This is (initially at least), the story of my preparations for the Flora London Marathon in April 06. I ran i last year, raising money for charity - and may have to do so again this year - but my goal this year is to run below 3hrs 15 minutes, which will get me automatic entry for the next two years - here's hoping!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Not sure how this got missed?

This should be before the Dewsbury post, and it was here yesterday!

Back again!
Blimey - seems like ages since I posted anything. After Brass Monkey (still chuffed with that - and also that I won 'most improved runner' at our club's 2005 awards evening), I ran with the club on the Tuesday night (24th Jan). Steady recovery run of just over 6 miles.Then went off skiing for 5 days to Chamonix - not the best conditions, being windy and unbelievably warm. Anyway, having come home late Sunday night, i should really have run Monday, but put it off as I needed to see the kids, then was away Tuesday night. Wanted to see the kids again Wednesday (see a pattern?) then was late home Thursday.Karen made me run last night, so I ran what felt like quite a hard 4 miles in just over 29mins, then I went out again just to make sure I felt ok. Did 6 miles with BAR very slowly, but in fact it was just over 8min mile pace. Got a 10k tomorrow, so not sure how I'll do there - but we're going o warm up and warm down to make sure we get a decent mileage in.Then it's back to building the miles...Garmin stats: Club run: 6.39miles in 55:53mins, average pace 8:44, average HR 125bpm (55% WHR!!). Last night: 4 miles in 29:13, average pace 7:18min miles, average HR 148bpm (71% WHR). Today: 6.03m in 48:34, average pace 8.03min miles, average HR 142bpm (67% WHR).

Dewsbury 10k

Didn't have great hopes for this after 4 miles at 7:20min miles felt dead hard on Friday, but pleased to report a respectable run.

Early start so a slightly frantic warm up of a mile and a quarter, then a crowded start in the centre of Dewsbury. The whole place looks to be surrounded by hills, so it was a surprise to find ourselves running along a fast, flat course. The starter was Nell McAndrew, and her mum was running, as was Tracy Morris, the Athens olympic marathon runner.

There's a gentle incline from about a mile and a half to the turn, then the routs comes back down the hill again, so from feeling like it's all rather hard work I put in a couple of 6:10ish miles to finish in 39:25 on the chip, which was weirdly a few seconds quicker than my watch.

Last short race until London - in fact the only race this month.

Ran a 2 mile warm down, so ended the week having run 20 miles or so, much better than I thought on Thursday...

Garmin numbers (race only): 6.16miles in 39:31. Average pace 6:24min miles, aveage HR 166bpm (83%WHR).

A couple of gratuitous Chamonix pictures...

Me skiing at La Flegere on the day it was sunny...

and Mike, me and Paul after skiing down from Grands Montets in the snow.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Brass Monkey Half

Happy boy - not only have I wangled an 18 miler out of today, I've also run just over 13 miles of it at a pretty speedy pace for me and taken another 2:45 off my half marathon PB. Hurrah!!

It works like this: warm up for 3 miles at jsut pver 8 min mile pace, sympathising with BAR (or should thet be HAR - Hypochondriac Across the Road?) about his foot, his stomach problems, his cold etc etc.

Then run Brass Monkey half in a new PB, breaking the magic 85min barrier in the process.

the warm down for a mile with woman from Ilkley who's just stormed a 1:25:40-odd, then meet the plucky BAR who's also smashed his PB (1:37 being outstanding for someone who should by rights be bed-ridden), but who gets lonely warming down by himself so run another mile with him!.

Brilliant, brilliant race - well organised, flat as you like, friendly marshalls, polite traffic(!) and a decent sweatshirt at the end.

Might run tomorrow, or might be rude and go to the club Tuesday whilst some friends come over to stay before we go skiing on Wednesday...

Garmin numbers (race only): 13.21 miles (I know...) in 1:24:42, average pace 6:24 min miles, average HR 158 (78% WHR).

Friday, January 20, 2006

Track session and bonus run!

Didn't post yesterday, but had a good pre-half marathon sesion down the track. A few of us are "halfing" on Sunday, so we had a good warm-up then ran 2 lots of 6 laps (2,400m - or a mile and a half nigh on) with an 800m recovery in between. Intention was to run them at half marathon pace, so pleased when I hit my intended 6:40min mile pace almost bang on - out of 12 laps only the first and last weren't spot on 1:40 target time, and they were both quicker. No pain from anywhere unexpected, and finished the session feeling pretty good.

Was supposed to be going over to Chester for a meeting this afternoon, but decided to do it by phone instead, so managed an early dart today for once. After a hopeless wander round TK Maxx to try and find Lily a fleece for skiing, I tried a bizarre route home (anything to avoid Keighley...), and got back about 5.30 - so decided to get a few miles in before tea.

Ran my usual 6 miler, but tried very hard to take it very easy, so kept it about 8 min mile pace. It was very windy, but it was behind on the way out (which is also up), so came home feeling good in a tiny bit short of 47 mins, meaning 7:49min mile pace felt very easy indeed - don't want to count any chickens, but that's only 15 seconds outside marathon pace, so things are looking good before my 'mid-season break' after Sunday.

I'll run Monday, hopefully, but then won't run at all for a week as I'll be skiing till Sunday night.

Garmin stats: 6 miles in 46:59, average pace 7:49 min mile, average HR 139bpm (pleased with that) - 65% WHR

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Club night, but no andy...

ITB a bit sore yesterday, so decided to give the club a miss - it's nearly always at least 8 miles, and with one or two male egos doing the rounds there's usually a fast hill or two. Paid off when I woke up this morning with leggies feeling groovy.

Managed to have my 5 o'clock meeting in the car on the way home (how good are conference calls?) then went out for 4 pain-free miles - intended to do 8, but we had the Tesco man coming at 7 o'clock. ran steady away, and did it in just under 30 mins.

Garmin: 4 miles, 29:37mins - average pace 7:24, average HR 142bpm (67% WHR).

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Another one - longer and slower...

A tad fatigued now, after my longest LSR to date. Same route as the last long one, over into Wharfedale then down the valley towards Ilkley. Adde half a mile on before the turn, which got me to a couple of seconds short of an hour and a quarter. Didn't manage the negative split, but given the terrain this is hardly surprising. Anyway - check this out - it's called Motion Based, and is some softwar that enables you to upload your Garmin track and get more analysis than Garmin's own software, and (I'm soooo excited!!) downloads your route into Google Earth. Now I know I've got Memory Map, so have an aerial photo of the Dales, but this is fab!!

Interesting that Motion Based gives a total of feet of ascent - according to that this run involves 2,400' - hence why I'm not surprised about the lack of negative split:

Anyway - how did it go - 19 miles, which I'm really pleased with, as it didn't start to feel tough till just short of 17 miles, and the pace was just under 8 min miles, which, looking back to last year's Garmin numbers is about 40 seconds a mile quicker than I was doing those sort of distances last time. Got 3 weeks off long ones now (although might try and fit a 15 miler in somewhere), then a coupld of weeks where I'd like to get a couple more 18/20m in, before skiing trip #2 - and after than it's big miles every week until taper time...

Garmin stats: 19 miles in 2:30:54, average pace 7:56min miles, average HR 142bpm, 67% of WHR.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

A brisk 6 miles

Seem to be in danger of turning into a "3 sessions at 8min miles and one track sesh" runner at the moment, so went out for my saturday run and went a bit harder than usual. Felt very hard, actually, and as i had to sprint like stink to get under 7 min mile pace I was feeling like I need to more of this sort of thing.

Usual Halton East circuit, with miles of 7:34, 7:14, 7:08, 6:43, 6:43 and 6:26 to finish - garmin output below:

You can see from the elevation (green line) that it's basically up a hill and back down again, hence the mile splits.

Garmin numbers: 6:00 miles in 41:51, average pace 6:58 min miles, average HR 151bpm (73% of max). Need to do some more runs with higher average HRs before marathon day, I reckon.

Big 'un tomorrow...

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Counting's really hard!

Tough session down the track tonight - few laps warm up, then a few drills (high steps, back flips, skipping, 4x100m strides) then 5x1,000m with 200m recoveries. Ran the first k a bit quick (3:48) but then settled into what's about my 10k pace of 3:55 per k (which is about 39:10 for 10k). Quite surprised to see a couple of the lads stop after 4 reps, but carried on manfully, feeling very virtuous in the fact that I'd completed the session.

Ran my last k in 3:53, and jogged triumphantly round to the lads.

"Six, eh?" they said.

Ah...that was why they'd finished "early" - they can count to 5...

Silly old me.

Rest tomorrow, then 6 miles Saturday and another 18 Sunday, hopefully, which'll give me another 40 mile week, before a "mini-taper" for Brass Monkey half on 22nd (and then skiing on 25th!!!!!).