The musings of andywg
Taking Boris home… well to Padders

Just haven’t perked up enough to run tonight, especially not 8 miles along the canal so I jumped on a bike again.

2.61 miles in 18:17. 8.6 mph average. Slower than this morning buy felt like more traffic lights. Still good fun.

Oh and Ami, no helmets worn I’m afraid. But I didn’t crash so it was immaterial… ;)

BORIS!!

I was once lucky enough to see Boris (Johnson, the amazing mayor of london) running on the canal path - both he and me were running - so today I took our relationship one step further and grabbed one of his bikes.

I hope to run later and was tired this morning and the tube did not appeal. So after some wondering around trying to find a station I went through the rigmarole of purchasing some cycle time and grabbed the bike.

I got lost a few times but eventually made it 3 miles to the office in 20:17 (8.9 mph average) and arrived in a kick better mood than from the tube.

Hopefully I can manage one of these bad bots with my suit bags as that way I can still get more cross training in to stay fight and ease up on pounding my ankle.

Oh, and I did not jump any red lights, ride any pavements or do anything stupid. Good times.

Marathon in the legs…

Body felt mostly recovered enough today to go for a little run commute. So off I set to paddington. Overall I feel a bit run down but that is likely the marathon effort taking its toll.

The legs definitely complained, as did a taxi driver not looking at a zebra crossing who nearly hit me. Still, it makes a change from bikes for once.

2.47 miles in 19:52; 8:01 ave.
Splits:
8:18
7:51
0.47 at 7:50

Quite happy with that. Would have loved to be able to run at that all day on Sunday…

I would love to turn this back to a training blog so might try for a while and see how it works. Will probably be boring so I apologise now

London Marathon 2014

As is ever the way these days, I find myself writing the report from a strange place.

I knew I had done nowhere near enough training to do what I wanted to do.  Especially, I hadn’t put the long runs in to get me the legs I needed.  I had done some work though and I wondered whether there might be a chance.

However, drinking just before the start left me needing a piss right at the off so I dived off the start block (Blue) to wee up against a sign.  This meant I was now some way behind the 3:30 paces but I figured it would give me a good slow target to aim at to help bank some early time.

How wrong I was.

It seems that blue start is far worse than red which I had last time.  We had a number of pinch points which meant the first mile was 8:40.  Some 40 seconds down on the target time and giving me an uphill battle.  the second mile was little better at 8:19.

I had to put in more effort than I wanted but it started to become an ask.  In fact it was worse than the figures showed as the amount of weaving I was doing meant my miles were coming up way short of the course miles.  I got to 5k and was a minute behind schedule.

I got to 10k and was still a minute behind.

At this time someone I know from the Arc2Arch run shouted my name and squirted a bottle at me as I turned.  She was annoyed she started a way back from where she wanted to be but was in better shape than me.  I tried to stay with her and we chatted a bit and tended to leap frog as we weaved our way through the crowd.

20K came and I was still a minute down.

At this point I knew I was pushing harder than I wanted.  It was also much hotter than I had expected, and I knew that the marathon is always a suddenly hot day.  I adopted a different than usual race strategy of keeping a water bottle and just sipping a tiny amount whenever my mouth went dry.

So a decision was made.  I knew I would not get the 3:30 I wanted today so I would kick back and enjoy myself.  Before long it was the right hand turn onto Tower Bridge Street.  Now the course had been far busier with support than I recall, possibly due to Mo.  But Tower Bridge is always amazing.

I ran hard right and made sure to stop and pose for my friend Taff who was taking photos there all day.  I then cruised round and after turning right noticed that the leaders were coming past on the switchback.  And I knew who would be close behind.

I darted left and when he came into view I shouted as loud as I could at Mo to keep going.  I then eased back and could tell this from the fact my mile splits barely changed…

Beats me too!

However, by now my left foot was playing up.  Every stride was agony and it got no better.  And this was a shame because, barring the discomfort and distraction caused by my cyborg appendage, I was in a very good mental place.  The miles which are often the worst for me (14-19 - where you have run for ages and still have ages to go) I viewed positively.  But the pain and sapping took their toll.  Before long I Was running off my foot so putting all my right side out.

And so I came to stop and walk, something I desperately did not want to do this time, especially as my first (and only other) London became a walk run affair from mile 11.

So I decided I could make a little further before stopping.

And I kept going.

I had seen a couple of people from work and a few from my club cheering, but missed Laura at mile 21.

On the switchback I noticed that the 5 hour people were going past.  Knowing that my Ems was taking it very easy and determined just to get around, I hung left again and looked out.  This also allowed me to hide from the crowd as I was a little upset that I could not be as happy to them as I would like.

Suddenly I heard my name shouted from in front and there was my fine lady.  I ran into her arms and stopped for a hug and kiss.  I then sobbed as I told her just how much pain I was in with my foot.  we chatted and I Was such a gent I did not ask her at all about her race was going and how she was despite knowing she was injured and ill.

Yeah, I’m a great guy!

But onwards I went and, by this time I was 22 miles in and before long I had another special shout and saw my parents crammed at the front of the barriers just before you head into embankment.  Again I stopped to hug them and got the most amazing lift when my dad screamed how proud of me he was.  

Having hundreds of strangers shouting your name and egging you on is one thing.

As a man(boy), having your own dad shout it at you in front of hundreds of people is something way above that.  I kissed them, mentioned I was in a world of pain and was then shooed on by them.  And so I went.

Weirdly, after seeing them my foot finally eased up.  That or the rest of my legs started to hurt so much I couldn’t notice it any more.  Still grinning and choking up at the support of friends, unknowns and family I headed to embankment and the constant wall of noise cheering me in.  I am proud to say I still did not stop save for a piece of show boating where the two cameramen were at a division in the road in Birdcage Walk.

And after what felt like the longest 4 miles, I turned into the Mall and saw the finish line.  I would make it.

And I did.  In 3:43:10.  56 minutes quicker than my last London, but 9 minutes off my PB and 13 behind the target.

I know I did not deserve the time I wanted as I had not trained for it.  It was a fight just to get me to the finish line.  However, it is over and I can move on.  Exactly how I feel changes by the day.  I meant it when I wrote on twitter that at least now I can slope off and hide in ultras where times are immaterial to me.  I have said before that London is not a great PB course unless you are very fast due to crowds.  But crowds do not excuse a miles 21-23 paces of 9:09, 9:55 and 9:12.  That’s just a lack of training, effort and effort in training.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, and 3:43 is no mean feat.  But I hate the injuries I pick up on my left ankle these days when I push hard, and the thought that all my best times are behind me fills me with dread.  And at the same time, the disappointment grows with each failure to the point I almost feel like giving up on ever getting a better time.

But for now, as I said, I can hide in ultras and moving towards the Neon Thames Challenge, more on which to follow.  For now, I shall mull over what was a fantastic day tinged with an edge of disappointment.

All set…

I will admit, just now I am so fucking excited that I cannot tell you! :D

Now for food, a quick sauna, and head off to London to see some old friends, to my cousins and then it will be race day!!!!

All set…

I will admit, just now I am so fucking excited that I cannot tell you! :D

Now for food, a quick sauna, and head off to London to see some old friends, to my cousins and then it will be race day!!!!

Bought a new vest at the expo!  :D

For better or for worse the last of the training ended today with an “easy” run just under a couple of miles.

That easy pace ended up pretty much bang on marathon pace.  I hope it’s good.  The heart rate was a bit high, but then I always run with a high heart rate and I never pay attention whilst running.

On reflection, I did nowhere near the endurance training I wanted.

But I did get in two 21 mile+ runs.

I got in two 17 mile runs on consecutive days, both with a heavy backpack on.

I got in plenty of faster midweek 10+ mile runs after work

I got in a shit load of 2.5-10 mile runs in the mornings with a heavy backpack on.

So in all honesty I have no idea how this will go.  The biggest hit to my training has been mentally with a very hard and tough winter.  But I am here now.  I am excited to run in London.

But I will give it a go.  It will be real shit or bust time.  My aim is to tag onto a pacer for 3:30 and see how long I can hang on.  I don’t have any great expectation (as opposed to plenty of desire) I will succeed but at least if I bag a load of 8:00 miles then it should help if I fall off to try and dip under 3:34 (8:10 pace) to at least get a new PB.

And if all else fails, I’ll just smile and wave like an idiot to everyone! :D

Good luck to everyone else running and, if it is your first, just hold out until Embankment; that is fucking unreal and you will love it!

After this is over I have some new on the charity challenge later this year (Neon Thames Challenge) which hopefully will interest people.

How I feel most the time these days…

How I feel most the time these days…

Thank you fate

Just when I am feeling really low about my running ability I ha e a shocker of a weekend.

Then I get an email about T184. Turns out they reckon you should get to 100 miles before sleeping. I am less sure.

God I hope I find some ability and belief by then…

Finally!

All my old miniguns (and of course, I have many) have been requiring a decent upgrade for ages.  Now I can do so…

Finally!

All my old miniguns (and of course, I have many) have been requiring a decent upgrade for ages.  Now I can do so…

Struggling

I think I have been quiet on here. I don’t know for sure as I haven’t dared to open the app for the embarrassment of jot having the time/inclination to see how everyone is doing. Especially as I am convinced you are all doing better than I am.

This winter has been tough. It’s been wet, miserable and dark. Work has been manic and trying to train for a marathon whilst working a very busy job, commuting for 4hours+ per day and study for the last part of a law degree where I don’t give a fuck about the outcome has taken its toll. Especially when you get up at 4 am and spend a few days getting home at 10. Having run up over 1,000 minutes of train delays inside of 2 months has not helped either.

And then there is the running. I wish I knew why I have such a love hate relationship with it. But for whatever reason, I am struggling right now. All I can do now is look back to my performances 2 years ago when I went 2:24 over 20 miles and 1:31 at half marathon. And then look now where I can’t run below 8:00/mile without part of my body flaring up and me having to lose runs.

The love is just not there.

I have even wondered whether I have already peaked. I always expected that after 10 years I would see some issues with the running. Maybe the pace and distance is too much?

Regardless, the hardest thing is I seem to have acquired a load of successful friends who are all smashing their training and getting performances that I used to think I would shortly achieve.

And I am fucking jealous.

I’m not jealous of their results, but their ability and determination to keep up their training so that their results come therefrom.

And then I find myself embarrassed. So much so I am signed up to do a run weekend after this one where I know some of them will be there and in don’t want to go as I don’t want to speak to them and admit just how poorly everything has gone training wise but I am bored of lying so as to pretend to be the happy laughing neon one all the time. I’m certain they will be sympathetic and caring, but u don’t want them to have to be. I want to be that successful person I was before. Whilst I still don’t describe myself as a runner, running does define and reflect me in a number of ways and having it drop off is hard to take.

The training is so bad I can see I have piled a few pounds on which will not help as well as starting to give me body image issues. I am my own worst critic for physique at the best of times. Now one of my waistcoats no longer fits… well I am far from content in myself.

I hope it is mostly the winter. But if it is, it’s not the best answer. I hear it happens once a year (except Socal…). All I want to do is retreat completely from everything and just give up.

I just don’t know. And that’s the worst :/