The Wales Marathon 2014 – week two


This week gave me a chance to follow up my great performance at Trimpell with a week off work, meaning lay-ins and meals on time for a change, I can’t wait……

Tuesday – 8 miles with 10 x 100 strides

Preparing to set off on this run it appeared I had avoided the rain which had been on and off all day, however by the time I was ready to head out the back door it was pouring down once more. So I quickly popped back in and plastered up my nipples. Red raw nipple showers, are not fun!! 

200 metres into the run however the rain came to an end, which was good in one sense but in another it meant that I got quite warm, fairly quick and the cap I’d brought along with me quickly became a hindrance. I believe they say the body heats up by as much as 10 degrees when working out.

Surprisingly despite Sundays efforts, the first few miles felt great, perhaps extra sleep really does aid recovery. Although a couple of miles later I was beginning to feel some affects from Trimpell so much so, I considered skipping the strides and it was so tempting!! But I talked myself out of the easy option and took on the strides regardless finding I actually enjoyed doing them. Some were controlled, some were into strong headwinds and others flew by leaving me wishing I’d felt that fresh on those final few metres of trimpell……

I didn’t bother recording my strides, I’m not a sprinter any way and getting better over short distances isn’t really my aim. The eight miles were completed in 01:01:29


Mixing things up a little and to keep a good home / running balance I swaped the planned 12 miles with Thursdays planned 5 mile recovery run, which after spending all day in the garden I took at leisurely pace. Although I did decide to take on kittlingborne brow, a local challenge of a hill with a 10% gradient, which on my way too I past several runners heading in the opposite direction……..yes I did envy them. That said, I didn’t push it to hard on the climb as it was a recovery run after all and slowly jogged up the thing.


I returned home, passing a discarded rubber bat…… in 41:57 not bad considering I didn’t push myself at all on this run.


Getting up early, well 8 am seems early when the latest you’ve been getting up at is 9 am…….

I got out on my twelve mile run at 9.30 and boy did I feel it, my legs were heavily and my motivation low. I really wasn’t up for it physical or mentality, but plod on I did finding a second wind, annoyingly though just as I reached a long up hill section, so that didn’t last. I managed to pick up the place again when I reached the long down hill section, well going down hill does help….

This third wind, was taken out of me when I reached the notorious kittlingborne brow, which took me five minutes to climb and unlike yesterday’s easy accent it was a struggle to the top today, what a difference 24 hour little hours make…….

After that it was a mixture of brief energy bursts and slow plodding to make it home in 1:44:18 not my greatest run but heck there will always be days like these and they make the good times, extra special.


Having spent the day painting , it was great to get out in the fresh air , not so great returning home as my nose had forgotten the smell of paint only to be rudely reminded of it as soon as I stepped through the door.

The run itself was a five mile recovery run and as as per my previous recovery run, I took it at a comfortable pace, although this time I took the kittlingborne descent rather than climb that thing for a third time in one week. Unlike yesterday’s run, I felt much better going round this time with no stiffness and no tiredness which was a good job as I planned to head down to parkrun in the morning, not that I will be aiming for a pb mind you!!!

Run time 42:01

Incidentally, at this point, I was just one mile short of 500 miles, so I’ve made a note of when the magic 500 as to be reached. Which I will sadly enjoy…….runners hey!


What a kerfuffle!! The plan was simple, get up at seven out at 8.20, three miles run to parkrun, then parkrun, finished off with a three mile run home. In reality, it was up at 7:30, quick breakfast, out the door at 8:30, two minutes later realise I’d forgotten my bar code, turn around run home, get bar code back out at 8:35. Fast 2 mile run to parkrun. Catch breath, then parkrun then four mile run home…… laid plans hey!!

As for parkrun itself I wasn’t planning on working hard today but then my friend Louisa said to me that’s my neighbor over there you have to beat her, she’s quick but you should still beat her…….., so being the competitive type, I set off at a fast pace only to find that even before I’d even made it to the top of the first hill climb my shoe lace had come undone!!! uff!! This was the second time that this had happened to me at a parkrun, most likely caused by my often getting up late and having to rush out the door to make it to the start line on time!!

I waited until the top of the hill climb on the second lap before stopping to do my lace, as I figured, less runners would over take me whilst I was tying my lace and if they did then they could be still over coming the affects of the tough hill climb. In fact only two did pass me and quickly caught up and passed them once the offending shoe lace had been dealt with.

Working hard to regain my position, which took me the rest of the second lap to do, I passed the guy who was just ahead of me, when I had stopped for a shoe lace pit stop, just as we began the third lap. Looking ahead, I spotted the very next runner was a guy I once pipped in a sprint to the finish, at parkrun. It took me almost the entire final lap to catch him up, he has clearly as been improving at the same rate as myself.

We both worked hard over the final lap moving up the rankings and lapping some of the slower runners and when we got to the bottom of the down hill section on the third lap he was just two meters ahead of me and I could hear that he was breathing heavily. This told me that I could beat him, if I could only catch him up and pass him. With perhaps just 100 metres to go, I did just that (despite the thought going through my head, that I wouldn’t be able too) and as I moved into the final straight I moved up into a sprint then with a glance over my shoulder I could see day light between us and I was able to ease down over the final two meters or so.

Finishing the run, with a surprising PB of 19:29, a good days work and after a bit of break watching others finish, I set off for a slow four mile run home completing my 9 mile target in 1:06:59

Sunday with 8 miles at marathon pace

My 16 miler and it was perfect weather for it, sunny with a cool breeze, although occasionally there was a strong cold gust that hit you just when you didn’t need it. And after yesterday’s surprise parkrun PB I didnt need it or any of the inclines I came across during this run. While I made my initial 8 mile target time, as I moved up to marathon pace for the final 8 miles, I began to run out of steam and by the 13 mile point I had, had enough. But as it was a training run, I could afford the luxury of slowing down and plodding home.

During this run there were two incidents of note. The first being stopped by a fellow runner who asked if I was doing a marathon this year and when I said yes he went on to explain how he had entered the London and Manchester marathons only to now be suffering with an injury. After telling me about his plight, he then invited himself along to the wales marathon with me, explaining how we could either take my car or go by train………

Unfortunately, when he found out the marathon was in July. He announced he couldn’t make it after all as July wasn’t a good month for me……………a very strange incident indeed

The next incident occurred when I entered Avenham Park in Preston and found myself amongst the Preston sport relief event, luckily they were running the opposite direction to me, although I did get some strange looks from the race marshals as I ran against the tide of charity runners. Afterwards I couldn’t help but think they should of joined up with parkrun, what a missed opportunity.

Run time 2:12:45

On to week 3 it is and 58 miles of running joy or misery depending on how it all goes

Tuesday : Medium long run 11 miles

Wednesday : Medium long run 13 miles

Thursday : 5 mile recovery

Friday : 9 miles with 4 miles at half marathon pace

Saturday : 5 mile recovery

Sunday : 15 miles medium long run

In other news :

8 Reasons to love Half Marathons

To reach your best, you must venture out of your comfort zone and into the unknown

Breakfast for athletes

Win a pair of Mizuno Wave Hitogami





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