Latest posts by mowzer

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Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 18/10/2016 at 15:36

Big well done to Ian 5, Cal, Big G and slowkoala on your races . Not sure I'd want a cabbage though . Non alcoholic beer at the end of a marathon is a good idea - water doesn't seem to quench the thirst, but real beer would have me staggering around (especially as I don't usual drink alcohol).

Steve Mac - well done on completing your half even though it wasn't going to plan. I read (somewhere) that faster runners often pull out of races if they're not going to make their target time. They would rather have a DNF than a slow time . I think sometimes you need guts just to get to the end.

Jugula - good luck with your night race.

I did Spires and Steeples marathon in Lincolnshire last Sunday. Another of my favourites - this was the 4th time I've done it. The usual multi-terrain with quiet roads/ lanes, footpaths, fields etc although no hills . You get a route description but it's not needed as the course is very well marked and there are plenty of marshals - even at some of the slippery stiles in the middle of fields! Started to rain just before the start and it hammered down for nearly 3 hours. The wettest I've ever seen the course with huge puddles and lots of mud. This event definitely goes in two halves (and they also have a half marathon starting from the 13 mile checkpoint) with the first half being relatively kind so you arrive at halfway thinking 'I could get a decent time for an off-roader here'. Then the 2nd half bites, with very uneven, rough ground, a muddy, slippery river bank with a camber down to a stream and at least 8 or 9 ploughed fields where you have to 'skate' across if you want to stay upright .  It usually takes me about an hour longer to do the 2nd half and Sunday was no exception with me having to do a run/walk towards the end (10 metres run, 20 metres walk, repeat ...). Although the sun came out for the last couple of hours the headwind remained strong. Felt much more tired than on previous years but still enjoyed it . Finished in 5hrs 25mins. Went for a very hot shower  in the Leisure Centre afterwards and the rain started again so the walkers got soaked for the 2nd time!


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 13/10/2016 at 22:21

Shades - well done on your 6 hr race. It sounds like a lovely venue

Louey - a fantastic sub 4 time at York  Very even pacing and sounds like you really enjoyed it.

Amesbury Amble was a marathon. But they also had 10k,20k,30k events as well - all both runners and walkers. Amesbury Walkers do other long events throughout the year but this was the only marathon distance one.

Eldest daughter got her London rejection text today. It started 'Unfortunately ...' Daughter said it should have said 'Fortunately...' as she's not even running at the moment. 

I still have no plans to enter London. Think, instead, I might go for the most marathons without ever doing London .

It is sooooo cold here and a horrible chilling wind. Went out late this afternoon, still in (longish) shorts, but put on a long sleeve top and a very thin, almost windproof jacket. Within ten minutes I was roasting .... It's so hard to get it right!

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 11/10/2016 at 00:38

Great running and also some pbs from the Shadies . Well done to everyone.

I had a great time on Sunday at the Amesbury Amble in Wiltshire . Stayed over on Saturday night which meant I didn't have to get out of bed before dawn. Met up with MA and DK (the Legend) in the car park so we ran (and walked the hills - quite a few steep ones) together the whole way and finished in 6h38m. While I carried a heavy backpack with all my 'just in case' stuff, they just wore vest and shorts and carried nothing! DK doesn't even wear a wristwatch!! Instructions were good, but the route was also very well marked. Beautiful countryside and weather was sunny and warm but not hot. Plenty of water stops, although they only had jelly babies (which I don't eat) and biscuits (which I do) and would have liked some crisps or cheesy biscuits etc. Still, had a cup of tea and an egg roll at the end. Only cost £2 to enter . This was the first time I'd done this event, but might be the last as the organisers were saying they were probably not going to do it again as they couldn't get any younger people to take over .

Had a lovely run/walk last Thursday when I met up with some of the guys doing the 1066 march from York to Hastings as they were passing close to where I live. I had to run around our locality until I spotted them, then I walked and chatted with them, and directed them to go along the river rather than the busy road. I ran on when they stopped for a rest, but doubled back to meet them again just before they got to Broxbourne to meet up with their horses. I then ran home and was planning to go to Waltham Abbey later on but an accident on the M25 gridlocked all the surrounding roads so I missed that bit. I was running around most of the afternoon and covered 11 miles running and over 3 walking, but it didn't feel that far.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 03/10/2016 at 17:07

Went off to Mablethorpe late Saturday afternoon, doubting my sanity as there was torrential rain for most of the way and it quickly became dark and cold. Had a coughing fit for the last 20 minutes - probably because I had to drive with the windows partially open as the windscreen kept steaming up . However I had a really good night's sleep and Sunday dawned dry and sunny so did the marathon anyway. Hot and sunny all day, but with the worst headwind I've known for much of the course, especially the mile and a bit along the seafront where I had to lean about 45 degrees over and still got sandblasted . Went off at a comfortable pace but still slowed in the 2nd half (and I also stopped for drinks and to walk through the water stations by that point). Finished in 4:17 which is my slowest Mablethorpe time, but at least I got to the end which I was beginning to doubt at mile 23 - I had to stop at a water station for a few minutes while I prepared to battle with the wind for the second time . Tops of thighs/hips ached again and my calves were quite painful after 20 miles - they didn't actually cramp but felt like they might if I stopped to walk - can't blame the hills . (I think this must be due to the lack of sufficient miles during the week). Cough didn't bother me at all during the run. A lovely well organised and friendly marathon - definitely recommended .

Shades - glad you enjoyed yet another Irish Marathon . They will out number your UK ones soon!

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 30/09/2016 at 17:43

Not sure if to do Mablethorpe marathon on Sunday. Had a bad sore throat on Monday, plus a runny nose on Tuesday, sore throat disappeared by Wednesday to be replaced with a horrid cough, could hardly breathe at night but breathing ok now, but still get spasms of coughing . Plus a headache of course. Did our run/walk on Tuesday (10 mls) but haven't run since. 6 mile walk yesterday and today I went to a Come and Try day for oldies - 1 hour of table tennis and 40 mins of badminton so that's it for today. The café was full of rather overweight people eating very large meals - not sure if they came for the exercise classes or for the subsidised lunch . When I was exercising I felt better than when not. Will probably go and see how I feel on Sunday morning.

Good luck to anyone racing or doing long runs this weekend .


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 27/09/2016 at 23:00

Steve - loved that report . When I first started running I read that provided you do the proper training you can expect to improve for 14 years . Although MG (friend of Shades) told me last year that if you run lots of marathons it's just 7 years . And I also expect you have to factor age in - if you don't start till you're 80, I don't suppose you will be running your pb when you're 94 . So, given that you're not a geriatric you will get that sub 3:15.

Cal - yes I'd recommend Ely Marathon - easy to navigate, good surfaces and flat, so could be fast. They also do a half alongside the marathon and the ultra.

Iain - I've heard lots of good things about 'tailwind' from ultra runners. But what is it made from exactly? And how do you take it?

Shades - well done on Inverness marathon . Did you fly up again? I still remember Flossie's report about wobbly legs from when we were all there in 2010.

I only have a small garden, but the fence does go round three sides. I've had to put on 4 coats to hide the previous orange colour and I never seem to manage more than 2 or 3 panels at a time (either because I get tired, the dog needs walking, I have to go to work or somewhere, I'm running etc and for quite a bit of the time we've had rain). Still, just 3 panels left now for their final coat - but then there is still the other side of the back fence and 6 half panels out the front .

Today our Tuesday run/walk took us through a country estate which had a solid brick wall round most of the grounds - no painting needed there I thought. We had to climb over it via one of those ladder stiles - known to local running clubs as an effing ladder

Have pencilled in Bucharest but won't commit yet. I've even let my passport run out .

Ian 5 - have a great holiday . Where are you off to?


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 26/09/2016 at 16:07

Monster Ultra 42mls at Ely for me on Sunday. Because of the lack of recent training I somehow thought that if I could manage 42mls this week it might make next week's marathon a bit easier . Lovely start/finish area right in front of the cathedral. A short run down to and along the riverfront, cross the main road and then we were on to cycle path 11 which we stayed on for much of the race. Good going underfoot - gravely cycle paths, hard packed earth, minor roads and just one section of grass path - and alongside the river for most of the time. It was an out and back route all the way into Cambridge, sharing the first part with the marathoners (although as they started an hour later we didn't see them at all). Flat fen countryside with big, wide skies and a very strong headwind on the 'out' which had strangely disappeared on the 'back'. The weather was kind - mainly overcast with a very short light shower as we started. The sun came out at one stage and it got a bit hot, but thankfully it went behind the clouds again. Some parts were a bit lonely, but others had quite a few people out for the day either just walking along the river, fishing, rowing, cycling, walking dogs or visiting Wicken Fen, and the cows thankfully stayed on the grass and didn't venture onto the path. Lots of long, straight bits as well, where you just had to concentrate on the next few metres as the end never seemed to get nearer. I knew from previously running the marathon the last couple of miles back along the river path, across the main road (which was very busy and had us hopping up and down for quite a few minutes), back along the riverfront and uphill through a small park seemed to last for ever, so here I just stuck my head down and ran continually until we could see the finish flags. Ran with a friend and another lady we picked up early on and I was very glad of their company. We crossed the line together in 8:31. Good signage (cycle path signs and yellow arrows on the part into Cambridge), adequate water stops (5), but they could have done with a bit more food and especially some coke at the last couple (the fast runners had drank it all!), friendly marshals, good organisation, free parking in a local car park, lovely setting, great company = a really nice day out  As this was a race rather than an event, it meant we had to push on throughout. There was a 5 hour cut-off at the halfway point (we left there in 4 hrs) and a final cut-off of 11 hrs - I had pessimistically taken a head torch, which just meant extra weight to carry! I felt I was struggling for much of the race - my breathing was quite ragged and my legs ached (particularly the outside of my knees and the outside of the part that joins my legs to my body - the joints rather than the muscles I think). However, a very hot shower, dinner and a 12 hour sleep  made me forget the aches and just remember the elation of finishing .

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 26/09/2016 at 15:35

slowkoala - so sorry to hear about your dad's friend. I always worry when I see those race cars and motorbikes so close to the cyclists, and also to runners in big city marathons. Apart from the danger why should the athletes have to run in a fug of fumes and have their views ahead blocked.

Great that you took first lady prize

Cal - well done on yet another pb

Iain - great running from you . Are you going to take up the organisers challenge?

Steve - still not a time to turn your nose up at . Be pleased with all the positives from the race and examine and learn from those that didn't go quite right. You'll achieve your goal soon.

Big G - so glad you enjoyed the Barnstaple marathon and that is still a decent time . The more I do (or perhaps just as I get older ) the less I'm worried about time - especially in events where there are walkers, no cut-offs, navigation and lots of cake. I really enjoy the walk breaks and the chance to chat or enjoy the views.


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 23/09/2016 at 23:43

Having only run once since last Sunday - (on Tuesday I did 7 miles slow run with a friend which also included spending at least 30 mins in a remote country church which happened to be open, and we got talking to a couple who were clearing up after a service and it turned out that they sing in the same group of choirs that my friend and her husband are in) - I decided I would go out this evening once it was a bit cooler. Lovely run along the river, then up a short hill in the town and then back through the woods. Just a couple of minutes from home, I was going through the gap in the hedges out to the road and I tripped over a piece of metal sticking up in the middle of the track. My own fault as I knew it was there but I just lost concentration for a moment. Down I went, but I managed to land in the undergrowth rather than on the path so ended up with a grazed knee and a couple of tiny scratches on my arm. Luckily no one was about, so I didn't have to do my pathetic laying on the ground looking injured until someone picked me up. I feel a bit stiff now though - although that could also be due to my contortions earlier when trying to paint the fence bit behind the trellis holding up some growing things.

Looks like there are lots of Shadies running races this weekend. Good Luck everyone and remember : ENJOY


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 23/09/2016 at 23:27

Last Sunday was Ponton Plod - a multi terrain marathon in Lincs, starting at the village of Great Ponton which is a beautiful quiet village just literally 30 secs off the A1. Another of my favourites, I'd done this one twice before. We had written instructions, but the route was also very well marked with yellow arrows. I ran/walked with the same guy I'd completed it with last year and we were pleased that we recognised all the bits of the route. That is ... until we got lost . Walking along an overgrown path yelling 'ouch, ouch' because of the stinging nettles and 'watch that hole' because of the uneven ground, we didn't pay too much attention to where we were going  and suddenly we were in a place we didn't recognise and also realised we hadn't seen any arrows for a while. We weren't alone - there were a few runners in front of us who had also ground to a stop and one behind who bumped into us. As we tried to make sense of where we were, we tried one path to our left, then changed our minds and went back along the original track until we came to some woods. My friend (and his mate) went to the left of the woods, so I went with them. The others ploughed into the woods and in fact managed to find a shorter route back on track. We stopped for a while, peering at a GPS and a photo of the OS map on a phone (neither were mine) but still couldn't make out if we were even going in the right direction. Deciding to march straight on we shortly saw some walkers a couple of fields to our right and were relieved to find, when we caught up with them, that they were on the same event. We turned onto a very rough, rutted track and immediately knew where we were again - I still can't work out where we went wrong . Not much extra, distance wise, but cost us about another 30 minutes with all the faffing. No further mishaps and we finally got back in 7:34. Another great day out in a beautiful place with lots of cake (and soup, roll, apple pie and cream at the finish). Highly recommended


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