((Big G)) - just keep on doing what you're doing. You will have a lot of conflicting emotions but are coping well. Just make sure you talk - about your feelings, Claire, Jay, the past and the future - don't try to keep things to yourself. Your family, friends, Claire's family and all of us here are all willing to lend an ear.
Good luck to Shades in Dublin this weekend . And to anyone else who is racing.
KK- yes I'm doing Snowdonia (Note I said doing not running, I've seen the profile of those hills and my last 4 marathons have been flat). First time I've ever run in Wales and I've heard that Snowdonia is a 'must do' so I am. I'm driving up/across tomorrow and hope to pick up my number (3084) then, but depends how long it takes and if I get lost . I'm staying just outside Llanberis and will drive back on Sunday (unlike a couple of runners I know who are driving massive distances after the race so they can race again on Sunday!). Hard to know what to wear - I'm still in shorts and t-shirt at home, took a jacket with me today but tied it round my waist after half a mile. Don't want to get caught wearing too little on those hills though if it turns cold/rainy. ???. Most certainly not a fast time, probably just be thankful to get round and enjoy it. Also have a tiny niggle in my left achilles - not hot/swollen/hurting - I can just 'feel' it. Done when I bounded up some shallow steps over the river yesterday - my life seems to be 'I want to rewind the last couple of minutes', but cross fingers it will be ok.
Definitely trail shoes. Although much of the path along the river is hard-packed earth or gravel, near the beginning (and end) there is a lot of grass and mud. I've done it in both and slid all over the place in road shoes (one guy actually slid into the river!). You don't want anything with very aggressive lugs but trail/hybrid shoes would be fine.
Jugula - 10 min/miles sounds way too fast. I often tell first time marathoners to double their half time and add one hour. Unless they're super fast club runners that's the time they often finish in, they're pleased with that, they've enjoyed the race and they look forward to doing another (which invariably is much quicker - but then they know they can do the distance). Portsmouth is not a fast marathon - you've got grass, paths, mud, shingle, sea water if you're toooo slow and lots of people/dogs wandering around on the seafront. Why not leave the watch at home, start near the back, chat to a few runners and then fall in with someone who is going at a comfortable pace?
mamafox - great race and sounds like you really enjoyed it (especially the beating Jocelyne bit )
snapdragon - I guess it's about not letting your fitness slip down - just keep it up all the time. And most of my 'races' are quite slow, often LDWA type where time is not an issue and you can just enjoy it. Doing marathons is much more fun than doing LSRs all by yourself (or with a club where everyone dashes off at 8m/m)
s3200 - As for ultras for next year : XRNG ones are good although quite expensive and you can do just one day. Others I like are Imber Ultra (nr Salisbury) March 33mls, Sevenoaks Circular March 30mls, Pewsey Downsaround Apr 35mls (I've only done the marathon -nice but MUDDY), Oxon 40mls May (HILLY), Ridgeway 40mls May, Northants Ultra June 35mls and Salisbury 54321 Aug 50k. They are all off road (Salisbury very varied terrain) and require some navigation. I also like Coventry Way May 40mls and Pathfinder March June 46mls - these are multi-terrain with a bit more roadwork. Check out the 100MC website - they have a list of most ultras. Also depends if you want to run when it gets dark .
I did Chelmsford Parks Marathon on Sunday - mainly because it's only 45 mins away. First time they ran this event and the organisers have some improvements to make if they want people to return. I've put some feedback on the events ratings if anyone is interested, so won't bore you all here! Main problem was that it had rained in the previous few days (in October? in England? never!) and the course needed to be re-routed on the Sunday morning. The advertised 2 laps turned into 2 laps and a mini 3rd lap (about 3 miles), which apparently some runners missed out (either deliberately? or because they didn't know about it?). I passed a runner I know slightly half way through the 2nd lap. I left him behind and he didn't go past me after that. In the results he's about 30 mins faster than me - finishing in the same time as I had just started my 3rd lap . Anyway I found it a bit tougher than I thought it would be but stuck in and finished in 4:16.
KK - I'm doing Snowdonia too. Don't know why - I'm not keen on hills .