Latest posts by mowzer

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Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 26/01/2016 at 16:30

Big G and Ian - glad you enjoyed Barcelona . I might have to have a look at Barcelona marathon, but it won't be until at least next year now.

slowkoala - that gravity defying cake is fantastic . Do you have to keep it in the fridge all the time?

Shades - I've already entered the Suffolk marathon! It's called Haverhill which I hope it's not . I've more or less sorted most of this year out, but there are a few dates in August and September that I still have to decide upon. I don't know what happened to my plan to run events less frequently (can't really call it racing) and spend more time sightseeing etc . Is your half run by Hogweed Trotters? I've often seen the backs of their vests as they pound past me .

Another long walk on Sunday although not wet and certainly not as muddy as last time. Boots performed well and were comfy although obviously much heavier than running shoes. I wore 2 pair of socks - my thin toe socks (that I wear for running races) underneath and a walking pair on top. Was initially concerned that the boots might be too big, but by the end of the walk I was glad I hadn't got anything smaller.

As well as my boots (bought from a local shop) I've also bought 2 new pair of racing shoes (off the internet). Same (discounted) price as usual, but there was also an extra 10% off and no postage to pay for 2 pair. I only have one pair for races - currently on 300 miles. All my others are too small and I wear them for training. Some I can wear with the insoles but no socks and the others with socks but the insoles taken out.

I'm really enjoying Tai Chi. The hour passes so quickly. I'll need to make time to do some 'homework' but obviously it can't be rushed and squeezed into the odd 5 minutes. Everything is done very slowly, often with 'poses' being held. My arms certainly ache afterwards .

Lovely run with 'Daytime' group this morning. Bit chilly and very windy but we got back before the rain. We surprised a group of fallow deer who were really close, but they trotted off down the hill when they saw us.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 22/01/2016 at 21:46

Another easy week for me. Did 7 miles on Tuesday with our ex-beginners and again on Wednesday. Just 3 and a half miles today, although I did a 5ml walk yesterday and hope to go for a long walk on Sunday.

My fingers have been frozen during the cold spell, although some times I've been with people who haven't been wearing any gloves . Today, though, it's turned quite warm and I had to take my gloves off as I was getting too toasty. I've bought a pair of walking boots for my foray into walking - so far they seem ok . My trail shoes are fine and really comfy to walk in, but I can't see them lasting too long if they continually get soaked inside and completely covered in mud on the outside - or my feet come to that .

KK - a good double with White Peak is Leaden Boot on the Sunday. Very close by, but completely different as a trail run and very hilly - and you have to do some navigation although there are some signs too.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 23:10

Shades - no meditation, just really relaxing and focusing on body movements. All movements are very slow and controlled. I'm hoping it will improve my posture and balance. Also as you keep your knees slightly bent it's supposed to improve leg muscle strength. We shall see .

You are going to be so fit with all the classes you are doing. Are they all included in your gym membership?

I'm having a couple of very easy weeks now, then building up again and also a few long walks with the LDWA. Don't have another marathon planned until Belvoir at end of February .

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 11/01/2016 at 17:14

Big G/ mamafox/ Keith - have a look at for a different take on foot/leg injuries. Hope yours all get better soon - it's hard to decide on future events if you're nursing an injury.

On Sunday I did the lovely named 'Cold Christmas to Good Easter', 27.2 mls run by a local running club Springfield Striders. Drove over to GE in the dark, just to get a coach back to CC which is very close to where I live. We started off on a hill which is part of our running club's routes and all the runners just shot off at a tremendous pace. I ran at the back with a friend for a while, but he had to disappear behind a bush so I joined the runner in front for a while. After a few fields and tracks we went through the village where my eldest daughter keeps her horse. Had to stop to tie a shoelace and then ran by myself for the middle part of the race. Also went along the River Stort (where I had previously run the Stort 30), then over a part of B.Stortford's x-country course (which I had run many moons ago) and along part of the Flitch Way (run on NYE). After that the route was completely unfamiliar. I overtook a few runners and then caught up with some friends who had got lost. Ran with them to the finish and was very glad of the company. We sneaked in just under the (loose) cut- off in 6:57. Started off warm and sunny, but the second half was very windy and I was grateful I had jacket and gloves to put on (and a hot cup of tea at the last checkpoint). Found it very tough - the mud was horrendous and there were also quite a few ploughed fields which didn't have the path re-instated. Sloppy mud wasn't too bad, but with the clingy stuff I sometimes felt like I was wearing concrete boots - still I guess the legs got a bit of a workout! Good refreshments at the checkpoints, friendly marshals and a welcoming finish with a meal. Rather muddy and cold I drove back in the dark. Good day out . Shoes scraped of mud, soaked in a bucket overnight, hosed this morning and will probably take all week to dry out .

Did a Tai-Chi class this morning - first time I've tried this. Very good but now my arms ache .


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 04/01/2016 at 13:16

Shades / Big G - definitely a decrease in numbers next year  - my bank balance won't allow it even if I had the time. I see that an Irish woman Brenda O'Keefe has broken the European Record with 106 in one year .

A first for me yesterday as I went out with the local LDWA group for a led/group walk. Walking was a brisk but comfortable pace and other members very friendly. Mainly on footpaths / fields / country lanes around Dunmow. 16/17 mls in total with a break of 30 mins for lunch (choice of shelter in church porch or coffee in pub). I opted for pub as was desperate for the loo  (not too many leafy bushed around). Weather was atrocious though - started off with drizzle which rapidly got worse. Some nice countryside (mainly flattish) but I had to keep my head down to avoid the wind/ rain and to keep an eye on where my feet were going. Needless to say there was LOTS of mud. Jacket managed to keep the rain out, but feet were soaked. I wore my trail shoes as I find walking shoes/ boots to be too heavy and stiff. I had to wring my socks and gloves out before I could store them in the plastic bag for the homeward drive . Good day out though  - will go again - and still very tired in the evening .

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 17:53

Shades - you're right about the pre-entry, My daughter said 'I knew you wouldn't go if you didn't enter beforehand' .

We have a tarmac parkrun at Gunpowder in Lee Valley Park. I've run round the path a few times but never in a parkrun. But I guess that is way too far to travel . Quite a few runners who do marathons on Sunday travel up before and do the local parkrun on the Saturday. If I did a parkrun there would be no marathon - I'd need the rest of the week to recover .

Big G - I'd guess you'd call that a park & run . 62 this year - mainly down to 5 at The Forces March and 10 at Gt Barrow.

slowkoala - well done on your parkruns . What kind of onesie did you wear?

Shadies are setting some very fast goals on here! Good luck with all of them.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 01/01/2016 at 14:46

Well, I finished off 2015 with yet another marathon - Flitch Way near Braintree . The weather was beautiful - sunny, warm and with a slight wind. The course was an out and back along the old railway line, so good going for most of the way. Mainly rural, passing a couple of old stations (one turned into a café) and a very short 'town' bit through Dunmow. Couple of really muddy patches where shoes were coated inside and out, but not too slippery. Started off too fast as was talking to a friend, but after a couple of miles I let him slip away and settled into my own pace. I found the 'out' quite tough (probably due to knackering myself in the first few miles ), the 'back' bit was a bit easier and I ran steadily for the last 6 miles picking off quite a few runners (and also my over-fast friend) so was pleased with the end result - 4:40 with both halves even. Race Director likes to finish his runners off with an uphill finish , so it was a very steep longish grass hill run up to the finish commemoration stone in the Country Park. Very windy up there too and even after walking down to the car it was noticeable that the temperature had dropped alarmingly. Only 45 mins drive from home though. Good day out . There was a New Years Day repeat with entries on the day and I was very tempted. Looked out of the window at 7am this morning and there was a thick frost on the cars and the road so I gave it a miss .

Entered Snowdonia in the early hours - glad I didn't wait until this morning as it filled up within hours. Been looking (and booking) other runs throughout the year, but still need to ask for a couple of Saturday holidays and to sort out accommodation. Going to cut down some bushed now to fill up our green bin as the dustmen come tomorrow and it only has a couple of compost food bags in it.

Happy New Year to all Shadies .

I'll be interested to read about all your running goals and plans. I've got a new mantra for this year - 'Run long, run slow, run happy' . Oh, and 'Keep picking your feet up' .

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 24/12/2015 at 17:31

I managed to dodge the wind and rain today. Did an hours run with mild temperature, gentle breeze and brilliant sunshine .

I've signed up for a Tai Chi course which is starting mid-January at the local sports centre . Decades ago, when I was teaching, a little Chinese boy's ancient grandfather used to come early to pick him up. He used to do Tai Chi in the playground while we all gazed out the window, fascinated.

Merry Christmas to all Shadies

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 23/12/2015 at 09:35

Shades - exciting . You won't get the full effect until everyone else is returning to work after the holiday and you're not .

Big G - I think it's great to be experiencing Christmas in another environment. Soak it all up and enjoy

mamafox - it was probably an honour to receive a leg of boar . Just like your races have some of the weirdest prizes!

Keith - my sore throat went quickly but my cough is still lingering on during the night. I wake up feeling like I'm choking  but like you, once up and around it's no big deal. Hope yours clears quickly. You've been having problems with that foot for some time now haven't you?

What's with this weather? On Sunday I ran in vest and shorts, Monday was like in the middle of a storm, yesterday was very windy but mild and today the sun is shining brilliantly . Had a lovely slow run (and a bit of walk) with one of our ex-beginners yesterday morning. Woods and river, then round some of the quieter back streets of the town. Taking it easy now until after Christmas. Did a food shop yesterday and now think I've got all but one present sorted, so going to wrap them this morning. Anyway I'm working on Boxing Day  so if there is anything else I can get it after work.

No much going on event wise in January and February. The calendar only seems to have events up and down the seafront or round the lake - and they are all booked up anyway. There are a few ultras but I don't fancy having to carry on running along a trail for four more hours after dark . So many of these events seem to be on a Saturday now - is it so when you get lost they have all Sunday to find you?

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 20/12/2015 at 17:35

Woke up with a sore throat on Friday, which got much worse and added a chesty cough on Saturday . Not sure if I should have raced today, but it was a special one so decided to go ahead - making sure I put emergency contact details on the back of the race number. 

Race today was only 35 minutes drive away, although I still had to get up early as it started at 8am! It's called Dawn to Dusk and is run by Sikhs in the City Running Club. Very low key and only about 70 runners, although they also held a half and a 10k as well. It was good to see a large number of Asian women running/walking today - including one young woman who was walking with her mum. Good organisation, very friendly and if the views weren't particularly spectacular at least they were ok with something to look at each lap (plus of course the faster runners continually lapping us lesser mortals). All pavement/road, it started near the top of a very small hill, then flat or slightly up along a minor (no traffic) road. Turned left, then left again on the pedestrian part near the main road. This was the best bit as the surface was good and it was slightly downhill all the way. Turned left again past some industrial buildings then back up the hill (which only seemed like a bump for the first couple of laps, but gradually took on the proportions of a mountain) to the start/finish area where there was a water/food station. 21 laps for the marathon - I kept a very even pace throughout (plus half a minute extra each time (twice) I stopped for water). Completed the marathon in 4:13 and after a quick bite to eat and some coke I had to have a longish comfort break - which I had been putting off till I finished the marathon distance. You could carry on running until 4pm, but my legs ached, I felt tired and didn't think I could carry on for over 3 hours more, so I wimped out and decided to run/walk another 4 laps to make it up to 50k and an ultra. Finished in 5:19 so pleased with that and was presented with my medal by Fauja Singh (the really old marathon runner). My sore throat has gone and my cough is now negligible and I feel so much better. I haven't run long for the last couple of weeks and I don't think it improves my racing any, I feel fitter if I keep the racing/events up each week. Will probably do it again next year and hopefully keep going the whole time. If you live in or close to East London it's one you might want to add to your list. Special - it was my 300th today . (Thanks Shades )

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