Latest posts by Hellywobs

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Posted: 15/04/2014 at 17:00

Hi Becky, I've had this as well and it's been suggested I get my ferritin levels checked.  Even if your iron levels are high enough to be able to donate blood, ferritin may still be low and have a big impact on your running.  If you recently ran a first half marathon you may have depleted your stores.

London Marathon 2015

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 15:38

I find it quite amusing that the faster runners think "oh you just have to train a lot and the GFA will come".  Er no.  Some people are physiologically capable of running much faster than other people, even without training. It ain't fair but it's the way things are.  Yes everyone can improve with training, but as much as I try, I will never run a sub 3:30 marathon.  I might achieve a sub 4, or even 3:45, but any more would be asking too much of my physiology.

However, on the GFA, a friend ran 3:45:12 on Sunday and thinks she has a GFA (on current boundaries) for next year. She's under 40.  I think she needed 3:44:59.  Another friend who is over 40 ran 3:50:03 and has promptly entered Brighton (although of course she might not have wanted to do London next year anyway). Could anyone clarify?

Munich Marathon

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 10:26

I can't help with Munich but have you considered Cologne on 14 September if you are around then?  I have run the half and it was pancake flat - I think the full is very similar.

I also found this elevation info for Munich: http://www.mapmyrun.com/de/muenchen-bavaria/munich-marathon-route-93468859

It's a lovely city anyway - well worth a weekend away.

Talkback: Sheffield Half Marathon cancelled

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 19:53

If you entered it and think you are due a refund I would talk to your local trading standards authority. Whatever the usual practice at races, it is clearly an unfair term to say that you will pocket the entrant's money if you cancel a race for reasons within your control. So if the lack of water WAS within the organisers' control because they didn't pay the bill in accordance with the supplier's terms, they should provide a refund.  The OFT (which no longer exists so their role in enforcement falls mainly to trading standards now) has issued guidance on events and unfair terms (and on booking fees for those interested - I had to pay £2 on top of my entry fee for a race yesterday which wiped out the affiliated saving, I should have sent a cheque by post) and the guidance is still on their archived website.  I write for a law publishers and I feel a blog post on the Sheffield debacle coming on...

London marathon 2013

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 18:55

The Tuesday after Easter.  I wonder if waiting to the morning of the Tuesday will be too late this year - I entered about 7.30am last year and was fine, but it closed very quickly.  I suspect it will close even earlier this year. 

As a consequence I wonder if clubs will still continue to ask for a rejection slip to let you apply for club places, as you will be doing well to even get into the ballot

SIG Insulation Sheffield Half Marathon

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 10:22

Have just heard that it was cancelled at the last minute because the water for participants wasn't delivered. 


Posted: 20/03/2014 at 14:05

I'm another runner who hates bananas.  And last week I went out for a birthday lunch and when the restaurant knew it was my birthday they did me a very pretty dessert, with...you guessed it...bananas.  I got one bit down me and gave the rest to my husband!  I really wish I liked them.

I also hate tuna and baked beans.  

Lost my bottle

Posted: 08/03/2014 at 16:14

I've had a similar experience - this time last year I ran PBs at the Salisbury 10 and Fleet half marathon and a decent time at a 10k in May and 5 miler in June.  Then it got hot, and I got slower and slower.  I'd put it down to the heat but I didn't improve once it cooled down and although I have glimmers of doing decent times, I'm nowhere near where I was.  I'm doing the Salisbury 10 again tomorrow and it will be a good test of where I am but I suspect it's going to be 2-3 minutes slower at least.

I'd also love some help on how to get faster again.  I've not been injured, I'm not anaemic and I get plenty of sleep.  Family and work life aren't any more stressful than they were.  The only thing that I can think of is that I am simply not as fit, not because of running (probably do a little more than I did a year ago), but because I work from home most of the time.  I used to work in London and walked to the station etc, and had a year working in a library where I was on my feet and carrying books around etc, but now I sit on my bottom when I am not running.  I probably do a bit more running now than I did, but not enough to make up for the lack of walking/carrying books around.

Salisbury 10 mile road race - 9/3/14

Posted: 05/03/2014 at 13:59

The photos and the elevation on the website make it look a lot worse that it is.  I wrote an article for our club newsletter last year so I'll just copy and paste as it was fairly contemporaneous and therefore while my memory was still fresh.  I'm not as fit now as I was this time last year, but I'm sure I would have noticed hills.


This is a really good race and I definitely recommend it. My view is probably coloured by the

fact that (a) it was my birthday and (b) I got a PB. I had signed up to run the Wokingham and

Fleet half marathons but after a 10 mile slog along the canal in late January I had a crisis of

confidence about my ability to run anything further than about 7 miles and gave my Wokingham

place up. I decided to do the Fleet half after all and so wanted to do another 10 miler before

Fleet. I had thought about doing the Surrey Tempest on 3 March but that clashed with the final

TRWL cross-country of the season. As I have cousins in Salisbury I decided to do the 10 mile

run there and meet them for lunch afterwards.

All the reviews on Runners’ World were positive but warned of “playful” hills. The elevation on

the City of Salisbury athletics club website shows quite a few hills, so I wasn’t planning on

getting a PB, I just thought I’d go out at a steady pace that I could sustain for 10 miles. It was

very cold and I was happy to hang around in the leisure centre where you had to collect your

chip (and glory be it was one that wraps around your ankle, no trying to thread it through laces

complicated stuff AND all races should start at leisure centres – ample loos and coffee facilities –

and WARM). The race started next to the leisure centre and finished on the South Wiltshire

Girls’ Grammar School athletics track which is more or less next to the start. It meant that when

we braved the cold we could run up and down and round the athletics track to warm up.

The race started right on time through a fairly squashed start so other than the leading pack,

everyone started gently. I gradually speeded up as people spread out and the start was

downhill so I started off quite a lot faster than I had planned to. The course winds its way up

and down the Woodford valley and is quite scenic. I missed the camels and llamas that other

people mentioned, but I did see swans in a field. You do need to be careful about traffic as the

roads are not closed and some drivers get a bit annoyed about having to share the roads for 10

minutes once a year.

I waited for the hills. Which didn’t come. Around the 5 mile mark I was on course for a great

time and thought that we’d been lulled into a false sense of security. A lady from Victory AC

confirmed that there was at least one nasty hill around the 8 mile mark but said “the wind will

slow us down today, not the hills”. Which made me think that the hills couldn’t be that bad

really – as the wind wasn’t either. An unattached (or not wearing a club shirt) male runner

thought “ a nasty little hill is coming up”. I went round the corner and there was nothing, but

then a minute or two later, there it was. But it wasn’t that bad – a bit steep and a bit nasty but

not very long and there was a fairly steep downhill afterwards so it was possible to make up the

time lost. The promised hill just before 8 miles also materialized but from the top of it it was flat

as a pancake into the finish, which meant running around about 2/3 of the athletics track over

the finish line. I finished in 1 hour 17 minutes and 43 seconds – almost

Flat Half Marathons

Posted: 02/03/2014 at 17:20

Gosport in November and Wokingham (just motorway bridges) in Feb.  Fleet in March has a few undulations but lots of gradual downhill as well to make up for it. Apparently Lydd, Headcorn and Paddock Wood are also flat but I've not done any of them.

But a friend of mine has done the very hilly Basingstoke (think an elongated M shape in the middle!) and her times for Basingstoke and Gosport differed only by a few seconds.

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