Latest posts by Big_G

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Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 13:50

KK - the DD is the Dartmoor Discovery, which is hilly 32-mile road race around Dartmoor.  I've got an entry for it in June (as has Shades, who I think has done the race many times).  For me it's just something to aim for as opposed to saying I'm definitely going to do it, but if I'm in shape for it I wanted a number as the race sold out quickly (6 days).  It's organised by my running club, Teignbridge Trotters, and they do a transfer process for people to get rid of numbers if they no longer need them, but I am obviously hoping I'll be ready for it.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 08:29

Iain - sorry to hear about that.  I hope you get your shoes sorted out at work.  Good luck.

No real news on Steph at the moment but the London press have linked Claire and Steph.  And of course, they're still getting it wrong.  Claire did *not* die during childbirth.....that really p***ed off at the time, but I didn't bother getting it corrected.  I guess what the press don't know they make up and there are also, let's say, "inconsistencies" in some of the reports about Steph.  Oh well.  Nothing I can do about that, and I tell myself not to read it but I can't help it.  

I think basically the press managed to get hold of a couple of Steph's friends via Facebook (some people have their mobile phone numbers totally open and available) and I guess the reporter just asked very open questions, and the two friends just started talking without properly thinking about it.  I don't blame them as I'm guessing the reporters know what they're doing.  I had a reporter contact me when one of my club mates died last year whilst running (my details were on the club website), but I just said "speak to the Chairman" and left it at that.

Running-wise, I did a 4-mile recovery run yesterday AM.  Legs were sore after the 10-miler on Sunday, and I must say they're still a bit sore today   Doesn't really bode well for the Dartmoor Discovery, but I suppose if I put any 7min/miles in at the DD I've done something a bit silly!  I did struggle on the uphills comparatively on Sunday, so in that way it's reconfirmed where I need to focus for the DD.  It's my calves that are feeling a bit tight.   (I'm afraid I had to google if it's "calfs" or "calves", and I'm still not 100% sure....I'm talking about my legs though, not young cows )

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 25/01/2015 at 22:07

SK, just reading back a bit and Ian has had some ideas, and he wanted the funeral to be in London.  He said he wants to organise it all, so Steph's parents were more than happy to ask him to do that.  

Fortunately, the media was all fine in the end.  The junction itself is a very dangerous junction and it's more or less what I was expecting (I had looked at the junction on google maps) and it was easy to see how the incident could happen; even as we were standing there, a couple of lorries totally messed up going around the corner, and one had to reverse back into the main road to get around the corner.  There is probably a strong argument to make it a "no left turn", but then I suppose it just moves a problem somewhere else.  There are no easy answers.

In terms of any funeral date, Steph hasn't yet been released so no death certificates are available at the moment so that can't be progressed yet.  I have fired off an email to ask if we can get Steph into the churchyard where Claire and Jay are, and because of the exceptional circumstances it looks like it will be permitted, if the family decide they want that.  I should know for sure by the middle of the week.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 25/01/2015 at 14:42

Well, I got the race done and I was pleased with a time of 1:17:25 (unofficial).  Last year's was 1:19:44, but the conditions last year were awful with a very, very strong headwind and also large areas of flood water we had to wade through.  Anyway, I'm glad I went up and was pleased with the result and I finished strong.  It's a good race.

The splits are a bit meaningless really due to the hills so it will never be consistent miles, but they are below.  See if you can spot where the two big hills are

7:21, 7:18, 7:28, 9:44, 7:15, 9:18, 7:20, 7:41, 7:21, 6:47

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 25/01/2015 at 08:21

Shades, that is interesting about the "sugar free" sports stuff.  I must confess that the last few weeks I've dipped back into some "old habits" and having more carbs/sugar than I really want/need, and that's another thing I need to sort out really.  I haven't used or seen that stuff you mentioned.

I'm in for Braunton 10 today.  I'm not "feeling it", and I was laying in bed thinking "I really can't be bothered with this - I'm going back to sleep".  But of course, I was up 15mins later going through my, urrrrrm, "routine".  Really not sure how this race is going to go and I'll decide on my strategy when I get there  At worst, it's a nice run around anyway if I decide to just use it as a hilly training run, or if I get the competitive juices going I may give it a good crack.  I suspect it may end up being somewhere in-between, and I'll end up with a lacklustre performance, which is neither a slow training run nor a proper effort....

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 23/01/2015 at 09:53

Hi all,

I think today is going to be quite a difficult day.  I'm in Letchworth at the moment, and we're going into London shortly to go to Steph's house to meet the Family Liaison Officer.  Then we're going into the site where the accident happened as some of the family want to lay flowers; personally, I don't feel I need to do this, but I want to be there for people too.

It's a bit of a nightmare as the police have recommended that we release a statement about Steph, basically to try and stop the press making stuff up about her.  I had this a bit with Claire; when it went into the local news, there were some errors about the details, which really angered me at the time.  Steph's case is arguably worse as a) it's London and b) it's a cycling-related death, so there are some comments on cycling forums about general road safety and lorry drivers etc.  Also, we've been warned that there are media at the scene expecting family to turn up but the FLO is going to try and say to the media that we don't want to comment.  Unbelievable situation really.

Anyway, after all that, we're all coming back to Suzy's to have a proper sit down with the FLO and go through next steps.

Last night I was here with Linda, Suzy and Dave (Suzy's husband) and we got to talking about possible funeral arrangements, and what to do with Steph.  I was expecting to have an awkward question asked of me, but I hadn't worked out how best to answer it.  Basically, Linda asked if Steph could be laid to rest with Claire and Jay.  It's a very difficult scenario, because there is space for three in the plot, but I want to keep the last space for me.  However, I suppose it's not guaranteed that I'll use the space should I eventually go on to meet someone else.  Anyway, I said all this and it was all fine, but it's part of many difficult discussions.  What I said is that I'll see if we can get Steph her own plot near Claire and Jay, but I did say that I thought that would be unlikely as she wasn't from the area and I thought therefore that she wouldn't be allowed in.

At this stage there are lots of difficult decisions and discussions  It's strange though as I feel I'm taking it all in my stride.  It's obviously different for Steve, Linda and Suzy, but for me nothing could get any worse than Claire.  I loved Steph to bits, but it's almost like I'm thinking "I've handled worse than this, so I can do this again" and I haven't got upset once.  It's very odd and difficult to explain, but I'm not in shock or anything; I know what has happened, but I'm just dealing with it.  I can't explain it really.

I'm hoping to get out for a run here in Letchworth tomorrow AM, before driving back late morning tomorrow.  I did do a run yesterday before driving up here, but it was just 4-mles due to time.  It was nice to stretch the legs though.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 21/01/2015 at 22:33

Hi all, thanks for the messages.  I know I've been here before with you guys, but your words and thoughts do mean a lot to me.

I have been with a friend from WAY today as there was nothing I could practically do today, with most people being in different parts of the country.  This is going to sound selfish I suppose, but I do need to look after myself at the moment, and if I hadn't seen her I would potentially have been on my own today, which isn't what I wanted.  I've still been in constant contact with everyone (I've had to fully charge my phone twice today), but I just wanted to be around someone as well.

Anyway, I'm travelling up to Letchworth (Suzy lives there) tomorrow with Linda (my mother-in-law) as a Family Liaison Officer has been appointed, and he's going to meet us all at Suzy's place on Friday.  It's all kicked off on Facebook and there are "vigils" being organised at the road junction by some kind of cycling lobby safety group, but I'm personally staying out of all that.  If anything can be learnt and changed from the incident, then I'd like that, but I can't be dealing with that at the moment.

Running-wise, I'm hoping to get out for a run tomorrow AM if I get the time.  I do feel it will help me clear my head a bit, as it has helped me a lot these last few months.  Actually, when I hear about how some people on the WAY groups handle things, there really does seem to be a split between those who handle things very badly (and don't exercise) and those that handle things a bit better (those that do exercise).  Don't get me wrong; I have massive ups and downs, but running is helping to keep me roughly on track I think/hope.

Anyway, thanks again for the messages.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 20/01/2015 at 23:53

I can't believe what I'm about to write really, but I feel I need to say it.  My sister-in-law (Steph), who was Claire's sister, sadly passed away this morning as she was involved in an accident, whilst cycling in London.  As a coincidence, it's exactly (to the day) 4 months since Claire died.  Steph was 29.

At the moment I don't know how their Mum and Dad are going to cope with this.  I have been with their Mum all day at my house, and their Dad is travelling back from the Lakes (via Birmingham) tonight and tomorrow.  I can't figure out how or why two lovely girls from the same family can die in such tragic circumstances.  I know I am biased, but these are good people I'm talking about.

On Monday, Ian (Steph's boyfriend) and Steph had put an offer in on a house in Scotland which had been accepted.  Similarly to Claire and I, they were thinking about the next phase of their lives and were excitedly making plans.  I was only talking to her yesterday, as I was taking the piss out of her as she had dropped (and smashed) her phone....again!  She was supposed to be coming down this weekend for a baby shower with some friends, and she was staying at my place on the Sunday.  I was supposed to be going up to stay with her in London soon, to get some more running (and, it has to be said, drinking) in.

I had known Steph since she was 7 years old.  I've no siblings of my own, but I've always said that Steph was like a sister to me, and she treat me like a brother.  She has also been a *massive* help to me over the last 4 months, and I think I was also a help to her.  We really did tell each other everything.  She had said that she had told me stuff that she had told no one else, and likewise I could freely tell her what was on my mind.

I won't quote it here, but it's in the London news this evening. I also don't want to go into speculation of who may have been in the right or in the wrong between Steph and the lorry driver, because at the end of the day Steph is no longer with us.

Similarly to the last time I posted some bad news, please continue to talk about running and everything that's going on, and I will continue to do the same.  And I am sorry again for the rather shit content of this post.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 20/01/2015 at 11:58

Well, I got my 16-miles done.  I got very cold and struggled to warm up afterwards, but a cuppa tea and standing by the radiator soon sorted that out.  Unlike last week's, this was quite a flat run but I did that purposefully.  My legs were still a bit sore from Sunday's effort, and I know I've got a hilly 10-mile race on Sunday.  So although not hilly, I'm pleased I got the miles in.  

Feeling fine now, and going for a walk with a friend and her dog soon.  This one isn't a Jack Russell crossed with a Chihuahua; this one is a German Wire-Haired Pointer called Hiske (my friend is Dutch), and she's a lovely-natured dog but very, very strong.  Then I'm off to the theatre tonight with Claire's Mum to see The Woman in White.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 19/01/2015 at 13:27

Mowzer, I hope your daughter recovers quickly!

Shades, I was talking to HA and her slowest mile was the 3rd mile as well and she said it was the headwind.  There was a headwind although it wasn't really strong (it was far worse last year), but it just goes to show you what a difference it can make.  The nature of the course means that there would have also been a tail wind for half of it, but I hardly noticed that, and I never pick up what I have lost in the head wind  

I have plugged the 10K time into McMillan and it suggests a 1:36 should be possible for a Half, so that's something to aim for (current PB is 1:38).  In the past, McMillan always seemed fairly accurate for me up to a Half, so I'll go for that in Feb and March at the Halfs I have booked (Exeter and Bideford).

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