Nicky encouraged me to share this today, I rattle on about being ‘focussed’ and ‘on it’, apparently cutting out sugar and getting my core strong ready for my target marathon.
Had a bit of a weigh in this morning and I am 11lb heavier than I stated I was aiming to be by marathon day.
Apparently each footstrike is like pushing 2.5 – 5 times your body weight, so with an estimated 50000 strides in tomorrow’s marathon, that’s about a quarter of million lb worth of EXTRA energy I need to get around North Dorset tomorrow.
Next time……. we will be ON IT!!!
Or maybe just go a bit slower and keep scoffing the cake.
Another plumbing crisis today……. rather exaggerated by me drilling through a pipe…..
I must mention the organisation of tomorrow’s marathon. The North Dorset Villages Marathon features 12 water stations, 2 of which you can send your personalised drinks to and the later ones also feature coke, squash and snacks.
Included in the entry fee is a tee, medal and hog roast too, with live music afterwards.
We’ll definitely be making use of the changing facilities, going to be a tad wet me thinks!
Anyway I think I need to respect the early start and follow Charlie’s lead and head for zzzz’s
AND it starts at 8.30AM, I’ve just read, so it actually starts in 36 hours time. It’s a two hour drive and we like to be there with an hour or so to caffeine up, so that’ll mean leaving home at er, hang on, I can do the maths, er……. surely that can’t be right!!
Nicky and I have both trained really well for this, plenty of quality runs, long runs, time on our feet, quick half marathons and 10k’s BUT we’ve both got maranoia – ache all over, tired, tight muscles, confidence dissipating, blah blah blah…… I’m sure it’s partly in our heads, we don’t normally suffer nerves as we do tend to aim to beat the cut off rather than aim for a time in most of our marathons.
Anyway, I think we should be heading bedwards in light of this revelation about the start time…..
Ahhh the countdown to the North Dorset Village Marathon, 4 days to go. FOUR DAYS!!!
I haven’t done enough training, I haven’t eaten the right food, I haven’t done enough core strength work, I haven’t slept enough, my foot, ankle, shin, knee, hip, back, hair hurts. I’ve got too much heavy duty work to do, I haven’t planned my nutrition, my kit, my trainers are too old, too new, too big, too small, it’s going to be too hot, too windy, too flat, too hilly. It’s too early, too far to travel, have I definitely entered?!?!
Yup it’s marathon week. What can possibly go wrong?
Actually, it was on Saturday and remarkably not a drop (touch wood) of water. We had rattling pipe syndrome, a particularly bad case too. All fixed. Bosh.
It was an old builder friend who introduced me to the Friday saying as he drilled through a water main…… on a Friday. Nice bloke, proper cockney, used the f & c words like we use punctuation, moved to France in the end.
Mind your French, as they say.
Another phrase I never thought I’d never hear, “Your lunch box is too big!” my amazing wife Nicky blurted out on our beautiful 10 mile walk this afternoon. Ok, they weren’t her exact words, and she was merely referring to the lack of space in the rucksack after I’d been left in charge of packing food, but I’ll take it. If there wasn’t so much suspicion, speculation about the legitimacy, or otherwise, of his remarkable (some say ‘unbelievable’) athletic performance, I’d compare myself to Linford Christie….
I hadn’t taken my note book with me today you see, an essential piece of equipment to carry at all times if I want to be a ‘writer’! But, with all that lunch, there wouldn’t have been room in the rucksack anyway!
No long run on a Sunday? Asked no one, other than in my head. Well, I’ll tell you. We’ve got our target marathon next week, the North Dorset Villages Marathon, and we are ‘tapering’, as in we’re not doing long runs this weekend. So we did a few miles together this morning then I did another half an hour on my own before heading home to porridge ourselves up. Check out the run.
On Saturday we went to Parke Parkrun where the aforementioned, beautiful Nicky, ran around with my incredibly motivated Step Daughter for her second ever Parkrun.
She’s on such a mission this year, we are so, so proud, and she’s looking amazing, healthy, happy and has an infectious spark about her.
Grandad here, who was flying solo with the Grandchildren, might have had something in his eye as they came along the finishing straight, so much quicker than last time, despite this being on a much more challenging course.
We both did 5k time trials before work on Friday, my run totalling over 8 miles and very happy to run 19m00s in my last hard effort before NDVM.
Had some beautiful early morning runs last week with the dog, we’ve been treated to some gorgeous sunrises this week……..
So, today, with more time than we’ve had on Sunday for a while we decided to go and do one of our favourite 10 mile walks, including getting out the bulging lunch box for a lovely riverside picnic (but not my note book to write about it)………
With 7 days to go until our ‘big’ race I’m feeling pretty good about it. Ultimately it’s a run over an arbitrary distance, aiming for an arbitrary time and has no bearing on whether or not I am the sort of human being I dearly hope I am. If I am remembered as someone who is caring and considerate and loving and gentle and worthy and humble then that would be enough for me. sure, it would be a bonus if I ran 3h14m around Dorset next Sunday but, actually, I think my commitment to TRYING to be the best I can be is far more important.
That said, I will be running as hard as my little legs will carry me…….
I was wrong (I know!), shopping trolleys are EVERYWHERE…..
So, a 4 day weekend, what bliss, it seems to have passed by all too rapidly but there’s been plenty of fun and frolics, some lovely time with the Grandchildren and a ride out with Nicky’s Dad. Then today, another little road trip.
Yeovil this time, as an ultra trail running friend quipped, “all the way to Yeovil for a 10k?!” I know, and a road 10k as well.
Nicky and I do like a road race, especially as we’re targeting a road marathon in a couple of weeks. We also like a road trip, so this ticked a few boxes.
Yawning and delaying getting up, our mojos weren’t bouncing this morning and I think if either of us had pulled the plug we’d both have gone down the hole.
We managed to get in the car though and had an easy, uneventful drive to get parked good and early for Yeovil Town Road Running Club‘s flagship fast and flat 10k.
Has anybody heard the expression ‘a visit from the gingerbread man’ in relation to running? Well, it refers to a sudden need to, well you can guess the rest. The gingerbread man was well and truly knocking on my door this morning. You could actually hear my stomach grizzling over the road noise driving up. We got ourselves a coffee (“just make a donation”), eyed up the cakes, had a cheeky custard cream, then headed back to the car, both yawning and stretching and mumbling. We reluctantly stripped to our running kit and donned our numbers. I went for a warm up (there’s a running track on hand) and, after a visit to the portaloos, so did Nicky.
Regular readers might know that Nicky isn’t renowned for her warm ups, they normally involve keeping her hoody on until the last minute. BUT we have been doing proper warm ups in training, so she did some laps and stretches too.
In a previous post on this blog I received some online, er, banter, for suggesting that they may be a bit of elitism in running. Either about speed, kit, age or ability, any thoughtless quips, mockery or dismissive looks can have a truly demoralising effect on a runner perhaps lacking in confidence or maybe new to the sport, or who is trying to lose weight, or, indeed, for any other reason. Anyway, and I won’t labour this point, as the 400 or so runners were heading over to the start I over heard one lady say to her friend that she was very nervous. Maybe it was her first ever event, maybe she’s been injured, maybe she’s never run that far, maybe, just maybe there are reasons that are none of our business. Well, watching her head drop as a gentleman marching past in his high-viz vest retorted “Who on earth gets nervous for a 10k!?” I guess it was rhetorical, as he didn’t wait for an answer as the lady in question looked at the floor. Come on guys….
Just my opinion.
So, the race…….
My stomach seemed to have appreciated the warm up and I settled in to the pack as the low key countdown set us on our way. Anyone reading this blog hoping for a blow by blow chronical of every footstep is going to be disappointed. I’m really not very good at remembering these things in order….. or at all sometimes. I remember getting my DVD in the post after the Paris Marathon and being surprised to learn that I’d run (I say ‘run’…) past the Eiffel Tower!
When I’d been training well in the past, I’d managed to get under 40 minutes for 10k, so I was secretly hoping to be in that sort of territory again. The group I was running with seemed to be in the same level of discomfort as me, so I guessed we were pacing it right, the first mile in 6m12s seemed to feel right and somebody in the group had the breath to comically ask if any of us were pacemakers, “Is this the 40 minute bus then?” I semi seriously replied. Another member of the group chipped in “FORTY MINUTES, I CAN’T RUN FORTY MINUTES!” and promptly slowed down and disappeared behind us. Sorry mate!!
Mile 2 in 6.23 as the countryside rattled past. I’m so used to running for longer than this that, as mile three beeped on all the watches around me, I smiled to myself that we were halfway already and it felt like we had just started.
After 6.17 for mile 3 I sort of teamed up with a Yeovil runner (Darrell, I think, thank you mate for the rhythmic pacing) and we pushed through 4 in 6.13 and 5 in 6.14. We were both pushing hard now, and as I slightly slipped back he glanced over and gave me fantastic encouragement to keep up with him. 6.18 for mile 6 and he pushed on for a sprint finish as my legs turned to jelly and I wombled up the finishing straight to finish in (chip time) 39m26s. Chuffed as a chuffed thing.
Just as there had been around the whole course, there were so many welcoming marshals and volunteers at the finish, with much welcomed fluid and a fabulous quirky medal.
I know you readers are all thinking “what about NICKY?!”…..
Well I rushed back to the car, still sweating, pretty much stripped off (apologies to the people I hadn’t noticed cooling down in the field behind me) towelled off some sweat (only for it to be immediately replaced) had a quick spray and rushed back to the finish line.
I was right to rush back, Nicky came storming around the corner in little over 55 minutes looking really, really strong. As ever, she had paced it brilliantly and her fastest miles were at the end of the race. Proud husband alert…..
A cracking event, I guess by its nature aimed at the speedsters, but lots of great encouragement for everyone throughout the field and definitely recommended, particularly if you are chasing a time.
I’m not naïve, I know that I’ve fallen for it. Oh yes, I’ve been caught staring into the piercing eyes of the great consumption beast, tethered by the leash of the corporate machine. The witch doctor has cast its spell and I was unable to resist. I’m going to have to come right out and say it……. I really, really like the Harry Styles single.
That’s, better, I feel cleansed to have got it out there.
It is a little known fact that I used to do a bit of writing for a music magazine back in the nineties, and readers of that rag would DEFINITELY be surprised to hear that. Although, I have to say it does have an anthemic, pomp-rock, grandiose to it which wouldn’t have been misplaced on a 70’s glam-rock anthology.
A bit side tracked there, must get back to whinging about how nobody says hello when we’re out running together….. oh hang on…… can’t even do that……
Last weekend, the streets were paved with happiness. I ran 22 miles on my own on Saturday, bright and early, and on Sunday Nicky and I did 20 miles together. “Morning!”, “Hi there” “How you doing?” “Good running” “Hellooooo” and so it went on, runners of all speeds, genders and ages, cyclists, dog walkers, pedestrians, oh yes the luuurrrve was being shared, people were hanging out of windows yelling encouragement (I may have made the last one up!) and everybody seemed genuinely pleased to see everybody else. Bloomin’ lovely it was too.
So, it’s coming up, only 2 and a bit weeks to the North Dorset Villages Marathon. Are we ready? Er, I hope so. COME ON, Are we ready? Yes, I think so. MORE POSITIVITY, ARE WE READY? Yes, YES, we are ready.
Nicky & I had a really good run on Sunday, clocking 15 of the 20 miles at faster than her target pace and an average pace faster than her fastest marathon. And on Saturday I did too, plenty of marathon pace in my long run. Very pleased with ourselves, and try as we might, little to moan about!
Running has been a bit thin on the ground this week, a few jogs with the dog, but, with work being so physical and off the back of last weekend’s running, my body will be appreciating the drop in mileage.
It’s been school holidays, of course, so some of the promenade boasted the previous day’s chalk drawings, I was taken by this ELO fan’s effort….
So, it’s just over a week to the London Marathon the streets of the capital will buzz with thousands and thousands of runners and massive crowds lining the streets cheering them on. Whilst it doesn’t particularly appeal, that enormous mass of people, I need to remember that it was such mass participation events and their media coverage which got me into this wonderful sport to start with, and it was only a quirk of timing that I went to Paris for my first one (which I believe has even MORE participants).
The London Marathon shows the world that… YES YOU CAN and for tens of thousands every year it means… YES YOU DID.
An upcoming blog post will feature an interview with the quite wonderful and beautiful Mrs Bonfield and we explore this very theme, how the media coverage of such events talks to those of us looking to do, or be, something different.
So to all of you doing London a week on Sunday, good on you, have a fantastic day, soak it up and enjoy every step and wear that medal all week afterwards!
People regularly called Sainsbury’s when I worked there asking us to fetch one of our trolleys from a hedgerow, their garden, on top of their car and, of course, ponds!
I wonder if Halfords had a call about this I saw on my run the other morning?
This week’s training will culminate in a long run with Nicky in the morning, we’re planning on doing 20ish with some sections at target marathon pace. I did something similar with my training run this morning. It was an eerie, misty, chilly and still morning and I set off just before 6 to a soundtrack of the gulls’ dawn chorus and the fog horn piercing the gloom.
Its been hard to get really fired up for running this week, I’ve done a few short runs and kept my legs ticking over but not, what I would call, ‘training’. Until today.
But what is training? Is there an effort level which means you are training, with other days when you lace up the trainers merely running, or jogging, or dog running?
I’m quite lucky in that I ALWAYS enjoy my runs, so I don’t feel that one type of running counts any more than another. Challenging myself is part of my running and I have challenged myself to beat a time at the North Dorset Villages Marathon (NDVM). With this in mind, I aim to do at least two runs a week which in some way challenge my physiology, my limits, my psychology and I immensely enjoy this process.
BUT, does that make these runs ‘training’? What about when I run the dog down the coast path for 4 miles, stopping to pick up poo, take pictures, and generally not caring about pace or time? Are these not training runs too?
Or when I go out with Nicky and we do her sessions or structured long runs, are these training? Nicky and I have different natural speeds so our relative intensities are different at any given pace. Does that mean that one of us is training and the other isn’t?
Personally, I believe that every step I take is contributing to my fitness, my endurance, my conditioning and I can honestly say I get pleasure from every single one.
Pre WIFUDIL (When I Fell Unbelievably Deeply In Love) I used to label all my runs, hard, extreme, tempo, easy, recovery and trained to a suffocating structure. I was chasing Good For Age for a Vet 45 (3h15m for the marathon) and kept just missing it.
Post WIFUDIL, Nicky had entered the South Downs Way 50 Ultra and we put a plan together to build up Nicky’s time on her feet and mileage. This involved us spending many a weekend day over that winter putting rucksacks on, taking the dog and running for 4,5 even 6 or more hours over the coast path or countryside, farmland, not caring about pace, time or distance. Quite often we didn’t have a planned route and would take the OS map. Was all of that ‘training’?
Well whatever it was, it worked! Nicky completed the SDW50 in 11h30m, meaning the head torch was redundant!
Not only that, a couple of weeks later I ran 3h14m38s at Taunton Marathon. Now I was still doing sessions in my running week but plenty of my running miles came from these wonderful days out on the trails.
We tend to do those runs in actual events these days, well since Nicky challenged us to run 10 marathons a year in order to reach 100 before we’re ahem, a certain age.
I think this will become more crucial as I head towards my 12 hour challenge later in the year (The East Farm Frolic). I’d like to be fit enough to have a good go at that and have no doubt that I’m going to need plenty of fast miles, slow miles, walked miles, glorious sweaty miles of all types to be ready for that.