21 days to go.

27 03 2010

This morning’s run, my longest so far at 21 miles, was  a repeat of the route I did last week with an extra 3 miles tagged on at the end.  Got round  in 3 ½ hours = 210 minutes, so  exactly 10 minutes per mile.  If I can keep that up, I should be able to manage 262 minutes or 4h 22m for the marathon.

Only 21 days to go now but today’s run is the last long run – the aim of the next 3 weeks is to keep the miles up with shorter 6 mile runs, but basically just recover from today and build up energy for the marathon.  My feet will be grateful for that!

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Up on the Downs

25 03 2010

Click to open in Mapmyrun

Enjoyed a chat  and change of scenery this morning, running up towards Devil’s   Dyke at 6am with a friend, Lance,  who’s training for the London marathon.   Lance got me into running a couple of years ago by suggesting Parkrun and it’s probably that recommendation that’s led to my training for the Brighton marathon. Lance – it’s your fault!

This Sunday is the last big run before I start to ‘taper off’ on the training. Hoping to do 22 miles.  The idea is then to ease back on training over the last 3 weeks, so that I have fully recovered for the big day. I certainly want to feel more energetic than I do now. The Easter holidays are just a few days away and I can’t wait to have a lie-in!





Third place for Panthers

23 03 2010

We had such high hopes for Sunday’s match against Polegate.

A superstitious person might have recognised a number of bad omens leading up to the game but I missed them all. At 9.30am our left back pulled out. Not a disaster but it has to be said we’re very much a right-footed team. Note to self : practice left footed passing at every training session. On arriving at the ground, I put out all the corner flags and pegged out the nets only to discover that the nets had been pulled away from the crossbar – how didn’t I notice that? My bag of cable ties had disappeared so with only 45 minutes before kick off we moved to an adjacent pitch. All this was eating into our preparation time but we finally got the lads together for a warm up. Then my phone rang. The referee couldn’t make it. When I asked what had happened, I was told that nobody knew where he was because he hadn’t come home from a sleepover!

At this stage, I could see myself having to ref – not the sort of thing a manager should do when playing against the top team. A desperate phone call later and a neighbour of mine offered to help out. He had just come back from working all night but turned up looking as fresh as a daisy. Brilliant – I could now concentrate on the team.

We started the game well but by half time we were trailing 1-0. Still, it was quite even and we had every chance of getting back into it. Then everything started to go wrong. Two players had to retire injured and we quickly conceded a second goal. We’ve been quite a resilient team this year and have a few comebacks to be proud of. Unfortunately and despite a real effort by all of the lads, we were slowly ground down and Polegate dominated the second half. It ended 6-0, not a fair reflection on the amount of possession but we were definitely second best.

This has still been a great season for us- we’ve finished in 3rd place, our best ever finish and, with a bit of luck, we might get promotion.

Sunday was a rest day for running but I was out this morning on a 5 mile run to Patcham and up to the top of Mill Road. The weather is getting so mild now I might have to consider wearing my shorts!





One month to go

20 03 2010

The Brighton marathon is four weeks tomorrow.

Had planned to do a half marathon starting at 6am this morning, with the aim of finishing in time to get down to Hove Park and be a marshall for Parkrun.  As it turned out, I left a bit late and decided to try 18 miles. I did it in exactly 3 hours with an ache in every joint. Really enjoyed going out so early, no cars about so I could run in the road for most of the way. Went out to Portslade and then back along the seafront all the way to Rottingdean and back.  The tide was out, making all the rock pools visible from the undercliff walk.

Came back from Rottingdean over the cliffs. Went out along the undercliff walk.

Despite the pain of standing in the sea after last week’s run, I manfully got straight into a cold bath for 5 mins when I got back. Can’t say I enjoyed it – if I’m honest, I wailed like a baby- much to the amusement of the rest of the family but I don’t have any aches now so maybe there’s something to be said  for it.

Although the marathon is one month away, my long distance runs start to tail off after the next two weeks. Next Sunday is 18 mile, with possibly a full marathon the week after. Can’t imagine it.

Oh…and thank you Di for my first blog comment!

It’s a scary thought – I have to run 26.2 miles in one month.  I was supposed to do another half marathon today but decided to push it a bit further and try for 18 miles. I had intended to leave at 6am and get back just in time to be a marshall at Hove Parkrun.  Actually set off at 6.40 gatting back exactly 3 hours later.




Agony

14 03 2010

Standing in the cold water was sheer agony but it's supposed to be good for you! I lasted all of 30 seconds.

Set off at 8am this morning to complete the first 13 miles of the marathon course which starts at Preston Park. The first mile takes you around the park and includes an incline along Preston Park Avenue. It’s pretty flat from there until St. James Street but eventually we got onto Marine Parade. Five miles  done.

The route then follows Marine Parade all the way out to Ovingdean and then loops back along Marine Parade and back into Brighton.

A running friend of mine once suggested that I should be plunging my legs into an ice bath  after long runs to help the recovery process. I was a bit sceptical until I heard that Andy Murray does it after training. Then I saw Eddie Izzard do the same thing after one of his epic marathon runs.

With all this in mind, I got it into my head that it would be a good idea to plunge into the sea when we got to our target of the Meeting Place Cafe just past the West Pier.  Sean, who had joined Paul and myself for the run, was having none of it but I managed to convince Paul that the quick dip would do him the power of good.

I can honestly say that the water was the coldest I have ever experienced.  In fact it was agony and the steep bank of pebbles didn’t aid my escape from the water. I managed to get up to my thighs for all of 30 seconds before making a hasty retreat.

Felt a bit of a wimp until I saw a wet suited swimmer come out after 2 mins, saying the water was ‘f*****g freezing’.

Couldn’t have put it better myself.





3-3

13 03 2010

Panthers score with a rare headed equaliser to level at 2-2 after trailing 2-0 at half time.

The week has been so busy, I’ve hardly had time to fit training in let alone update the blog.

We were away to Polegate Grasshoppers last Sunday – a much anticipated game as they are the division leaders having won every game so far. We quickly went 1-0 down and then, after playing quite well, conceded another just before half time.  After scoring two quick goals to level at 2-2, we went behind again. With just 5 minutes left, a 30 yard looping shot over the keeper got us back to 3-3, and that’s how it ended.  That point still keeps us in with a chance of promotion if we can win both of our last two matches.

I felt completely shattered with the drama of the match but after the  game, I did the second half of the Brighton marathon course out along Church Road and then out and back along Basin Road. Felt quite comfortable and would have been able to do a few more miles. Mind you, that is the flat part of the course. Not sure what it’ll be like after having done the first half which is what I’ll be doing tomorrow. The stretch out to Ovingdean has a few inclines so I’m not looking forward to that section as much.

This morning was the St. Patrick’s Day Parkrun, which is run in the reverse direction. I think it’s easier that way round and I was hoping for a faster time – possible a PB. Everything was looking good until my catastrophic schoolboy error. I didn’t spot the roped off finishing channel and went past it, missing out on a time! Never mind, I still got a finishing position so I’ll have a rough idea of my time.

Henley-on-Thames

Highlight of the week. I was working in Henley on Tuesday and managed to get out at 6am for an early morning run along the Thames. Didn’t see any rowers but there were a few swans for company.





All pegged out and ready to grow.

4 03 2010

With training beginning to dominate all of my spare time, it probably wasn’t the best idea to take on another project but I think this is going to be fun. At the back of college, a small patch of land has been allocated to 15 members of staff. There are 5 plots, each about 20 metres square and each shared by 3 people.

After the initial euphoria of finding out that I’d been successful in getting my first allotment, I  realise I haven’t got a clue what to do next.  There’s been a lot of talk about mulch, manure, compost and so on but I think we’ll need some expert advice! There’s a group called Harvest Brighton & Hove who are leading an initiative to develop small plots of land in the city. They are about to set up a vegetable garden in Preston Park so might try to see how they go about it.

Training at Withdean on Tuesday night was fun. The format was slightly different to past weeks:

4 x 200m

1 x 800m

4 x 200m

1 x 1km

4 x 200

1 mile

Must admit I liked this better than the doing the 3 x 300m and my 1 mile time was 6:13 – a bit better than last week so that must be good!

It’s starting to get lighter in the mornings now and it’s so much easier to get out of bed – tomorrow it’s  6 miles. This weekend, I’ll be doing 18 miles again. Although I’m finding the long runs quite hard, I’m just watching Eddie Izzard on BBC3 – 43 marathons in 51 days!! Really inspiring.








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