Marathon Day! (For some…)

In Which I Don’t Run A Marathon

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they will, but they end up working out for the best. There was a scientist once, who tried to do an experiment and his results resulted in other results than the results he expected to be… re… sulted…

In another example, I once asked for a meatball sandwich in Subway but they had no herb and cheese bread so I went for WHEAT bread and it turns out I like wheat bread so I now always ask for wheat bread (but only when there’s no herb and cheese bread) so I’m sure you see what I’m saying here.

I didn’t run manchester marathon.

On Thursday I followed my carb loading plan, and I followed it again on Friday. After work on Friday though, my head was hurting. And so were my legs. No biggie.

On Saturday morning I was full of cold, sore throat and sneezing and everything. As the day went on at work, the cold eased off a bit but my legs ached more than the previous day. Also, my head still hurt.

I remember the other two marathons I did and how tough they were, even when I was feeling a 100%, and currently felt about 65%.

Which is why I decided to not go ahead with the marathon.

Turns out that working six days in a row of ten hour shifts, with 9 hours of those spent on my feet, isn’t the best marathon prep.

For the next marathon I enter I’ll make sure I booked the days before the marathon off work too so I can rest!

Well done to all those who DID race though, especially everyone who ran Sheffield 1/2 after being told at the start line that it had been cancelled due to the water not being delivered. They ran anyway, and the people lining the route used their own money to buy water to hand out to the runners. Bless ‘em!

Birthday & Bradford 10k Recap

In Which I Age, And In Which I Run A Run

14th March 2014
Today, was my birthday. I turned 32. I realise I’ve not gotten your card yet, but there’s still time. (There’s still time.)

Amongst other presents (Honey Jack Daniels, Thor 2, Aftershave and stuff) I got my very first ever GPS watch from my lovely wife Sarah.


Obviously, I went out and tested it the same day. It. Is. Awesome. I only ran a mile because I had birthday beer to go drink and I was pleased with how easy it is to use. It also came with a heart rate monitor and bike thingy (sorry if I got too technical there.)

Also downloaded the app to my phone, so it syncs to it as soon as I’m done running. Brilliant!

The rest of my birthday was spent with family, and with alcohol. Lots of both.

15th March 2014
Oww, my head!

16th March 2014
Ironman Tony picked me up around 8, and we then went to get Susan and Hannah and drove the 2 miles into Bradford for a hometown 10k.

We met up with ironman Rob and before long lined up for the start of the race. It was very windy where the start was, but the sun was hinting at making an appearance.


Got my watch going, searching for satellites and it found one with a minute or so. After a speech from the Mayor, we were away.

Both Ironmen were out of sight straight away, which I’m used to by now. I kept an eye on my watch and made sure I was staying around the 8:30mi/mile. (Minutes per mile)

The course took us around the Westfield development, then up a hill into Little Germany. (Never seen a German there. Not even a little one.) The pack thinned out a little, but not much. Think everyone ran up that hill.

From Little Germany we turned right, along Canal Rd towards Shipley. 2km marker flew by, and we then turned off to the right towards Gaisby Lane. Back around to the left, then back right on Canal Rd again. The turn around point was almost in Shipley, and right at the top of the hill. Quick check of my watch showed 08:30, so all good there.

Reaching the water station I took some water, then had to slow down to a walk to drink it as it was in a cup. Splashed a bit on my face, then set off running again, back up to 08:30 pace.

Then the sun came out.

Chuffing hell did it get warm! I was glad to get back towards Bradford town centre where it was more built up so more shade. The run was going quick, probably because I knew the area so knew how far was left to go.

There was a decent crowd lining the last few hundred metres, but as soon as I turned into it the wind hit me full on. Guess the buildings were acting as a wind tunnel, but it was head on which didn’t help.

Reached the end, stopped my watch and looked at the time.

52:49. My newest PB! (And on a hometown race, too!)

Also, I’d gotten this mention on twitter:


Met up with the others, then straight into Lloyd’s for a breakfast and a coffee. (Then beer..!)

Myself and Ironman Tony had run in our Mad Dog 10k shirts, and when in Lloyd’s someone said to us “Easily the best race shirts I’ve seen today.” Bless him.

Other day, Sarah said that she thinks a race number had arrived in the post, but addressed to someone else.


Best explain: back in about January, a bloke on twitter (whose name is on the envelope) had offered entry into a race because it no longer fit into his schedule. I snapped it up, then forgot all about it.

Fast forward two months.

Envelope in hand, I opened it up and took out the contents. Sure enough, a race number. For the 6th April (three weeks away.) Manchester MARATHON.



Let’s see how that goes!

March-ing On! (March, get it?!)

In Which I Get Faster, But Shouted At

Last Sunday I couldn’t really be bothered going out running, but had a word with myself and got up and went.

I’d planned out a roughly-1/2-marathon route a few days before, so grabbed my iPod, gels and drink and set off.

Worked my way along the pavements of eccleshill and idle, then worked my way down towards the canal which was around the 4 mile mark. It had rained a bit through the night and it killed me seeing the mud splashing on my Brooks. :(

Plenty busy down there though (down on the canal, not down on my feet) saw loads of runners and cyclists, all happy to be out and about.

Reached the turn around point at shipley (roughly 8mile) and set off back again to the start of the canal. Felt quite good all the way and got there (about 12 mile) with a mixture of running/walking. Looked at my tracker and it said 11.


Sucked it up then carried on for the last couple miles.

Before that run my quickest 13.1miles was 02:07. My new quickest 13.1miles is 02:01! So close to getting under 2 hours! Maybe next time.


After work this week I decided to cycle the longer way home which works out around 7 miles, but is a bit flatter so can get some speed up.

I’d reached some traffic lights at a funny shaped junction and got in the left hand lane, for going straight ahead (or turning left, I guess.)

To go straight ahead where I wanted to head, you have to turn left a bit first then turn back to the right because it’s a stupidly shaped junction, plus then there’s a crossing island in the middle. Rush hour traffic, plus darkness and on a bike meant I took the turn slowly and steadily.

Shocked then, was I, when a car tried overtaking me on the right, right before the traffic island and he started shouting at me!


I was shocked at how close he’d gotten and that I was being told off so forgot to swear. Instead, I shouted “YOU WHAT?” (Brilliant comeback, me.)

I must’ve looked right angry because he looked shocked, wound his window up and sped off.

Luckily for him, it was then uphill. Otherwise I’d’ve rode him down like the Demon Bike Rider.

I was proper annoyed at him and to prove to myself that I had every reason to be annoyed, I went on Google earth. (That well known stress reliever.)

Didn’t know the name of the road, so traced my journey back to see if I could find the junction.

Found it, then zoomed in to see if there were any road markings visible to prove me right, and (due to the wonder of modern technology) there were, and I could make them out quite clearly.

So to that bloke in the car, the one who shouted at me when he said I was in the wrong lane, I say this:

“I was in the wrong lane. Sorry about that.”

Mad Dog 10k Recap 9th February 2014

In Which I’m Almost Blown Away!

Goals For The Race:

  1. Get A PB
  2. Run the whole course, no walking
  3. Beat Nigel

Sunday morning, tried to eat some porridge but couldn’t eat much because I don’t really like porridge, especially in the morning. Had about half.

Still no idea how to pose for a decent picture. I'm 31 for goodness sake!

Still no idea how to pose for a decent picture. I’m 31 for goodness sake!

Got picked up by Ironman Tony and future Ironman Nigel, and we then collected Ironman Rob and set out for Southport on the coast, just under two hours away.

Hardly any traffic or roadworks or dead zebras so got there at the expected time. We all got out of the car and WHOOOOSSSHHHH!!!! Windy as a Windy day in Windy town on New Years Windy Eve! Also, it was freezing!

I’d packed a pair of long shorts for after the run, so I didn’t make the car smell of sweat too much, but decided to put the long shorts over the shorts I was already wearing because it was FREEZING.

Great Train Robbers: Me, Nigel, Rob, Tony.

Great Train Robbers: Me, Nigel, Rob, Tony.

We boarded the free bus to the race, found our way to the start (after a toilet break) and before long we were off. Ironmen Tony & Rob were well away from the start, where as myself an Nigel ran together. No one set off too quick however, due to the (what turned out to be) 30mph winds coming straight at us.

The run route was flat the whole way, but the first 5k honestly felt like we were running uphill. Ran passed a drumming/samba band and then passed a mentalist who was singing (?) at the side of the road, dressed as Elvis. Think he was there last year too. (Hasn’t improved. Not a jot.)

Along the sea front we ran, and on one part it was so windy the sand was blowing against my face. Didn’t tickle. Chatting to Nigel about triathlon and Ironman plans made the time pass easy enough, and we reached the 5k marker bang on 30:00.

I was feeling good as we ran by the water station and asked Nigel how he was feeling. He was breathing heavy, and so, due to wanting to beat Nigel, I sped up a bit without saying anything to him. Did I feel bad? Nope. Not one bit.

As it turns out, I’ve never run a 10k race without having a little walk break (or two) along the route. I normally walk at the aid stations so was pleased with how I was going.

Never even had any formal Paint training! None! (C) Me

Never even had any formal Paint training! None! (C) Me

3k – 7k was a loop, before meeting up with the road we did the first 3k on, and as such was a bit further in land. That meant that there wasn’t a tail wind until just after 7k. I started to pick people off from 6k and felt strong.

7k hit, and the wind was welcome this time, pushing me on towards the next marker. 8k passed, and still feeling good I pushed a bit more and a bit more. 9k in the distance, no problem. I knew that I’d manage to get to the end without walking at all, and that made me push a bit more. More people overtaken, more speed.

9k marker left behind, final corner, finish in sight and before I knew it, my 2nd Mad Dog 10k was in the (doggy) bag. Official time of 55:59. (No PB, but a PB by 2 mins on this course.)

I’d run the 2nd 5k of the race in 25:59, 4 minutes quicker than the 1st 5k!

I honestly don’t think that between 7k and the end, I was overtaken by anyone. Marc Hemingway: Boastful.

Rob was waiting right over the finish line, then we waited for Nigel to finish and went to find Tony. Goody bag and fruit collected, we went to get our race T-Shirts then back on the bus, back in the car and home.

  • Rob: 46:28
  • Tony: 53:23
  • Me: 55:59
  • Nigel: 57:48

Got home and Sarah had been out and bought me beer and a nice bit of junk food. She knows me so well! Also excellent goody bag again!

Well worth it!

Well worth it!

If the wind hadn’t’ve been so windy, I honestly think I’d’ve gotten a new PB. (The winner finished in 37:05, where as last year was 32:32, so must’ve been a slow first half for everyone) As it is, VERY please with my first non-stop 10k and VERY pleased with my millage times, most quicker than the last:

  • Mile 1: 09:31 mins
  • Mile 2: 09:41 mins
  • Mile 3: 09:44 mins
  • Mile 4: 09:03 mins
  • Mile 5: 08:14 mins
  • Mile 6: 07:51 mins

Next race: Bradford 10k on March 16th. Hometown run!

Anyone joining us?


I HONESTLY Didn’t Mean To, Madam!

In Which I… Am Sorry, Truly Truly Sorry

Because I’m aiming to compete in triathlons, after most of my cycles home (cycle… homes?) I’ve been putting my bike away, then getting straight out for a short run. (Technically known as ‘Brick’, cycle then run afterwards.)

A few days ago I cycled the long way home (seven miles) and set off running on a small loop around home, which measures just under two miles. What with it being January and that, it’s dark at night. The first half of the loop is uphill, so nice and steady does it, but then the second half is downhill which means I sometimes get a bit giddy and speed up.

One small section of the downhill is where the pavement narrows, but there’s a line of a half dozen houses with bushes along the road.

Which is why, in the dark, if you live in one of those house you should look both ways when leaving your garden. NOT, as happened, amble (yes, Amble!) out your garden then meander (yes, Meander!) down the hill.

The reason being, there might be a giddy runner stonking (yes, …you get it) down the hill (maybe looking a bit upwards because he might think ‘if there’s bats around I might get bit and turn into batman’ and yes I know that’s not how batman became batman but I’m not rich like batman and yes I know it’s Bruce Wayne that’s rich technically but technically SHUT UP because I KNOCKED RIGHT INTO HER!)


Yup, right into the back of her. Obviously, she screamed very loudly (didn’t shout for batman though. Should’ve suggested it) I’d realised a split second before hitting into her, that in was about to (within a split second) hit into her, but had no chance of stopping.

I did my best though, and with my super-reactions I caught her so she didn’t go flying onto the floor or over a wall. The thing is, as my left arm went around her shoulder and stopped her projection, my right hand automatically tried to help, but her arms were in mid scream in the air, so what I’m saying is this…

I think I grabbed a boob.

(A lesser man might’ve said ‘I was left feeling a right tit’, but I’m above such things.)

Which leaves the moral of the story to be this:

Not everyone can be batman, but always shout for batman just in case a batman is near. (Or, look before you leap. Or something.)

January Stuff

Miles run: 45
Miles biked: 92

Got my Mad Dog 10k number through, #750. This Sunday!

Also, this week New 10k PB: 54:15!

In Other News

Lily (our kitten) has had her op this week and has taken to napping in my rucksack. Sarah thinks it’s cute, I’m reserving judgement for when I see how much cat hair gets on my running stuff.


Running Naked! (Accidentally)

In Which I Accidentally Run Naked

I wasn’t planning to, but today I ran naked. Outside. Nakedly.

I am, of course, referring to running without technology. (Of course I wore clothes. You minx.)

As I say, I wasn’t planning to run without anything motivating me but when I picked up my iPod, the battery was dead. Didn’t want to wait to get out running (might’ve not gone at all if I’d waited) so thought ‘sod it’ and got out the door.

I’d worked out a roughly 10k route in the morning, set Nike+ App going and I was away. Normally, the app shouts out at me every km that I pass, updating on how far/fast I’ve gone, but when I figured I’d gone well passed the first km, I still hadn’t heard anything.

Chuffing phone was on silent.

Couldn’t be bothered taking off my armband that holds my phone when I’m running, then messing about with the settings, so (remembering an article I’d read somewhere) I decided to listen to my body and ran to how I felt.

This is the first 10k I’d run since the York Marathon in October so didn’t want to push myself. Aimed for around about an hour to an hour and five, and put quite a few short walking breaks in. Turned out to be quite a nice day too!

The furthest I ran non stop was around two miles, mostly down hill. On the last mile (all uphill) my legs started to hurt a bit, so took it even easier. Finally, home.

Like I said, was aiming for around 01:00:00 – 01:05:00, figuring from how I felt when running I’d kept a pace of around 10:15 – 10:30 minutes a mile.

App says no.

I’d run an average pace of 9:14 minutes a mile, and ran the 10k in 57:24.

Not only had I run faster than I thought, I’d run my third ever fastest 10k! (If you don’t believe me, add me on Nike+! Marc Hemingway)

It seems that my training plan that I’ve been sticking to is working! The amazing thing is I had no soreness or stiffness in my legs at all, not even now. (Normally do!)

Next week I might try the same route again, but try push myself, see if I can get a brand new PB.

How’s your new years training?

In Other News

Cycling home the other night, got a new speed PB… 34.4mph on my mountain bike!)

Also, looking at two triathlons in April. One in Skipton, one in Queensbury. Not forgetting the Bradford 10k in March!

Next event: Mad Dog 10k

2014 is here!

In Which I Get Going

Happy New Year! How was it? Ha ha, really?! How embarrassing! I’m sure they’ll forget.

As you might know, I’ve started my 20 week pre-Ironman-training training. Which meant that on the 1st day of this New Year, at 9:30am, I found that I was out on the streets running.
It was my first run in my new Brooks running shoes that Sarah’s mum bought me for Christmas, and they were very comfy. Also, it was my first run in about 4 weeks, and was surprised how good I felt.

I managed to clock in 5 miles, and one of which (downhill) was timed at 7:22!

I didn’t see many people about but did pass a couple of runners. (Before I set off, I made sure I was wearing a race t-shirt so that I didn’t get confused with a new year resolution runner.) And they both nodded at me, so that was nice.

BUT! (But!) My training isn’t as perfect as you might imagine! I’ve run all the times I’ve needed, and cycled more than needed, but I’ve not yet gone swimming. And that is the fault of the swimming pool. Thursday’s, it seems, they only have adult swim for an hour. And during that hour, I was drinking a hazelnut mocha in Costa coffee. Gonna have to swim twice next week!

Also, entered York Marathon again!

In Other News
The handle on our toilet broke, so bought a new one.