KK - that looks like an interesting week of races. Similar to the week they do at Cape Wrath - I've pencilled in plans for that, maybe next year - but getting there looks quite difficult.
Heartbreaker New Forest Marathon last Sunday. Bit of road to start and finish but rest is on paths through the forest and along a ridge. Quite hilly, easy to avoid a few slightly muddy bits, but you just have to splash through the stream (twice) . Nice not to have to bother with navigation. Course is a bit like a T - you run out to the ridge and the water station, do a left loop and then a right loop, repeat the loops twice more and then run back to the finish. I didn't bother carrying water as I knew we'd pass the water station 7 times but they didn't have anything to eat (I like a custard cream biscuit now and again). Ran with a friend for most of it, chatted away, walked up the hills and didn't bother even looking at watch. It got warm after a couple of loops so I left my jacket at the water station, but I picked it up just before the last loop when it started to rain. Within minutes we were running in a freezing cold hailstorm with a really strong headwind. Friend was taking rather a long time getting into extra layers and rain jacket, so I ran on as I was getting very cold. At the last turnaround point the wind at least was more to our backs and sides, but the rain continued relentless. Back through the stream, up the last (very steep) hill and back onto the road where I legged it to the finish. Thought I'd taken about 5 and a half hours (last year did it in 4:49) so was very surprised that I'd actually finished in 4:39 . We saw the eventual winner sprinting past a number of times (he finished in 2:42) and Steve Way was third. Saw a herd of ponies and on the first loop only (thankfully) a herd of highland cattle. They were making their way towards the path but must have crossed it and gone off somewhere as we didn't see them again. Lots of calves with very attentive mums, and striding at the front of his harem was the bull with enormous handlebar horns . After waiting to see friend finish and a large cup of hot chocolate I got changed in the car (it steams up quickly). Once through the forest (great views and more ponies) the rest of the journey home was a nightmare due to major roadworks and accidents. Stopped off for a coffee, loo and petrol but still it took me 3 and three quarter hours to get back . Nice event at the beginning of the year and they do a half as well .
I'm definitely an advocate for long, slow running. I guess I'll have to borrow daughter's Garmin as when I go out on my own I just go at a pace which is very comfortable (and slow). When I go out with the dog he dictates the pace which is usually Usain Bolt speed for the first 50 metres - with maybe 1 or 2 abrupt 'stops', then he settles down and our paces seem to match. (Except sometimes on grass when he wants to bound and I can only keep up for about 4/5 strides - I won't let him off-lead, just in case I lose him). Some people at our club run every run - general and long slow - at about 9/9.30 pace and then do their marathon at 11 min miles .
We've had such a mild winter here that as well as masses of snowdrops, today I saw a couple of teeny violas, one daisy and the first buds on the blossom bushes .
mamafox - well done on your race and new time - and even better for finishing in front of Jocelyne .
The course I did is just a basic one, although it did cover planning and structuring sessions. I was a bit surprised that the tutors assumed beginners would have a certain amount of fitness, which some of ours don't. Some participants were looking to lead groups who wanted to run races faster, but I think that's best left to qualified coaches. I've been 'buddying' on our daytime beginners course and when they finish in a few weeks time I'd like to continue with an 'improvers' course which could also accommodate runners who would like more 'gentle paced' runs. Probably see club coach tomorrow to discuss this.
kk - well done on your pb . That's a big chunk of time off. You look good in the video. I saw one of me at Loch Ness finish where I seemed to be flapping my arms at my sides and one at Milton Keynes - I'd picked up a leg injury just a week before and although it didn't bother me during the race at the finish I was limping badly (as well as rolling around like a drunk ).
I did the Leader in Running Fitness course yesterday - a mix of theory and practical so I counted that as training for the day . Interesting course, lots of information. I'm now (well, when I've sent off my DBS form) qualified - and insured - to lead a small group out running. No marathons last weekend, but 8 miles off-road with the dog today. We got rather wet and I've definitely decided my waterproof jacket isn't.
Big G - will you be expected to run the 10k or will you be expected to start the race and then give medals to the finishers and present any prizes?