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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05/03/2013 at 17:07

good runs Tenjiso and Angela

Derrick - a relaxed parkrun should be ok before the 20 and the 20 should also be relaxed and easy with the distance more impoirtant than the pace. If you feel ok at 13 - you could do three miles closer to marathon pace but suggest easing back again  at 16

05/03/2013 at 17:59

Hi Tenjiso

Congrats on the new PB!

I had trouble with my garmin as well. It was constantly measuring short at each mile marker and measured the distance at 13.3 miles instead of 13.1.  Baffled????

05/03/2013 at 18:01


Lack of sleep is sadly a constant in our house at the moment. It's a long story but it mainly involves an elderly Cocker Spaniel with seperation anxiety and dementia  

05/03/2013 at 18:06

Thanks Steve.

Andrew - the course is probably measured along the shortest distance.  Given it is so wide, I'm not too surprised that we ran further than the measured distance.  Garmins are not 100% accurate either.  I'll make sure I have a pace band for my marathon!

05/03/2013 at 18:09

Tenjiso - and there was I thinking I was taking the racing line into each corner

05/03/2013 at 20:02
RunnyRunRun wrote (see)

Evening Ruth!!

It’s been a mad … but fun weekend!! You’d have been proud! I took nuts to snack on during bootcamp and have been having protein bars and drinks after the runs and in the evenings! Even remembered a bar after Silverstone yesterday. Was eating it in the traffic queue to get out of the car park!! It was an hour and a half wait …!

Restaurant choices sound good – especially without too much walking! I had a goats cheese salad the evening before Dorney Lakes and that went down well! So anything salady sounds good to me!

Sarah,As always great report.

 I am asking my sister to find out about risotto or rice dish for you and if they would cook that type of dish as you would like it, YOU ARE NOT HAVING A GOATS CHEESE SALAD BEFORE THE MARATHON - you need some carbs!  Okay a bit harsh from me but honestly think about the carb loading we discussed or even a reduced version of this for  two whole days before Paris then reduced carbs again after as you like?



05/03/2013 at 20:14
sarah osborne wrote (see)
Hi Ruth, thankyou for answering my question for me.

I think I like the idea of mixing them up...3 shot blocks and 2 jelly babies per hour as least the babies just dissolve in my mouth, no effort involved.

So far I havent really been having much on my training runs this year. Ive either had nothing or ive had a jelly baby at mile 14, 16 and 18. Last week I decided to try the shot blocks but only had one at mile 13 and one at mile 16.

During my last half I had one jelly baby at mile 10 but then I didnt feel like I needed anything more.

At London last year I think I had about 5 shot blocks, I think I had my first one at about mile 12 and then one every 3 miles. I felt great up until mile 16 and then it was like someone had switched a switch and I suddenly felt tired and as though I had had enough and I wanted it to end. After about mile 23 I found it hard to concentrate and focus on things. I kept getting an urge to have jelly babies but when I saw people handing them out, the thought of having one made me feel quite nauseous so I didnt have one. My second half of the marathon was 7 mins slower than the first and the last 10 miles were not very enjoyable. I dont know if this matters or not, but the amount of water I drank also increased significantly in the last 6 miles.

Once the race had finished I couldnt stomach anything all day/evening.

As you can see I really messed up last year with fuel on race day (and probably the day before aswell), I really want to make sure that this doesnt happen again.

Im doing an 18 miler on friday and a 20 mile race a week on sunday when I want to practice what im going to take pre and during the race.

Thankyou again for all your help and advice

Hi Sarah

I do think London may have been  a fuelling issue for you. 16/17miles is well documented as hitting the wall miles when not got this right.Once you have got to this stage it is hard to come back from it, so preventing is key. You would have been so depleted by the end of the race and stomaching anything would have been hard in this state.  In a half, many will let away with no fuel so no surprise you felt fine during a half. I have  pushed the target 26.2 runners to use the half marathon as a gel practice for  Paris, not because they needed them over this distance. I would go with the drip feed this year but start early and I really think this may make the difference for you. Practice race morning eating and also increase carbs in the 2-3 days before, cut down on calories from protein and fat to a minimal. I can write up what a carb load would look like for a 50kg runner (400-500g carbs) as I did this for another 50kg runner on the webchat on Friday so if you do not mind I can cut and paste this so you can see what this would look like for a light runner.  

05/03/2013 at 21:21

Evening Steve Marathon Coach,

Thanks. I’m glad you liked the report. I was a bit disappointed by the half at Silverstone which I know is silly as I wasn’t 100% but it’s still better than my previous PB before this training so a win really.

I know I can't get a PB EVERY race ...

05/03/2013 at 21:23

Evening Angela!

Fab to hear from you! You’d been a bit quiet … was worried you’d had an ‘eventful’ long run! Glad it went well – sounds like it was fantastic!!

How did you find the chia seeds? I’ve a bag in my cupboard but I’m blaming Malcs for putting me off them! Apparently it’s like frogspawn meets porridge!!

05/03/2013 at 21:24

Evening Tenjiso!

Yes – it was really well organised generally although I wasn’t impressed with the traffic management … spent over 1.5 hrs trying to get out of the car park!

Wow!! Fab PB!! And by over 5 mins too! Hope you’re still wearing a smug smile!! That’s fantastic!

Yes … definitely shocked with the photo prices … £45?! To pay that I would expect my picture to be fully airbrushed and of me to look supermodel-like, all lean bronzed limbs and flowing hair. Not the dribbling, sweaty mess I actually look like after running 13.1 miles!!

Plus I had my eyes shut! They’ve got to knock off at least £20 for that!!

05/03/2013 at 21:26

Evening Andy & Tenjiso!

My Garmin didn’t measure short as I made the rookie-error of setting it up for 13.1 miles … but it was about 20 seconds short of the line.

I think the course has to be measured at the shortest possible route being 13.1 miles so if you deviate by that by even a little you’re going to notch up a bit more …

05/03/2013 at 21:26

Evening Andy

Sorry to hear you’ve got a poorly dog. Bless. Cocker Spaniels are lovely. Hope he’s not too bad.

05/03/2013 at 21:27

Evening Ruth,

Eeek! Scary Ruth!!

I only suggested this as this was what I had before the Dorney Lakes half with success. I had ended up having the main carby meal at lunchtime in the form of the jacket potato and had supplemented this with the rice cakes and jelly sweets, potato wedges and porridge.

Rice doesn’t taste right unless there’s crispy chilli beef on top of it ….

05/03/2013 at 21:33
Hey hey, I felt a bit bad hijacking your thread with my great run whilst u were still suffering... , but now you're better, bish bosh bash, super runner! I posted the splits on Sarah Osborne's thread. Feel a bit bad hijacking all these 3:30 marathoners training pages, when I'm much slower, but I've learned before ur much more successful at getting what u want or where u want to get to if u hang out with people who are already there! So hopefully u won't mind me stealing your super fast vibes!

chia seeds, well I put them in my bottle of mixed SiS electrolyte drink. I can see what Malcs says about frogspawn, but I didn't put very much in- prob a teaspoon in 250ml
I think it helped that they were in flavoured water, rather than just water, but I found it much more palatable than an energy gel, which actually had a similar consistency when it was icy cold for my 14 miler the weekend before this one just gone. What else can I say- this run shouldn't have gone well. My dinner the night before was a Burger King double cheeseburger meal at a service station in Lincolnshire followed by super noodles when I got home. I did make a fruit smoothie before bed too, so perhaps that cancelled it out, but I do think the chia seeds could have had something to do with it. I'm gonna try them again for the long runs and see what happens.

Ruth, do you have any thoughts/ opinions on the chia seeds?
05/03/2013 at 21:51

Silverstone half

Woke up with a face that felt hot and swollen and a sore throat. Stupid cold. Took my final antibiotic and a cold & flu tablet and some lockets in an attempt to medicate the cold into submission. I was still feeling a bit tired from bootcamp yesterday even after 14 hours sleep.

As is usual for events at Silverstone, the A43 was queued about a mile before the Silverstone exit. But I’d left plenty of time for coffee and multiple loo breaks so it didn’t cause any problems. Also, I’d been caught by the Silverstone traffic management problems a while ago when I came here for a Race for Life and didn’t get into the car park until 30 minutes past the official start time ...

There was a great atmosphere walking up to the start. There’s not much nicer than walking with hordes of other runners, all excited and with the atmosphere of a big race ... at a world famous track!! The sunshine made everything seem lovely ... until we came over the final bridge and saw the toilet queue. Already stretching out into the field beyond.

I said my toilet prayer. Please let there no one be in front of me with a nervous stomach. Please let there be loo roll. Please let the toilet flush and be flushed. Don’t let me drop my race number into the bowl.

 (pic: pre-race coffee!!)

Got into the main part of the circuit and found a couple of friends who were also running it and we quickly located the nearest coffee shop. Rob put on his charity race top with his name on ... but due to unfortunate positioning, instead of promoting the charity, the t-shirt seemed to be asking the viewer to ‘Stroke Rob’. He didn’t get any takers. Although he did get a packet of jelly beans from somewhere ...

However, I had prepared and took out my crème egg from my race bag. A final treat before the race. Ate that and scoffed my final Locket in the hope of chasing the last of the cold away before I had to run.

Found my place in the crowd and the shuffling towards the line started. And stopped. But finally we were off. It took 27 seconds to cross the line (according to the email afterwards) which wasn’t too bad at all and it was quite a treat to run on such a smooth surface.

 (pic: nerves kicking in now as we're heading towards the start!)

My half marathon race pace would have been about 7:10 min/mile.  I wasn’t feeling 100% so decided to sit at this for as long as possible and then drop to marathon pace if I couldn’t sustain it. I’d talked to Marathon Coach Steve about this and it was decided to play it as I felt on the day.

The first mile was fantastic and I ran it with a big smile on my face. I was running with 6,000 other people! Who also liked running! The sun was shining and I was out for a run! Life was GOOD!!

Then the sun went in. And I realised that I had another 12.1 miles to run with a sandpaper throat and a rattly cough. Bother. Concentrate on the good bits ... I don’t need a loo stop. I’ve already done a mile. I can have a coffee when I’ve finished. Maybe an ice cream too!

I found this a tough run. I don’t think it should have been as there were hardly any hills and although a few people have mentioned the wind I didn’t really notice it. I found it a tough slog and my mile sp

05/03/2013 at 22:02

I found this a tough run. I don’t think it should have been as there were hardly any hills and although a few people have mentioned the wind I didn’t really notice it. I found it a tough slog and my mile splits reflected this as I started to fade early on and I slowed badly from mile 4.

 (pic: really not feeling the running love right now)

However, there were some really GOOD bits too! The lovely lady from Spa Striders who ran with me briefly at about mile 2 for a chat and invited me out for a run with them! The tall gent with blond hair and a dark blue top who asked me whether I was with the Asics 5 and wished me luck! The people who were supporting and saw my name on my top and cheered me on ... thank you SO much!

I really struggled with my cold in this race and I really think that if I hadn’t had the support, I may have had my first ever DNF. 

I knew early on that I wasn’t going for a PB in this race and after about mile 6 I ran it to how I felt without looking at the Garmin. It’s reassuring that feeling as rough as I did, it was still all under marathon pace. As Marathon Coach Steve said, there’s plenty of time for other races. Not every run has to be a race. I think I’m still learning that.

Also ... short bloke runner in a black top? Please check there’s not a short girl running just behind you before you spit. Sputum isn’t my preferred choice of cool down. Especially not in the face. If I wasn’t so knackered I would have been REALLY grumpy. As it was I had to put up with overtaking you and giving you a dirty look.

However, it wasn’t all bad. Managed a sprint to the line. Well ... a fast stumble anyway.


Time: 1:37:57

Gender position: 38th woman / 2142

Overall position: 619th / 6189 people


P.s. Official marathon pic people? If you want me to pay £45 for a photo, then please take one of me with my eyes open!


06/03/2013 at 00:03
Hi sarah, least you was smiling before and after the race. Eek, I cant believe that man spat in your direction. i can stomach alot of things but sputum isnt one, even the thought is making me gip....I was never going to be able to specialise in respiratory medicine!!! You did fabulous on sunday...38th despite feeling rubbish and having a stubborn illness, which Im hoping has been shown the front door now.

Hi Ruth, thankyou again, your advice is priceless. I feel so much more confident about going into race day with your advice and cant wait to try it out on friday and next week.

That would be great if you could post that advice on the pre race carbo loading for a 50kg person. Many thanks and congratulations again on baby number 4,x
06/03/2013 at 00:15

Wow Ruth congratulations!! What lovely news!! I hope everything went smoothly and you're both doing very well.

06/03/2013 at 07:06

Congratulations on the great race result Sarah!

I can only dream of doing so badly! 

06/03/2013 at 07:35

Has the sickness gone to your head? That is a fab time, and considering you have been so ill, it's amazing 

Huge well done, great report and pics as always!

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