Saturday, 24 March 2012

Nigel Barge 10k

Activity on Garmin Connect

After 2 weeks of not running, I went to the other extreme the past 7 days, clocking up almost 70 miles (including the Alloa Half Marathon and Nigel Barge 10k), which is my highest mileage since March 2011.

This has made my legs feel like they've been run over by a bus, although I probably didn't feel quite as bad as John Bishop doing his Sport Relief Hell.  Like at Alloa Half, I knew I wasn't in great shape, so just tried to concentrate on running smoothly and not stressing myself.

Race Start - Photo: MyPhotoFinish
Positions at 2km
I got caught and passed by first lady Julia Henderson soon after this photo was taken:
Turning onto Temple Road at 2.5km. Photo: Claire Thompson
I didn't really have the confidence or energy to force the pace, so just pottered round trying not to drop too many places on the 2nd lap.

At the 5km point
I was caught by John McLaughlin of Garscube several times, but always managed to nip back in front, and managed to hold him off during the final kilometre along Maryhill Road. I could probably have caught Gavin Harvie and Julia before the finish line, if I'd made an effort, but I'd decided I was only interested in not dropping places, rather than catching anyone. My time of 38:03, 1½ minutes slower than last year, showed that I wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders.
Not feeling too great at the finish
Warm Spring sunshine made for ideal lounging around after the race conditions, however easily the highlight of the afternoon was seeing Maryhill Harriers Stephen and Caroline Jones with their gorgeous 3-day old baby Benjamin.

Monday, 19 March 2012

10 weeks, or 1 year old...

Benjamin at 10 weeks, or in other words, exactly 1 year since he was conceived.

Benjamin at 10 weeks  - Awake

Benjamin at 10 weeks - Asleep

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Alloa Half Marathon

Results | Activity on Garmin Connect

This morning I went for a 13 mile training run around the Alloa Half Marathon course. This was my first attempt at running for 2 weeks after a lingering cold and sore throat, and my longest road run since London Marathon 11 months ago.

The weather was perfect, with spring sunshine and hardly a breath of wind.

Great weather for running. Photo: Duncan McGougan
I kept a reasonable pace for the first 4 or 5 miles, before lack of training, stamina and endurance all kicked in. But also I was trying to run well within myself, and not get into competition with the steady stream of runners passing me. I was more interested in feeling fine, and getting to the end. My finish time was around 1:22:23, which is one of the slowest half marathons I've ever run. But I'm hoping that the run might kick start some much needed training in the 5 weeks before London Marathon.

Warm weather at Alloa. Photos:

Monday, 12 March 2012

Running out of time

It's less than 6 weeks to go until London, and I'm quickly running out of time for any marathon training.

The week commencing 27th Feb, I decided to kick start a phase of higher mileage, and managed a 60 mile week, culminating with a reasonable performance at the Lasswade 10-mile road race (61:43). But the following day, I went down with a sore throat and cold, and haven't run since, which means I've missed a whole week, and still feel pretty rough with a virus. So I'm not sure when I'll start running again. Certainly not for a few days.

My plans for London Marathon last year were scuppered by exactly the same thing. Loads of training, and then I picked up a cold virus that wiped me out for 3 weeks, so my race was a write off. I only completed the course to gain a place for this year.

Hopefully, if this cold clears in time, I'll feel better for the marathon, but it still means I'll be missing 2 or 3 weeks of the most crucial training period. I'll guess I'll just need to lower any expectation (again), and treat the marathon as a stepping stone towards getting some fitness for other challenges later in the year.

In the meantime, here are a couple of photos of Benjamin who is 9 weeks old today:

Benjamin - 9 weeks old

Monday, 5 March 2012

Lasswade 10-mile Road Race

Route on Garmin Connect | Results to appear here | Photos by Bob Marshall

My 4th attempt at the Lasswade 10-mile Road Race:
2006 - 1:01:41
2009 - 1:01:39
2011 - 1:01:07 - PB
2012 - 1:01:43

I didn't quite match my time from last year, but was only a couple of seconds out from previous outings on the course, so not too disappointing given recent lack of training and sleep deprivation.
After about 1 mile - Photo: Peter Buchanan
My plan was to use the race as a stepping stone on the build up towards London Marathon. I hadn't raced this far on the road for about 6 months, so didn't want to push it too hard and risk blowing up, so I paced myself alongside Jamie Thin for the first 5 miles, passing through in 32 minutes.
Around 2 miles - Photo: Bob Marshall
I then thought I might be able to press on and possibly catch a few folk, but couldn't quite find any sort of extra gear, so instead just aimed at holding position. From mile 8 to the end is virtually all downhill, so the pace picks up automatically with gravity and knowing you're getting near the end.

Around Mile 6 - Photo: Peter Buchanan
The shout from Niall McAlinden at Mile 9 helped me get past Ben Mitchell of Lasswade AC. I then almost caught 2 more runners before the line, but couldn't quite muster a full blown sprint finish, since it didn't seem worth injuring myself for a couple of extra places.
Around Mile 8 - Photo: Bob Marshall