Spuds in.

27 04 2010

Green shoots appearing.

My poor allotment has progressed little over the last few weeks. Training for the marathon took priority of course and I didn’t want to do my back in like I did in January when I tried to be helpful and clear away ice on the pavement. Worryingly, my allotment neighbours have been planting with indecent haste, making my own efforts look less than spectacular.

On Saturday, I went to Rushfields plant centre, near Saddlecoombe. What a great place! I now have enough seeds to get started: courgettes, beetroot, shallots, potatoes and sweetcorn. Hopefully get everything planted by next weekend.

It’s only a week since the Brighton marathon but it seems ages ago now. I decided to do Parkrun on Saturday – great as usual – and managed a very gentle 37 mins! Sunday was the London marathon – really enjoyed the build up but felt a bit sorry for the runners when i started to rain heavily before the start. That would really have changed things at Brighton but we were lucky. My cousin Claire and good friend Lance were running so  it was fun tracking them on the 5km tracker that was provided. By the afternoon I was itching to get out and run so did an hour up to Patcham and up through the woods to the Windmill. Ended up running through a cow field near to the windmill near Mill Road (the same one that’s in the image at the top of my blog ) By the windmill, there are sheep grazing. Read something about them in B&HNews.

I’m in no hurry to start a new running challenge but I did read that the entry for Brighton marathon 2011 opens on 10th May. Definitely doing that again – the pain of last week is beginning to fade!


Such a brilliant day!

20 04 2010

Just leaving Preston Park after the start.

I did it! Without doubt, the Brighton marathon was the hardest, most painful run I’ve ever done but it was such a fantastic day. I keep seeing snapshots of the event in my mind – it’s hard to imagine that it all happened in one day.
Met up with my training buddy, Paul, about 8am and got down to Preston Park in time to join in with the pre marathon warm up – dance aerobics style! Everyone was up for it and the weather just added to the occasion. We moved into the starting corrals and as soon as the race began I started to hear cheering and I can honestly say it seemed continuous all the way around the course.  The opening 13 miles were good – I needed to drink much more water than normal but I felt fine. As I got to 16 miles I was starting to ache – hamstrings mainly – so had to stop and stretch a couple of times. By mile 21 I was really starting to flag and the bleak surroundings at Shoreham Power Station didn’t help much. I then caught sight of the 4 hour pacer and followed him home to get a chip time of 3 hours 55 mins. Click here to see a video of my finish. The last 5 miles seemed to go on forever and I just wanted it to stop.  I must find out who the pacer was because I wouldn’t have made it under 4 hours without him.
As soon as I crossed the line, I could hardly walk and just wanted to sit down. Would have been great to sink my legs into the sea but I didn’t have the energy to get there! Eventually got back home and had a great meal at our local pub with Paul and our families. There were some other runners there as well and everyone just wanted to talk about it.

Sunburnt, sore and slightly wilting in my laurel crown! Thank you Sue and Marek!

To all of those people who got up at 5am to volunteer on the day – I am really grateful. The support and organisation was brilliant and I’m already thinking about next year! I managed to raise £615 for the National Hospital Development Foundation. My page closes in 3 months so I’m still going to try and reach my £1000 target. Thank you to everyone who has supported me – I really appreciate it.

Training OVER!!!!

16 04 2010

For the first time in 3 months I’ve got 2 rest days on the trot – what luxury! I did 3 miles yesterday at Hove Park at almost crawling pace. Must have done 12 min miles but it was fun.  Lots of people using the new outdoor gym equipment in the park.  Looks like a really good idea.  Was it the volcanic ash sweeping the country that made it quite hazy in the morning? Who knows but it was a good talking point! Some mischievous person  on twitter was even suggesting the marathon had been cancelled. I don’t care if the pavements are 6 inches deep in ash – I’m running.

Right on cue, I went to bed with a sore throat last night. Great! Everyone else in the family has had it so I suppose it’s only fair. This morning I’m taking frequent sips of water but I feel fine so don’t think it will have any adverse effect for Sunday.

Early night tonight and then Parkrun tomorrow for marshalling.

Venus and Mercury

14 04 2010

Venus and Mercury seen from Brighton looking West about 9pm. Image by Darren Baskill

Last night felt like the last real training session before Sunday. Did 5 miles around Preston Park as the light started to fade about 8pm.  By coincidence I had just been reading that Mercury and Venus are visible late evening. The sky was clear and right on cue, both planets were in full view with the naked eye. The image to the left was taken by Darren Baskill, Outreach officer at Sussex University. You can see Venus (top left) and Mercury (fainter, lower  and to the right). Mercury will only be visible for a few more days because it will soon be in line with the Sun.

Darren Baskill’s blog

Beetroot, courgettes and herbs

12 04 2010

Digging for victory!

Saturday morning saw the much anticipated appearance of Mrs G ( aka Helen) at Parkrun. We ran it together in a time of 36:13 which is now Helen’s PB.  Really enjoyed it – even after being lapped twice by the eventual winners. Think Helen is now converted to Parkrun as she spent most of Saturday trying to find the online results.

Completed the last long training run on Sunday morning going 10 miles along parts of the marathon route.  Loads of people out running on the seafront. I hope weather is much the same next Sunday – bright and cool with not much wind.

Rest day today so decided to do a little bit of work on my allotment. Last week I discoverd huge roots just under the turf which ended my hopes of early planting. Today I felt a bit more optimistic that I might get some beetroot planted before the end of the week. Other ideas are courgettes, spring onions, chard and various herbs. Keen gardeners please feel free to comment! According to an article in the Independent on Sunday, courgettes are great for first-time vegetable growers – ‘they just try so hard’. That’s my kind of vegetable!

Tomorrow is my last 5 mile run; then 3  miles on Thursday and that’s it.

A lone blue amongst the pinks.

8 04 2010

Having now had a few days to digest the marathon pack information, I’ve just discovered that my blue race number has some significance. When I registered way back in July(?) I was asked to predict a finishing time. Stupidly I must have put down 4 hours and, as a result, I’ve been put in the 3.45 to 4 hour group (blue).

Race Day Information

Each runner’s number is colour coded to show their predicted finish times and the corrals are arranged to match these.

The colours are as follows:  (from Brighton marathon website)

2 hours 45minutes to 3 hours 45 minutes
3 hours 45 minutes to 4 hours
4 hours to 4 hours 15 minutes
4 hours 15 minutes to 4 hours 30 minutes
4hours 30 minutes to 5 hours
5 hours to 6 hours

All of my training has been, at best, 9 mins 30s per mile, so I’ll be pushing it  to beat 4 hours and I don’t really want to seize up at the end having gone too fast. After all I’ve got to face my students on Monday!

So  I may just sit in amongst the pink runners and finish around 4h15m.

Parkrun Freedom

6 04 2010

Parkrun is booming - George Primentas

Got down to Hove Park this morning at 7.45 to run the Parkrun course with Paul. Although Parkrun is held on a Saturday morning,  with Parkrun Freedom you can run the course at any time and then submit your time to the website.  Felt a bit strange with just two of us standing at the starting line without the usual megaphone welcome from Richard or John but, for the benefit of seasoned Brighton Parkrunners, I can confirm that no t-shirts were handed out and there were no newbies 😉

I failed miserably to run at marathon pace but I did come 2nd – my highest ever Parkrun finish!

Parkrun is slowly but surely growing as a national event. I came across a nice Infographic ( click on image above) showing the number and locations of new events. In this week’s Runner’s World,  Lucozade are promoting Parkrun by advertising Run Free on May 29th.

If you’re on Twitter search for #parkrun.

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