Latest posts by mowzer

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Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 17/05/2016 at 15:41

A first for me last Saturday - a marathon walk! For a long time now I've said that I want to walk a marathon event and last Saturday it was the Christian Aid Walk right on my doorstep. I had planned to jog/walk, but a friend said she was walking it so I put my boots on (no way would I be tempted to run in those) and we had a fantastic day Beautiful countryside including some places I had never been, plenty of checkpoints and possibly far too many marshals. Good walking terrain and kind weather as well. Finished in 9h 14m and didn't regret a single minute of it.

Followed up on Sunday with Flitch Way Marathon. Ran with a friend at a comfortable pace and for 20 miles we also 'nursed' a youngish guy who was nervous about failing (he'd run Milton Keynes where he'd set off too fast, faded badly towards the end and didn't enjoy it). He was going so strong towards the end and felt so good, he was able to pick up the pace while we just plodded on and finished in 4:58   Good low key event - check out Challenge Running for more of the same around Herts/Essex/E.Anglia etc 


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 17/05/2016 at 15:31

Louey - well done on your 10k pb

Good running from all you parkrunners

Shades - an interesting pb there - 14k! Not many runners have one of those . Shame about  the course, but the race director seems good.

mamafox - beware of badgers . They are not the little fluffy things most people think. They are big and have sharp teeth. In the olden days (I read somewhere - I wasn't around then!) - when villages went hunting badgers they tied string round their trousers at ankle height and just below the knees. The space in between they filled with lumps of coal as an angry badger bite can go through bone .


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 12/05/2016 at 01:47

Halstead was my first marathon and so I've done it every year since. Then a few years ago I discovered the Ridgeway 40 which is now one of my favourites, so I do that every year too. Trouble is Ridgeway always falls on the Saturday before Halstead on the Sunday, which means marathon times are not too great - but last Sunday was dire

Had a fantastic time on Saturday on the Ridgeway. Weather was sunny and quite hot so I've got some interesting tan lines, but I didn't get caught in the short thunderstorm which hit some runners/walkers later on. Usual walk up, run down and shuffle the rest and I finished in 8hrs 14 mins ( which was 24 mins slower than last year when I had an exceptionally good run) and I was very pleased with that. Ground was very dry and hard so ankles felt a bit battered, but rest of me didn't feel too bad. Drove home late afternoon so I could sleep in my own bed, and then off to Halstead next morning.

Even when I woke up it was really warm so it was vest, shorts, hat and lots of sun cream. Lots of the usual crowd were there so it's quite a social occasion. Lovely road marathon, low key, perfectly organised, well supported, nice countryside - and always sunny . Whoever said that Essex is flat has never been to Halstead - and since they changed the course slightly last year a few more hills have been added . Started off not too bad as it's a short downhill, but then I found the long slightly uphill in the first mile to be even tougher than I'd remembered. The sun was blistering and there seemed to be no shade at all. I must have hit the wall at about 4 miles and then fell into a pit of treacle. Toasted, achy, feeling very queasy and finding it hard to breathe - especially when going past fields of rape seed plants (I'm sure those flowers suck all the oxygen out of the air )- I even thought about pulling out before I'd reached 6 miles. That's just as you go through the village with supporters sitting on the grass verges outside pubs . Fortunately a friend caught up with me about mile 8, he was also suffering but kept me moving, and so we jogged some, staggered a bit more and walked most of the very long way to eventually run a few yards from the last corner to the finish line. A pw for a road marathon of 5h 28m, but I was just so relieved to finish - I can't actually say that I enjoyed any of it .  Best bits were going under the hose pipes that a couple of thoughtful villagers rigged up , but we had dried out again within 1 minute . Glad I did it though .

Weather changed completely on Monday - just warm and fresh, did Tai Chi but continued feeling nauseous until the evening.Then when we went for a gentle run/ walk on Tuesday we got soaked.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 12/05/2016 at 01:07

Lily - well done on finishing the Leeds half . Hope you're feeling a bit better now.

King Kenny - another parkrun pb. Well done . Which marathon are you doing?

Big G - when you next visit your doc see if you can get your ferritin level. Runners need much higher levels than non-runners, so when results come back with 'normal' or 'low end of normal' that's often far too low for runners. Low levels result in extreme tiredness.

If you fancy something off road later in the year I would recommend Salisbury 54321. 2nd Sunday in August it has distances from 10k to 50k, is multi-terrain and is a fantastic course through beautiful countryside (and everyone needs to go through the old yew forest at least once in their lives!). I'm not doing it this year as I have a LDWA event but I'll be back next year as it's one of my favourites. Enjoy your trip to Venice.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 02/05/2016 at 23:57

Shades - was great to see you again at North Dorset . Yet again I set off too fast (at least that's what my splits say although it didn't feel too fast, and I did have a chat to another runner for a mile or so). Inevitably with the hills I slowed a bit and again found it quite tough, but actually had a good run and finished in 4:04. In a day or so I'll have forgotten about most of the hills and be pencilling it in for next year . It's a beautiful part of the country and although it's a road race there are still some fantastic views. Cold start but it soon warmed up and I had to roll my sleeves up, clouded up slightly later but never cold. After half way I stopped at a few water stations (which inevitably adds on the minutes but also gives me a short 'breather') and melon at the second to last water point was refreshing. I don't mind the path at the end - at least it's flat and you know the end is near - and I actually managed to overtake a few runners here. I rather like the pink medal (and ribbon) and I would like the t-shirt but it reaches almost to my knees! What I didn't like was the drive home . It should have taken two and a half hours, but took 3hrs 50m due to 2 'incidents' on the M3 involving light aircraft  which looked like they were having trouble staying on their trailers.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 02/05/2016 at 23:37

Cal - well done on your parkrun pb

Steve - great going in your race . A new pb soon!

Big G - lovely photos of Claire's garden. It will be a nice place for children to have a few quiet moments. I think a bird table (or bird bath) would be a good idea.

Iain - I've done the Phoenix route. The path is usually quite good - one or two minor muddy bits, but not deep, just surface mud although that can be more slippery. Once it rained heavily for days before the event and parts of the path were under water and lots of sand got in my shoes . Friendly event, two water stations (at start and at turn around) with jelly babies/ chocolate and sometimes biscuits. You also pass a café and proper toilets. I've only done timed events at Boston (Lincs) and Sikhs in the City. Shades has also done Boston - 1 mile loops around a country park. I really enjoyed that and there is a 6hr or 12h option. Sikhs race is in December, all on road and you can run a marathon, a 50k or just keep going until the time's up.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 27/04/2016 at 12:50

Fantastic running from all our London Shadies .  And pb's too with great times  and lovely reports. You must be feeling (very rightly) pleased and proud.

Both daughters have been inspired by London. Older one wants to go back (she did it a few years ago) and get a better time. Younger one (who is very fit) spectated at the corner of The Mall - she and her friend loved the atmosphere so much they want to run it for charity.

I really admire the lady who won after falling, jumping up immediately and pushing on. When I fall over I lay there looking pathetic until someone picks me up

Big G and Ian - sorry to hear about your injury/asthma. Just take it easy and concentrate on getting well again.

'Valleys and Views' near Corby for me while everyone else was pounding the streets of London. Well not quite everyone as there were quite a few people I knew who had decided to run an 'alternative' and I had the company of two lovely men for the whole of the event (bonus was that they had both done this last year so we didn't get lost). I might have guessed from the name that this would not be flat - plenty of hills and some magnificent views. Very cold to start, with a biting wind, it warmed enough by midway for me to remove my jacket but I was glad I still had a LS AND a SS tee on. Ground was surprisingly hard with only one section of mud. Lots of lambs and calves - I made sure to stick close to my companions when we had to pass close to the cows. Usual walk up the hills/undulations and trot along the rest, with 3 checkpoints for a breather and a piece of cake or banana. Finished in 6:14and sat chatting for a while before heading home and catching the London highlights. Great day out  and a bargain at only £4 .

Happy Birthday Louie


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 22:11

mamafox - thanks for your kind words. Nice country rambles are definitely the best kind of marathon . Hope your niggles clear up soon.

Big G - no, I haven't taken up a place in London - although I did promise my daughter that if I could get a GFA place in 4 years time I might (but 4 yrs is a long time and who knows what we will be doing then). Born and bred in London so I actually don't even like the place - and all those crowds make it seem like my idea of a nightmare .

Shades - I've done the Boston (Lincs) event for the past 2 years. Really enjoyed it but thinking of doing a long walk instead that weekend (and also thinking that I couldn't better last year anyway).

GOOD LUCK to our London Shadies. Have fun and enjoy


Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 20/04/2016 at 13:48

oops... obviously too long a post and it's cut off the end!

.... then decided against a shower, put my hoodie on over my damp top, hung around for a short while then drove home. Coffee, a hot shower and an hour's nap had me feeling 'not too bad'. Felt wiped out on Monday but managed Tai Chi and a very short, slow recovery run. Had a lovely run/walk/chat with a friend for 8 miles yesterday followed by a visit to see the grandchildren. Too tired to do anything today .

Louey - I second what Shades said about Mablethorpe. Very well organised, friendly and flat. I've signed up again, even though it's a bit far (for me, Shades manages these long car journeys with ease). There is also Kent Coastal on Sept 4th and there was talk about a marathon in Southend on Oct 9th but I haven't heard anything more about that.

Shades Marathon Training

Posted: 20/04/2016 at 13:38

Fantastic running from our Brighton Shadies. Well done .

Steve - great report. I loved reading that. You sounded so positive and strong and ended up with a brilliant time

Shades - well done on Great Welsh marathon . I think we did part of that course when I ran Born to Run last year. It was very exposed and extremely windy on the coastal bit.

Bungay isn't really one of my favourites - but I have done it 5 times now . The organisation and support throughout is very good, but they've now moved the car park from the field next to race HQ and dotted them around the town. Means a 10/15 min walk (with heavy bag) to the start and of course a rather longer walk back with aching legs and an extra goody bag afterwards. But at least there are plenty of spaces. This race is always tough because of the hills at the beginning, but it can also be quite fast.

Started off Sunday by scraping the ice off the windscreen and when I got to Bungay after 2 hours it was still very cold, so opted for long sleeves and 3/4 tights again. Met up with the usual crew and soon we set off up the first hill. The first mile always takes much longer than expected and then the splits are uneven for the first 7 miles as it's constantly up  and then down . Kept running at a good pace though and decided to just hit the button on my stopwatch at the mile markers but not to take any notice of the time and to run on feel. The sun came out and I got rather warm and rolled up my sleeves. Then it became cloudy with a better temperature for running. One or two spots of rain (one forecast had said rain all day!) and then sunny again. The 2nd half of the each lap is flattish but can seem longer than the first. Went through halfway with the half marathoners all lined up to start and managed to get to mile 14 before the front runners whizzed past. They are always so supportive (even though most of them look about 12 years old ). Kept going up and down hills on the second lap, although I found the second to last hill very tough. Thought I might nip behind a bush, but the places I'd noted on the first lap now had supporters or cars there . Back onto the flat part and I got a sharp stomach cramp for a short while and so decided not to look for a bush as I might be there for too long . Best just to get to the end! Cramp eased up but I was definitely flagging now and also stopped at a couple of water stations as I can't even walk and drink, let alone keep running and drink. But at mile 22 we had an interesting diversion which made us forget our fatigue. A hailstorm - a torrential hailstorm with huge sharp hailstones which soon turned the country lanes into streams and had runners in vests muttering 'Ouch, ouch'. It stopped suddenly and the sun came out again just before we got to the unmade cycle track for the last two miles. I was passing a few runners now as they slowed down. My body ached and my legs were screaming 'walk' but I knew if I stopped I wouldn't get going again. A final push round the corner - just to keep going, not to go any faster - and what seemed like an eternity for the last 300 yds. Crossed the line in chip time of 3:57:45 so really pleased . After sitting for an extra long time after my chip was cut off, I made for the loo, th

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