Monday, September 16, 2019

Bristol Half Marathon 2019

Abingdon Marathon Training 

- 5 weeks to go!

Both of us: Blue 
John -Orange 
Kelly - Purple 

Monday 9th September 2019

Just a cycle to and from work today and no running. I did however pop to the dentist in the evening for a Wisdom Tooth check up. The dentist's exact words - all healing nicely! 

Knackered - Just a 1mile run for me today - Home from work. Feeling DOMs-ed from the Satursday long run.

Tuesday 10th September 2019

I wanted to do a 5 mile recovery run today and, being back at school, I've found I'm very tired in the's hard to get back into the swing of work after 6 weeks off! So I decided to go out before work and get the run done. I went out at 5:45 and, to my surprise, it was dark! I've gotten so used to running in the daylight it felt quite strange. Gentle recovery run at 9:23mm.

Annoyingly, I had a meeting after work in Clevedon so I couldn't cycle today. 

2 Miles to work and 3 miles home @ 9MM Pace - Legs still feeling awful.. With a big race coming up on the weekend I wasn't too upset about lacking in miles already on day two of the week - it probably made sense to cut back a bit - although it being forced upon me was a tad annoying!

Wednesday 11th September 2019

Another day of no cycling as I had another meeting. This time in Yatton. I did run in the evening however. We ran to club and then did the first winter 8 mile route of the year. 10 miles in total at an average pace of 8:20mm. At one point, whilst chatting away, I looked at my watch and spotted that we were doing 7 minute miles without realising - always nice to slip a couple of speedy miles in without noticing! 

2 miles to work and back home again @ 9MM Pace 
10 Miles @ 8:20MM Pace which included running to club, the winter 8 route and running home.
Legs finally starting to feel slightly normal... nice to catch up with everyone at club and good to get reunited again with the winter routes and the Portway... ready in time for this weekends Bristol Half.

Thursday 12th September 2019

I was up early again today - in the dark again but this time I was ready for it! Another 5 miles, slightly quicker than Tuesday - 9:04mm legs are getting fresher ready for the Bristol Half on Sunday. 

I also cycled today and stopped part way through to do my bit and answer a questionnaire for Sustrans. 

2 Miles to work and 5 Miles home from work @ 9MM Pace
I've been using my work commutes to catch up on podcasts... I invested in a pair of bone conducting head phones... these allow me to listen to podcasts/audiobooks/music whilst still being able to hear other runners, walkers, cyclists and cars etc...

Marathon Talk - Episode 505 was a good one! A good interview with Aussie marathoner Julian Spence who has gone from 3:something to Sub2:15 over the course of 10 years. Also good to hear that Kenenisa Bekele could be back on the marathon scene and running Berlin in October (probably my fave ever athlete... 5K and 10K World record holder... 4th fastest ever marathon 2:03:03)

Friday 13th September 2019

No running or cycling for me today as I had a sports massage straight after work. I was quite looking forward to having a rest day and hoped it would get everything feeling fresh ready for Sunday. 

2 Miles to work and 4 Miles home from work @ 9MM Pace...
Legs stll feeling a bit rubbish and have done overall throughout the week... hmmm... Not filling me with confidence for Sundays half marathon...

Saturday 14th September 2019

Today it was our running friend Laurence's 100th Parkrun at Ashton Court. I wanted to support him but didn't want to run the day before the Half so decided to volunteer instead. My role was to use my best 'teacher voice' to ensure that everyone stayed in order in the finish funnel. 

After some delicious Gluten Free Angel Cake - thanks Laurence, we walked home and put our feet up for the rest of the day. 

5 Miles including Ashton Court parkrun. Was great to catch up with everyone and enjoy Laurence hitting the 100 parkrun land mark... was hard work keeping up with him and rightly so as he joined the Sub19 club with an Ashton Court PB! 9th Place with 19:10 for me... probably a little quick the day before a race but I felt reasonably comfy throughout... bit of a confidence boost legs wise after them being miserable all week...

Sunday 15th September 2019

Today was the Bristol Half Marathon. After a solid 7 hours sleep, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to race. The best thing about this race is that we can walk to the start in 10 minutes so it was a nice relaxed start to the day. 

We met the rest of our club for an obligatory GWR club photo before doing a mile to warm up and then entering our pen. 

Both John and I were in the same wave right at the front so we didn't have to worry about it being too crowded. Eventually, the gun sounded and we were off! 

From the start, my left leg felt a big hamstring and calf were tight on that side but I tried to put it out of my mind and focus on the aim - running 6:25 mm for 13.1 miles. I was aiming for a PB (1:25:31) so wanted to go out at that pace and see how it felt. 

I'd buddied up with Catie and Rob who were planning on running the same pace as me. Dr Dave was planning on joining us too but clearly we were too slow as he stormed past us at mile 2! The first few miles went to plan. I was working hard to hold the pace but it felt alright. After about 6 miles, Catie dropped off as did Rob so I tried to tuck onto a couple of other groups and keep the rhythm going. 

At halfway I felt alright. My pace had dropped a little during some of the uphill miles but I was still on for a good time and possibly a PB. I was trying to keep it going but getting hotter and hotter. At every opportunity, I threw water over my head and tried to cool myself down. Mile 9 is where it really started to get hard.  The course got very twisty and turny and I couldn't pick the pace back up on the short straights after slowing for the turns. What was nice is that lots of my fellow GWR runners were passing me ...slightly annoying but nice to see friendly faces and get some encouragement. Actually, the whole course was full of encouragement. I saw so many people I knew and was constantly being cheered on by shouts of 'Go Kelly!' -thank you everyone - it really made a difference. 

I realised around mile 10 that I wasn't going to get a PB today. I re-evaluated and decided to focus on getting a sub 90. In hindsight, this was probably the point that I let myself slow down. If I'd really wanted to, I probably could have pushed on. But I think it's harder to be motivated when I'm way down the field with at least 20 girls ahead. If it was a smaller race and I was in with a prize, I probably could have found something...

I did a couple of slower miles (7:21 and 7:22) when I noticed that my running form was horrible. I stood up straight, leaned forwards and managed to do the next mile in 6:55. By this point I was very hot. I only had 1 mile to go and I had 10 minutes to do it to get a sub 90. It was just a case of pushing to the finish. 

The last mile always catches me out. Unlike the 10k, where you go around the center and right to the finish, the race in the half takes you - pointlessly- up a HUGE hill ....well it felt huge...and then back onto the finishing straight. The hill seemed to go on forever and by this point I was just looking forward to stopping. In the last few meters I saw that I was close to sub 1:29 so put in a last little sprint to just tuck in at 1:28:55. 

Not a PB but not bad for a hot day on a hillier- and- twistier- than- I'd-remembered-course!

I definitely have a problem with my left leg. It didn't massively slow me down but it didn't feel great. The area that was dry needled last week felt a lot better so I've booked in to have a bit more of the leg done. Hopefully I can get it feeling better in time for Abingdon. 

Hmmm... 1:26:52... Not what I'd planned... After 10+ weeks of decent marathon training, a half marathon time earlier in the year of 1:26:07 (off of no training) and a 10 Mile race time of 59:46 only a fortnight a go - I had big plans... I wasn't expecting anything near PB pace (1:17:15 = 5:54MM Pace) but I did rather fancy something around or under 1:20 or 6:06mm pace... 3 Miles in and on paper things looked like they were going to plan... mile splits of 5:58, 6:01 and 6:05 but... I felt HORRENDOUS... my legs felt like concrete blocks, blocks with steel reinforced rod going through them... heavy and far from flexible... it was warm but we were in the shade throughout the first half... I made some changes to my game plan... I feel experienced enough nowadays to know when it's just not going to be my day... I felt that I'd slow down to marathon pace - 30 seconds slower at 6:30MM pace and try to enjoy the rest o the race whilst still banking a training session of sorts... the miles ticked by, not terribly uncomfortably but I never quite found my flow or any sort of rhythm.. 10 miles flashed up on my watch and I'd had enough... it took all my might to concentrate on just getting the race done and trying not to get overtaken by the ever closing KD... with a mile or so to go - 2 GWR club vests overtook me... Mike looked like he was jogging past me as he checked I was OK and Gary's humorous and pitiful slap on the arse was a little more embarrassing... finally I crossed the line. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon pretty annoyed with myself.. thinking about retiring from running and taking up other sports; maybe archery or orienteering... I really feel I'd let myself down today and that my training hadn't given me the karma I felt I deserved... 6 pints later and I'm maybe feeling a bit differently... It was a bad day. These things happen - I feel that I know this more than most! On the flip side, when I scroll through my Power of Ten and my Strava - I realise there has been so so many good days - again - more than most! Better a bad day today than at Abingdon in just 6 weeks time! Onwards and upwards... 3 weeks of proper marathon training with another blitz at a half marathon race and then a decent taper to take me to race day.

Well done to everyone who took part and a genuine and sincere thanks for all of the shout outs (and photos taken) along the way - when you're having a bad day it does make it all that bit easier. 

Total for the week: 

Kelly - 34.1 miles 

John - 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

6 weeks to go!

Abingdon Marathon Training 

6 Weeks to Go! 

Both - Blue 
John - Orange 
Kelly - Purple 

Having been away on holiday last week, this was our first week back to normality. 

Monday 2nd September 2019

After 6 weeks off, today I had to go back to work. Luckily, it was an INSET day so I had one more child-free day! It was lovely to go back actually, mainly to catch up with the staff and chat about our summers. 

I'm going to try and cycle every day this year (maybe unless there are torrential rains or snow!) so I started today with 3 miles each way. 

No running for me today though - still recovering from the Oldbury 10 yesterday. Legs very tired - especially my left hamstring. 

Back to work for me! I walked in and ran home: 5K @ 9MM Pace on the way home. Hard work - going back to work... after a week of sleeping, napping and sleeping!

Tuesday 3rd September 2019

My first day with my new class today! They were very sweet...rather smaller than I'm used to having been with Year 6 for 5 years - now being in Year 3 is quite a change but one which I'm very excited about. I cycled again today and was hoping to get a good run in. John and I had made a plan where I'd get home, park up and change and run out to meet him. The plan worked and I ended up running 3.3 miles. I had hoped to run further but actually my legs were still pretty sore so 3 was enough in the end. 

2 Miles @ 9MM Pcae on my way into work.
10 Miles @ 8MM Pace on my way home - Cycle path throughout and meeting KD with 3 miles to go was nice. 

Wednesday 4th September 2019

Anther cycle - slightly further today because I was tutoring after school. 8 miles for the day. Then, in the evening, we went to our running club. The nights are drawing in so it's almost the end of our summer runs through the woods for this year. We managed to squeeze in one last summer 8 mile run tonight although it was rather dark by the end. 

My legs - particularly my hamstrings - were feeling really tight and tired still and with a 20 miler planned for the weekend, I got home and quickly booked a sports massage for tomorrow night. I booked in with Matt (the physio who also does acupuncture) after Jenny (my regular physio) mentioned that it might be worth trying, I decided to book a sports massage with Matt to talk it over. 

2 Miles each way - to & from work - @ 9MM Pace
Then to running club with KD and the gang! Last summer route of the season - running round the woods is much nicer than down the Portway - but back to the grind of autumn/winter training next week. Wanting to bank a long-ish run - I ran from home to club as well as the club run - 
13.2 Miles @ 8:29MM Pace

Thursday 5th September 2019

Another cycle today but no running. I went to see Matt the physio at Comfort Health in Clifton. I had planned to get a sports massage and just chat about the acupuncture but after looking at the needles which were far smaller than I'd expected and Matt explaining that it really wouldn't hurt at all, I decided to go for it! 

He used the needles at the very top of my hamstring as he suspects that the problem might actually be the tendon because I've had this dull ache for nearly a year. In that time, you'd expected a pulled hamstring to have healed (apparently) whereas tendons are more stubborn. He put the needle in and then moved it around to activate different areas. It didn't hurt a all but did feel rather strange. Every now and then, the needle would hit a nerve and my leg would twitch unexpectedly. He also gave me a deep tissue massage on the area and advised me not to run for the next day. 

Straight after, my leg felt ok...but driving home was really quite painful! If I have it again, I definitely won't drive home after. 

An easy day of running for me - 2Miles to & from work @ 9MM Pace
Using my commutes to try and catch up on podcasts.. today was listening to Finding Mastery - An Interview with Meb Keflezighi - a Boston Marathon winner always takes my interest and he came across as a top guy with some good advice regarding perseverance and sticking with it (Fastest American V40 with 2:13!)
Car passed it's MOT amazingly - yay!!!

Friday 6th September 2019

No running for me today. I did cycle to work though and my leg felt pretty good after the dry needling - a little sore but alright. 

Still taking it easy with a long run planned on the weekend...
To and from work - 4 Miles @ 9MM Pace

Saturday 7th September 2019

We had planned to do our long run today but John wasn't feeling well...I'll let him explain about that... I went out planning to just do 3 or 4 miles but my legs felt great so I ended up doing 7 miles nice and gently at 8:45 mm. I could have gone quicker but wanted to keep my legs fresh for tomorrow. 

Struggling! A very disturbed nights sleep and I woke up with a very sore neck and generally feeling under the weather... After some Google-ing - I self diagnosed sternocleidomastoid pain... and feeling generally rubbish I prescribed a day on the sofa watching the tele! It did me the world of good - I've run 30+ days without a day off so it was due - My friend/doctor told me that I was safe to run with my neck pain as long as I didn't look side-to-side to often so that was re-assuring for tomorrows long run...

Sunday 8th September 2019

The alarm went off at 7:30am but we decided to lie in and leg John's neck and shoulders loosen up a little. Going out late also meant that we could watch the Great North Run. We've not run it before but it's definitely on our bucket list. I was really inspirational watching - especially Charlotte Purdue who is a real idol of mine. 

We eventually go out for our run at 12:00. We planned to do 20 miles and used the Portway to do laps.  My goal for today's run was to keep a pretty consistent pace; ideally around 7:30 mm. The first 13 miles felt great. My legs felt really fresh and my hamstring felt great - hopefully the dry needling did the trick. I had to work a bit harder in the last 7 miles. It was getting hot and by 17 miles I was really thirsty and tired. I just thinking about how, in the last few miles of the Oldbury 10, I had a jelly baby and that really sorted me out - just gave me the little boost I needed. I was just wishing that someone would pass me with a packet, when I caught sight of a blackberry bush to my right. I grabbed a handful and carried on. Perfect! The natural solution! 

I finished feeling pretty tired but having kept an average pace of 7:34. Really pleased with that - a solid 2 and a half hours of running. 

Woke up feeling a lot better - but not 100%. Whereas it would have been advantageous (especially for me!) to go our early during the coolest part of the day I decided to neck some pain killers and enjoy a little bit more tele! Watching the Great North Run was awesome - Mo (as usual,) Callum Hawkins and Charlotte Purdue were awesome - very inspiring and I'm very excited to see how Hawkins and Purdue get on at the Work Champs! Once the race was over - we put running kit on and got out the door just after 12... very brave considering how well I do in the sun... But I was layered up with sun screen AND wearing a hat! After yesterdays day off my legs were feeling awesome so after a 1mile wam up I decided on some speed work: 3 X 3MILES @ MARATHON PACE - I did each effort with a 3mile easier effort in between (3miles on-3 off - etc...) Success! All the efforts were 6:45MM Pace or faster... One more big session like this in a couple of weeks time and I think that'll be it for the speed work during this campaign (Two half marathon races planned in the next few weeks aside!)
20 Miles @ 7:05MM Pace!!

Totals for the week: 

Kelly - 38.3 Miles

John - 60 Miles!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Marathon Training on the Isle of Wight before racing a 10 miler

Marathon Training on the Isle of Wight 

before racing a 10 miler

Abingdon Marathon Training - 7 weeks to go! 

Both of us - Blue 
John -Orange 
Kelly - Purple 

Monday 26th August 2019 

It's holiday time! 

We woke up super excited this morning ready for our holiday to the Isle of Wight. John had booked this for me to celebrate my 30th Birthday (back in July). We had already packed so left ahead of time and arrived in Southampton an hour earlier than planned! We had hoped to sneak onto the earlier ferry but...there was fog which caused a 2 hour delay. We now had 3 hours to kill in Southampton. Never mind, time for breakfast and a cheeky drink in the local Weather spoons!

Eventually, we made it onto the ferry and had a glorious sail with the sun blaring at 25 degrees. 

We arrived in our home for the week - John did good. The 'corner house' was lovely with a great little kitchen, living room and upstairs, a bedroom with a roll top bath in - perfect for recovering in after our running this week! 

I didn't actually run today but we did do quite a bit of walking, first around our local town of Ventnor and then up the hill to Bonchurch where we ate dinner- lots of pasta which was perfect prep for our run tomorrow morning. 

I ran :-) Up early - Recovery Run - 5 Miles @ 8:42MM Pace - Good to get it done and being that it was 6AM and bank holiday Monday was eerily quiet out and about!

Tuesday 27th August 2019 

Can you spot Kelly?

After a bit of a lie in ...we are on holiday after all! We got up and headed out to explore the coastal path. It was supppper hot so I was really pleased that John packed some water for us. The coastal path (like all others I've ever ran on) it very bumpy but we were rewarded for our efforts with beautiful views. 

We ran 8 miles at an average pace of 10:40 but with 995ft of elevation! 
We saw our first ever red squirrel! He posed for us!

We spend the rest of the day on the beach! 24 degrees and glorious sunshine. Luckily, we could cool down with a swim in the sea.

John swimming

As KD has explained, we ran 8 Miles @ 10:32MM - very bumpy up and own coastal miles! Tough in the heat but nice to explore.

Wednesday 28th August 2019 

Today John had planned for us to get our long run in as we had a race at the weekend. I was keen to do 20 miles but slightly apprehensive as my legs were definitely still feeling the Severn Bridge Half only 3 days ago...

Knowing me very well, John researched the whole Island and found a stretch of 3 flat miles that went from Shanklin to Sandown - perfect! He knew that there was no way I'd be able to do 20 miles using the coastal path! It was a beautiful stretch of beach with a dead flat prom between the two towns - similar to our very own Weston Prom! 

We started off and got into a good rhythm of  7:35 - 7:50 minute miles. I was feeling pretty happy with this pace. I was working hard; my legs were tired from the weekend. But I was able to maintain the pace and I was looking forward to keeping this pace going for the whole 20 miles. John had other plans however. He wanted to add in 2 blocks of 3 miles each at marathon pace (MP - we are targeting around 6:40s). I instantly went into denial and declared that there was no way that I could do that so soon after legs just couldn't. John gave me a bit of a talking to - telling me that it was all in my head. 

I supposed I could at least try. So I did. Although, when we turned around after 4 miles ready to start our MP, we realised that the wind was now in our faces and really quite strong...quickly reading my mind, John suggested that we do our MP in the other direction. Great. Although that did give me another 3 miles to mentally panic about the fact that I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to hit the pace. 

After a quick drink (we'd sneakily hidden our water bottles under a bench at one end of the prom...we don't normally drink for long runs but it was already about 18 degrees at 8 am and getting hotter by the second) we turned around and set off for 3 miles of MP. Surprisingly, it wasn't too bad...maybe I'm adapting...or John is right and it's all just in my head! 

The first mile went past quite quickly 6:46mm pace - not bad. And the best thing, I felt like I could do two more miles. The next two were even quicker - 6:42 and 6:45. The pace felt hard but ok. Although, the second my watch beeped for the end of the 3rd mile, I was desperate to slow down and it took me almost a whole mile of recovery to get my breathing down. 

So, 3 miles done but I knew that, after another 3 miles of recovery, I had 3 more to go...I just focused on recovering at this point and tried to put the other miles out of my mind. Again, we had a quick sip of water and then we were off for our next 3. These were harder. 6:56, 6:46 and 6:48. Slower, but close enough for me. I had to really dig deep to get those done and as soon as I'd finished I pretty much collapsed onto a bench (handy the bench was right where my watch beeped!). John was looking incredibly strong so I waved at him to push on and gave myself a couple of minutes to sit and recover. 

By this point we'd done 16 miles. Just 4 miles to go...4 tiny miles...which felt like such a long way. I sneakily popped into a cafe and grabbed a glass of water; half of which I drank and the rest I poured over my head. By now it must have been well over 20 degrees and I was feeling the heat. My legs had had enough and I was really tempted to walk the rest...but I calculated that it would take a very long time. Instead, I gave myself a good talking to and pushed on. The last 4 miles were slow and painful (around 8:40 pace) but I did it. I got them done. Great mental training for the marathon. 

I rewarded myself with a swim in the sea. THE best way to end a long run. I felt like a pro having an ice bath - although it wasn't that cold...just refreshing. 

20 miles done with an average pace of 7:44. Running on tired legs it hard but hopefully it's got to be good training. 

A great confidence booster! 
20 Miles @ 7:23MM Pace - 2 x 3Mi & 1 x 2Mi @ Marathon Pace <6:45MM
WELL CHUFFED! The run felt pretty straight forward throughout (Heart Rate was 142BPM average) and as long as it's not 20+ degrees come October marathon pace on rested legs SHOULD be straight forward - typically for the first 20 miles anyways...

We spent the rest of the day visiting a vineyard and tasting wine - perfect recovery! 

Thursday 29th August 2019 

Just a recover run today. We decided to explore the coastal path in the other direction. We found a lovely route with a rope swing and a wishing chair. 

5 miles at 10:30 mm pace. 

Knackered after yesterday - very steady running - 5 Miles @ 10:32MM Pace - nice to get the legs turning over but we were on holiday so 5 miles was more than enough.

Then, we walked alpacas and llamas! 

Followed by a visit to the Needles, a trip on a cable car and a spot of crazy golf. John won by 1 point! 38 - 39! ...But I got a whole in technically...I won right!? 

Friday 30th August 2019 

What with the Oldbury 10 miler on Sunday, today was just a recovery run...and also, our last run on the Island. 3 miles at 9:19 pace. It was another beautiful day so I finished it off - as has become a custom - with a swim in the sea! 

We visited Osborne House today and saw the bed where Queen Victoria died! A beautiful house with stunning grounds and a private beach! 

5K Plod - 3.1 Miles @ 9:25MM Pace - Time to go home... :-(

Saturday 31st August 2019 

No running for me today. We were back at home so spent the day chilling...oh and visiting our local running shop - Moti - and trying on pretty much every pair of shoes in the shop. I've had a major dilemma in that Brooks have discontinued the Pure Cadence range which I have been wearing for 5 years. This meant that the poor men in the running shop had to listen while I explained all the things I liked about those shoes and how I'd bought up every pair of size 5.5s on the internet and now I needed something exactly the same...

After at least an hour, I chose the Saucony Kinvara helped my decision that they were also GWR blue! Amazingly, and - in my opinion - quite romantically, John separately chose the exact same pair in the mens...although they didn't come in blue sadly. 

We spend the rest of the day with our feet up before having our new favourite pre-race dinner of gluten free (animal shaped) pasta bake. 

I went for a run :-) parkrun for me - 
8 Miles @ 7:29MM Pace - Ashton Court parkrun - 7th place with 19:02
500+ people running Ashton Court - great atmosphere and great to catch up with friends. 
Needed to go running as would have struggled with keeping my feet up all day. Took it reasonably steady what with having a race tomorrow.
Was nice to go shopping and spend some money on trainers - first time this year!

Sunday 31st August 2019 

Today was the Oldbury 10 miler. Being completely honest, I wasn't expecting much after working myself so hard last weekend and then again on Wednesday. But, it was only 10 miles and I was determined to give it a good go. 

My target - well I came 3rd two years ago and got a fabulous gift I was pretty keen on trying to place. I looked up my PB from 2 years ago - 1:07:27. I knew that to beat this, I needed to average less than 6:40s. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to keep that up for the whole race as, in previous visits here, I'd ran almost a perfect regression run (each mile slower than the one before!). What I really wanted was to pace this race well. To go out at 6:40s and try and hold that pace for as long as I could. 

Looking around at the start, the women's field was strong. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to podium...The gun went off and the first mile is downhill. I knew I had to control the first mile and not get carried away. Speedy Susan from Weston (who won last weekend's race) stormed off again..and whilst, again, I wanted to chase her, I knew I had to run my own race. Luckily, I quickly found myself in a lovely little group with 2 lovely Westbury ladies and a few men. 

Working really hard!
It quickly transpired that the Westbury ladies had the same plan as me as our first few miles were all around the 6:40 mark. We got into a great rhythm and the miles were passing quicker than I'd expected. My legs were tired and did hurt but I just tried not to think about that. I kept telling myself that they'd hurt with 6 miles to go in the marathon too - so I tried to imagine that I was in the closing stages of the 26.2 miles. 

Channeling my inner Laura Muir
After we hit the half way point, I knew I was going to be able to hold the pace until the end. In fact, with 3 miles to go, the 3 of us, clearly eager to try and shake each other off, picked up the pace. I grabbed a jelly baby from a kind supporter which gave me an instant boost! We were starting to overtake the men that went off to quickly (he he). With 1 mile to go, Sophie couldn't quite hold on so we were left with just two of us. We were clearly trying to drop each other; taking it in turns to surge a little and see if we could drop the other. The last mile is also uphill which wasn't ideal for me. I was working really hard but the effort felt controlled and I was eager to keep something for a sprint finish which I was pretty sure was what it was going to come down to! 

We reached the top of the hill neck and neck. There were no other women close to us. It was going to be a sprint finish for 2nd place. With about 200 meters to go I decided to go for it. I pushed as hard as I could and...felt like I'd got it...I couldn't hear her...I started counting down from 20 ...20 seconds of pain left...but with about 50 meters left she came past me. I'd given everything...I'd gone too early and she took the 2nd place. But...I looked at my watch...PB! 10 mile PB by almost a minute! 1:06:47. Average pace of 6:38 (10 miles quicker than MP! Hooray!)

It wasn't 2nd...but I still got a gift basket! 

Great skills from KD - awesome bagging a PB and just reward for 10 weeks of decent marathon training :-)
Similar to Severn Bridge Half Marathon last week - my current shape and the weather somewhat dictated my race strategy.. Having not (purposely) run particularly fast throughout the marathon campaign I wasn't going to go out full pelt and with the weather making the temperature warmer than 10 degrees I was also wary of going out too hard.. My plan was to hope that there would be a group aiming for around an hour and hang on to them... that I did! I was in a group of about 6 through half way, all of us working hard but within ourselves... with 8 miles gone there was just two of us left working together and I had a bit of energy held back.. so I went for it! Good job I did... 
6th place with 59:46... not many seconds left to spare! A decent tempo session :-p and overall a great result.

Total for the week: 

Kelly -  47.8 miles 

John - 61 Miles