The Ally of Not Enough Hills


Latest posts by The Ally of Not Enough Hills

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Comrades 2014

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 17:32
Had a tough morning in the wind at blackpool today. Funny how it doesn't seem to even out with or against it. 4 min kms with and 4.5 min against seems a big difference. I guess the bergwind will be with us this year though?

I'm looking forward to reading about how people got on in Manchester and Brighton. I hope you particularly enjoyed your 50th, PH. And that you've had a great birthday.

The water situation at Sheffield is pretty sloppy. That race was my first and second half marathons almost a decade ago and they were both excellent. A great finish at don valley which I think is no longer...

Can I be added to your richmond list please WA? Are we heading back to last year's pub? What was it called? Duke's Head?

Comrades 2014

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 11:35

I met up with clubmates at Barcelona but unfortunately didn't catch anyone from from here.  I decided to run silly in seeing how far I could track the 2.45 pacers.  I managed it until about 24km after passing halfway 5s off my half pb (83m, so actually 2.46 pace..).  Cue a struggle for the rest of the course, although it was interesting to pass two of those pacers walking at the 39km marker...  I finally came in at 2.50.01 so a little disappointed to miss out on a bona fide sub2.50 (I managed one in Pisa in December on a course that I measured as 500m short...).  Nice to run in the warm in a great city, to run a reasonable distance with tired legs and those last 2km up the hill from the coast (sorry SD, I'm counting that as a 'hill'!).  Glad to be able to run the following day without effect and did 29m on Saturday so my first ultra since that eye-opening day ten months ago in SA.

Well done this weekend on your longest-ever run Danniir. I'm looking forward to reading more and more of everyone's reports from this weekend and from the upcoming events as we build up.

SD, Andy - I would be up for a repeat Richmond get together and hearing the last minute tips on how to deal with the down.  I think last year it must've been early-mid May as I remember SAFER wearing his T-shirt!

Comrades 2014

Posted: 03/03/2014 at 12:22

I've added myself and Dannirr to the list.

 

March 16 Northants - Carmen; Barcelona - Slow Duck, Slotwin, Running Rodent, AONEH

March 22 Charnwood - Becca7, Emily, WA, Jacqui, Camilla, ? Martin  

March 23 Rome - Muzza;  Atlanta - Dannirr  

April 5 SDW Becca7  

April 6 Manchester - Muzza, Slotwin; Brighton - Slow Duck, Possum Hopper; Blackpool - AONEH  

April 13 London - Slow Duck, Emily, AONEH, Dannirr  

April 19 Compton 40 - Carmen, Slotwin, Slow Duck, Margie2  

April 21 Boston - Muzza, Becca7, Running Rodent  

April 27 Huddersfield - Becca7; Kielder 50K - Emily;  Shakespeare - AONEH  

May 4 Worcester - Muzza, Becca7;  Three Forts - (Emily?)  

May 5 Milton Keynes - Muzza, Carmen, Slow Duck  

May 11 Halstead - Slow Duck

Comrades 2014

Posted: 03/03/2014 at 12:20

Hello everyone.  I've been hibernating so haven't posted since early Dec. I had a little life crisis (nearly 30) where I resigned from my miserable old job without having another to go to but, six weeks later, am a bit more settled now I've started a new one.  Phew. 

Since last posting I've only done two races - I got a new pb in Pisa (500m short course, perhaps) and smashed myself last week on Malta.  Can anyone (Fido?) compare the quad-soreness after doing Malta with that after the Comrades down run?  Malta was net 200m down (1000m up and 1200m down I think my Garmin had) with some quite steep sections.  My legs had not felt that sore after a race for a long long time.  I can usually run the following day but my legs have been shot for a good 4 or 5 days and I first tried to run again on day 3 - which was painful and slow.  With the 7000m down and 4000m up we’ll face I think I need to start doing some of BikeIt's squats and thinking more seriously about my quads.  I'd like to be able to do the Cape Town parkrun the following Saturday.

SD - my apologies for ruining the Jantastic group – see excuse above – and have now got better at logging my runs.  I see from the parkrun results that you've been popping over to the common?  I'll keep my eyes peeled for you in future.

PH - great idea to get the 50 bib for Brighton.  And generous of management to agree.

Woody - I'm staying at Belaire and hiring a car.  I am expecting to be let in to park in the secured area underneath the hotel...  I'm not sure about the alternative of parking along the promenade.

Lastly, on the issue of food.  I had imagined crispy rosemary-topped roasts or herbed new potatoes but found the SA version too dry and fluffy to digest.  However, I did find extraordinarily delicious the two packets of salt that I had saved over from the flight out as an insurance policy.  This time I will try and acquire some more from those near me.  OK, so they didn't taste delicious, but the screaming from my muscles abated on both occasions that I washed down those little blue bags.  I am also leaning towards taking one or two bars in addition to the eight gels this time.  Does anyone know what is planned for breakfast? Do the hotels provide something that you can take on the bus?

Comrades 2014

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 11:36

Fido and SD - Thanks for the comments.  I added "Tea with Mr Newton" to the order and will probable read this one before the other Newton book.  Looking forward to seeing your bit SD!  I also ordered Noakes' Lore of Running but that tome will likely stay on the shelf as a reference.  I'm keen to read up on the central governor bit now that my one will know what's coming and how I can go about placating it, if needed.

GDixon and BikeIt - Great that you've both entered and intend to return.  Hopefully the injuries will fade quickly BikeIt.

Jacqui - Well done on the 1st place in Athens.  I'm glad to read that you've finally had your operation.   I'll have another look at their payment system next year as it is still one I want to do, although I now gather that it probably wasn't Pheidippides who ran from Marathon to Athens...

Rodent -  I did similar miles to you for this year - 50-70 per week.  Not overtraining is important and back-to-back long runs will be useful.  I did one run of 38 miles in early May, just two other 'ultra' distances and covered 80 miles over the Easter weekend.  I entered maybe 5 official marathons, but didn’t run then flat out in order to be able to run the day before and/or the following day.  I think consistency is useful to aid recovery although the 7 mile Monday, and particularly Tuesday, runs were difficult at times.  I like the rough target of 1000m over the Jan-May period which tallies with your 50 miles per week but is higher than in BikeIt's table.  I agree with BikeIt that you could target a quicker time than the 12hr cut off...

Comrades 2014

Posted: 05/11/2013 at 12:46

Hello everyone. A bit to catch up on as I've not posted for a while so I'll try to be brief.

Thank you everyone who gave me the CT recommendations.  I've booked myself on flights there via Doha with a local flight onward to DBN on the Thursday prior to the race.  Leaving DBN on the Tues, I get 2 days at the Cape before and then 4 after as a nod to seeing the hill and island in the changeable weather.  It'll be nice to do a (slow) parkrun in both cities.  Other suggestions have been noted.   I'll also see Doha (although not Dubai as intended) but it should be more genteel than Cairo. 

I'd also vote for Hluhluwe which was great this year.  I had to stop the car as a scraggly lion nonchalantly crossed the road in front.  Left me shaking like a leaf as he looked very hungry.  Lots of Rhino and elephant, a giraffe here and there, plenty of zebra and antelope.  The Vervet monkeys were my favourite.  I didn't know about these brilliant guys before the summer and would suggest googling them if you don't (probably not at work, though).  I'll try and find a game park somewhere on the Cape.

Congratulations Hans.  Good effort!

Condolences WindsorAndy, Jacquie, BikeIt and especially Debra on the injuries.  A speedy recovery to you all.

Fido - Useful summary for a wider audience than just newbies. Thanks.

SD - Helpful to know that the hotels on the beachfront have coaches available to them. I think it'll be a walk of a mile or so for those at Belaire.  

I saw the white Comrades cap out in Dublin where I got another pb (2.51.35), edging tantalisingly closer to 2.50.  At some point I am going to massively blow up during a race and will wait until mid-Dec and Pisa for the next go.  Really sad news that someone died shortly after he finished over there.

Lastly, I've ordered a book about Arthur Newton called Run For Their Lives by way of build-up during the Spring.  I hope for stories of cigars, roses and rocky seats.  Anyone read it?

leicester marathon 2013

Posted: 14/10/2013 at 21:11

booktrunk - we crossed posts a bit as I got distracted half way through mine and didn't hit submit.  I'm not sublte either and would've probably 'offered' him some of the cups of water at the aid stations, or perhaps the gels...  I'm not sure why someone didn't suggest he pull over as the instructions stated that no cycling was allowed.  

Anyway. Results for all!

leicester marathon 2013

Posted: 14/10/2013 at 21:05

They've uploaded the full ''provisional' results now.  Not sure how that's feasible if the tracking system is knackered but even still good to see it up there.  My time is 8 secs out from my garmin time so I'll take it.  Placing looks accurate too.  Disaster averted.  Well done guys.

Cougie - Now you've mentioned it, I remember being waved at after a race with something that looked like a hollowed out table tennis bat.  Big green hooped thing with a handle.  I asked why they were bothering with it as a big queue built up. "Just a backup", I was told...

leicester marathon 2013

Posted: 14/10/2013 at 17:49

I can't understand why there are so many different types of chip.  Round your ankle, soft magnetic strip around your laces, hard thing round your laces, soft magnetic on the back of your bib.  This one yesterday was another new one for me. A blue box about the size of the matchbox suspended inside a plastic bag stuck on the reverse of the bib...  Is that the recommended way of fastening that thing?    Has anyone ever seen it used before?

I think it brave of the organisers to come out so soon on their website and say "Oops, sorry we have no results.  Hope that's ok."  But they've also quickly given some people some results.  Even if that is just (so far) 100 out of the 4000+ they were expecting to race.  I'm sure there will be more.  It seems they were quick (at the time) to think 'Shit, we need to go to plan B" and get their pencil and paper out as well as that funny plastic cover thing.  This deserves some credit.

As for the race itself, it was pretty tough but a different sort of challenge to usual.  Rain throughout, cold and a moderate wind.  Easily the worst weather of my c.20 marathons.  I'll certainly remember this one.  Also, the marshals behaved like the weather was what we had last week in Chester: they were all fantastic.  I especially valued the chap popping up in several locations shouting out placings.  Very useful as currently the only thing I have to go on...

Comrades 2014

Posted: 10/10/2013 at 17:21

SD - Thanks for the description. I think I will sign up for this for next year.  A really great time from Ed.

Emily - Well done on your even-paced sub4 pb at Chester and the seeding it gives you.  If indeed the seeding is more important on the down run with the PMZ start and the narrower early roads. I must've missed you twice in a week.  Ealing was a nice event and brilliantly well organised (thanks!) but I had one of those days where the legs feel really lethargic, heavy and unresponsive so wasn't much fun.  I'm not quite sure why as the shin felt ok.  I'd not run a half for 18 months during which my marathon pb has fallen nine minutes so I think I can go a little faster still but don't race them often.  I'll check out the podcasts. 

Stephen - I looked at the results and you're right that we didn't cross.  I reckon at your rate you'd have caught me given another mile.  Very well judged.

Also in Chester was a chap wearing a light blue cap and not the standard issue white one.  I didn't get a chance to quiz him about that. 

I'm still thinking about flights.  I will have to go into and out of Durban so will need additional flights both ways between DUR and CPT.   With these extra flights I'll only have 3 days in Cape Town if I leave the weekend after Comrades. Probably not enough and a further whole week will probably be pretty expensive.  Does anyone know how many days I should spend in CPT to see most things over there? The mountain and the island will probably each take up a day...

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