Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December - Month 2 - Record Mileage, Visitors and Eating

The month of December is always my favourite month of the year and this year was no exception. It was the last Christmas at my parents house as they move to pastures new in the New Year. We managed to get the whole family together for it, including my brother and his wife who were over from Sydney, my other brother and his girlfriend who were down from Lincolnshire for the holidays and my sister and her boyfriend as well as my parents. We also had my wife's Mum, Brother and Dog down for a few nights and so we were either hosting or being hosted for much of the holidays. Also our friends Amy and Col were back from China and so we paid them a visit or two in Sandy and also managed to fit in a day trip to Stratford upon Avon. All in all a very busy holiday period. The beginning of December was also busy at work. This all meant fitting in exercise would require some desire and some planning.

Thankfully I made time and as well as a little cycle commuting I managed to run a fair bit. I ran on 20 days and for a combined mileage of 158 miles another big record mileage month for me. I doubled up on a few days, nothing serious a couple of warm ups for the parkruns I ran and a lovely run in Sandy with my friend Amy who has recently had her first child. In total I completed 23 runs as follows:

6 x Commutes - Run commutes home of 7.5 miles each.
2 x parkruns - 20:13 with Joe and 20:17 with Luke both big improvements on any of my parkruns in the last couple of years.
2 x parkrun warm ups
1 x Run with Amy
3 x Long Runs - 2 x 17 miles and 1 x HM with Joe really pushing the pace in the last 5km.
1 x Tempo Run - 7 Miles at 7:15 min miles. Very pleasing.
8 x Easy/Steady/General runs - Distances ranging from 5 miles to 7.5 miles.

So 6 quality sessions with the parkruns, the long runs and the tempo run. I was very pleased with the outcomes of all of these (other than losing to my younger siblings in both parkruns) I am starting to see the benefits of two big mileage months back to back. I also enjoyed running with Luke, Joe and Amy. Running is the perfect setting for a catch up.

I have a parkrun planned for tomorrow to start the New Year and then my first big race to really measure my progress is the Great Bentley Half Marathon in early February. Still not sure on time targets for that race, but the results of that will strongly influence what I will target in the Marathon in April. Another month in the bank, now a busy January at work to get through and to fit my training around that. I will be back tomorrow to write up my parkrun result and to have a run down of 2014 in it's entirety.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

November - Month 1 on the road to Stratford Upon Avon

A really great first month in my cunning plan to master the Marathon distance and rediscover some running form. After a couple of fallow years where my running has been going backwards and I have suffered my first proper injury I wanted to apply myself properly. November is the first of six months to take me up to the Shakespeare Marathon at the end of April. The bare bones of my plan are as follows:

1) Run 5 times a week.
2) Run between 30-45 miles a week.
3) Run at least one parkrun a month to monitor progress
4) One quality session, two easy runs, one parkrun or steady run, one long run each week.
5) Good time management, run commutes or early morning runs to be most time efficient.

Prior to this month, in the 6 years I have been running the most miles I had managed in a month was 119 miles. This month I managed to achieve 136 miles in my 20 runs an average of 6.8 miles a run. The runs I did were as follows:

4 races ( 1 x 10k and 3 x parkruns)
4 runs in excess of 10 miles (15 miles longest)
4 commutes 7.5 miles a go
6 easy/steady runs of 5-6 miles
1 Tempo Run
1 Progressive Run

Also did 22 rides on my bike, almost exclusively commutes totalling 170miles.

The pace isn't good at the minute with the fastest parkrun being 21:22 and the 10k at the start of the month being 47:27 but a base is there to be built on. The holiday month of December will be tough and January is mad at work but I've got into some good habits in November and so am confident I can keep the momentum going. 1 down 5 to go.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Washington DC - Marathon Corp Marathon Report

Sorry for the long lay off on the blog front, I have been almost as quiet on the running front of late. My first proper injury in 5 years of running scuppered any chance of decent preparation for the Marine Corp Marathon. A grand total of 12 runs in 12 weeks, total running mileage of 56 miles in that period and a longest run of 12.5 miles a week out just to test how stupid an idea running a marathon would be.

The test run went as well as I could have hoped as I was on for a Half Marathon around 2 hours and I felt fresh and strong on the run. The previous injury and on going niggles all seemed ok and so I finished the run knowing I could drag myself round the 26.2 miles some how some way. We were all booked for Washington and so would be enjoying the City regardless, but having travelled all that way I wanted to attempt the race and with the dire amount of training the sole aim was that of completion and with a little luck some enjoyment along the way.

In my previous 8 stand alone Marathons I had achieved 4 sub 4 hour times and 4 in excess of 4 hours with a PB of 3:34 and a slowest of 4:39. My aim was for somewhere between 4:20 and 4:30 with a 4:25 achieved at Manchester earlier this year and the personal worst of 4:39 at Edinburgh both race times I was thinking of as the Marathon approached.

The pre race prep was good, me and Lauren arrived Friday lunchtime, we had some nice trips out on Friday and Saturday, and managed to pick up the number, a nasty looking free shirt and a nice paid for technical T-shirt. We were now ready for Sunday.

Race day was an early start, up at 5am out of the room by half 5, onto the tube at 6am. Even with this early start for the 7:55 race start we were still rushed and having got through the joke security I said goodbye to Lauren and made it into my start pen with about 10minutes to go. Just in time to see the Parachutist with the flag and the helicopter flyby both of which were spectacular. Then off went the gun and within 10 minutes I was over the start line and into my stride.

It was a lovely bright morning and I was enjoying the start of the race, the majority of the climbing was in the first 3 miles but I had seen that on the course profile and so was happy taking it gently. There were a lot of slow moving runners though and I didn't want to lose tonnes of time so picked my way through the crowds as best I could.

Once the climbing was over we went through Georgetown and there were some great crowds here, I particularly liked the Tomato Ketchup Bottle with the sign 'Catch up' and his friend the relish bottle with the sign 'Relish the challenge'. There was great support throughout most of the race and all of it was enthusiastic and there were some brilliant signs that had me chuckling as I ran.

Once through Georgetown we found some more hills to run up and then alongside the river. I watered the plants in the 6th km but I wasn't too worried by the lost 20 seconds or so. I managed to get a shot on the run as we went past a pretty building on the other side of the river. I've not taken pictures on the run before but with enjoyment being the key goal I thought I would try to capture some moments.

The next picture I snapped was of a runner ahead of me with a great quote which I will use to fuel my training for Stratford in 6 months time. "The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret." The pain of regret is something I may feel quite acutely if I don't nail my preparation for my 10th Marathon. I'm really keen to apply myself and to do myself justice over this brutal distance.

The run continued alongside the river, and for some reason the crowds seemed to have been banned from this section as there were lots of signs just stuck in the ground. It must have gone on for 2 or 3 miles and I did chuckle to myself as I ran along reading the signs. I was starting to flag a little coming up to halfway and they did lift me. Something else that got my attention was a runner clipping my ankles and nearly tripping me up. I was fuming! It had been busy, but the race was settling down and it was just so unnecessary, if our paces are that different at that stage and I'm running evenly, then it's you that's the prat. He waved an apology and I managed to settle myself back down again. There were still 22km's to go!

I saw Lauren at 11 miles as planned and I felt great, I had my headphones in but she shouted loud enough and I turned right into her smiling face and it was a lovely boost as the temperature rose as did my effort level. Our next meet was at 16 miles and now I was fading, I hadn't meant to slow myself down, but where once I was running 5:30 - 5:50 km's with staying below 6min km's as the backstop. Now the splits were nudging over 6 minutes and I couldn't up the effort any further. I walked through the water station just before 16 miles to make sure I got my Gatorade and water in but was back running again when I saw Lauren at 16 miles. She was smiling but I'm sure she had a worried look on her face, but when we spoke afterwards she said I was still looking good.

We were now running close to the Washington Monument and then right in front of the Capitol building. It was at this point just as we came up to the official 30km point that I crumbled and walked properly for the first time. I had managed the fade from 25-30km. 30km to the finish was the explosion phase. It was warm and my lips were so dry, there is a great shot in the official photos of me touching them.

Initially I thought I could manage the walking and I would get a second wind, but I couldn't bring any structure to the walk breaks and was just running as and when I could. There was then a very desolate part of the race along the motorway and a bridge. There was no support out there and every km and mile were now being ground out so slowly. There was little protection from the sun and even though I had taken water and Gatorade from most of the water stops I was still so thirsty. There was a shady spot on the motorway and I was so tempted just to curl up and have a nap before soldiering on again, I managed to drag myself past the shady spot though and finally made it over and back to the masses of supporters.

With 4 miles to go I managed to kick the base holding a flag in place, I had been walking and running almost in the gutter just trying to stay out of peoples way and when you are that tired bad things can happen. I actually got away pretty lightly from the incident and it didn't effect me on the rare occasions I had energy to run at this late stage. I used the portaloo with 4 km's to go and text Lauren to let her know I had half an hour to go. I then said no to the cookies and doughnuts, an interesting sugary pickup approaching the finish, but I was struggling to stomach the Gatorade let alone that kind of stuff!

I was feeling stronger and running a little more often but I was keen to leave something for the finish I wanted to run over the line and had also read before the race that the finish was uphill. Lauren had text back to let me know she was on the corner at 26 miles and she was just where she said she would be as I smiled and waved before slogging up the steep uphill finish. It keep winding upwards all the way to the line, and it was done 4:40:24!

Official Splits:

5Km - 28:46
10Km - 57:39 (28:53)
15Km - 1:27:45 (30:06)
21.1Km - 2:03:33 (35:48)
25Km - 2:27:40 (24:07)
30Km - 3:00:33 (32:53)
35Km - 3:41:25 (40:52)
40Km - 4:23:20 (41:55)
42.2Km - 4:40:24 (17:04)

The splits to 25km were very satisfying and even to 30km were ok. At the official 30km point I was just over 6min km average which would have translated to something like a 4:12 Marathon so as you can see I lost 30 minutes in that final 12 km slog to the finish.

I wasn't sure of my exact Edinburgh time and I think if I was I may have been able to muster the 42 seconds needed to beat it. In the grand scheme of it though I really did give what I had on the day and my condition immediately after the race and in the days following have let me know that I didn't take it easy. There are ways and ways to do Marathons and no training is not a strategy I would recommend. I'm really pleased that I did it, and the first 3 hours were a useful training run on which I can build. The subsequent 100 minute slog in the sun was definitely less useful but I got it done.

We are now home from our trip and Lauren and I had a lovely time, lots of post Marathon walking/hobbling to keep me on my toes. Billericaey 10km should be interesting this weekend!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 10 of 20 - Definitely Injured and isn't cycling great!

So half way through my 20 week plan and my Marathon prep just keeps getting worse. My injury isn't magically going away, I have just returned from a run of less than a mile, shin and ankle pain and running with a limp throughout meant I returned home with my tail between my legs. I had enjoyed a 5 mile run on Thursday with each km faster than 5min km's but that was all on the running front.

Got out on the bike again and managed 25 miles at better than 15mph which as it was only the 2nd ride I have done in the last 2 years I was pretty pleased. Out to Wallasea Island on flat roads and with the wind on my back I felt like a champ going out at 17.5mph before turning tail and managing 13.5mph or so on the return with the wind against me. Really pleasant cycling conditions and not much traffic, I even managed to navigate my way out there by myself. Have definitely got a taste for cycling again and with the injury seeming to only flare up running it's even more reason for me to get out on two wheels.

If Lauren and I can sort out the timings I may even go for a swim this week. Anything to keep myself active, I hate injuries!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 9 of 20 - Bikings back, and injuries

Just a quick catch up on last weeks training. 3 x 5 mile runs all very steady. 1 x 12 mile cycle.

I watched my friend Chris at the London Triathlon on Sunday and so was inspired to get in the garage and sort out my bike. After 2 years off the bike, it was covered in dust and with 2 flat tyres. After an hour of blood, sweat and pretty close to tears I successfully changed both inner tubes.

I then spent 45 minutes going on a local hilly loop I like and back home. It was such hard work, but I was really pleased to get it done. It's now a case of sorting out all the dull stuff like finding lights, charging them up, find keys for locks so that I can begin commuting into the office once again. It makes a nice change from running and hopefully the extra cardio should see my feeble running efforts improve again.

The running was less this week after a midweek trip to my physio. I have a tibalisis anterior strain/tightness which is causing me to limp around the office. It seems to behave itself when I run though. The advice has been stretch, half your mileage and come and see me again soon. Some of that advice I may take, other bits I might not.

So it's just a case of wait and see really, hope it won't put my marathon training back too much.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 8 of 20 - 2 Outstanding performances neither of them mine.

This week was a poor training week for me personally. Only 3 runs and 19 miles.

1 x Easy paced 10k
1 x Easy paced 5 Miler
1 x Slog of a 7.5 miler.

Body was tired and aching this week. Busy week at work and I had a drink and dinner offer Friday night and was unavailable for training Sunday so my opportunities to run were more limited. My right leg isn't quite right, and can't quite put my finger on it. I think it is a tight right calf, but I'm limping a bit, particularly the morning after a run day. Think I need a trip to the physio! So a lost week of training really, but hopefully I will have recharged my batteries somewhat and can hit some good mileage and sessions next week.

The focus of this week though were the Thunder Run and the Outlaw Iron Distance Triathlon. I had Pete at the Thunder Run running solo and unfortunately with the nature of not being able to be in two places at once I was unable to cheer him on. He performed brilliantly in my absence, thankfully having better weather than we got last year and did 20 laps, 200km (125 miles) in 24 hours. Dealing with injuries as well as all the other things that come with a 24 hour endurance race to finish in 2nd place as he did last year. A victory for him will come one year soon I'm sure.

The other event namely the Outlaw Triathlon was the event that I got up close and personal with. I didn't have to do much myself apart from sleep very little and drive quite a lot and cheer. Luke performed brilliantly in all 3 disciplines, a 1:17 swim, a sub 6:30 bike and a 4:50 marathon along with some transitions he made it home in 12:50, in excess of 3 hours quicker than my effort from 2012. It was an epic performance and just a massive day, thankfully I had booked Monday off work to recover but even after spending two hours in the medical tent Luke still found the energy to get himself to work the next day. Puts us mortals to shame!

Plenty of inspiration and motivation gained from watching Luke perform so well and dig deep when it really got tough. Hopefully use that as fuel going forward with just 12 weeks to go till Chelmsford Marathon.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 7 of 20 - Corner Turned?

Very pleasing weeks training. 30 miles run in 4 runs.

1 x Yasso 800 intervals
1 x 5 Mile Tempo
1 x 10km easy
1 x 2 hour run (13.34 miles)

I have got a new structure to my training, namely 3 x hard sessions a week with one and if I'm very lucky 2 easy paced runs. I've felt for a while that I am training too easy a lot of the time, hoping for monster mileage and to get quicker that way. The big mileage has never quite come and the effort has still felt quite high as I often run at the end of a long day at work and not properly fuelled.

The hard runs can be intervals, tempo, hills, parkrun or a long-run. Also in weeks where I have a race I may not do any other hard sessions and focus on easy paced stuff to get me to the start line fresh and firing.

My first go at Yasso 800's had me doing 6 sets and I managed to hold 3:35-3:45 with the same amount of time to recover. I will look to build this up to 10 sets. It was a really tough session, but with the constant clock and distance watching the time flew.

The tempo run was also a success, needed sub 5 minute km's at least and hit 4:45 or quicker through the 5 miles.

The easy run was anything but and felt like a struggle for large parts, but I got it done.

The most successful run however was my Sunday evening long run. After a busy weekend and waiting till the storm had passed I went out at gone 7pm and made a point of keeping my efforts steady. Managed to keep it pretty relaxed throughout and average heart rate was 149 bpm which was pleasing. Pace hovered around 9minute miles but I wasn't too worried I just wanted the run to feel comfortable. Just over a Half Marathon in 2 hours was a very pleasing result, and I felt I had plenty more in me.

Another busy work week and weekend coming up, so think 4 runs will be the maximum I will squeeze in. I think it might just be a tempo run and a 15 miler with the other runs being gentle recovery runs.

So perhaps some progress being made, but we will only really know when I race next. Which might be a parkrun in a fortnights time, watch this space.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 6 of 20 - Not Fast 10k In More Ways Than One - Kick up the Butt!

Disappointing race today at the notfast 10k. Managed to walk for 30 seconds or so which is never encouraging in a 10k race.

The course was good and the event well run. Made it down nice and early so could get our number and settle in before the off.

The race wasn't chip timed and so the official time was going to be the gun and if I was to stand any chance of chasing down Joe's 43:40 I was going to need every second and so plonked myself in row 2 at the front of the race.

I went out fast as is my norm, the course also meant I wanted to be near the front as I feared the path would be narrow and so make overtaking difficult. In the event the path was wide enough to easily run two abreast and so there was a steady flow of runners easing past me as I tried to slow myself down from the initial 3:45km to finally end the first km in 4:04.

I was looking at 4:20's to run it in 43:20 or so and I settled myself down and managed to run at that pace for the next 3 km. I was working too hard though and the route was gently downhill and I think probably wind with for that period.

The effort stayed high in the 5th km and the pace dropped significantly, the wind now in my face as we ran on the busy main road. Up the one big hill on the course to top out at 6km and thus another slow km.

I was fried now, my ambitious target pace and early efforts left me shattered at the top. I gave in and walked for 30 seconds or so to get my heart rate down and to give my heavy legs some time to recover.

We then turned left and thankfully there was a good downhill to get me running again. The running managed to bring the pace down to just over 5min km and it was then just a case of hanging in there for the return to the rugby club for the final 3km.

All thoughts of time were well out the window and it was just about getting myself to the line in one piece and I did manage a sprint of sorts for our travelling supporters.

Picked up my bandana/buff and a cup of squash and waited for Dad to bring it home. Was really pleased that he got himself a surprise PB and he can now tell anyone that will listen that he is a grizzly bear :-)

A disappointing day for me personally, but 45mins on an undulating course is probably about right at the minute.

The event was great and the course did feel net downhill for most of it (starts and finishes at the same place so obviously its net flat), but with the wind, the one significant hill and some other undulations it broke me.

Hope this race is the kick up the butt I need to get me out the door 5/6 times a week and to hit 40+ miles regularly. 14 weeks till the marathon :-s

Km Splits:
1) 4:04
2) 4:21
3) 4:17
4) 4:20
5) 4:34
6) 4:52
7) 5:02
8) 4:40
9) 4:38
10) 4:23

Aside from today's race I managed 3 other runs and a total mileage for the week of 21 miles.

The other 3 runs I did were as follows:

1 x Steady 5 Miler
1 x Steady 10k
1 x Rubbish 4 miler day before the race.

So a disappointing week in my Marathon prep, but hopefully the low point before a steep positive climb all the way to the big one at Chelmsford in October.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 5 of 20 - Tired and Niggling

Sorry for the delay in getting the blog up. It was a tough week, my body was aching and complaining from different parts, was also heavy legged and tired on a lot of my runs.

I did manage 4 runs and 26.5 miles

1 - Intervals -2K Warm Up, 4 x 800m tempo 400m recover, 1km Warm Down
1 - Medium Long Run - 10 Miler
1 - 10km Steady
1 - 5 Mile Progressive

So a couple of quality sessions in there. But the long run was a real struggle and I was waiting for it to finish for much of the run. Next week will be light as I try to let my body recover in the hopes of being fresh and firing on Sunday for the 10km race. Then I need to refocus on my Marathon training and start to nail some bigger than Half Marathon long runs!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 4 of 20 - Midweek Half Marathons and Weddings

This week got off to a slow start, with work being hectic I didn't manage to get out for the first 3 days.

Lauren was out supervising Prom on Thursday and so I took the opportunity to do a long run and managed to do a Half Marathon. I quickened the pace in the second half after a steady opening, I even managed to finish a minute quicker than I did at the Southend Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago.

Life then got in the way of running again, but I did manage to fit in a 5 mile run on Saturday at my parents caravan, before a very slow, very tired 5 miler on Sunday after my Cousins wedding.

Overall a very good life week, I think my efforts at work were appreciated, it was nice to spend an evening with Lauren at the Caravan, before a fantastic family wedding Saturday and a very lazy Sunday recovering.

The running part of the week left something to be desired. 3 runs 23 miles total, but more importantly a 13miler in the middle of the week saved it. If I can get out for a 5 or 6 miler tomorrow June will be my biggest mileage month ever, I have also ran 100+ miles for 4 months in a row something I had previously failed to do in my 5 years of running. The first 4 weeks of 20 have gone ok maybe 6/10 and with 16 weeks to go to Chelmsford I will be looking to take it up another gear or two.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 3 of 20 - Diet and Falling Short

So after the drinking excess of the England Vs Italy game I decided to track the food and drink I ate this week. It highlighted how much bad food I ate, but did have the positive effect of making me eat 3 square meals a day. I really struggle with Breakfast in the mornings but managed to get at least a bowl of cereal in me everyday.

The football went badly again this week with England being knocked out on Thursday. It has been frustrating to lose two tight games and on such small margins. Hope we get some goals and points on the board in the final match against Costa Rica tomorrow.

Finally to the main purpose of this blog the running, and that went ok this week. Just the four runs:
1 x 7.5 mile Commute home from the office - Steady
1 x 5 mile tempo. 7:15-7:20 mile pace. Fitted in between work and round a friends for the football.
1 x 5 mile steady
1 x 10 mile medium long run. 9 min miles.

I should have run 10km on Friday but had a dinner offer and couldn't refuse. Was pleased to fit in my tempo run on Thursday when I could easily have skipped it. The run on Saturday was tough and I had no energy for it. Recovered slightly on Sunday, but the 15 mile target was too ambitious and I worked hard to make the 10 mile minimum. 6/10 I'd say.

If I apply myself this week I should comfortably have the biggest mileage month of my life somewhere around 125 miles. So some encouraging early signs.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 - Week 2 of 20 - Bday, BBQ, Booze, Balotelli.

After the disappointment of Southend Half Marathon last week I was keen to have a big mileage week in week 2. These are the runs I managed to do:

5 - Recovery/Easy Runs 8:45-9:00 Mins/Mile

2 x 10km
1 x 5 Miler
2 x 7.5 Miles

Total Mileage 33 Miles.

There wasn't too much to report my body was tired from the Half Marathon and so I didn't want to push the pace. Just nice and steady in the hopes of something approaching 40 miles for the week. I over did the drinking on Saturday for a friend's Birthday BBQ and then into the England game, meant I was sick all Sunday morning. Had to cancel a planned cycle with my brother, but after a BBQ round my parent's for Fathers Day I did manage to summon the energy to go for a 7.5 miler before settling down for some World Cup action.

So a good mile accumulating week and my biggest mileage week since the Tenerife Training Camp. Will look for a similar week next week, with the addition of a 15 mile run in place of the 7.5 mile run this week. Depending on energy levels will also convert one of the easy 10km's into a tempo effort.

Starting to look at the other factors affecting my performance and so will be taking a closer look at what I eat, the alcohol I drink and the sleep I'm getting. No stone will be left unturned in my quest for a decent Marathon performance.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Countdown to Chelmsford Marathon 2014 Week 1 of 20 - Southend Half Marathon 2014 Report

So here we have the first of twenty blogs to document my journey on the way to Chelmsford Parks Marathon 2014.

My training this week consisted of:

4 runs
1 - 5 Mile steady (Nice run, listening to my new running playlist)
1 - 2 Mile WU, 2 Mile HM target pace, 1 Mile WD. (Had a play around with this session, the 7:30 mile pace felt really tough)
1 - 4 Mile General (Intended to be gentle run a couple of days before the HM, but was working far to hard and was just fried)
1 - Half Marathon race (A really disappointing race, the blow by blow details are below)

Shocker at the Southend HM. Really must rank right up there in term of race disappointments, with results compared to expectations.

Had done a 10k at the end of May and did 44:00, so should have been able to achieve 1:38 today, worst case 1:40. Went out aiming for 7:30 miles and was too fast early on, the cramped streets and no attempt to filter people based on estimated times mean lots of dodging needed.

Made it down to the seafront at 2 miles and was working hard, tried to settle down and find my own space and pace. Managed to rein it in and went through 4 miles slightly ahead of the 7:30 average but I was working far too hard for it. Was already thinking of ways to manage the blowup.

Did miles 5 and 6 in 8 minute miles and then mile 7 in just under 8:30. My first walk was just after 7.5 miles, was gutted. Hoped it was temporary and I could settle into 8 minute miles and come home in 1:45ish, but I was bushed and the walks were coming more often.

The Heart Rate for the first 8 miles of 175beats a minute as an average looks too high based on 190 Max HR that is 92%. Hopefully shows that it was physical as well as mental weakness.

The 2nd half of the race was just a grim battle with the heat and my body. Apart from mile 9 it looks like I found some kind of run/walk pattern to do 9:30 minute miles and had enough energy in the last 400m to put a good burst for home.

Really gutted by today's race, but it was my 6th Southend HM and I haven't missed one since my debut in 2009. I could so easily have sacked it in and walked off today, was just blown. So pleased to keep the run of races up though.

I won't dwell on it too long, I have done 2 10 milers since Manchester Marathon at around 9minute miles. My consistent 25 mile weeks of 4 or 5 runs of 5 miles or 10k are great and a building block but obviously lead to decent shorter distance results. The way I'm set up at the minute with no cycling to bale me out, I need to do the medium and long runs for decent Half Marathon and Marathon performance.

I'll be blogging each week to let you know of my training progress and have some fuller blogs when the week involves some racing. I might do a parkrun, but my next official race is a 10k in July and I hope to perform much better there than I did today in the heat of Southend.

Below are the eye wateringly bad splits, just noticed that my mile pace gets slower and slower without fail, miles 1 through 9. Ouch!

Split Summary
1) 1m - 7:11(7:11/m) 171/178bpm
2) 1m - 7:22(7:22/m) 176/181bpm
3) 1m - 7:32(7:32/m) 176/178bpm
4) 1m - 7:38(7:38/m) 175/178bpm
5) 1m - 7:59(7:59/m) 176/178bpm
6) 1m - 8:00(8:00/m) 175/178bpm
7) 1m - 8:25(8:25/m) 174/176bpm
8) 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) 171/176bpm
9) 1m - 10:30(10:30/m) 162/173bpm
10) 1m - 9:39(9:39/m) 135/154bpm
11) 1m - 9:35(9:35/m) 140/166bpm
12) 1m - 9:31(9:31/m) 166/173bpm
13) 1m - 9:23(9:23/m) 168/178bpm
14) 0.13m - 48(6:18/m) 178/179bpm