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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10/02/2013 at 20:38

Huge well done on the new 5K PB!

11/02/2013 at 09:33

Ambulance - I hope not for you!!!

PB - well done!

RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

Week 8, Day 4


Goal: 5 x 1 mile repeats at 7 – 7.30 min/mile (8 mile total)

Actual: 3 x 1 mile repeats at 6:45 min/mile (7 mile total)


I was looking forward to this session. I’d had a busy day but this was a session I was confident about. I’d hit well within this pace running 5 miles in a Santa outfit on Christmas day … 3 hours after Christmas dinner so I was pretty sure that I could fly around the track and enjoy this one.

The plan was a 2 mile warm up around the town and then back to the track to start the session. The warm up was fine and although the night was chilly, it wasn’t any colder than it had been for the last few days.

I started the session and struggled to keep my pace steady. I’d taken my jacket off for the first set as I tend to get very warm when I’m running – I prefer to run in a vest and capris if possible … even in February! – but I was getting very cold and feeling unusually fatigued. The first 4 laps were completed in just under a 7 min/mile but this wasn’t particularly comfortable.

I spent the 2 minute break between repeats putting my jacket back on as I was struggling to keep warm and my fingers felt swollen. I completed the second set and again struggled to keep the pace and I couldn’t clench my fists as I was getting too cold.

There was something wrong here. I decided that I would try to complete the third mile repeat and call it a day. I’m all for pushing through, but it felt like there was nothing in the tank and the only thing that I would manage if I did the full 5 sets would be an injury and increasingly inconsistent laps. I don’t tend to give up but I felt there would be nothing to be gained here. There’s a difference between normal running pain and what I was feeling here. My body was saying “this is enough”.


Possible reasons for the struggle:

  • I’d been in a sauna at lunchtime trialling a new gym and it could have been dehydration … although I’d had 2 glasses of apple juice and 2 enormous mugs of tea.
  • We’d been training at work and I hadn’t had time to eat before the session and it had been over 6 hours since lunchtime … although it had been an enormous lunch.
  • I wasn’t dressed properly for the cold weather … although I wasn’t dressed differently than usual.
  • I was coming down with a cold – my 3 year old has a hacking cough and a high temperature at the moment … although no symptoms have since materialised. 
  • I’m putting it down to a combination of the factors above. Also I have to have a difficult session every now and then … if every session went completely to plan what would be the point of hard work and practise?



2 mile warm up

3 x 1 miles on the track at 6:45 min/miles

2 mile cool down


I would put this mostly down to sauna and not eating 6 hours before running. You  always tend to eat your dinner, then run.  6 hours is a longer time for blood sugar to become low especially if not used to it!

11/02/2013 at 13:46


Congrats on the new Parkrun PB   But why did you drive to Poole to do it? 

Bit worried about the preview for your Sunday run with an ambulance involved followed by an internet silence.  A bit too like a TV drama cliffhanger for my liking!

My parkrun was a bit of mess. I was going to go with my wife and start at the back with her (she speedwalks rather than runs) as had been suggested.  However she came down with a heavy cold on Friday so didn't fancy it. I turned up late and didn't make my way through the throng of runners to the back of the field. In fact I started nearer the front than normal! Hence I set off too fast (again), ran a fast (for me) 1st lap, a slow 2nd and hung in on the 3rd. Result was a new PB by 1 second but not a pleasurable experience!


11/02/2013 at 20:42

When you get a chance to write up yesterday's run dont forget to get in about your sister getting a PB too...

Hope the toddler's better now x

11/02/2013 at 21:04

Definitely sounded like an interesting run yesterday... you don't do boring, do you RRR?

Well done on the new PB as well Choccy - how far and fast??

11/02/2013 at 21:46
Hi RrR, I must admit I've been refreshing the forum all day waiting for your description of Sunday's run! I hope all is ok!, looking forward to a story!
11/02/2013 at 22:17
Hi excited to hear about yesterdays run.

only 5 sweating!

Toe looks a little cellulitic (infected) and might need antibiotics if its not getting better/gets any worse. Not keen on the pink nail varnish, but then again I dont wear pink socks and tops...def your signature colour! Im more of a blue/green Steves Garmin!

Well if you ever fancy doing the inca trail in Peru let me know as I would be up for it (as chris doesnt fancy it)!
12/02/2013 at 17:09

Bit of a late congrats on your parkrun PB!!!! Fab effort!

Been laid up ill for a couple of days so only just catching up with everything!

12/02/2013 at 18:48
Got home to late , tired , hungry and drained , I should be doing a 7 mile run with 5 mile at half marathon pace . I'm going to give it a miss , don't want to put my body under too much stress and risk getting injured , what do you think Steve ?
12/02/2013 at 22:13


maybe wise to miss a hard session but sometimes good to get out and do something easy just to get a few miles in.


any news RRR?

12/02/2013 at 23:13

Hiya!! Sorry to leave a comment hanging there so full of suspense!! I had a 2am dash back to Dorset on Sunday morning through the snow and encountered a cow on the road meaning another 999 call and have had a poorly 3 year old since then so haven't had a chance to nip on and update you. Will pop on the full update shortly!!

12/02/2013 at 23:14

Evening Steve Marathon Coach

I’ve made more of an effort to drink more squash lately as I seem to be drinking too much coffee at work so I’ll try and even that out in favour of the squash!!

The toe is a lot better thanks – despite the nail varnish! – but I think it’ll definitely be worth getting some Compeed in so I’ll add that to the shopping list. Running the 13 miles on Sunday seems to have battered the toe into submission and it’s been fine ever since.

12/02/2013 at 23:15

Evening Derrick,

Sounds a good plan! Enjoy the run and still come in sub 3:30 – perfect!! Sounds like the perfect marathon! Glad the niggles have disappeared never to return again – hopefully they’ll stay away too!

Hope you get a good time at your half this Sunday! It’ll be great to see how you do now you’re injury free and with all of the training behind you!

... Just caught up on your last post! Hope you’re feeling better. Def not worth going out if you’re not 100% - I found that out on Thursday!

12/02/2013 at 23:15

Evening Bacon Steve!

Well considering the huge amount you smashed off your 5k PB last time, I have no doubt that you’ll be catching me, Sarah O and Ady at your next Parkrun!

... And I am wondering whether you’ll be overtaking me at the half marathon at Dorney Lakes on Saturday too!

Nope ... my runs always seem to be overly eventful. I’m hoping that Paris is nice and chilled without any falls, floods or ambulances! Or escaped cows!

12/02/2013 at 23:17

Evening CailinAgRith!

Thank you so much!! That’s just under 10 minutes knocked off in just over 2.5 years! The nice flat course at Poole helped though!

How’s your training going?

12/02/2013 at 23:17

Evening Ruth!

Nope ambulance not for me thank goodness ... although I had to make a call to the police that morning at 2am!! Driving back to Rugby in the snow at 2:25am Sunday morning there was a cow in the middle of the road!! Dread to think what would have happened if a car had come along the road at the speed limit of 60mph and hit the cow!

I think you’re right about the sauna and leaving too long a gap between eating. Definitely something I won’t be repeating!!


12/02/2013 at 23:18

Evening Andy!

Thank you for the congrats! I was in Dorset this weekend visiting my parents and Poole was the closest to their house! Couldn’t believe I had to drive 40 miles to get to the closest parkrun ... anyone fancy starting one in Yeovil?

Argh! That sounds like a painful PB ... but well done on your new quicker time! I can totally sympathise with the setting off too fast thing! Every, single 10k ...

12/02/2013 at 23:18

Evening RunningForChocolate

See – I TOLD you it would be worth going out for a run in the rain! Plus you got to spend an extra half an hour in the pub!!

p.s. Well done on your first 10k under an hour on Sunday!! Fantastic!!

12/02/2013 at 23:19

Evening Angela!

Sorry to keep you in suspense!! I had a mad drive back from Dorset at 2am involving lots of snow and an escaped cow ... then a poorly 3 year old yesterday and today so I haven’t been able to get on here as I’d hoped!

12/02/2013 at 23:19

Evening Sarah O!

Hee hee!! I’d hoped to catch you up on Saturday ... but maybe next time This sub-20 is looking more hopeful for this year isn’t it!

 I’m definitely not feeling the love for my pink nail varnish!! Toe’s a lot better thanks – sorry for the pic!! It kind of gave up on me on the longish run on Sunday and hasn’t given me any grief since then!

Definitely up for doing the Inca Trail. Definitely, definitely. Although ... I’d like to do Paris marathon first before we organise that!! Also that 20 mile pub crawl!!

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