Archive for the ‘Marathon’ Category

No. Not a typo.

If there has been any progress at all, it has been very weak.

It seems that in order to lose the 10kg I want to before I will allow myself to enter the Nottingham marathon, my body has decided it would be easier if I first gained a bit of unnecessary weight first. Hmmmm.

I blame my children.  Well one child in particular. My son. It was his birthday, you see and he wanted me to eat loads of bbq food – two types of sausage, chicken, burgers, steak, spare ribs ( + the usual extras) all in one sitting.  And then he didn’t want all that cake and those crisps hanging around for too long afterwards, of course.

I’m obviously being very unfair to him there. It’s not his fault. He didn’t buy all the food. He didn’t choose to be born.

It’s clearly my wife’s fault.
But all blame aside. I’ve not been very well this week either. Just colded up, not breathing well, sleepy, sore throat, etc.

I’ve not done parkrun for ages for various reasons but I think I’ll give it a miss this morning too. I’m supposed to be playing in a tennis match this afternoon and it is my son’s school’s 5k run this weekend too. I think those activities might do me in enough on their own.

It’s amazing how little I have run since the marathon, actually. An element of ‘post-marathon blues’ is there, I’m sure and I’ve got out of routine.

Here are a few things that might help with motivation though:

1) Juneathon is coming up again! If you are uninitiated then click the link and have a look.  Basically, it’s an activity/blogging challenge requiring some form of activity (and activity reporting) each day in June. 

2) Bounts. I came across this fairly recently. It’s a website/app that links to various fitness apps/gadgets and awards you points based on the exercise you do. When you reach a certain number of points you can trade them in for various £5 gift vouchers in their ‘shop’. In addition to the points, for every activity you do, you get a credit to spin the reward wheel – and in doing so have a slim chance of gaining extra prizes.  It’s totally free (unless you want to pay to get extra points per exercise) and if you exercise regularly anyway, it is essentially something for nothing.

They are doing a bit of a reboot of systems at the moment so if the website is down then just try again in a day or two.

(If you do sign up however, use the code ‘avery1132‘ and we’ll both get a few extra points!)

3) Do you remember that rubbish run I did a little while back? …which was followed up a few weeks later by another rubbish run ? Well those lovely people at New Balance decided they liked it as part of their #UseYourRun campaign and so have informed me that I have won ‘head to toe’ New Balance gear. Nice eh?

Of course, I don’t know what ‘head to toe’ entails. Possibly it’s a New Balance  onesie, I have no idea, except I know it does include their new ‘fresh foam’ running shoes.  I shall let you know when it arrives and let you know what it’s like.

So there you have it – my weakly weekly update.

————————

At 94kg I am a bit further away from my 82kg marathon-entering weight. 

(This isn’t going to turn into a weight-loss blog, I’m just doing this at the end for a little extra accountability/motivation)

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I really am not much of a runner.

I can just about remember how I started really. Here’s the short version…

Stress relief during a student placent,     I believe. Keeping a friend company on her runs when she didn’t want to head out alone.

I don’t think it was the running that I enjoyed but more the sense of accomplishment after the run. I remember that I used to hate running at school (sometimes hiding by the bushes on lap 1 of cross country just to rejoin the group on lap 2), but as a university student, feeling a real buzz after the first time I ran for over an hour! 

Telling a friend about this while I was doing some youth work they pursuaded me to really challenge myself and enter the London marathon. I didn’t get in. But surprised at my disappointment at this, I entered again the following year and this time I was successful.

 It was the year 2000, my final year at university, and I had just turned 23.

I was possibly the fittest I had ever been and possibly the lightest (as an adult) …. oooo maybe with the exception of the gap year I spent in Zimbabwe when I pretty much only ate whatever the local farmers produced and lived in the mountains for eight months.

London in 2000 was the best marathon experience I’ve had. And it remains my fastest. I can’t actually find my official finish time, but the clock said 4:28 as I passed underneath and I know it took about 15 minutes from the gun to cross the start line (I can’t find the official online results anywhere now so if you know where I can find them, please do tell me). 

I had to get this out of storage to snap the photo

 

I’m not 23 anymore.

I’m not the lightest I have ever been as an adult.

I don’t live in the mountains.

And it just took me over twenty minutes to get out of bed because I happened to do a few sit ups the day before yesterday!

I completed the huddersfield marathon recently. It took me over five and a half hours but despite this, (and a significant amount of cramping) in the last few miles, I was happy with that because it really was a tough course and besides, I knew that a month earlier I had run twenty miles in 3 hours 5 mins on a reasonably undulating one in Ashby.  I know another six miles would have been tough but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have taken me more than 90 minutes would they?… Or would they?

You see, I don’t really know. But I’d like to.

Being sort of marathon-fit at the moment (minus the post-marathon beer-drinking, takeaway-munching slob-out) it ‘makes sense’ (if it ever makes sense) to run another marathon soon – if I’m going to at all.

Nottingham’s Robin Hood Marathon is in September. 

I’m tempted.

04:30:00 would be the target but I would REALLY need to shift some weight if I was to aim for that.

It’s expensive too I think, at £40 so I am saying now,  

“I will only enter if/when I lose 10kg” (So I’d be 82kg)”. 

Please, please ridicule me / call me out / shout at me if I tell you on here that I’ve done otherwise!!

If I’m honest, I would like to actually beat my first and best marathon time too… But this would be like racing against my 23 year-old injury-resistant and lighter self. Is that realistic?

Perhaps not. But I fancy giving it one (last) go.

Well, here we go again… an attempt to write a race review.  I always struggle to write reviews because everything is a blur.

On this occasion however, nothing is a blur. I wasn’t moving fast enough for anything to blur.
When people have asked me how I got on, I have told them my time and then felt compelled to inform them just how hilly it was. It was really very hilly!

It was my slowest ever marathon at 05:35:58

I know. But it was really very hilly.

   
   When I ran a similar time at London in 2005 I was very disappointed. I think if this had been a flat marathon, I would have also been disappointed and would be considering hanging up my marathon shoes.

  
But it wasn’t a flat marathon. It was really very hilly. This wasn’t a surprise – I wanted to do a tough marathon and I got that. I paced myself well over the first half (I thought) keeping things very steady and hitting the half-marathon distance at 02:15:00. At the recent Ashby 20 road race, I covered the 20 miles in 3 hours 5 minutes, passing the half marathon mark at 01:52:38

So slowing this up by over 20 minutes was a good thing, I thought. But those hills took more out of me than I knew. Not just the ups… but the downs too. They were too steep to run down. Every step was braking, (maybe breaking) and pounding the joints, and over-working my poor quadriceps.

   
   (The photos never convey steepness, do they? I’m taking a spirit level next time*) 

*as if there would be a ‘next time’!

Having done these hills once already, I had resigned myself to not actually ‘running’ at times and it was nice to have that ‘do I?/don’t I? run’ question completely removed from my psychology. There was no choice. At least the views were good…

  (That was actually taken at mile 14 of the two-lap course)
I passed mile 19 (and a nicely decked out ‘nutrition’ station) at approximately 3:45 and a sub-five hour marathon seemed likely…  

 

…but MAJOR cramps kicked in at mile 23 and I literally could not move for over 5 minutes each time it happened (as well as being in serious pain).  Things didn’t look so pretty now…

  
The clock kept ticking. I was walking now and every occasional attempt to resume running ultimately stopped me in my tracks as the cramping hit once more. I had experienced this during a Nottingham marathon that I hadn’t really trained for, and it is not fun. I had said after that one that I never wanted to run for over five hours again. I stand by that. I don’t.

On my first lap there had been a chap pressure washing the war memorial as we passed mile 12ish… I enjoyed a little refreshing shower at the time and took this photo looking back on it… 

 

The workman was no longer there by the second lap (unsurprisingly).  It would have felt even better at that point BUT was probably for the best as I was later informed it would have been a water/bleach mix anyway!

So… Yeah, a particularly slow final few miles but despite the slow time, I was pleased to complete it. 

  (Final straight)
And in terms of ‘placing’ this is likely to be my best marathon ever… 44th!

Ok… Only 86 had entered, and they didn’t all complete it…but still. Top 50 finisher 😊 !

  (Post-marathon nutrition)

This wasn’t a big marathon in terms of numbers and it very much had the feel of a local club-run event. 

Signage could have been a little better in places (mile 10 / mile 23 for example) where my lovely wife ran after a runner or two to redirect those who had missed a turning…. They don’t know how priviliged they are – my wife very rarely runs (though she did join me for the odd minute or two for support along the way – I am also very honoured).

Water stations only had bins right next to them, so if you wanted to appropriately dispose of your cup you couldn’t run and drink.

There was no goody bag to speak of at the end, but there was a technical T- shirt, and unfortunately my medal said ‘HALF marathon finisher’ on the ribbon (look carefully at the beer photo again). They did apologise for that – I don’t do it for the bling anyway.

I did do the full. I promise. I have a million strava segment PRs to prove it (and an equal number of ‘second best’ times for the repeat lap!).

It was very good value for money though. And very friendly.

Of course the people were great  – runners, marshals, supporters (particularly my my own personal support – the actual present one and my virtual ones – thank you), and in all it was a good day. I can say I enjoyed it. A few quid was also raised for my local charity.

So… Did I achieve my goals?  
Well…  three out of four ain’t bad!
Good luck to you if you are marathoning soon!  I might be back.

[For maximum benefit, the following should be read in the patronising tone of a children’s TV presenter]

Hello children…

Are you sitting comfortably?
It’s time to listen with NotMuchOfaRunner

I’d like to introduce you to the Taperwoes.

Give the children a wave, Taperwoes.

*Ickle-Niggle waves*
Hello, Ickle-Niggle

*Tipsy waves*
Hello, Tipsy

*Bleugh-Bleugh  waves*
Hello, Bleugh-Bleugh

Oh… Where’s NoMojo ?

Of course. There he is – raiding the fridge in a fit of self-destructive sabotage… Come on NoMojo, say hello.

*NoMojo waves half-heartedly*

What are you up to today, Taperwoes?

What’s that you said, Ickle-Niggle? You are spending the day worrying about that intermittent ankle pain and knee twinge? That sounds like fun!

Oh, Tipsy suggests that as there is no running happening at the moment, it would be fine to drink a couple of large bottles of beer. That would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Oh dear… Bleugh-Bleugh isn’t feeling very well. He says everything is pointless and depressing and marathons are stupid and why bother doing them anyway when you are slow and heavy and unmotivated and spending time away from your family who work much harder at doing important things and haven’t spent the previous few months getting up at silly-O’clock in the morning to do 15 miles before breakfast, only to then ruin it all before the marathon by eating badly, sleeping badly and drinking badly.

You may have a point Bleugh-Bleugh, don’t you think so NoMojo?

NoMojo can’t be bothered to respond. He’s eating ice-cream.

Oh dear! Taperwoe Town is not a nice place to be at the moment. And this episode lasts another whole week.

Hey! After that, though children, the sixth series featuring the ‘There’sNoWayI’mEverDoingThatAgains‘ is going to start up… again. Do join us.

Bye bye now.

Bye bye.

Bye.

Bye.

———————

Full credit must be given to the creators of ‘In The Night Garden’, ‘The Teletubbies’, and ‘Waybuloo’ without whom this blog post would not have been possible. Full credit also to anyone who has endured an episode of the above.

Ashby 20 review

Posted: March 25, 2015 in Marathon, Reviews, running
Tags: , ,

I’m not actually very good at straightforward race reviews. A few things usually end up happening: I start boring myself, it will follow no chronological order, and will have no point… but nonetheless I think it would be useful to do anyway for this twenty-miler before the memory of it fades and I miss my opportunity to reflect and learn any lessons.

A couple of other blog posts I have come across reviewing the same race, worth a read can be found HERE and HERE.

I entered the Ashby 20 a while back after considering it for about….oooo…all of 20 seconds. One of those ‘last twenty places remaining’ posts on social media spurred me into action I wasn’t even sure it was a twenty mile event at that point (I just hoped it wasn’t a 20 hour, endurance one!). But it was close enough to home to not disrupt family life too much and was perfect preparation for Huddersfield marathon.  I had thought , “If I can’t manage this one, I shall pull out of the marathon for sure”.

The day began beautifully. The sun was shining, I felt recovered from my midweek half marathon effort, and I could find all the running gubbins that I had failed to prepare the night before.

The journey was straightforward. I was on my own, but even with my less-than-perfect navigation skills, I didn’t get lost and grabbed a parking space right next to the finishing area. Desperate for the loo and sufficiently blind not to see the rows of portaloos over the other side of the cricket field, I walked through town to use the ones at the leisure centre. There, you see, important stuff… I totally rock at this review-writing malarkey!

Returning to the cricket field I had a bit of time to kill so I set up a justgiving fundraising page via my mobile phone, in preparation for next month’s marathon.  I then pootled over to the start gathering area where I placed myself with the 3 to 3.5 hour pace group. Here, I recognised a chap from Colwick parkrun… There is a photo somewhere of us crossing the finish line at a similar time…but I’m wearing a dressing gown And dark sunglasses… I’ll see if I can find it…

Yup… Here it is…



Anyway, we had a nice chat before we were led to the actual start point… and we were off!

It was essentially a two-lap course, running about a mile out of Ashby-de-la-Zouch doing two 9-mile loops, then hobbling back in to Ashby again.

Inevitably, I went out faster than intended. I know, I know… It just seemed so easy… I know!

However… Having managed to maintain sub-nine-minute miles fairly comfortably for 11 miles, I figured, “let’s see how long you can keep this going for then, shall we?” 

At least to cover the half marathon distance, I thought.

The original plan was to attempt to run a half-marathon in approximately 2 hours, which until my final training run last week, was pretty much as fast as I had ever done that distance. I would then inevitably slow down, but would attempt to cling on to ten-minute miles for the final seven.  This would give me a 3:10:00 finish time and was therefore my target.

This was not taking into account the undulating nature of the course, so I thought this was perhaps an ambitious target.

The course was indeed undulating and the first lap was significantly but perhaps unsurprisingly somewhat flatter than the second one :-/

Here are my splits (I don’t normally do this but, well, I am doing so today so you’ll just have to deal with it)…



I think it is fair to say that mentally as well as physically, I let things slide a little after the 13 mile point.

My total, chip time  =  3:04:19

Happy with that.

And a few more personal bests to add to the collection…
image

Support was great, the whole way round. Fantastic organisation. Lovely weather. Regular drinks/sponges/’nutrition’ stations brimming with wonderful volunteers.
The only negative I can think of is – despite the wonderful pre-race information pack and well-signed placards after drinks stations saying, “no rubbish to be dropped past this point” some runners were obviously still just chucking their cups/gel packets/bottles/lids at the side of the road wherever they fancied. There was even a bin at every mile marker so there really was every effort made by the organisers but some selfish runners still somehow see it as their right to throw rubbish where they like and expect someone else to tidy up… Grrrrr!

Now… ‘Nutrition‘… 

There were a number of things on offer: Gels… Jelly Babies… Chocolate… Bananas…    But up til this race I had always done my long runs on just water (I’m still not Jesus though), convincing myself that I was training my body to use my fat stores for energy.

If this had truly happened, then I would not have run out of energy for a very long time, but as it was, I was suffering from about mile 15, I would say (the splits show I was slowing before this but that’s when I felt it), so I accepted a banana half… Then later – a few Jelly Babies… Then later still – a square of chocolate.  I didn’t have any gels (It’s easy to resist the gels – they’re disgusting!)
So I’m still not sure of a nutrition strategy for the marathon :-/

I think the mental boost gained was greater than the physical one and I was too mentally weak to resist at that stage.  I also got a good mental boost by playing ‘Chariots of Fire Theme‘ by Vangelis over my iPod for the final 0.5 miles (using its internal speaker, of course – no headphones allowed).  That felt good. 

http://youtu.be/CSav51fVlKU

My phone GPS actually measured my route as 20.4 miles … Here’s that last 0.4 miles pace…



8:02 minute mile pace! – I should have had that tune on loop since mile 15!

One final thing…

I won!

Well… Not the whole thing – obviously, but I got an ALDI sponsored ‘spot prize’ of £5 in an envelope after I crossed the line – presumably just for being brilliant 😉

This went straight to the Rainbows charity who were collecting donations in exchange for a post-race sports massage at the cricket pavilion.

Painful but great!

Which is a summary of the massage and the Ashby 20 itself.

I wasn’t intending to post again before the weekend but on Thursday, I found myself worrying that I hadn’t done a proper long run for a while (giving the ankle a bit of a rest) and was concerned that I had lost some fitness ahead of this weekend’s Ashby20 road race.

So with approximately two and a half hours to dedicate to a run after I had taken the children to school/nursery, I headed off on an out-and-back run along the canal path.  I figured if I kept the pace up, I could easily manage a half-marathon distance with time to sort myself out before needing to collect my youngest from nursery again.

I felt like I was flying. 

At about 6 miles or so, I passed a big open field and felt a sudden urge to do some StravaArt. If you are reading this and have no idea what I’m on about, you are probably my parents… So predominantly for their benefit… It is where you use the GPS tracking of your run/cycle to ‘draw’ an image on a map.  With the bird’s eye view of your whole route effectively providing you with your image.

By far the best examples of which I’ve seen can be seen >>>here<<< , but I’ve included an example below in case you haven’t got the time or inclination to click…



Well, don’t expect anything like that from me.

I had been listening to Marathon Talk during my run, (a running podcast with news, stories, funnies, interviews, etc from the running world – worth a listen if you don’t already) and the presenters, Martin Yelling and Tom Williams had referenced this activity in one of their conversations, deciding that they would, before next week, create some Strava Art each in a competition with each other to see who could produce the best piece.

So there I am feeling like I’m flying through my run, and reckoning I’m well below 2 hour half-marathon pace when I decide to go into this field and make the various dog-walkers there think I had gone barmy by running up and down, backwards, in circles, etc – like I had repeatedly remembered that I had left the iron on at home and was indecisive as to whether or not I should return to turn it off.

Here’s what I did…
image

Ok… To be fair, that’s a bit far away…
image

Can you see it yet? A bit closer perhaps…
image

And finally… properly zoomed in and flipped…
image

Ok…Perhaps that was too close…revealing my poor form, but in my defence, apart from the lower, straight-ish line, which was the footpath running along the edge, the field itself had no lines or markings at all, and the dodgy-looking initial ‘M’ aside, I’m pretty pleased how that came out.

What’s more, despite this little folly (which I subsequently shared with Martin and Tom themselves) I still made it back to nursery just in time to collect my little girl.
Better than ‘just in time’, in fact…
image

PBs (Personal Records) galore.
Thank you very much!

I didn’t need to worry about losing fitness at all…

…Now I’m worried that I’ve peaked to soon though, of course!

I can certainly be very ‘all or nothing’ at times. If I’m motivated, I’m well motivated, running most places, cycling everywhere else, eating well, etc… But when I fall off the wagon, I seem to land squarely in the biscuit tin.

For some reason the looming hilly races on the horizon haven’t been working their magic. Maybe they were too far away… WELL THEY AREN’T TOO FAR AWAY NOW! The Ashby20 is this coming weekend (22nd March ’15) and the Huddersfield Marathon on April 19th.

I’ve been looking at the profile for the Ashby20 and it seems to match my motivation of late…



This week = be super-good week.

Nothing that will make the weekend harder.

I have been doing the odd, very short run, more to help me mentally than physically and the ankle has settled a bit…



Ankle update



…and I think I’ll be fine.

The arm bruise is looking less interesting too…



(I might have been tensing a bit .., the best i could anyway)

Bruise update

I don’t think I’ll make it to the Mr Universe finals this year.

So I’m sat here post-dinner, drinking a pint of water and watching with envy as my kids tuck into some ice-cream and I’m wondering if I should run the 20 miles on Sunday with no fuel (as I have with all my long training runs) or have a slap-up breakfast and an ice-cream that morning, by way of a scientific experiment, like.

It’s the law of running that a few weeks before a big race/event something will go wrong. 

This includes (but is not restricted to…):

Broken bones. 

Getting a cold.

Mojo deficiency syndrome.

Slightly poorly ankle.

…and it is the most serious of the above ailments with which I am currently suffering.

Yes. The slightly poorly ankle.

I played tennis yesterday and picked up another mystery injury. The random arm bruise from last week is still colourful, by the way…



(I shall be providing weekly bruise updates because I know that’s what you want.)

The new injury was a hurty-ankle but I couldn’t work out if it was an outside (oh-dear-I-must-have-hit-myself-in-the-ankle-with-my-racquet-without-realising-at-the-time) sort of pain, or an internal (oh-dear-I-have-inadvertently-placed-excessive-strain-on-the-already-overused-and-under-recovered-soft-tissues-of-an-unstable-joint) sort of pain.

So… to assist in diagnosis, I went for a 9 mile run this morning.  It was supposed to be 16 miles, but prudence suggested otherwise. 

(I normally don’t listen to prudence, she can be a bit bossy and boring, but it’s important to hear people out sometimes, I think).

And the revised diagnosis is…

A hurty and slightly swollen ankle.



I seemed to run on it ok, but I don’t want to push it. Next weekend is a big tennis match again, and the week after that is the Ashby20, a hilly 20-mile road race. So I think I might just take things down a notch running-wise before then. If that then goes well, I shall just keep myself ticking over until the marathon a month later.

Prudence and I are chilling out together this week. I’ve decided to get to know her better.  I’ve been a bit hard on her in the past.

In (less than*) three weeks, I shall be running the Ashby20 road race.

‘Race’ is a bit grand, really. I shall perhaps instead be running the ‘Ashby20 road get-round-in-one-piece’.

When I entered, I saw it was very close to its limit and I got pretty much the last place. I didn’t even have time to check that the ’20’ in the title related to the number of miles and not something else like kilometres…or the number of hours in this endurance race… Or… (And here’s an idea) that runners set off and then every 20 minutes, the last 20 runners get run over by the sweep vehicle and are eliminated from the race, which then goes on for as long as it takes to get a winner/survivor.

Disappointingly, I was right in my first assumption – it is indeed a 20 mile event. The Ashby20 is also apparently quite hilly and in a rare moment of planning and preparation I thought it would be the ideal pre-marathon event to help motivate, test and inspire me before Huddersfield’s hilly 26.2 miles in April.

I have been building up my miles over the past few weeks in conjunction with the jantastic challenge.  Over the past four weekends I have done 15 miles, 16 miles, 17 miles and then (the day before the day before the day before the day before*) yesterday, I did 18 miles. I have managed each of these runs before breakfast having woken at stupid o’clock in the morning and the best bit about that is that I’ve covered a half-marathon before I’ve even woken up properly and become consciously aware of what I’m doing.  Bonus.

You’d think I’d be confident of managing 20 miles in (less than*) 3 weeks time but  there’s nothing like a long run to make you realise that running even further is going to feel horrible.  I think this is very normal, though… right?

I am still targeting four runs a week with one of those weekly outings being a ‘long run’ but I’m not sure whether to taper before the Ashby20 or not. 

On further reflection, I may not have much choice… I’m off early to go and  see the England/Scotland 6 nations match in (less than*) a couple of weeks and then the day after that I’m playing in our final league tennis match of the winter season… Win, and we stay up… Draw or lose and we’re likely to be going down a division . So I have to be on form for that one – DOMS free! Given that I will not end up seeing my family all weekend, and especially as it’s mother’s day on the Sunday, I don’t really think that a long run is on the cards that week.

Motivation has been strangely wavering. I think I’ve been a bit fed up at the lack of significant weight loss despite massively increased output and massively reduced  sensible input … to the point where I end up thinking ‘stuff it’ (healthy eating) and so I stuff it (unhealthy eating) all in my mouth in very short space of time.

Not so sensible after all.

In other news I bought a nearly new pair of my currently favorite running shoes on eBay a few weeks ago, paid on the day, heard nothing, sent message, was told they’d be posting the next day but have received no shoes and no further contact since then. I’ll get a refund, no problem…but I’d rather have the bargain shoes!
On a more positive note I have been to my favorite place for quality clothing – my local charity shop….these three beauties, as good as new for £11. Thank you very much. 



Changing the subject, while not wanting to compete with my injured co-bloggers, Plustenner and Shazruns, I have assumed for the past few days that I had a splinter/thorn in my right arm, acquired (so I thought) when hunting out lost tennis balls from the pine trees last weekend. I even attempted extraction of the imaginary thorn with now unsurprising failure.  You see, this morning, it was as though someone had painted it lots of pretty colours…



…and at that point only, I remembered running into the metal fence post at the back of the tennis courts mid-way through my match last week.  I don’t recall who won the point**.

So there we have it. I’m still running. I’m not injured (well not running-halting injured), I’m not ill and my mileage has been steadily increasing.

Put like that, things are pretty good really.

*I started writing this post on Sunday and have only just got round to finishing/publishing it today (Thursday). Hence some time edits.

**That is generally accepted code for ‘I lost it’.

To the tune of ‘Piano Man’ by Billy Joel…

It’s 5am on a Saturday
And I don’t want to get out of bed
But I know if I stay, that in April, I’ll pay
So I might as well just go instead

You see, that’s when I’m running a marathon
And I want to make sure that it flows
Cos it’s long and it’s hilly
And I know that I’m silly
We all know that I’d much rather doze.

“So go and run long you’re in training, man
Go and run long alright
If you’re not in the mood for a tempo run
Don your mansuit and zip it up tight”

Chaffree underwear is a friend of mine
They keep my thighs red rawness free
But I vas-up my nips or the blood from them drips
And makes a big mess on my tee

This hill! (I believe it is killing me)
As a mile in, I run up its face
Well, I’m sure that I can’t be moving far
Won’t be home til next week at this pace!

Now crawling’s a real possibility
As my legs, they cling on for dear life
And they talk with my head, who is still half in bed
And would like to be there with my wife

And for race day I’m practising fueling
Just water and nil else at all
Yes I’m shunning the drinks full of sugariness
As I’m hoping to not hit ‘the wall’

“So enjoy running long you’re in training, man
Enjoy running long alright
You’ll be getting much stronger and running much longer
So in April you so won’t be all sh..oddy”

It’s a pretty good run for a Saturday
And I manage some seventeen miles
But although, now I’m fine, is tomorrow the time
I’ll experience DOMS (and my piles)?

So my mind turns now to recovery
And although I feel like a beer
I’ll stretch and I’ll stroll and get out the foam roll
And say “This marathon’s yours, do you hear?”

“So enjoy running long you’re in training, man!
And enjoy stretching off, tonight
For you know that you could
Do as much as you should
And stop muscles from feeling all tight.