Shades Marathon Training

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30/07/2016 at 17:49

Glad that all the Shadies' holidays have gone well and hope the ones still to come are good too .

Still hot here but we have had a few showers, mainly at night. I've had a very lazy couple of weeks with only a few shortish runs or run/walks. I'm planning on a long walk tomorrow so not sure how I'll cope with Gloucester next weekend - I'll want to walk after just a mile .

My eldest daughter's friend's grandson is called Arlo

mamafox - you should spend some of your non-running time getting that book together - 'The Foxes in France' or 'A disaster a day' .


30/07/2016 at 19:17

Don't be wasting those sloes mamafox, get making sloe gin with them. We found a field full of them but the farmer chopped them all I wasn't impressed. 

20:35 at parkrun today, happy to be well under 21 again and I think it's my 2nd fastest time. Hard work though. Then took Arlo for a 3.5 hour walk, did a little exploring and he's much better at getting up and down steep banks than me! He even went up and down a few times just to prove a point. Must have done about 10 miles. He's been quiet all afternoon

31/07/2016 at 05:05
MF, this is what Lonely Planet says about where I'm staying. "This important national park is home to diverse animal and plant life, making it one of Vietnam's most protected areas. Some 307 bird species, 133 kinds of mammal, 122 reptiles and more than 2000 different plants have been recorded here".

It's called Cuc Phuong National Park. There are several organisations here all doing their own thing, but all working together too. The organisation I'm working for looks after 'confiscated' pangolins (one of the most illegally traded animals in the world, and they're scaly anteaters. They're very cool!) and civets (think 'badly drawn cat'). And right next door there is a large organisation looking after 'confiscated' monkeys, and next door to that turtles. The majority are native species and all have been confiscated in Vietnam, and the idea of all of the organisations is to reintroduce the animals to the wild, but ensure their safety in terms of poaching etc. The enthusiasm of the people working here is infectious as they're very passionate about what they're doing, although funding/equipment is an issue.

'Confiscated' means finding animals that are being illegally traded, or illegally kept as pets (in very poor conditions) and essentially rescuing them and bringing them back to full health. Poaching and trading is a big problem here.

Around the park there is lots of wildlife, in particular a lot of butterflies are easily seen. At night 100s of fireflies are around, and the noise from the forest is deafening - frogs, birds, insects all making their calls.

Yesterday we went to another reserve, reached by a small rickety rowing boat, driven by a lovely Vietnamese lady. She spoke no English and we speak no Vietnamese but we got on fine! The scenery was simply stunning, with lots of flowers on the water, mountains all around and wid monkeys way above the river. We were out for about 2hrs and it was very quiet and peaceful, except for the calls of the monkeys which were similar to dogs barking.

I have taken pics but can't upload from my phone, and I haven't brought a laptop with me. I'll try and post a few when I get back.

I did go for 4.5 mile run yesterday AM at 5:30. It was hot at the point so probably should have gone out a bit earlier really. Still, I had a good run around a small part of this huge national park.

KK, well done on your parkrun time! I have work to do until I get back in that shape, I think!
31/07/2016 at 08:37

mamafox - that strimming sounds like such hard work, you are a trooper.

Good idea to see doc again re your ankle, rest isn't working is it?

mowzer - it's only a couple of weeks since you did your 100 miles so you are entitled to ease up a bit.   I'm not expecting to do well at Gloucester either as I've eased off my training too.  

If you're starting to look at next year's events, you might fancy this,'s a one off marathon open to women only, I'm helping in a very small way to organise the event.   It's a beautiful route.

KK - your Tour has paid off training wise then, maybe that parkrun PB next week.

Arlo is going to be so fit too

Big G - I've googled where you are and the pangolins and the civets.  It looks a beautiful place and in the pics like a location used for filming dinosaur films.   I can see what you mean about the paths being good for running.   The pangolins don't look very cuddly, but shame on those that want to collect and trade in such wild animals.

The only news here re wildlife is that the lynx on Dartmoor has been captured.


Beautiful morning here, quite cool when I went out for my run even though the sun was already out.

31/07/2016 at 12:12

Looks stunning that Big G, not too far from Hanoi either. 

Going to take a lot of work to go sub 20, only 1 of my K's was on target and that was the first one. Going to start doing some 400's at target pace and see where that gets me. Don't like the sound of that session already!

31/07/2016 at 12:14
KK-Good running at Parkrun,gave it a miss yesterday as I was working. Big G-Sounds amazing where you are,enjoy it and have a great experience. Decided to go for the 10k today as my tempo run,PB was 47:19 I set in the tunnel race 6 weeks ago and on a flat course I was hoping to beat it and get as close to 45 as I could. It was probably my best paced race I have done,every km was between 4:28 and 4:32,except for the 7th when we had a bad bit of rain and the wind was against us and that was 4:40 and the last km which was my fastest in 4:19 so ended up with a chip time of 44:53,have to say I am delighted with that,and with the last being my fastest I am wondering if I could have pushed more as I didn't feel drained at the end. Making me think about the HM I am doing in 3 weeks and should I aim for 1:40 in that as that's what the predictors are suggesting.
The race itself was very nice low key race,organised by wrexham aac and with about 300 entrants there was good room to run but enough people around so you weren't ever alone.
Edited: 31/07/2016 at 13:33
01/08/2016 at 06:40

KK - I'm sure Arlo would be up for a bit of speed training too   How are you getting on with your long runs?

Ian5 - wow another big PB and sub 45 min another milestone.   In a short race I would expect the last mile or km to be the fastest.    Sounds like a really good race and the ability to run freely without being hampered by crowds is the best for pacing and those PB's.

Re your half, go for what the predictor says, with your extra endurance due to your marathon training you have a strong chance of getting a 1:40 time.

Calf OK?

01/08/2016 at 09:05
Shades, funny you should say that about film locations. I was told yesterday that some of this area has been has been used to film a new version of King Kong. Quick google earlier confirmed that was the case.

Also, you're right that the pangolins aren't especially cuddly, but honestly they look so good - almost prehistoric looking. Unfortunately, they're not treat very well and are endangered, mainly for their scales which is (illegally) used for medicine, even though there is no evidence that there is any medicinal value (their scales are made from the same stuff as our fingernails). Also, they're sold by weight so there are some awful stories of how the animals are 'fattened up'.

KK, you're right. I think those types of sessions are where the speed comes from. For me, I learned that I should only do 1 speed session like that a week, as that seemed to help me avoid injury. But I do strangely enjoy the sessions!

Ian, well done on another PB. Yeah, I reckon 1:40 is a good target too. Good luck!

It's pretty different for me over here, in terms of working environment! I guess you could say I've come from a fairly 'corporate' environment where there are processes, procedures, documents, standards etc etc. There's none of that here in the office. It's good though, and I've spent the morning helping to set up a network for them as they have been sharing stuff via USB memory sticks....

What they originally asked to do with the camera setup isn't going to happen, but no one seems particularly bothered by that. I think I'll probably be spending my time as IT support (everyone on the project know I'm here and I'm building a little list of jobs that need doing), but that's fine with me If there is spare time, I'll help out doing things like cutting food for the animals or cleaning enclosures etc.

Although I'm able to post on my phone (3G SIM Card), the Internet, electric and water are very up and down, which doesn't help get stuff done either!

Last night we got invited to the primate centre, to see some of the nocturnal animals - especially the slow loris and Pygmy loris. Also, the pangolins are nocturnal so we'll be going back tonight to see them properly too. The animals I've been involved with so far have been poorly, but have to be woken up to be treated by the vets, so it'll be nice to see some healthy animals hopefully being more mobile at nighttime.
Edited: 01/08/2016 at 09:06
01/08/2016 at 09:33
Shades-The calf was fine during the race and afterwards but a bit sore in the evening,got my massage today so will see if that has any effect.The half is still 3 weeks away so will aim for 1:40 if I get close to that then I will be comfortable aiming for the 3:45 we said at the start of this cycle.
Big G-I also had a Google and it looks amazing there,I bet you're really glad you got selected now
01/08/2016 at 09:54

Great run on the 10k Ian, with consistent training over the next year I can see you knocking plenty more off that. Was it just a month or so a go your 5k time was around 22:30? and now you've just done two of them back to back

1:40:05 is my current pb (done in Jan this year - 4 Villages) and I reckon you'll be around that with the long runs you've been doing. I need to race more halfs / 10k's. 3:45 is my Loch Ness target - IF I've done the training!

Arlo doesn't need speed training , he's got plenty of that. Obedience training is what he needs. We'll get there hopefully, showing signs of improvement, but once he's distracted (just about any animal that moves!) he's not listening to anyone. Still young and foolish.

Long runs, what are they for ? , I'll hopefully do at least 12 before parkrun this week & then a mile home = 16

Big_G - Can't quite picture doing IT in the jungle!, good luck with that. 

01/08/2016 at 10:06

KK-The first time I broke 22 at parkrun was July 9th,and my best before that was 22;25,I did 4 villages also,1:40 is a great time on that course,I took 1:56 to do that,am going to try and do the same races November- Jan so I can compare myself.

3:45 seemed way off when I started and really had 4:00 as what I was telling everyone I was aiming for but the next few weeks will be key as I get in to the 20 milers,first one this Thursday if everything goes well this week.

02/08/2016 at 08:25
Hi all, I ran 19 miles on Saturday and felt good, strangely the last mile was the quickest. I'm still getting some grief from the Achilles but it's manageable. I've been pleasantly surprised by the level of fitness coming back after not being able to run any distance for several months.
02/08/2016 at 08:30

Big G - I can imagine King Kong through those forests. 

Just had to google loris and read that they are also subject to illegal trading and they are the only poisonous mammal, they look amazing.   The pangolins do seem to have a rough time of it.

Good to hear they're keeping you busy with their IT and I'm sure they are very grateful for your help, must be a quite refreshing not to have lengthy planning and procedures but just to be able to get on with what they need.

Ian5 - that seems promising about the calf, a speedy race would normally cause more discomfort.

KK - Arlo will calm down but it may take a while.   Ziggy the Weimaraner that I see on my morning runs is getting calmer, he's still muzzled but doesn't chase after everything now and he completely ignores me whereas before I was his morning sport

Enjoy your long run this week, hope it's not too warm.

Very humid this morning for my run, just checked on Met Office and 98%, we've had quite a bit of rain too which was nice. 

02/08/2016 at 08:32

Jugula- x-post.  That's great news, 19 miles is a significant distance and it must feel good that you can feel your fitness returning so well. 

02/08/2016 at 08:50

I'm back from holiday. Had a great time visiting the amusement parks and fairs and was lucky with the weather. However, a lot of time sitting in the car, standing in queues and walking meant my legs are pretty stiff. I managed a slow 4 miles this morning, feeling as though I had concrete boots on, but will hopefully be back to my best soon.


02/08/2016 at 09:04

Welcome back Cal, glad you had a good holiday

02/08/2016 at 09:57

Cal - Welcome back!

Big G - Looks like an amazing place

Ian - Another PB and sub 45 - amazing running! Agree with the others go for 1:40 in your half.

I skipped Parkrun this weekend and instead did 10 miles, 5 miles easy then 5 at MP, then had a rest day on first Sunday without running since some time in May!! Easy running this week during the last bit of tapering, 4m Monday and 3m this morning. A short 2m run tomorrow morning before heading off to the airport will be my last run before the ultra.

Shades - Should I carb load from Weds/Thurs onwards? I'm not sure what to do as I'm not actually chasing a time unlike a marathon and I didn't for my trail marathon or shorter ultra as used them as training runs.

03/08/2016 at 08:03

Steve - you still need your glycogen stores full and ready to go, so eat well and up the % of carbs a little.   As you've been doing high mileage training your rest days before the race should naturally top up your glycogen stores without any noticeable effort.

Good luck for the race and hope you enjoy your trip.   Weather looks warm but not too hot for your race.


Shorter run for me today, feeling tired I think due to the humidity

03/08/2016 at 08:25

Morning everyone,

Big G - Those are really interesting posts. I've ha a google of that National park too and it looks beautiful. I had absolutely no idea that Vietnam was so rich in wildlife.

Welcome back Cal!

Jugula - That's great news about your run.. I wish I could say the same 

KK - I'm a Jack Daniels girl myself but I'll send you as many sloes as you want.. I can stick some black figs in too, they're much nicer. Not sure about fig gin though.

Ian - Cracking running from you as usual!

Mowzer - A disaster a day is about right for me 

Shades - I've been meaning to ask how your gym training is going.. are you still following a programme and do you think it is having an effect on your running?

Nothing to report here, a month off has made absolutely no difference. Appt to see doctor Monday. I have officially had enough 

03/08/2016 at 09:23

mamafox - I hope the doctor can give you some positive rehabilitation of that ankle injury, is this your Chinese doctor?

I'm not really doing much at the gym, only been in once or twice a week and only doing upper body workout at the moment not enough to have any effect on my running and I wouldn't really expect it to.   The Yogalates and especially the Pilates has had a good effect on me, I think my posture is better when running, I have no tiredness in my upper body after a marathon so think my core is stronger.   We do quite a bit of balance work in both these classes and my balance is much improved, I do practice some of the balance stuff at home now and then. 

Edited: 03/08/2016 at 09:24
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