More Of The Same. Much More.

We’ve had a few things going on.

I was worried about Wendy, she’s been having small coughing bouts every day for over a year. Then I read on Twitter that one of the after effects of Long Covid is pulmonary fibrosis, a stiffening of the lungs that reduces function until death. That is less than ideal. I nagged Wendy into going to see the doctor, who referred her for a lung x-ray. The good news is they’ve said there is no apparent issue, case closed, so she’s not going to die. The bad news is the implied “suck it up” medical advice for her ongoing cough. Meh.

We took a mini break to north Wales. It was only 4 days, and it was only 50 minutes away, but it was a complete change of scene and felt like a proper break.

I got to do some “Chariots Of Fire” running.

And we went to Bodnant Gardens again. Always lovely.

When we came back I was surprised to be back on 2 shifts a week. I thought work had picked up. I asked and they have a definite start date now. The automated sorting machinery is running in the morning and evening as they ease the new tech in, but the whole thing goes properly live on the 25th of July. Then it will be all hands to the pumps. I can enjoy the last few quiet weeks now I have a set date. I’ll be a sad panda when I’m trying to fit my training in around full time work again. Money or leisure. It’s an either/or thing.

Training is going well. Sort of. I was very bored with Camille’s plan, it was too easy and too repetitive. Get up, run 8 miles, easy, then go to work. 6 days a week. OK, it’s not quite that dull. Long run one day, specialist training (hills, sprints, etc) one day, but mainly it’s 8 miles, easy. It was boring.

Then I was talking to someone on Twitter and he said about running from one end of one of my run loops (Carr Mill Dam, St Helens) to the end of another of my run loops (Wigan, where the old canal meets the Mersey). He’d run it one end to the other. Being me, I decided to run it as a loop. 31 miles.

Basically it was all the dumb I swore I’d never do again after reading that article.

I hadn’t trained for it, was winging it, all attitude and no preparation.

I set off in my ASICS (the trainers that were rubbing so badly I ended up buying a bunch of new pairs. They have been alright on shorter runs, but you can see where this is going) wearing a running vest stuffed with 2½ litres of water and energy powder. There’s an extra 6 pounds of weight. On a hot day. I was cruising for 20 miles, (which, by no coincidence, is about the distance of my long runs on my training plan) then it started to hit me. My feet swelled with the heat, the weight, and the distance, my toenail was getting battered. By 24 miles the wheels had truly fallen off. My pace had dropped and I was trying to run on the outside of my foot because my big toenail was so painful, which used different muscles, causing my calves to cramp. I made it to 29.6 miles but then I had to quit. I limped home in a sorry state.

My toenail had gone a funny colour and was painful to even have the shower water hitting it. I asked the ultra runners on Twitter (they are always losing nails, it’s one of the joys, apparently) and someone said I had a blister under the nail. I had to stab it to release the pressure. That was a great relief. It was still bashing on everything so I’ve had to clip it back and file it flat. I’ve been for two runs since and it’s fine and dandy again.

So basically, breaking the plan to go off and half-arse a stupid long run for which I hadn’t trained wasn’t a great idea.

Some would say slightly ill judged. Possibly.

Then, as if by magic, the plan started to make sense. I noticed some of the boring 8 miles, easy, runs had times. Over the weeks the times have come down, 8.30m/m, 8.15, 8.00. Then today the plan was for my long run, but instead of boring, slow run, it was this beast:

That’s run 11 miles fast, then faster, faster, then 4 miles, when you are getting a bit tired, at sub 3 marathon pace.

That’s more like it!

I can see the point of the plan now.

This is my last week “trial period” with this plan. Next Monday I’m going to run a test half marathon. If the plan is working, and I’m considerably faster than my last half, I’ll start it again from week one. If not, I’ll switch back to the Advanced Marathoning plan. It’s brutal but effective. But after next Monday I commit to one plan, then I’ve got 16 weeks until my official sub 3 attempt. That still seems like a big ask. Focusing times.

I have this thing for small cars. I love the Fiat 500, the original Mini, the 2 seater Smart car, etc.

Saw this on a film and loved it!

But then I looked it up. It’s no aircon, windows don’t open, no airbags, 1 star safety rating, 216cc and 13bhp. OK, maybe not.

Then I read about of class of Japanese mini cars (Kei cars) that are limited to tiny dimensions and 660cc engines.

I nearly talked myself into this:

But again, the reality is abysmal. 50mph flat out and screaming. Won’t go up hills. And, being a novelty import, £8K! Again, maybe not.

Right, catch up the Twitterverse and I’m out of here.

Some commuting advice

A brilliant thread on some geezer in some TV show.

Chum had a moment.

And on that sour note,