Posts Tagged ‘Ashby 20’

Well that was an eventful weekend.

Warning: This is a long(ish) one.

I will get on to the review part of this post in just a second so please don’t get put off by the next paragraph – it’s not as depressing at it may at first sound. 

(I’ll include side headings in this post so you can skip to the bits you came here for if you like. I won’t take offence)

PERSONAL

So, a little personal news.  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my Grandmother (‘Granny’ to me) had had a stroke.  Up until that point she was living independently at her own home at the age of 92. She recovered partially from that stroke and she was able to see and talk to my dad and his brothers over the next few days… but while still in hospital she suffered another stroke and never regained consciousness, dying on Saturday morning. We will all miss her and her random Christmas presents (though, I have to admit they were actually disappointingly very appropriate just recently) but we are grateful for her full and active life.  

She didn’t even read my blog while she was here so I’m doubtful she’ll see this next bit now… but… ‘Goodbye Granny’.

TENNIS 

At the point I heard the news, I was dropping child 1 (aged 9) at his 10:00am tennis coaching. I parked up at the club and then helped out there for a couple of hours. I then was due to play in a match an hour later so after a quick lunch, I then served at my child for half an hour while he attempted to return them.

The mixed doubles match I was in started at 1pm and all seemed to be going well. Child 1 was in the clubhouse listening to the football match on the radio and… …and then I noticed play had stopped on the adjacent court. One of our men had got injured two games in and couldn’t continue. As it was so early in the match, our opponents graciously allowed a substitution to take place. Step up Child 1.

So after two hours of coaching that morning he then very much steps up to the mark and plays the ten remaining games of the first match… then 12 games in the second match and a further 12 in the third – helping his partner to win just enough games for our club to win overall. Nice one, son.

ASHBY 20 (pre-race)

So although nearly 5 hours of tennis is not normal preparation the day before a 20 mile road race, there was a part of me that was happy not to expect too much of myself at this event. I would try to run the whole way round, take it slow from the start, NOT run a half marathon PB by over five minutes and then slow massively in the final few miles (like last year!); I would enjoy it. Secretly, I would have loved a time below 3 hours but I accepted that this was unlikely as it would mean averaging 9 minute miles for the whole 20, and it’s officially ‘undulating’. Anything around 3:10:00 and I’d be happy.

My hard-working wife had decided to come along with with the kids too so they would drop me at race HQ and then camp out on the course somewhere to offer support…

NEW BALANCE LITE PACKABLE 

  
This was THE perfect jacket for the start line today. There was no rain but it was cold and it kept the wind chill right off while doing that thing where you hang around and decide whether you can really be bothered enough to queue for the portaloos. A much more stylish alternative to the 1980s Karate Kid bad man look courtesy of an adapted bin bag…
  
  
  
I wore it for the first 4 miles, packed it into its own pocket and carried it for the next two and then chucked it at my family when I passed them at mile 6. It was so light though that it flew over their heads and onto a random person’s drive. Sorry about that, random person. In a moment of instant payback though, I wasn’t looking where I was going and ran straight into a traffic cone. The pain in my toe thankfully only lasted for about a mile.

Now I think I’ve said, I like the jacket. It’s proper light, so portable and so functional BUT  there’s this thing…

…the zip.

 It works and everything…very smooth…well made, etc…

…but it’s on the wrong side isn’t it?

My other jackets…

   
    
   

…always with the moveable zippy bit on the left (as I look at it when wearing).

Then there’s the New Balance Lite Packable… zipper on the right.

  
This should not be a tricky thing for a moderately intelligent human being, you would think. But can my brain get around this?… no. It’s like one of those trick bikes that steers the wrong way at a fair. Have you seen them? No matter. They exist, and it’s like that. My brain just cannot do the switch. It has been the undoing of me…. or not, as the case may be.

Just thought – Do women’s jackets zip the other way? This is officially a men’s one… 

 
…see.

So there you go, anyway…

Summary = Great jacket. Weird brain-boggling zip.

Disclaimer: This is not the most important thing in the world.

ASHBY 20 REVIEW (cntd)

I’ve done plenty of 6 mile runs recently and some of them at faster than 9 minute miles so keeping this going to mile 10 seemed straight-forward.
When I got to half-marathon distance at just under the 2-hour mark, I partly thought, “Well done. That’s sticking to the pacing plan.” And another part of me thought, “mmm… I was here last year about 8 minutes earlier and still finished the whole race at 3 hours 4 mins”.

The plan then became to try and keep steady pace until mile 17 and then do maths.

At mile 17 I did maths. All I needed to do was a parkrun distance in 26 mins to break the 3-hour mark. This might be tough, but do-able!

Then something strange happened.

Something that has never happened before towards the end of a race.

I started overtaking people instead of getting overtaken.

That was a weird feeling.

My breathing got a bit strained and loud but I kept going to the end where I could see my lovely family waiting and cheering me on.
There was a little sprint finish which resulted in me just nipping over the line with 18 seconds to spare! I could have taken it easy! (I could have looked a darn sight better in the race-photos too – shocking!)

I even got a £5 spot prize when I picked up my goody bag, just like last year. And just like last year it went straight to the Rainbows charity pot at the cricket pavilion area where I received a decent sports massage.

I didn’t even get cramp. That’s a first too! I think I’m a fan of this pacing lark.
image

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My heart looks like it enjoyed it.

Many thanks to the organisers, volunteers, locals, supporters and other runners for making this an absolutely cracking event. It’s a perfect spring marathon build-up event…But I’m not doing a marathon this year, so I can also say it’s just a brilliant event in its own right. And instead of a medal at the end (which doesn’t keep you warm) you get a hoodie (which does).

  

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The main (and most important) reason  for not doing the Marathon des Sables is that I don’t think I can pronounce it properly. The potential embarrassment of this is paralysing.

A secondary (and less significant)  reason is that it looks really hard and I’m nowhere near fit enough. This is a minor detail, however.

Also… I’m not keen on running on sand.

I like the idea of running on sand, just not the actual doing of it.  This would hold me back somewhat, I do believe.

Furthermore… sunsets and sunrises – I’m a total sucker for them. And in deserts apparently, they are particularly brilliant. So I would end up stopping every five seconds to take a photo and I’d miss the cut-offs as a result.

  
So there you go. All things considered, I think it probably best, on balance, that I do not enter ‘the toughest footrace on earth‘ or however they like to refer to it.

It has taken me many years of running to reach this conclusion but it was this morning’s run along a Norfolk beach that cemented it in my mind. I’m away for a few days holiday on the east coast (well, about three miles in from the coast) and with the Ashby 20 coming up next month, I figured I really ought to get a few miles in my legs. Now we all know that running on the beach (along with running in the rain/ running in the morning/ running in the dark/ running while listening to ‘Eye of the Tiger’, ‘the Trap’, ‘Chariots of Fire’) instantly makes you hardcore and therefore doubles the training effect*… so I marked out a little route, charged my Garmin and set out my running gear the night before (I can be organised on rare occasions). 

*science

I woke before the sun did the next day and I ended up running for 7 or 8 miles. On the journey I …

  • Got totally splattered with mud while running a very dark bridleway.
  • Reached the beach before sunrise.
  • Chased, caught and disposed of some random balloons blowing around on the beach.
  • Got a massive nosebleed for no reason!
  • Scared a few dog-walkers (due to the nose bleed) who must have thought, “why is it always us that meet the early morning psychos?!”.
  • Took far too many pictures…     

    I really must work on my selfie-taking technique

     

  

  • Actually realised I had a nose bleed and realised why I was getting those funny looks!
  • Noticed my Garmin was actually set to ‘ride’ instead of ‘run’ for the duration – doh!
  • Saw some interesting graffiti…  

Close up…?… 

 

  • Generally enjoyed a very pleasant morning run 😊

In other news: My daughter ran her first junior parkrun the other day (this deserves its own blog post another time).

My dad has recovered from his ‘episode’ AND look to be moving closer to us soon.

That wetsuit I optimistically brought with me looks like it might stay dry… 

 
Looks a bit rough to me…

…and worse in black&white… 

 

    Here is a picture of a boot…

      
    (Well, my tag line isn’t “random thoughts and running shorts” for nothing, you know!)

    There is a link, though. I gave blogging the boot after June. I kind of just stopped enjoying writing it. So I stopped.

    The same was true with running, to be honest. I knew I wouldn’t stop for good, but it was good to have a break.

    In hindsight, I could have turned the blog into an interesting, “how I found my mojo” story, but given that I didn’t know how long it would take, it could have got very boring indeed.

    Certain stresses have come and gone, but some remain.  Most are self-imposed, hence leaving the blog dormant for a while.

    I’ve been running when I feel like it. I’ve done the odd parkrun, played a fair amount of tennis, taken the kids out on bike rides.  

    The mojo isn’t fully back. But I am running again, which is a start.

    Here’s that picture of the boot again…

      You could say this is a re-boot. A small reboot, at least.

    What is new since I last wrote? 

    Well we now only have one rabbit since ‘Colin’ (classic rabbit name #1) was found as stiff as a board in his litter tray a few weeks ago. ‘Hoppity’ (classic rabbit name #2) seems to be coping well without him mind you, and my children have very much taken it in their stride too. I later overheard appropriate questions between them like, “do rabbits cry?” and, “I’m a bit sad Colin is dead, are you?” so at least they aren’t sociopaths.image

    Child2 is now at school full-time, but at a different one to her brother, so I am ‘enjoying’ the logistical delights of school runs, pick-ups, after-school clubs, sports coaching, and general communications.

    I have, as yet, failed to invent some new business and make my millions from home in the past couple of weeks…but equally, I have resisted spending millions to try to artificially fill the gap left by my children abandoning me during the day… so I reckon that evens out.

    I had got a bit sloppy with my eating habits recently, as demonstrated by my complete inability to lose enough weight to reward myself with a half marathon entry recently. But I’ve made progress here too and have entered for a brilliant 20 miler (the Ashby20) in March next year.  That is the total extent of my race calendar for the future.

    Oh, and off the back of an additional 3kg weight loss, I got a parkrun PB a couple of weeks ago 22:28 (which was probably due to the psychological boost of feeling lighter as much as the actual physiology – I nearly threw up on the finish line).

    I’m not exactly wasting away yet, mind you so my longer runs still have the potential to be a fire hazard due to the amount of upper-thigh friction. Thankfully, the lovely people at Chaffree got in touch recently to say, “Hey Notmuchofarunner, do you still pose a risk to woodland areas when you do a trail run, due to the high probability of starting an illegal chub-rub fire? If so, would you like some more of our rather wonderful, seamless, anti-chafe merchandise? (Especially since you wrote that random lovely blog post about the last lot we sent you)”

    …or something like that. 

    Anyway, I said, “yes please, thank you very much”, and so I have some more most excellent running undercrackers. They are seriously brilliant for running in, but I’ll say no more now for fear of coming across as some kind of underwear fetishist. Read the link for more info (about ‘Chaffree’, not underwear fetishism).

    I was even motivated enough to for a quick 5 miles in before breakfast this morning, though due to clicking the wrong button it got recorded as ‘5 miles of alpine skiing’ on Strava. Now edited.

    That’ll do for now. Just to show intent. I’ve not given up. It’s just a run/walk, blog/don’t blog strategy.
    image

    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 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.

    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’.

    Revival

    Posted: December 10, 2014 in Marathon, running
    Tags: , , , ,

    It’s 4am, I have been awoken by my eldest child and returning to sleep is not something I do well.

    Blogging regularly is something else I do not do well.

    In fact, here are ten more things I don’t do well:

    1… Head out for a run less than 40 minutes after I’ve decided I shall head out for a run.

    2… Stick to a training plan.

    3… Not eat all the biscuits.

    4… Dance.

    6… Count.

    7… Wrestle crocodiles*.

    8… Run up hills.

    9… Motivate myself.

    10… Ignore grammatical errors and just get on with my life.

    *It is, admittedly, quite possible I am brilliant at crocodile wrestling – I just haven’t tried.

    This is obviously not an exhaustive list. There are many, many things, but it would be rather depressing to go through them all right now.

    Some things I am aiming to improve on, however.
    Namely – points 2,3,5,6 and 8.

    The running mojo has been somewhat lacking recently. As has the general, getting-on-with-life mojo.
    So I did what many of us folk who pretend to be runners sometimes do… I entered a race.

    A local 10k track and trail type race, with, I might add, a Christmas pudding at the end for all finishers.
    About 3 years ago I really pushed myself to run a 10k in under 50 minutes, so with that in mind I…(blah,blah,blah…might edit this later to give a bit of a race report….but let’s face it, I probably won’t…) managed to cross the line in 50:18.

    Not too shabby, I thought (but sub-50 would have felt better) and I then immediately blamed the unhelpful habit I have of cycling to races. That would surely have been worth twenty seconds off the final time.
    image

    It’s funny,though. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the goal. I even, sort of, enjoyed the thrill of being so close but not achieving it. That means it was a good goal to have set. It’s no fun if you know you will attain it.

    So with that in mind, I went and entered a marathon again.

    Actually, that’s not strictly true. I haven’t actually entered, but I’ve thought super-seriously about it, planned transport, written the date in my diary, and told my wife…which is as good as entering.

    The thing is, I promised myself I’d not run another marathon unless I felt prepared and ready. I have nothing to gain anymore from ‘just getting around’. I’ve done five marathons now, I know I can ‘get around’ the course. But I also know it is not much fun if I’m not fully prepared and fully trained. I have told myself that even if I have paid to enter a marathon, I will not run it if I don’t feel prepared. Oh, and I definitely won’t cycle there.

    So I have restarted writing here to record what I’ve been doing to prepare. To be (a little bit, at least) accountable. I will try to be a little bit more regular over the next four months (I hear prunes help) about recording my training here (oh…I see). I need to see progress, or I won’t actually run it.

    I have four months. The marathon is mid-April. The day after my birthday. Huddersfield. It’s hilly. I need to run hills.

    So I’ve entered a hilly race in March ’15.

    That one is a twenty-miler. It should be the perfect prep run. And tough enough to make me take it seriously enough in its own right. Hopefully stop Mr from saying to myself, “ahh…It’s ok..That marathon is still a long way off…you can still get loads of training in before then…go on…eat that entire packet of biscuits….they’re nice!“.

    So for the last few weeks, I’ve been getting out a bit more regularly, visiting my local hill (a now abandoned ex dry ski slope) and doing increasing numbers of reps there.
    image

    I also have been trying to lose some weight and although I don’t want to turn this into a weight-loss blog, it is a part of this, because it stands to reason that dragging my current, 92kg frame around 26.2 miles of Yorkshire hills is going to be a lot harder than dragging say, 80kg around the same distance.
    I’m not a sports scientist, but I’d say that sounds pretty good as a hypothesis to me.

    I’ve been parkrunning a little more regularly again recently, managing an equal-to-the second-why-didn’t-I-just-push-a-little-harder-? PB on a local (Forest Rec) slightly hilly (but nothing like as hilly as Parke) parkrun. I get overtaken on hills – a lot. I catch up on the flat, then lose folks on the hills again. I need to run hills.

    Oh and the other, maybe slightly less than perfect (8 days before the planned marathon) prep run could be that a few days ago my brother, who has his 40th birthday a week before my (not 40th) birthday, has asked me to celebrate with him by joining him on a ‘wolf run‘. One of these run-through-mud and climb-over-big-walls sort of events.

    Ankle-twisting-tastic mate!