Test Run.

I’ve been putting off updating my blog because today was the test, the proof of the pudding, Blackpool marathon. I went with my latest trainers. Nike were having a sale of the original, benchmark, super trainers so I thought I’d give them a go. They don’t spin my legs up but they are very springy and the reviewers said they leave you feeling fresh at the 20 mile mark so you can start to push on. I only got them last week, when I was already in taper, so I was taking a gamble on them as I hadn’t tried them over any distance.

Weird looking things, but feather light and very springy.

Since ASICS have messed their sizing up I’ve gone from one pair of trainers at a time for all these years to this:

Anyway, it was all or nothing today. I was after a 3 hours 15, but I’ve been nervously watching the weather forecast all week and it’s been “windy with very windy gusts”. It was along the seafront at Blackpool, it’s nothing but gusts. The final verdict this morning.

The race was supposed to start at 09.00. That’s tough running weather. 13 to 17 mph winds, gusts of 21 to 27 mph. Tough.

This is what 27mph gust looked like yesterday.

I was not looking forward to it.

I set off quite fast but got tachycardia within the first mile. I wasn’t expecting that. I wanted to run through it, but I just couldn’t. I had to stop for 2 minutes to get it settled. First mile. What a bummer. I got back to it and worked my way through the pack. The wind was killer for about 6 miles in one direction, and you had to do it twice. Tough, tough.

I gritted my teeth and pushed on. I finished in 3.16:59. That’s with the two minutes lost to tachycardia, and against awful winds. I’m well pleased with that. It was only a small field of runners (355 for the marathon) but I finished ahead of the first woman runner (that’s never happened before), 41st overall, and third in my age group. An age group podium! Me! That was a good day’s work. And very encouraging for my goal of a sub 3.

In other running news, someone on Twitter just did the Manchester to Liverpool ultra. A 50 mile race between the two. And posted pictures of himself on Latchford locks. I’m far too easily lead. A few hours later I’d signed up to next year’s race. So I’d better smash this sub 3 pretty quick to get on to distance training.

My new training plan has arrived from Camille (the woman who’s setting all the records). I wanted to try her plan because mine has no easy days. Modern thinking is all about 80/20, 80% really easy, 20% flat out. My plan has no easy. It clearly works, but I’m worried it’s smashing my body too hard. Overtraining just leads to burn out and injury. So I thought I’d give her plan a go. It’s based on lots of little runs. Long runs at “super easy” pace (she’s American, bless). I am in two minds now it’s arrived. It looks too easy. But on the other hand it’s still about 60 miles a week and when you shuffle through a few weeks you see this: (finger and thumb)

Oh. OK, I’ll give it a go. I’ve got time to give it a month and see if it works for me, if not I can always switch back.

I spotted Boris (the rat that comes in our garden) again for the first time in a year but I fluffed my shot rushing it. I got cheap set of telescopic sight. I’ve not quite got them zeroed in, but I’ll take that for a 3 shot grouping.

I asked about why work is dead. Apparently while they are finishing off the automated sorting machinery they have just installed they’ve diverted loads of our work to another depot. I thought it was all the drivers they took on, but I got told out of the 30 they took on, 25 have already left. (I’ll do it. Gizza job!) The good news is the new kit goes online next month, then depot by depot we are going to be handling everyone else’s work. We are going to be mad busy. Good. I’ve been looking at other jobs and they are all less money, big commutes, unsociable hours and long, long shifts. The only one I could see with comparable pay was 00.00- 03.00 starts at Haydock. So say midnight start, 1 hour 20 commute (round trip) 12 hour shift, home for say 12.40, try to force yourself out for a run for an hour or two, food, shower, make your butties, bed for 15.00, try to sleep, up again at 22.00… That is not a life. Always exhausted. No time with Wendy. Just work and sleep and short runs (if I could find the self discipline after 12 hours and terrible sleep). The last time I did that I was slipping into depression within 5 months. And I was actually considering applying for it before I talked to the manager and found out what was happening.

I’m sure there’s plenty that’s happened since my last blog but I’ve forgotten and I’m a bit tired and done in after today.

A bit of a Twitter catchup and I’m done.

I was sorting some stuff out and came across an old demotivational calendar. They crack me up.

Look what Honda did to Tom Baker’s K9!

The bottom 2 look like some kind of avenging angel

(“Bangs” is American for a fringe, apparently)

And someone’s pic of spring in the UK.