 12:32
11/01/2013 at 12:33

Morning Ruth McKean!

Thanks for your advice. I’ll remove one of the fish meals and add in some chicken one of the days. Maybe in a stir fry or something?

I’ve added cous cous to the grocery list. I’ve eaten it in the past so will give it another try. My only problem is that I like fish so much I tend to have that rather than other things so I’ll make sure I add a few different things in.

Quinoa I’ll add to the shopping list and I’ll have a search online for some recipes. Any recommendations?

Give my chocolate away? Nooooooo! Well … I’ll see …

I don’t tend to be hungry in the afternoons but I’m ready for tea when I get home in the evenings ...

Also …. Um … Friday is takeaway night … that’s still ok? (Clasps hands together and looks beseechingly at Ruth)

11/01/2013 at 12:34

Morning Steve Marathon Coach,

Well that’s definitely a wakeup call for me to slow them down and sort it out then! Doing structured sessions is quite new to me and I’m petrified that I’m going to do one too slowly and that Runners World will say “Sorry RRR you’re just too slow … we want the kit back now!!”

You realise I’m going to stockpile Crème eggs now? It’s ok Ruth … Steve told me to

11/01/2013 at 12:37

Food Diary 10th January

Breakfast: Cornflakes, skimmed milk, 3 x teaspoon of sugar

Lunch: Tin of tuna, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.

Tea: 125g salmon, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, 1/3 portion of stirfry mixed veg (pak choi, lemongrass), 13 mushrooms, spinach, green beans.

Snacks: 1 x apple, 2 squares of dark chilli chocolate, 1 x large orange, 50g of wasabi peas (utterly revolting but I couldn’t stop eating them!), 2 x Thorntons chocolates, 1 x babybel

Drinks: 5 x coffee with small amount of semi-skimmed milk, 2 pints of orange, 1 x glass water.

Exercise: 7.8 miles run.

11/01/2013 at 12:42

Week 4, Day 4

Goal: 10 x 400m starting every 2 mins 30

Actual: 10 x 400m starting every 2 mins 30


Was this the impossible session?

It was a session I’d been dreading. I’d psyched myself up for it on Tuesday … and then the track was closed so the dread had been growing bigger and bigger in my mind throughout the week. A 6 – 6.22 min/mile pace sounded very quick and it was speed I’d never attempted before. And a speed I didn’t think I could achieve without falling off a cliff.

In the absence of survivable, exactly 400m cliffs, I went along to my local track to get going. I did a 1.8 mile loop around town to warm up. It was a cold, dark evening and as I ran I talked myself into the session.

“It’s between 6 and 6.22 minute mile. If I aim for the slower end then it’s only .25 seconds a mile slower than my entire 5k on Saturday.” My brain would occasionally interrupt with things like “It was a new PB … what if it was a fluke?” or “What if your legs just don’t GO that speed?” I ignored my brain. Either I could or I couldn’t. I would TRY. And if I ended up throwing up on the track or fainting or something equally embarrassing I’m sure someone would do something. Throw a trainer or hand me a mop. Or something.

Deep breath. The track was very busy tonight so there might be a fair amount of dodging involved as there were a lot of sessions going on. I chose a far corner of the track as my starting line and went.

I’d decided not to use any complicated settings on the Garmin but just to keep it running and press lap at the start and end of every lap and use the timer as the reminder to go. My brain stops working when I run and I thought there was less chance of ‘Porridge Brain’ confusing things if the settings were simple. It did mean that the Garmin didn’t give me an accurate pace reading until I was almost 150 metres around the track but once I’d done the first few laps I had more of an idea of the pace I was aiming for.

The pace was fine. And just as importantly the distances were small so as soon as my brain twigged the speed I was running, it was time to stop.

There were 3 laps just over the pace specified by Marathon Coach Steve, but most of the laps were fairly evenly paced which I was very pleased with considering it wasn’t a pace I’d tried before. Best of all, I completed the session … at the right pace … and I didn’t throw up, faint OR have to fall off a cliff to do it. Win. 


Garmin Info Here

Mile splits:











11/01/2013 at 12:54

Great session, and splits I can only dream of.  Well done!

11/01/2013 at 13:48

Bloody hell RRR - I thought you had run 10 miles at that pace. Impressive nonetheless.

11/01/2013 at 14:04


Yes, I was in the customs line (for 2 and a half hours!!) when they finally announced it was cancelled  50% of the people there were there for the marathon - some only for a long weekend.  At least I had other stuff to do- lots of friends and family in the states, so we had an engagement party on what would have been marathon day... and I did do a lap of central park on marathon morning- it was pretty cool- so many would be marathon runners out, and even supporters handing out water etc.  I got a picture by the finish line anyway.

He was originally planning to propose at the finish of the marathon, but once he got the ring, was too excited and did it 'properly' around september.

btw, I've been checking out your blog- very inspirational, so I've now started my own.. 'thelongroadtoboston' . . . so thanks for that- hopefully I'll achieve that goal in a few years  



11/01/2013 at 15:11
RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

Morning Sarah Osborne!!

I HOPE I can run on ice cream (Looks at Ruth for confirmation) … I could definitely add a tub of chocolate ice cream into my training plan. What do you reckon Ruth … is one tub a day overdoing it?

I’ll try the bananas in the porridge … I need to get rid of the sugar really. I love bananas. One of my twitter running buddies gave me a recipe for banana pancakes – they are AWESOME!!

The speedwork is pretty new to me … I’m really enjoying adding it in and doing the build up runs! Although after Ady’s comment the other day I’m thinking about trying at least one in the daytime!! What’s your favourite speed session?

Im going to have to try the banana pancake now

I like doing speed sessions similar to yours yesterday. I have always tended to do them once a week. Id never done any of the tempo sessions until two weeks ago. I have enjoyed them, but I prefer the shorter, faster intervals! Whats a build up race again (is it what it says on the tin....pick up speed throughout the run)?

Just wanted to clarify the session you did yesterday....was it almost like doing 1.5 min fast (roughly) with one min recovery to make the 2 min 30, or was there 2 min 30 recovery inbetween each rep?

Edited: 11/01/2013 at 15:12
11/01/2013 at 15:11

Hello RRR, thought I'd just drop in and see how you're doing... good interval sesh there - that should have boosted your confidence no end. What's your long run up to now?

Looking at your food diary though, I can't help wondering 'where are the carbs?!' You say you get all your carbs from veggies but actually, they contain very little in the way of carbs because most of their content is water.  (carrots are 90% water, lettuce leaves 96%). Like Ruth's suggestions of quinoa and cous cous - could also try some beans of different varieties and pearl barley...

11/01/2013 at 15:17

Hi sam....I always thought fruit and veg counted as carbs aswell. I have been using myfitnesspal app on my phone and that seems to include them as carbs also. If they dont count i prob only have about 20% carbs in my diet....think I had better get some quinoea and cous cous too!

Just wondering...I normally eat my lunch at 13:00-14:00 and then run after work at about 20:00...would this count as running on an empty stomach and gycogen deplete?

many thanks

11/01/2013 at 16:53

RRR - wow, amazing speed session! Don't worry, I shall do the vomiting, fainting and falling off the cliff on your behalf!  

I'll start with the vomiting, easy enough at the mention of quinoa - it's freakin' disgusting! Like eating frogspawn (at a guess, I have never tried frogspawn). Maybe it's just because I'm a bloke because I'm not a great cous cous fan either. I just don't like food that looks like it's already been chewed for me

Sam mentioned pearl barley - now that I do like! In fact I love the stuff - can't get enough of it. It's a bit more man sized than your cous cous and frogspawn so that may be the reason.

11/01/2013 at 16:58
RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

Morning Andy!

Well ... I tend to use my Twitter alias for practically everything ... but when I first started running and coming onto RW forums and asking silly questions I didn’t want work to know how often I was on here so I changed my usual username just in case they checked!! You realise I’ve just dropped myself in it admitting that? Busted!!

You’ll have to ask Steve Marathon Coach and Ruth McKean about a training diet that includes crème eggs and chocolate coins.... I’M only eating them so my boyfriend doesn’t feel obliged to eat them. I’m doing it for his sake (She says stuffing other people’s chocolate coins into her mouth ...)

Ooh nice one getting your shoes half price!! Which trainers did you go for in the end? New trainer pics, new trainer pics!!

We ROCKED parkrun last weekend! So ... next weekend you’re planning on knocking another 3.5 minutes off???!

I tend to use my own name on here and on Twitter (OK it doesn't have 14 at the end of it  ) but good point re work monitoring IT usage. We've just merged with another firm and I don't know what their internet surveillance is like!!

I've got some new Asics GT1170s.  I'm been running in them since last May and done about 400 miles in them. I went to a specialist running shop in Harrogate over Christmas and they thought I'd be good for at least another 100 miles in them.  However when I saw they were half price I couldn't resist!  

Yes back at Parkrun tomorrow. If I can improve my pacing I'm hopeful of a new PB but doubt if I'll take 3 & a half minutes off it though!!

Great speed session - you really rocked that




11/01/2013 at 20:46

New to this session RRR,

i,M DOING VLM....... My target is 3:30 and my session looks very simaliar to yours.

Well done  on the speed session........ keep it up.


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