TT - not sure about the course. From what I can gather it is hilly for the first half (2 hills of about 0.5M averaging 7%-8%) through a nice country estate, then flat for the second half through Luton and its parks.
In terms of the field, it is generally quite weak except in 2014 a fast guy turned up and won by 8 mins in 66 mins. So could be anything really - there is a start list but I haven't looked down the whole thing (c. 800 runners), except that the guy who did 66 mins isn't on the list at the moment.
Solid progressive 5k there - not easy to run that fast on your own.
Just been out for a lunchtime run - 3rd mile and 5th mile were 5:33/4, the rest was around 6:40s.
ES - yes, I saw that. Her excuse was a new one - claiming a hospital must have administered EPO...
45 mins on the turbo last night and 2.5M with the dog this morning. I've done a last minute entry to a HM on Sunday which should be interesting given my lack of mileage/long runs. Definitely going to start conservatively!
TT - she is a rescue dog, so we're not entirely sure what breed she is! But she is probably a lurcher crossed with something like a Staffie - basically looks like a lurcher but muscular back legs like a Staffie! The rescue home told us she was about 18 months old when we got her, but she kept growing for quite a while so we reckon she probably less than a year old, which would explain her behaviour at the start. That was nearly 2 years ago now though so she is calming down a bit.
So our experience is probably not typical because she was a rescue, quite young and the type of dog that needs a lot of exercise (but that's partly why we took her on). But in general she is fine to be left for 3-4 hours, and she might be OK for longer. Mrs Padams is able to take her to work with her, so we rarely need to leave her for longer than that.
As LMH says it is quite a commitment - for me it's not so much having to take her for runs etc., but you need to plan a bit more e.g. you can't just decide on Friday to go away for the weekend (unless you have family/friends locally who are willing to just take the dog whenever).
Re our dog (Jaffa by the way!), she's pretty fit but is probably a 400 runner that is reluctantly becoming a longer distance runner. My estimate would be close to 30s for 400 but it's difficult to test this as unfortunately I can't run with her at that pace. There are much better breeds for longer distances - there are stories of some of the husky-type breeds being able to run ridiculous distances at a fast pace.
Jooligan - I was going to make the same comment as LMH. You seem to race a ridiculous amount (e.g. 3 races the weekend before the marathon), which will take it out of you even if they are not all flat-out. If I were you I would be just doing easy running for a week or so, with at most one moderately paced run (e.g. a park run at MP or preferably slower). But racing is fun which I guess is why you're doing them all!