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!

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

And indeed it is - back from the Auld Lang Syne fell race over at Howarth - foul weather, but a whopping 475 people ran it. A new course to stop erosion on the moors - what Dave Woodhead, the organiser, called "a road runners course" - lots of wideish tracks and not too much really boggy stuff.

Anyway, it was nice to see Ian Holmes regain his title - last year was the first year he didn't win, covering the 6 1/2 miles in 40:55. Git! I managed to get under the hour with 58:18, and what was particularly pleasing was to beat Fat Bob, my mate, by a couple of minutes. This is the first time in yonks I've beaten him off road, so pleased, even if it was a road runners course.

the race was followed by the usual chaotic prizegiving in the Sun in Howarth, with Dave seemingly trying to weigh down the prizewinners with as much stuff as he could pile on!

Anyway - garmin stats: 6.48 miles in 58:18, average pace 9:00min miles, average HR 166bpm - and , cos it's a fell race: 1110' of ascent!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Work? What work?

Been at work the last couple of days, quiet as you'd expect, so took my running stuff in today.

Ran the 3.75 mile circuit that I used to use when I ran quite a bit at lunchtimes - first time I've run it with a garmin on.

Interesting - haven't run at work for the best part of a year, and this circuit used to take 30mins or so on average, and I have run it in c28 minutes when pushing it. It was very snowy today, so slippy underfoot, and I toddled round feeling very easy in...27:52! Weird - I knew I'd improved, but this was just absolute whizz!

Going to use this run in March (the Month of Mileage), as I'm going to run twice on Wednesdays - probably extend it to nearer 5, and then run this at lunch then do a steady 8-10 in the evening. Maybe...

Garmin numbers: 3.76 miles in 27:52, average pace 7:24, average HR 155 (about 75% of max, which is cool too considering that's marathon pace in the snow!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ribble Valley...Wibble!

Why would I be pee-ed off with running the second fastest 10k time I've ever done? Cos I am.

Just back from the Ribble valley 10k at Clitheroe - just felt "a bit poo" all day - maybe too much food and beer (although didn't massively overindulge in either), maybe Maisie (eldest) waking us up every night with a cough, maybe... I dunno - but anyway - an interesting course, with the start about 30' higher than the finish, so a downhill gradient on average.

Steaming start racing down the hill, with people jockeying for position to get to the narower bit first. The a pull up to the first mile marker with a guy shouting out the times - "53, 54, 55...) - checked my watch and I'd just run the first mile in under 6 minutes. Too quick...

Saw a couple of clubmates who I usually beat 50 yards or so ahead - no worries, I'll reel 'em in...but then nothing happened! Found myself wishing it was finished, when normally in 10ks I'm pissed off when they are - finally made some ground up on Sarah, the nearest clubmate to me during the last couple of miles, but almsot couldn't be arsed to sprint to catch her at the end. Still - both Sarah and other half Marc who I'd been expecting to catch smashed their PBs, so I guess I'll live with that.

Ran 39:21 on my watch, 39:22 on theirs - which is only 15 seconds off my PB, and on a course that's way, way hillier than the Abbey Dash (whatever they say about it being fast and flat) - but still feel like it wasn't really a very good day at the office. Odd.

Anyway - down to serious business now - fell race NYE then another 10k on 8/1 - but Miles Must Be Done - might take my stuff into work tomorrow and get a few miles in at lunchtime. Left calf's feeling tight, but I'll see how we go.

Garmin stats: 6.27miles (plus 1.36m warmup) in 39:21. Average pace 6:16min miles, average HR 168bpm.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Last one before Christmas

Well having juts about stopped sulking about the travesty that was our club's FLM draw I decided to get back to it today. BAR and I went out for our usual 6 miler, but a bit quicker than usual. Glorious sunny day, but too many cars on our usually quiet country lane - found myself feeling quite grumpy towards the end.

Need new shoes - started to get a pain in my left calf, which is a sure sign that my shoes are on their way out. It all starts to get a bit serious after Christmas, when I'll to be out running rather than go when I feel like it.

Got a 10k and a fell race over the holidays (which is stretching the term a bit, as I'm in work on 28th and 29th), then another 10k on 8th jan - then only a couple of weeks before the first half marathon of the build up. I'd really like to get a couple of 15milers under my belt before then if poss, but that might be tricky.

Garmin stats for today: 6.05miles in 43:53. Average pace 7:15min miles, av HR 156.

Happy Christmas to you! Have a good one.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bit cross tonight...

Cross posted from RW:

Now then. Just back from our club's draw. Not in, so you know the mood this is posted in.
Here's what happened:

This week, get email from club sec.

It says (from memory): priority will be given to people who can produce a rejection slip from FLM. Either turn up on the night with your slip, or if you can't, post it to me at blah blah blah.
Tonight, we turn up and run relay race in outrageouslt fast time then go back to club for the draw.

"We've 9 people for 4 places!" says club Sec, cheerily.

"Blimey" says me, "Thought there was only 5 with slips".

"We're doing the draw and those that can produce their slip within a week will get priority" says Club Sec.

Draw done, I come in (don't you just know it) 7th after 3 who have either sent their slips in or turned up avec slip, and behind 3 who have another week to sort out a rejection slip.
Not overly bothered, as I've got a charidee place which I won't struggle to raise the money for, but just fel that the rules have been changed at the last minute.

BAR feels hideous, cos he got a place, but only joined the cliub after my nagging, only sent his ballot in cos I made him etc etc.

Have said to him that he hasn't taken my place - some tosser who turned up on the night and decided to enter the draw (as at least one of them did) - but he still feels dreadful.

As far as I'm concerned this is simply confirmation that I'll run feckin MILES under 3:15 next April.

Sympathy (and sponsorship) appreciated....

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Running in a winter wonderland...

Not long back from the Great Langdale Christmas Pudding 10k. And it bloody snowed!! All the way round, and it stuck too! This is an out and back course with a short loop round the village of Elterwater at the end, so cornering and downhills became a bit tricky.

I ran a 10k PB here the week after FLM05 in 41:04, but have run quite a bit quicker since. Amazed therefore to hear a guy shouting "under 40!" as I ran towards the finish. Sneaked under 40 with 39:50, so a very happy boy tonight.

Club comedy relays on Tuesday, followed by FLM draw - 5 of u for 4 places. BAR, who I generally chased and cajoled into entering the FLM ballot, the club draw and also getting a back-up charity place has actually said if I'm the unlucky one he'll give it to me - which is nice. He's only just joined the club, so to be honest I think that's the right thing to do anyway. I'm sure I can help him with his fundraising if it does come to that, but hopefully it won't.

Anyway - Christmas week, so only the silly relays on Tuesday, before another (properly) speedy 10k on 27th - do I dare dream of going under 39... Be the lst chance before 'sensible' marathon training kicks in - so might be worth a bash. I'll let you know how it goes...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Nothin this week...

Feeling a bit guilty - haven't run since my long run last Saturday. Had a few beers saturday night, though nothing excessive, then had a horribly upset stomach for about 48 hours, then been in Birminham with work for three nights.

Racing tomorrow, so it'll be interesting to see how I go - I could be a coiled spring of energy or a big wobbly pudding...

Still, the race is in Langdale, which is beautiful at this time of year, and I ran ok there in the spring - not a PB course - too lumpy - but we'll see how close to sub-40 we can get.

BAR rang to see if I fancied a short jog today, but have kids party at work to go to, as well as assorted xmas preparations.

Will chack back in after tomorrow's race to let you know how it went...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Elevation profile of today's run Posted by Picasa

Profile of today's run

This image is screenshot of Memory Map - with today's run on it. The green lumpy thing is an elevation profile - just over 1500' of ascent. Glad London't flat...

Done it. Good lad.

Well, just moments ago I arived home after my long run, to be greeted by two little girls shouting at me to fix the Christmas tree lights. Made the error of telling mrs andy I'd be "two hours", so of course at 120 minutes and 10 seconds she expects me to be home.

Anyway - very pleased with myself - 16 hilly miles over into Wharfedale, up past Bolton Abbey, through the woods to barden then back along the road. All at just a tad over 8 min mile pace (pleased with that) and an average HR of 148 (very pleased with that - trying to do long runs at <70% WHR, and this is 71% - and seeing as I'm pretty much guessing my MHR at the moment that's near enough - certainly didn't feel too bad).

Away for three nights this week, so will have to see about getting maybe a short recovery run in tomorrow then hopefully a steady 6-8 miles on Wednesday.

Racing in Langdale next weekend - very pretty, but a bit lumpy for PBs - although last tme achieved my highest ever placing (the weekend after FLM05, actually) of 18th out of about 350.

Garmin stuff: 16.07miles, 2:10:53, av pace 8:80min mile, Average HR 148.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Oh dear...

No chanc of track sesh tonight - very heavy night in Leeds last night, so decided discretion the better part of valour and have come home for baked potato.

Aiming to run a long way saturday - probably 15/16 miles, before a few weeks of racing - Langdale 10k on 18th, Clitheroe on 27th, Aul Lang Syne fell race on New Years Eve and garstang 10k on 8th Jan. then we're looking at building mileage up to 20+ by mid Feb.

That's the plan, anyway...

Heard some exciting news today - our club has 4 FLM places and it looks like there's only 6 of us interested - but even better they give preference to those who entered the ballot - and there's only two (maybe three) of us for those - so all being well I'm in, on a decent start and no need to worry about sponsorship. One of the other guys is BAR, and he's been rejected too - so hopefully we should both be in on a club place. Fab!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tuesday club run - steady away...

Was supposed to be doing a 'predictor race' tonight - you predict your time then run the race with no watch on and the winner's the nearest to the right time. Anyway - not feeling in the mood for a flat out five miles I was glad to hear two of the guys who coach us were going out for a steady recovery type run - so we went out for a little over an hour, gathered lots of advice on training schedules, mileages, races to do etc and generally shot the breeze. Just what I needed after a longish night in London last night - advertising research, followed by a couple of beers with one of the agency guys followed by an appalling night's sleep thanks to the hotel claiming they only had a smoking room left. Was glad to get out of there an on the early train back to Leeds.

Ilkley Ladies were presented with some prezzies for winning the ladies fell running championships - well done!

Garmin stats: 7.06miles in 1:01:28 - average pace 8:42, average HR 155bpm

Sunday, December 04, 2005

This week's training...

...will mostly be not happening...

Have to go to london overnight tomorrow for some advertising research, and am out on the lash with my team in Leeds Wednesday night.

Will hopefully manage club night on Tuesday - usually 8 or 9 miles, maybe with some hills thrown in, then with luck (and mrs andy's support) will be able to get a track session in. really must get a long run in next weekend though, as it's racing on the 18th then it's Christmas.

Finishing a race...erm...somewhere Posted by Picasa

Me and the family Posted by Picasa

Here goes...

This is the first posting in this record of my preparations for FLM 06. Not an auspicious start - out for a few beers last night and woke up feeling like doing anything but running.

After a day of general slouching BAR (Bloke Across the Road, running buddy) rang, also under the weather, but suggested a quick 4 miles. So - that's where I'm just back from.

We run out of the village along a country lane towards Wharfedale - very dark tonight. Managed to keep the pace reasonable at just over 8 minute miles - BAR's just got a Garmin Forerunner like me, so we're both pretty geeky about times and pace.

Got home feeling no better, but at least a little more pleased with ourselves for not opting out.

I'll record the data from my Garmin for each run:

4 miles in 32:38, average pace 8:09min miles, average HR 139bpm.