It’s Not All Bad.

We went to Spain for a week and that was nice. While we there all sorts of shenanigans broke out in the UK. The last time we went over we left the UK all was normal, we came back a week later and the supermarkets were empty, the streets were desolate and it looked like a post apocalyptic film set. This time we left the UK goose-stepping into totalitarian fascism with no hope of ever escaping the Tory/nazi deathgrip on democracy.

By the time we were flying back we were expecting to be greeted by banners saying “Welcome to the Glorious Worker’s Republic of Corbynistan, comrades!”

While we were over there mother text me to tell me Lisa’s car was dangerously unfit for purpose. The steering is all over the place. We’d told Lisa that we’d get her a new car when she needed one, but she hadn’t told us. When I said about her steering she said “It’s alright. I just don’t go on fast roads.” Incredible. I know she was just trying not to spend our money, which is thoughtful, but dumb. So dumb. She could have gotten herself killed.

Anyway, we had some savings put aside for such an eventuality, and I’d already done a lot of research into which would be a good car for her, so we got her a Hyundai i10. They’re a little, city, runaround. They will do 105mph, but they are for tootling around town, really. Small, easy to drive and park, reliable, good spec and cute, apparently.

Sorry about the arrows, I had to screenshot the advert and couldn’t crop them out. It arrived today on a flatbed. Lisa has been fit to pop from excitement so we went around to see the big moment.

Here it is arriving on a flatbed.

Here is Lisa watching it arrive on a flatbed, lol.

She’s a very happy bunny. So that’s great.

Big shout out to Wendy. I wanted to get Lisa a fairly decent car, one that would hopefully last her for years. That wasn’t dirt cheap. It’s Wendy’s money as well, and it’s not her sister, but she totally wanted Lisa to have it. She was saying tonight that we are privileged to be in the position where we can help people out. The love of money is the root of all evil, and all that. Happily (due to my condition) it’s never really had a hold on me (spend it if we’ve got it, don’t if we ain’t) but good on her for stepping up. Lisa was so happy it was a treat to watch.

I’ve waited until after my marathon to post this so I can update it a bit.

Lisa has been having issues with the car. She stalled it 3 times on the way to work on her first day in it. She was still stalling it today, 4 days later, so I went out with her to have a look. It does take a bit of revving to get going in first, but it’s a petrol, it’s not got the low down grunt of a diesel, so it’s probably just that. It was smooth through the gears in motion, and changed down fine. Lisa had another go and I spotted a few things. She had the seat too far back so she was struggling to fully depress the clutch, she wasn’t building the revs to set off, she wasn’t feeding the clutch in gently enough, and, a problem I spotted with Wendy (same driving instructor) but one you can get away with in a diesel, almost stopping at junctions in second gear and not changing down. I pointed those things out and she was starting off better than me, and not stalling slowing down. Hopefully that’s that, she can practice and get her confidence up. She loves the car still.

I did see a quite nice bike for me

Vincent HRD Silver Shadow. The Black Shadow was the bike that held the world speed record for 35 YEARS! The Silver Shadow is just the more exclusive, custom made, version where the engine casings were chromed instead of blacked out. I’ll have it!


Also this last few weeks I’ve been looking at VFR750 motorbikes. Someone who restores them is selling one for a bargain price. The clutch and all the bearings have been replaced, carbs rebuilt and balanced, fully serviced, all the fairings fit as snug as out of the factory. I started to bid on it but it didn’t meet the reserve price. He’s just relisted it at £1,500, which is a steal. I’ve been back and forth for days, but in the end I just don’t need a motorbike. I cycle to work, to the shop, it would be no use to get to races, I don’t have a single use for it. It would be sat under a tarp slowly rotting. It was a close call though. I wanted it badly. Maturity and impulse control are joy-sucking constructs and I don’t approve.

The not so good news is I’m not going to get my sub 3 at this attempt. I’ve been trying to work out my best race strategy, whether to go out at 6.50m/m pace (sub 3) and see how long I can hold it (but then I will definitely crash and burn) or go for a more realistic pace and hope to hold until the end. I don’t know which would be faster, overall. I posed the question on twitter tonight, then by a handy coincidence, shortly after, someone posted an interview with an elite athlete on marathon pacing. She said the number one mistake in a marathon is setting off too quickly. Even the running god that is Chipoge (the sub 2 hour guy) said he set off too fast recently, did a 59 minute first half which destroyed his second half so he *only* ran 60.30 (or something as ridiculously fast) for his second 13.1 miles. I’m taking that as a sign. I put my best half marathon time into a race predictor and it said I’m good for 3.07:48 or 7.10 minute miles. I’ll go for that for the first half and if I’ve got anything left try and up the pace in the second half. It’s almost exactly halfway between my current marathon PB (3.17, but 2 minutes of that was stopped with tachycardia) and my goal.

Next time.

After this race I’m battering work for a few months to get our savings back up, and I’ll take a week or so off running. Since Chester marathon I’ve totally lost my mojo. A week or so of total rest (after an all-in marathon) is not a bad thing for my body, (I think the plan says to run 15 miles in total for the week) and it will have me itching to run again. At the minute I’m having to fight to push myself out of the door. Then I’m going to go back to Camille’s plan. I think the problem is I’ve been overtraining. You can do that for a while for quick results, but keeping it up for 10 months has just drained me. My body doesn’t have the rest time it needs to rebuild battered muscles. That is how you train, they say. Push hard, rest, and let your muscles heal and adapt. If every run, 6 days a week, is pushing, there is no room to recover and come back stronger. At least that’s the only reason I can think of why I’m not so much better than I currently am. It’s worth a shot.

Well, that was a disaster.

It was chucking it down and my feet were soaked (so, heavy) before I’d even got my race number. The course was laps of a racing car circuit and for most of it were splashing through puddles. It was cold and wet and windy. I was doing OK though, after 11 miles I was only 4 seconds slower, overall, than my planned 7.10 pace, and I was planning on speeding up a bit when I felt I had it cracked. Then the tachycardia hit. I lost 2 minutes 40 seconds waiting for it to settle. Worse, I was cold, wet, and miserable and I just lost my focus. Because of the laps nature of the race I had to run past the start/finish point a mile or two later and I was ready to quit. I was beaten and I was slow, and it suddenly felt hard and pointless. I looked at my watch and I was still doing 7.30 so I decided to keep going. But every 3 mile lap I had to force myself not to quit at the finish line. Being a race course it had a long straight, which was into the wind. For the last hour the wind picked up something fierce, one mile was an 8.18! I finished in 3.15:52.

I was gutted. 7 months of smashing the training, losing sleep to get up early and run, pushing and pushing, and I was 1 minute 7 seconds faster than Blackpool (where I also lost 2 minutes to tachycardia).

It is absolutely overtraining. I can’t think of anything else. I’m going to go back to the training plan and revise it so it works as an 80/20 plan. It’s a different kind of discipline. Forcing myself to do boring, boring, slow, very easy runs 80% of the time. Although I’m already looking forward to pushing like a madman for 20% of the time.

Anyway, the positives; didn’t die, didn’t quit (actually a massive achievement),15th overall, first in my age group (it was a tiny field of determined waders who ran it so not as good as it sounds) and new PB.

I’ve had a few days rest while I get my head back into the game. So far I’m off on Thursday, I might go for a slow jog.

I was going to finish with a load of Twitter stuff, but I’m looking at the size of it and I think I’ll do a separate blog for that again. I’ll try and do it on Thursday if I’m off.