Marathon Training Plan – Week 9

Crikey, it’s week 9 already, only 6 or 7 weeks to go now until race day. For the past 2-3 weeks I have been a little slack in following the marathon training plan, a bit hit and miss with runs.

Moving forward my intentions are to stick to the plan (as best I can) do more core strength training and hill work where possible, I have the Robin Hood Half Marathon in 4 weeks time, my long runs are up to 15 miles, so I am kind of on target.

monday 3rd spetember 2012


tuesday 4th september 2012

It was dark when the alarm went off this morning at 5:05am. I got my running kit on and headed down stairs for stretches and a warm up. I haven’t headed out into a dark morning for ages, I had forgotten how much more tranquil and exhilerating it is to run on a dark early morning. The air was fresh and crisp - you can’t beat country air! It beats that smog filled town shite!

Anyway, today’s run was 5 miles, and with the help of my shiny new trainers I managed to crack it out in about 42 minutes, quite a quick pace to start with, trying to maintain an 8m10s pace.

The blister I got on Sunday’s long run played up a bit, but the new trainers (Adidas Supernova Sequence 4M) held up well, they felt comfortable and more supportive than the Asics I previously wore. Hopefully they will be fully broken in for the Robin Hood half and definitely broken in for the Amsterdam Marathon.

Here are today’s stats.

wednesday 5th september 2012

I took a bit of a rest day today. Well needed.

thursday 6th september 2012

Running club, and after the last couple of days at work I could do with getting out and letting some steam off!

Quite a warm evening, and we all trundled off. A new route for many of us relative newbies to the club. A 5 mile route in and around Springfield.

I wanted to try to maintain a steady pace under 8 minute per mile, but whether it was because it was a new route, or new trainers my pace was somewhat eratic.

Here is the route and the stats.

friday 7th september 2012

Rest day today.

saturday 8th september 2012

Six miles today. I was going to do a simple 3 miles to stretch my legs a bit before tomorrow’s long run, but turned right instead of left as I came out of our lane, and headed off towards Utling.

I have a six mile route that takes me thorugh the country lanes, up a rather large hill and through Utling and Hatfield Peveral, then back up another big hill towards Boreham and home. It’s a great run, and a good practice run for an ‘undulating’ 10k.

My best time for this route is about 48 minutes, I wasn’t going to beat that this morning though.

Here are the stats.

Sunday 9th september 2012

Today is long run day, and I was hoping to run between 16 and 18 miles.

Unfortunately I only managed 16 miles. I ran a similar route to that of last weeks, I extended it a little here and there and was on target for 16 miles, and it wasn’t until I got to the A12 junction 2 miles from home that my burning feet (blistered due to the new trainers) and lead like thighs brought me to a complete standstill.

I couldn’t go any further. I wasn’t tired. I wasn’t out of breath. I just couldn’t go any further.

The blisters had started at around mile 10, stupidly I ignored the feelings and soldiered on.

I had to ring Wifey, and ask her to come and collect me. I was some what disappointed with myself, and hope that I can run further next week.

Here’s the stats and the route.


Marathon Training Plan – Week 8

Week 8 of the marathon training plan, and I need to pull my finger out. This is the week I need to get back on track and re-focussed. I definitely need to get a good long run under my belt, at least 12 – 14 miles and get back to eating properly – too much cake and other goodies over the last week or so. The marathon training plan does not allow for such treats.

monday 27th august 2012

Bank Holiday Monday. Wifey was at work. The boys were at the in-laws. I had the day to myself. Up and about early, got a few things sorted, and then shopping to be done.

My legs felt a little stiff after yesterday’s run, but seeing as I had time on my hands I wanted to crack out a good 5 miler today. The plan was to drive to Sainsburys, do the shop and leave my car there (being cleaned by the nice Bosovans) while I went for a run.

Shopping done and loaded into the car, I set off and headed down towards the running club. I had a route in my head and guessed it was about 5 miles, it took in the running club, then up through Springfield, along a track towards the farm then cut back through the fields at the back of Newhall School, along the drive of the school, then from the A12 back up to Sainsburys.

It was a really enjoyable run, and a nice little route.

Here are the stats.

tuesday 28th august 2012

Taking a rest day today.

wednesday 29th august 2012

I really wanted to get out and run today, and I was going to go out before work, but overslept, which had me running late for everything today, and I really wasn’t in the right frame of mind for running this evening.

thursday 30th august 2012

Running club day today, feels like ages since I have been.

I got there mega early for some silly reason, I am sure someone told me we were leaving at half 7 from now on…apparently not.

Tonight’s route was ‘Meadows’ not as scenic as you may first think. The route took us through the ‘Meadows’ shopping area, along the river at the back of the Uni, and up through Springfield.

I haven’t run this route before and found it to be quite a good little run. I tried to keep a steady pace running alongside a lady who competes in triathlons, our pace fluctuated a little here and there but overall it was about 8m20s per mile, which, considering we got a bit lost when we came out of the park, and we should of turned right on Lawn Lane and not left….wasn’t too bad!

We completed 5.7 miles in about 47 minutes of darkness – very pleased, great route to run. This may form part of my long run on Sunday.

Here is the route and the stats.

friday 31st august 2012

Rest day. Splendid!

saturday 1st September 2012

This morning’s run was going to be quick. I planned to do the 5k run around the village as quick as I could. I hadn’t done any speed work for a while.

The air was fresh and good for running in, I set off at a pretty good pace of about 7m40s for the first mile, and then got quicker for the second and a little bit quicker for the third.

I finished in 23 minutes 43 seconds which wasn’t too bad, the 22 minute mark still eludes me, but I will have that cracked by Christmas!

Here’s this mornings quick 5K.

sunday 2nd september 2012

Time for a nice long run. According to the marathon training plan it would be 15 miles, and I was quite looking forward to it. I haven’t run this distance for months. It would be a good challenge.

I began by heading out through the village, back lanes over the river and on towards junction 18 on A12, that’s my 4.5 mile point, over the A12 towards Baddow, but turned left and went through Sandon too, trying to get the extra mile or so in, through Baddow and down towards the Army and Navy roundabout, this was about the 8 mile mark.

Calculations in my head were that from juntion 19 on A12 to home is 2 miles, the ‘home stretch’, so I needed to get at least 5 miles in between here and J19.

I ran into town and picked up on part of the ‘meadows’ route from Thursday’s Striders run, this took me along the river, past the back of the University running along the back of the Avenues, then over the bridge under the bypass and then left up a short steep hill into a housing estate, I turned right and then left at the end of the road onto Lawn Lane.

It was at this point the inner arch of my left foot started to feel a little hot, a blister was on it’s way. Not sure why as I hadn’t had a blister for ages. This hampered the final part of the run a little bit, but not enough to stop me.

I ran along Lawn Lane and turned right into Brackenden Drive, left at the top and then right at the roundabout along New Nabbots Way, crossed the road at the top and ran through Beaulieu Park and out again and down towards Sainsburys. At Sainsburys my thighs were aching and the blister was burning hot, I knew I only had 2-3 miles to go, no stopping now.

The ‘home stretch’ was hard. The cool air was warming up, the clouds had disappeared and the sun was shining nicely, getting to the top of the last hill up towards The Lion felt like a major acheivement. I ran as far as the Cock Inn where the Garmin clocked at 15 miles, that was good enough for me, I stopped and walked the last half a mile back home – a good warm down after running non stop for 2 hours and 8 minutes!

Could I have run further? Possibly, maybe a mile or 2. Could I have run further if the course had been a lot flatter? Definitely. And the Amsterdam Marathon is apparently quite flat, so I don’t think getting to 15 miles or even 20 miles will be much of a problem, the last 6 miles however…

Here’s the stats and the route.

The week finished on a real high, very happy with the long 15 mile run, and in a pretty good time. Let’s hope I can continue it moving forward to the next phase of the marathon training plan.

Marathon Training Plan – Week 7

Week 7 of the the marathon training plan already, it’s gone around so quick, almost halfway through and I am no where near prepared enough. I haven’t been doing hardly any long runs due to one thing or another. This is playing on my mind a lot.

monday 2oth august 2012

It’s rest day according to the marathon training plan, which was handy as I had a beer or two (literally) at the wedding yesterday.

tuesday 21st august 2012

I wouldn’t be running today as Wifey and I would be driving up to Barnsley tonight for a couple of days – pain in the arse, but needs must.

wednesday 22nd august 2012

We’re in Barnsley, I would love to go for a run, especially amongst the moores, it’s very hilly around here, plenty of challenges.

The biggest challenge I have is the reason we are here though.

I need to get even a short run in as it’s the West Mersea 10 mile race this Sunday, or will the rest do me good??

thursday 23rd august 2012

Still in Barnsley, we go home tonight, perhaps a run tomorrow if I can muster up the energy.

friday 24th august 2012

I haven’t ran for 5 days now and it’s getting to me. The last 2 days have completely knackered me, I ache a lot. Hopefully I will be ok for Sunday’s race.

Saturday 25th August 2012

Another day without running, still aching so resting for tomorrow.

sunday 26th august 2012

Today is the day of the West Mersea 10 mile race. Two 5 mile laps starting from the esplonade through the streets along the causeway, back up THE HILL, down and along the esplonade.

I woke up as I always do on a race day; agitated, nervous and keen to get out the door and to the event. I picked Crispy up at 9 and we headed off.

I wasn’t sure if not running for a week would help me today, my legs were still a little stiff from during the week at Barnsley. Crispy and I did a bit of a gentle jog along the front, and I made sure I did plenty of stretches.

Our plan was to set off and settle into an 8:00 minute pace, I was sure I could maintain this. Target time was between 1 hour and 20 minutes and 1 hour and 25 minutes. The weather was due to be cool, slightly cloudy. Good running conditions, which should help.

As it turned out, the clouds dipsersed and the sun shone hot and bright. This was ok for smaller shaded parts, but running along the coutry lanes where there was little shade was tough, and THE HILL was unshaded too.

The first 5 mile lap was good, we ran the first 3 miles in sub 8:00 minutes for each, and then slowed down into a more sensible 8:00 to 8:30 pace. We completed the first lap in 39:00 minutes which was really good going. We were well on target.

The second lap was tougher, running laps always is, you know what’s ahead, your head is buzzing with calculations and questions as you look at your watch for pace and information.

It was getting warmer, and at 6 miles or so my legs began to feel it a bit. They started to feel like aching lead weights and I plodded on. Up the hill for the 8 mile marker there was a water station, I slowed to a walk to ensure I took on water properly instead of trying to drink it as I ran and throw it all over my face, up my nose and down my top – I didn’t want a repeat of Southend. Ok so slowing down cost me 20 seconds or so, but it was important for me to take water on board.

Reaching the top of the hill mid 8 and 9 mile was good, I knew that I was going to beat 1:25:00 and just kept going, Crispy was a good 45 seconds to a minute in front of me, I could see him ahead, he looked like he was ok, his pace was constant, little did I know he was struggling too.

I eventually crossed the line in 1:22:45. I was bloody knackered but very happy. I found Crispy laying on the grass, he had beaten my by a minute or so, but he was equally as knackered. We drank plenty of water, got changed and headed for the food stall for a well deserved bacon butty and a cup of tea!

Here are the results of the run, and here are my stats for the run.

Marathon Training Plan – Week 2

Marathon training plan – week 2

This is the second week of my marathon training plan, the first week went well, but then it was pretty easy, it’s going to get a lot harder and more intense as the weeks go on.

But then if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth doing.

monday 16th july 2012

What a great way to start the week – a rest day, that means a lay in!

tuesday 17th july 2012

Today’s run was down as a ’30 mins easy run’, so I stuck to the same route around the village, distance is between 3 and 4 miles at a nice steady pace.

Here’s today’s stats.

wednesday 18th july 2012

Tempo running today for 40 minutes, this consisted of running for 9 minutes at a slow to easy pace, then 16-17 minutes running under 8 minute miles (I found this quite tough, trying to maintain a quick speed, and continuously looking at my bloody watch to make sure I wasn’t going over the 8 mins per mile).

This took me to the 3 mile mark, I then slowed up a little to run at my 10k pace.

This was my first attempt at tempo running, and it may take me a couple of goes to get into it a bit. At the end of it I felt out of breath, it had been a great run, I’d certainly worked hard and pushed myself for once!

Here is today’s run and info.

thursday 19th july 2012

Today was down to be 5 miles easy run, but seeing as today is a Thursday, this means it’s running club night with the Springfield Striders, normally we’d go for a 5-6 mile run, which would of suited me and the marathon training plan.

For the last week or so I have been suffering a bit from a stinking cold and an equally annoying cough to accompany it. I haven’t been letting this stop me though.

Tonight, when we set out for the run from the running club I felt ok, after a mile or so my chest was beginning to burn and feel tight and my legs were like lead. At almost 2 miles I decided I was going to pull out, I eased off from the crowd I was running with, and then sloped off left when everyone else had gone right.

I limped back to the running club at a slow pace, I got back to the car and flopped onto the driver’s seat, it took me almost 15 minutes to get my breath back before I drove home. To say I was disappointed was an understatement, but I knew it was my body telling me I needed to chill out!

This is the link to today’s run.

friday 20th july 2012

Hoorah – rest day!

saturday 21st july 2012

Unfortunately due to Wifey’s and number 1 son’s birthday celebrations, and preperation for the party and festivities I never managed to get out for my run today. Not ideal, but hopeing to make the time up.

sunday 22nd july 2012

I was hoping to get a few miles under my belt today, but this never happened. Instead I spent the day with my family enjoying the sunshine and a pub lunch!

I will definitely be running tomorrow!

Saturday 23rd June 2012 – New routes

A new route

With boredom comes complacency.

I’ve been running the same router variables of it for ages now. Sometimes adding a bit, sometimes running a little less. New routes are needed.

Today was time for a change. It’s Saturday so that’s long run day, minimum of 10 miles required for today.

I had planned a new route along county lanes in peace and quiet (for the most part anyway).

The early bird and all that

I woke up earlier than expected this morning, I was up and about, running kit on and doing stretches way before our cockerel had even thought of addressing the world with his cocka doodle doo.

I had a new route to try out. Out the door and raring to go (waited a while for the bloody satellites to align with the GPS), a sprightly chirp from the watch meant we were all ready to go.

The route took me along the main road into Boreham, I turned left at The 6 Bells, down Plantation Road, left again at the end of the road onto Church Road, and down hill for a few hundred yards towards the river. Over the bridge and beyond…

Running alone

This was new running territory to me, I’d ran as fas as the bridge before and then ran alongside the river. I’d just passed the 2 mile marker before the bridge, and I knew that at the end of this road was a roundabout at junction 18 of the A12.

This was the back route. This was the scenic route. This was lovely.

I was running along the road, listening to the semi hypnotic sound of my footsteps hitting the Tarmac and the steady rhythm of my breathing. A tapping noise to my right caught my attention, there about 50 yards away clinging to a tree was a woodpecker, merrily pecking away.

The road was quite flight, a few very slight hills which were only 100 or so yards long, enough to make me breath and push a bit harder. I reached the roundabout at about 4.5 miles, ran around it (keeping to the verges) over the A12 and then back on myself, heading back along the country lane, retracing my steps back towards the river and the bridge…and then the hill.

I reached the bridge and stopped for a few seconds as I took an energy gel and washed it down, preparing myself for this new never before challenged hill. I took a steady run up and tried to maintain my pace as I conquered the winding hill step by step. This was so much easier on the way down…

Back through the village

At the top of the hill the road bends round to the left, I could of gone right, back up Plantation Road, but kept running ahead, past the church and up towards the main road where I turned right.

I felt great, the fresh morning air filling my lungs, the peace and tranquility and all at a good pace. I turned right onto the main road, about a mile and a half to go. I took a cheeky left at The Cock Inn and ran up and over the bridge across the A12 and back to the main road – nice to work the legs a bit before the final half mile home.

I managed to complete 10.1 miles in about 1 hour 27 minutes. Happy and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Here’s the route and the splits

Sunday 27th May 2012 – Preparing for a half marathon

Planning a run

I had planned today’s run a week or so ago. I was going to try to complete a 12 mile run with Crispy, my graphic designer mate. He had entered the Southend half marathon too, so we were going to get out for a run together.

We had covered 10 miles a month or so ago, and as much as it was a good run from my house, through the village and in and around Springfield and back, we decided that this time I would drive to Crispy’s and we’d run from his house.

Preparing for a half marathon

Crispy and I are both confident enough runners to be able to cover the 13.1 miles of a half marathon, I have run that distance and further on a number of occasions, but lately the furthest I had run was about 10 miles, most recently the Edmund Carr Charity Race a couple of weekends ago.

I think that what ever the distance of the race that you are going to run, you should of run that far a couple of times prior to running it, just so you are aware of your mental state, whether your body can cope with it, whether you can maintain that pace and whether you are in a fit enough state to complete the race.

It may be that you are more comfortable with 10k or 10 miles, and anything over and above that is way out of your comfort zone.

So today’s 12 miles would be suitable preparation for the actually race in 2 weeks time.

Training sensibly

By the time I got to Crispy’s house at 9am the temperature was already 18-19 degrees, it was warm and humid. Not ideal running conditions for me.

Crispy had plotted out a good route through country lanes, away from heavy traffic. Lots of fresh air and countryside, and as it would turn out, just enough shaded parts to take the edge off.

We decided that it would be more sensible to stop running if we were struggling with the heat or cut the route short, a much slower pace of between 9:00 minutes and 9:30 minutes per mile would be more suitable.

We set out and clocked the first mile at 9:17, a nice steady pace. The sun was beating down, but I knew we’d be ok, and we’d get to the end ok.

I love hills

We were passed by 3 or 4 cars in the first five or six miles, half a dozen cyclists over took us, and we crossed paths with a couple of other folk out for a run. I was pleasant and bearable – just.

One thing that James forgot to mention though were the hills. The first one was similar to the big one from Baddow last week, the second one wasn’t as bad, but bad enough. “how many more of these hills?” I asked Crispy, “just one, and it’s worse than those two – sorry, I forgot to mention the hills didn’t I?” he said.

We started on the third hill, it was a bugger, there was little shade around, we’d been slipping into the shadows as and when we could throughout the run so far, but this hill was exposed, it was a good half a mile long and seemed relentless.

Finally getting to the top and turning a corner I could see the road ahead wound round a corner, and it looked as if we would be going up hill again.

“Sorry mate, there is just one more hill, not good at explaining routes am I?”

Bugger. Was my first thought, but hey, we’re here now and there is no way I am stopping now. We tackled that hill, both of us grinding out step after step up that steep incline, and the feeling of achievement when we reached the top was immense.

The sensible route

At 7.5 miles we had a decision to make, did we go for the full 12 miles or cut it short and do 9-10 miles? We we both shattered. The hills and the heat had taken their tolls, to try and be heroes and possibly risk an injury would be silly, we decided to take it easy and head back the short route. Which was good cos it was downhill all the way home.

We managed 9.05 miles in 1 hour 26 minutes. Not quick by any means, but it felt good to have done it.

We’ve planned to do the course again in a weeks time – hopefully it will be a little cooler.

Here’s the hot hilly run.

The Edmund Carr Charity Race 2012 – The Race!

Pushing your limits

Most of us will go through life plodding a long, taking each day as it comes. Never pushing their limits, never knowing anything other than their 9 to 5 job and their 2.4 children. Washing the car on a Sunday afternoon, walking the dog. Kicking the cat.

There’s more to life than that. Life is there for the taking. Life has so much to offer us, and many opportunities to take.

I guess we get into a comfort zone and are happy to plod along.

And I think that’s what I was doing with my running. I was in a comfort zone, I wasn’t doing anything to push myself, and becoming increasingly frustrated with it, plodding along at the same pace and along the same roads.

The Edmund Carr Charity Race 2012

To gee myself up and give myself some targets I entered a couple of races. A 10 mile race. A half marathon, and a full marathon.

Today I ran the 10 mile race. Today I ran the Edmund Carr Charity Race 2012.

I’d kind of prepared myself for it. I knew it was quite an undulated course, I was fairly confident that I had plenty of undulated runs under my belt to take the course on. How wrong I was.

Under starters orders…

The race was at 11am. I was up at 7:15, nervous and agitated. I just wanted to get there and get cracking.

Wifey and the boys dropped my off at 10:15am (they’d be back in a while to see me off and to watch me cross the line – great to have my family supporting and cheering me on!). There were hundreds of people there, stalls selling running kit and trainers, there was people doing zumba, bouncy castles, hot dog stands and a large scaffolding structure which was the start / finish line.

I just wanted to get running, at 5 to 11 all the runners were summoned to the start line, there were several hundred of us. As I was walking I felt a tap on my back, I turned around to see Wifey and the boys ‘we’ve been looking for you everywhere Daddy, are you going to win?’, their two beaming faces were exactly what I needed, they distracted me a little from what I was about to do. I kissed them all, and nestled myself at around halfway in the bustling crowd. 

I relaxed a little. I looked up at the clock, still a couple of minutes to go, Fatima Whitbread, who was starting the race, was just climbing up into the starting podium, the air was buzzing.

A small part of the crowd counted down as the clock went from 10:59:50 to 11:00am then the claxon sounded and away we went, a loop around the field and then onto the roads.

The race.

Firstly a big thank you. There were plenty of volunteers acting as marshalls or handing out water and sponges along the route, these people sacrifice a couple of hours out of their day to help out and make sure the race goes to plan and without any upsets or surprises. A pat on the back and a round of applause for these guys. A huge thanks to those that handed me much needed water and a freezing cold sponge.

The first mile was simple. Although I had forgotten the first rule of running at a steady pace and got carried away with it all, I legged it as soon as the claxon went, first mile around 7 minutes 30, second mile was the same, although a little slower as we were running up the first long hill of many, third mile was a little slower but still under 8 minutes, I needed to get back to a sensible pace or I wasn’t going to make it.

I was running at around 8 minutes 20 ish, and fairly comfortable, then we’d hit another hill. Obviously down hill was ok.

I’d been warned by a couple of people about the hill climb at around mile 7. The 3 previous had been tough-ish, but this one was mental and nearly caused me to stop and walk. Mentally I was about to throw in the towel, then this old chap ran past me midway up the hill. ‘What the f…?” Well if he could bloody well do it, so could I, and anyway, I’d not got up at silly o’clock on numerous mornings just to walk around this course. Plus I didn’t want to let Wifey and the boys down, I was going to complete it.

This was, I am guessing, something like the ‘wall’ that marathon runners hit. It was horrible.

I plowed on, relaxed and enjoyed the last 3 miles, I took in the scenery, I laughed to myself every time someone over took me, if I had let it bother me I would of lost my concentration…quite a few people over took me too!

Running up the last hill, less than a mile from home I got a burst of energy, I turned left into the grounds and headed for the finish line. 

I ran past people that had already finished, medals hung around their necks, they didn’t look half as knackered as I felt. There were plenty of people still clapping and cheering. I ran onto the grass and headed for the line, I could hear ‘go on Daddy’ from the boys, I looked but couldn’t see them, I remember over taking the lady in front of me as we were about 15 foot from the line, she’d been in front of me for ages. The clock above the finish line said 1:23:29, I had done it.

We were ushered single file to collect our medals, Wifey and the boys ran over and gave me a great big hug. I was spent.

I felt great. I had achieved something. After 5 minutes I wanted to run it again! Why does that happen? 

Here are the results, I am in at position 337.

This is the route and the stats!

Edmund Carr Charity Races

Entering races

In the couple of years that I have been running I haven’t really ran in many races. I’m not sure why really, probably because I hadn’t thought about it, perhaps because I hadn’t felt strong enough or confident enough to enter a race or complete one.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t want people to laugh at me, or mock me for running. This may stem from school sports day at senior school. I never took an interest in running or anything other than football or rounders really, so when sports day rolled around and I was asked to step up to the 400m as someone from our ‘house’ had dropped out I was a bit reluctant to do it. But had no choice really.

I started off ok, ran hell for leather for the first 200m, got tired immediately after, and slowed right down. I can recall people shouting at me to run faster, I had been coming second, I dropped to third, then fourth, then last. Where I stayed. My legs were jelly. I was out of breath and the finish line never seemed to get any nearer. I wanted the ground to swallow me up. My so called mates all took the piss out of me. I bloody hated running.

I remember being quite apprehensive at my first race, the Saucony 10K last September, I wish I had run more since then.

Planning ahead

I intend to enter into more races, I think it will help to motivate me a little more, so I have put my name down for a couple of races over the next few months.

I have entered the Amsterdam Marathon in October – apparently there are some wonderful sights during the race and the party afterwards is far from a sombre affair!!

Before that I have the Southend Half Marathon in June. A reasonably easy half marathon course by all accounts, happy to be running it with two great mates, Crispy and Rob Cameron.

This weekend though I have entered the Edmund Carr Charity Races. Its fairly local, in Great Baddow village, and is a 10 mile hill filled event. To be honest I am quite nervous. Lots of questions and thoughts running through my head like; have I trained enough? How am I going to run without my music? What if I fail to finish? What if I get injured? I guess they are normal questions to be asking and everyone is maybe just a bit nervous.

God knows what I will be like for the half marathon, let alone the full marathon!

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Sunday 6th May 2012 – Running with blisters


Yesterday I somehow managed to gain two blisters, one large one on the arch of my right foot, which is a mess, and the other on the arch of my left foot with is not so bad.

Today I had planned a 10 mile run with my mate Crispy, and even though my feet were sore, I was not going to let him down and blow him out, he’s just getting back into running, and like me, has entered the Southend Half Marathon – plus it’d be nice to run with someone, not something I get to do very often.

I wasn’t quite sure how my legs would fare either, considering I’d ran 12.5 miles yesterday morning, they ached a little bit, nothing major though.

A 10 mile run

James turned up bright and full of enthusiasm at ten past 9, I was still getting myself sorted out, kit on and warming up. By half 9 I was ready to rock and roll, we headed out into the fresh morning air and began our 10 miler.

I had a fairly easy to medium route planned out with a few hills to test us, James had not long been back into running but had done well to work himself up to 10 miles or so pretty quickly, so this shouldn’t be too difficult for either of us.

We started off well, maintaining an 8 minute 40 second pace for the first few miles, I had planned to run the same route as I’d ran the other Tuesday evening, beginning as always with the back route around the village, then heading down to the interchange and over the A12 towards Springfield.

I felt something pop

My legs were stiffer than I thought, and it wasn’t until midway through the run that they started to feel better, which was odd,vas I thought they would of gotten worse, but they seemed to loosen up the further I ran.

If only I could say the same for my blisters. I’d felt the one in my right arch flaring up at around mile 4 to 5, by mile 6 it was agony and then it went pop, this seemed to alleviate the pain a little but it was still uncomfortable to run on. God knows what it looked like now, it was a mess before I started.

We ran through Springfield and up towards Beaulieu Park, through there and down towards Sainsbury, heading back to cross the A12. James was holding up well, and I was pleased for him that he was comfortable with the pace, although I felt I was holding him back a little at times, but I didn’t want to run much faster, we were going at a decent pace.

A pleasant reward

We started on the 2 mile home straight, my blistered feet felt numb, I just kept going, my legs were holding up ok, James was fine. We were almost home.

I’d enjoyed it, it was nice to run with someone especially over a longer distance.

We completed the 10.2 mile run in about 1 hour 32 minutes, I stopped the clock, and slowed down, we walked the finally 150 or so yards to warm down.

We walked in to the pleasant aroma of baking. Wifey was making cakes and asked if we wanted one? Silly question, I know just how good Wifey’s cakes are, she makes lots and I have to test plenty, that’s one reason I run a lot. We each demolished a cake, and James headed home.

I did my stretches and peeled off my socks…not a pretty sight. Note to self: Running with blisters is not a great idea.

A crispy 10 miles.

Tuesday 24th April 2012 – Running to perfection

In the mood

I didn’t manage to get out and go for my run this morning, as I have done most Tuesday’s.

It had rained today, like it had most days for the past week. That was up until mid to late afternoon, when the clouds parted and the sun began to shine through. The wind died down and things started to dry up. I sat at work and contemplated getting out for a few miles this evening.

I was still annoyed and frustrated from Saturday’s bad run and was keen to get out again. I needed to get my mojo back – and quickly.

This evening’s conditions were almost perfect. I put my kit on, said good night to the boys, kissed Wifey and headed out. My aim for this evening’s run was 3 – 5 miles, I settled into a good early stride and a pace of about 8m 40 ish, things were looking good.

Running to perfection.

At 3 miles I was feeling really good, this was such a contrast to Saturday’s run, I recalculated the route for a definite 5 miler, and at the turn around point I thought ‘just one more’ and kept going. This led to ‘just one more’ and another, before I knew it I was on mile 7 and not even out of breath, my legs felt fine, no twinges, no aches…I felt as if I could of run all night.

Heading through Springfield, I came to a roundabout, which on my normal long runs I normally turn back on myself and head home – but for some odd reason I turned left at the roundabout and followed the path into the darkness. The path soon came to an end, but I kept running.

I certainly shouldn’t have turned left at the roundabout, the ground was undulated, too close to the main road and no street lighting. I was guessing where my feet were landing, I couldn’t see a bloody thing!

After about 350 yards there was another roundabout, with street lighting! Hooray, I could see again. I threw a left and turned back up the hill, I was still feeling OK.

Heading home

Back up through Beaulieu Park and over the A12, 2 miles to home.

No niggles. No issues. Not even a single ‘white flag’ moment. My mental state was tip top this evening.

I don’t know how I have had two such different runs, what causes it, whether it’s mental, whether it’s the running conditions, it’s odd.

But I know that if it hadn’t been so late and Wifey was expecting me home about 45 minutes before did actually get home I would of kept on going.

I ended up completing 10.3 miles. And smiled all the way through it.

Here’s the route