A Month To Go


In Which All My Panic Sets In

DA-DA-DAHH-DAHH

Yesterday was five weeks until Edinburgh Marathon. Which now means its four weeks on Sunday. Add in the taper week and I have three weeks of training left but I’m on nights for the next couple of days (well, nights ya’know) and so that’s like two weeks left so next week is the last week and I may as well just give up on my training altogether.

Ahhhhh the familiar pre-marathon race panic. Kinda feels nice it’s back.

DA-DA-DA-DAH-DAHHH

But in a good way five weeks today it’ll be all over and done with. London Marathon was yesterday (I didn’t get it, AGAIN) but I knew a few friends that ran it in the stupid heat and all finished and now all have a brand new shiny medal. (One each, even!) Then this morning Runners World magazine landed through my letter box, so it’s all run run run this week. Except I haven’t run in a couple of weeks. Not through lazyness (promise) but through what felt like major chub-rub. (I’ll save the picture for when I see you.)

DA-DA-DAHH-DAHH

I was doing chuffing great with my training. My shift pattern is two 12hr days, two 12hr nights, four days off so I decided that after both day shifts I would run 4 miles straight after work, and then run 10 miles to work for my first night shift. (We have showers at work, don’t panic.) Then I’d fit in a 3 mile and a 6 mile run on the days off. It worked well. I’d actually managed to run a bit further than 10 miles on my way in a couple times, one of 11 and one 1/2 marathon distance.

halfmara

DA-DA-DA-DAH-DAHHH

But then week before last I went out in the afternoon on a day off for a 10k run. I struggled all day to motivate myself out the door and finally got off the sofa and went to get into my running kit. Bugger. I’d forgotten that my running kit was all in the wash. I searched through a few boxes of clothes which I’ve yet to unpack (we only moved here eight months ago, plenty of time yet) and found an old pair of shorts and a Bradford 10k finishers t-shirt and then I was off. From home I have loops of a mile, 5k, 5 mile and 10k. Thought about doing the 5k loop twice but the 10k loop has more hills. Couple miles in and I could feel my thighs chafing. Quite badly.

DAH-DA-DAH-DA-DA-DA-DA-DAH-DAHHHHHHH

ALSO now that I’m typing this I remember that I got mugged off by a kestrel. It was hovering around the edge of a field so I stopped my watch, took my phone from its armband and I tried to take a picture but it flew further down the edge. I started my watch, phone back in, and ran 50 metres or so to where the bird was now hovering. Same again, watch stopped, phone out, kestrel flew further. And repeat. Watch go, phone in, run down, stop. FIVE TIMES the feathery mouse-eating bastard did this, before FLYING ALL THE CHUFFING WAY BACK TO WHERE IT FIRST WAS. Got mugged off by a squirrel on my way to work a few days ago too. But anyway.

runningwoods

Finished the run and got home then in the shower. (Again, pics when I see you.) What I didn’t realise was that the lining of my old shorts was ripped in a few places and so caused what I can only describe as ‘major rubbage’ on the inside of my poor thighs. I’ve honestly never seen thighs this raw since I was last at Asdas chicken counter. It felt like sunburn and not Scottish summer sunburn. Like actually sitting on the sun, burning. The pain put me out of action for well over a week and it was even painful to walk let alone run.

My legs finally started to heal and I stopped walking like I’ve not got to the toilet in time. Just in time for our holiday as it happened and so I packed my running kit in my suitcase and decided I’d run 3 of the 4 days we were away in Montenegro. Problem with THAT plan was the all-inclusive food and alcohol in the place we were staying. Didn’t run once, but funnily enough got actual sunburn. On my legs…

I say funnily enough but it wasn’t funny at all at the time. We did find a pub named after me though!

hemingwaybar

No, not ‘Tosser’, Hemingways!

So I figure I’ve got a couple weeks to get my training back on track and then it’s onto marathon number nine. I’m running to raise money for Prostate Cancer and am taking any and all donations at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hemingway-run

(You look nice by the way)

Thanks.

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! DA-DA-DAH-DAHHH! DA-DA-DA-DAH-DAHHH!!

(heh.)

 

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Mad Dog ’18 Race Recap


In Which I Go Back AGAIN

Mad Dog. One of my first 10k races ever and the one that I always say means that my running year has started properly. (York marathon in October signalling that I can take it easy over the winter. As though I’ve been pounding the pavements all summer..!)

The main concern with this years Mad Dog (Sixth year in a row I’ve been there!) was getting there. (Floo powder?) For the five years previous I’ve been living in Yorkshire and so a little over an hour drive and you’re there. At the end of last Summer we moved up to just outside Edinburgh and so the commute to the race got a bit longer. Four hours to be exact. (Not too exact. Four and a bit hours. Four hours 15 minutes. And 17 seconds. Not counting stopping off.)

(Four hours 37 minutes and 32 seconds in total to be exact.)

(Roughly.)

There was also the matter of staying over to take into account as it was too much driving (For Hayley) to go there and back in the same day (lazy) so we decided to make a weekend of it. (In Southport. In Winter.)

I had a hotel booked (Ramada Plaza) with payment on arrival, which was £90 for room only so we decided to stay Friday and Saturday nights. A few days before race day however, I got an email from the (excellent) organisers of the Mad Dog 10k saying that you could get Bed and Breakfast for £90 a night and organise late check out if you mentioned Mad Dog but only at the hotel… Ramada Plaza!

IMG_20180203_105910_277

Straight on to the phone was I, and the nice lady at the other end changed my booking. Same price as before but now with late checkout and breakfast for us both? Magic!

I won’t bore you with the Friday and Saturday details because you’re here for the race recap and not a holiday recap. But we ate plenty, had a good wand-around, Hayley spilled my beer all down me on the Friday, and we played in loads of Amusements and won a baby Groot after spending a few quid(ditch).

Sunday Morning 

Getting up nice and early (nope, snoozed my alarm loads) we went down for breakfast. I took it easy and had bacon (x2) sausage (x2) hash brown (x2) and coffee (x2 and a bit.) We then walked the 15 minutes to the car park where the coaches were lined up shuttling runners and spectators to the start of the race. Only takes five minutes or so on the transfer buses and its free for everyone.

Every year there’s a movie/tv theme to the Mad Dog 10k with a canine connection. This year was Hairy Potter and The Half Bred Pup and as such there were plenty of Harry Potter costumes going on. We saw a few wizards, plenty of HP scarves, a woman dressed as a broomstick and, oddly, five blokes dressed as the Spice Girls. (It’s not Leviosah, it’s Levi-Zigga-ZiggAH.)

A nice touch and to save time at the end, you can get your t-shirt and goody bag before the run. (Medals at the end still.) It means that if people want to run in that years themed tshirt they can, and also reduces congestion at the end of the race. The goody bag is BRILLIANT. You can wait til the end though.

Time to line up so went and lined up. Must’ve got giddy with my predicted time because I was right at the front. The race was started by Jo Pavey (an ACTUAL Olympian) and after a countdown and some barking, we were off. The course is an out-loop-back kinda set up. The first and last 2.5k are on the same stretch of road with a 5k loop in the middle.

There’s plenty of bands/singers/entertainment going on and the middle loop is always well supported. You run alongside the coast for a lot of the run and even though the day had started off icy, it was very nice running weather.

20180204_103045

Now the thing is, starting too far forward means that there’s fast people around you. From the start. And because they are fast you feel you have to go fast too as otherwise they all overtake you. Which is why, after planning to start off around 8m15s a mile, I clocked my first mile at 7m15s. WAY too quick. I actually did the first two miles in 15 minutes which is probably where the (golden) stitch came from to slow me down.

Running towards the Pier and by the Elvis impersonator (think he lives under that Pier, he’s always there) I made myself slow down because I knew I couldn’t keep that pace for long without messing up the second half of the race. Still, first 5km done in bang on 24 minutes.

Water station coming up so allowed myself to walk through it to get some energy back before tackling the second half (blood prince) of the course. I was nowhere near the speed that I had before and that was fine by me. Sub 50 was ebbing away but figured I can still get under 51 minutes. Before I knew it I was back on the main road and then turning towards the finish line, keep going keep going annnnnnnddd…… finished. 50:41.

Chuffed.

So that’s that! Mad Dog 10k done for six years in a row now. Will I make it back for next years race? Always. (Especially seeing as though it’s called “Bark To The Future”!)

Oh wait! Before you go!

LOOK AT THE GOODY BAG!

20180204_122346

Backpack, Running hat, Racebelt (THAT HAS A FLASHING LIGHT) Water Bottle, Fridge Magnet Picture Frame, Snood, Fruit, Energy Drinks, Number Clips, loads of snacks PLUS the Medal and TShirt! (The bar just above the bag is a doggy treat bar. I’ve seen a few people on facebook that didn’t realise it wasn’t an energy bar til too late… Mongrels!)

*flies off on his broomstick for butterbeer*

Running Recap 2017 & Looking Forward To 2018


In Which I Admit Where I Went Wrong And Aim To Go Right

2017: Quick review

In February I ran Mad Dog 10k again (Fifth year in a row) and I also ran the Yorkshire Marathon (October time) for the fifth year in a row. I got a Mad Dog PB but only got my third best time in York.

I ran the Scottish 10k, Blackpool 10k and York 10k races for the first time and enjoyed them all (Even though I don’t enjoy Blackpool!)

I ran Edinburgh marathon and got seriously sunburnt.

I’ve done rubbish at blogging this year.

We decided to move up to Edinburgh in Scotland in the summer and since then I’ve not got myself into the routine of running. When we were in England I worked around 2.5miles away so would run home from work most days.

edinburgh

My new job is 11miles from home and so it’s too far to run home after work. (I’ve done it once so far.) Plus I now do a mixture of days and nights, all 12hr shifts so it can be difficult to get motivated when you’ve been on the go all day.

I only managed just over 350miles in 2017.

And so! I need a plan. A new plan. A good plan. An easy to stick to plan.

The plan is this: Do better.

It’s a good plan.

2018: Looking forward

January: Edinburgh Winter 5k, February: Mad Dog 10k, May: Edinburgh Marathon, October: York Marathon. (Others as I find them.)

I’ve decided to be healthy for the whole of January which includes NO alcohol, NO junk food and NO fizzy drinks. Limiting my coffee intake and eating healthy meals. I’m coping so far, but it is only January 2nd… Not long left though!

healthy

Every day off in January will be a running day, even if it’s only a short distance. No more of this “ahhh I deserve a full day of laziness” because I end up saying that on EVERY day off and that’s VERY lazy.

This year I’ll get a new 10k PB (currently 47:56) and a new Marathon PB (3:59:15.) I’ll blog more and take more pictures. I’ll be posting more about healthy eating and probably a few recipes here and there so I have more to blog about.

But mainly it’s so I can take more post-race-beer-pics

beer

Like my pics?

Instagram: @zepalm

(Amazingly) Delayed Yorkshire Marathon 2017 Recap


In Which I’m Not Even Joking, It’s Almost Time For 2018 Yorkshire Marathon It’s THAT Delayed

Good evening! (I’m guessing. Evening here, but I don’t know where you are. Or when you’ll read this. Or IF! Oh my.)

Finally got around to writing my race recap for York Marathon 2017 (as written in the title. So this sentence is pretty much just filler. I’d skip it if I were you.)

We (myself and Hayley) drove down from lovely Edinburgh to equally lovely York on the Saturday morning. We arrived at an Airbnb (how modern of us) at around 3pm after a 4hr car journey. (Making sure you know it’s a car we drove and not a train.)

The host of the Airbnb had been in touch to tell us that she wouldn’t be there and had left details on where the keys to the house were, which meant that instead of just a room for the night we had access to a whole house the the bargain price of £35. It was a lovely house too, but I’m not telling you where because even after I left a 5* review and we left the house as we found it, the host didn’t leave me ANY review and yeah, I’m THAT petty sometimes.

We were planning on doing a Ghost Walk around York (theres a few that go on every night but the one you want starts from outside the front of the Minster. Best one.) But as it was a Saturday night York was heaving with Stag and Hen parties so didn’t fancy being heckled from people more interested in spirits rather than spirits.

Instead we had a bit of a wander around by ourselves (I think? Wooooooooo…..) and then made our way back to the house. We ordered take-away (carbs for the next mornings marathon.) I can’t remember what I ordered (Chips? Rice?) but Hayley ordered a Viking Pizza and it arrived like this and OHMYLIFE was it good!

BlogPizza

And then, to bed!

Before too long my alarm was going off and it was time to get up and at ’em.

The start of the marathon was (as is always) up at York university. You can pay on a transfer bus that takes you from York train station to the start, and back again at the end. As the uni is a few miles out, it always makes sense.

The marathon then makes its way from the Uni into York city centre (just before mile 2 on the handy map below) and then out towards little towns and villages dotted around the place. We had a chat and it made more sense for Hayley to cheer on from the city centre then make her way to the University for the end, rather than be stuck at the Uni all day. (Handily gave herself an extra hour in bed there. Convenient!)

yorkshire_marathon_route

Breakfast was the standard coffee and a crappy microwave burger. (It works for me!) Then I was off on my way for the bus which was around a 30 minute walk. (Nice warm up.)

Huge queue to get on but they put on loadsa buses so didn’t have to wait long.

Arriving at the start I messaged Paul to see where he was at. It was his first marathon today and so I said I’d run it with him for support and general niceness. He found me in the toilet queue (I needed to go, wasn’t just there for the fun) and then (after) we made our way to the start to line up.

JUST realised I didn’t take many pics for this post so you’ll have to imagine. No wait, I did art at school I’m sure I can do the scene justice! Give your thoughts a break, stop imagining and start VISUALISING!

Paint

Now, don’t let the picture fool you. First: That’s actually a drawing and not a photo. Second: There were more people than that.

Before we knew it, it was go time. It’s always a very well organised start and this year was the same. No waiting around to get to the start line, just a nice steady walk.

We started at a nice steady pace and the plan was to keep to that and walk through each water station (which are roughly 5k apart.) 15mins in and we’re approaching the town centre and I started looking for the missus. Saw her at the side, ran over to give her a kiss (Awwwwhhhhhh) and then we ran by the minster. (Me and Paul, not me and Hayley. That’d be against the rules.)

5k: First water station. All good.

10k: Just over an hour. All good.

Carried on a bit further and then felt a slight pain in my knee. Got steadily worse until around mile 11 where I told Paul that he should bugger off on alone so he doesn’t miss out on a decent time for his first marathon, and from then on it was painful.

1/2 Marathon in 2hr 12minutes.

Mile 13 is downhill to the turn around at mile 14 and I saw Paul coming up the opposite side so stopped for a little talk and told him I was in pain and not to expect me to be at the end anytime soon after him. From here to the end is a combination of slow running and hobbling. Few minutes run, more minutes hobble.

Mile 14-16 is steadily slightly uphill so that hurt.

Mile 16 to 18 is nicely steadily downhill so that was better, but still hurt. Mile 18 turn around and go back up. You shit.

Saw the archbishop of York on the way up high-fiving the runners. He was decked out in his traditional purple robes and I honestly thought it was someone in a Magneto fancy dress costume.

Mile 20 arrived (not soon enough) and it looked like I was going to record a PW (Personal Worst) time, I was estimating that due to the speed I was going and the amount I was slowing I’d be around 5hr 20mins. Ugh. Ah well, goonies never say die and all that!

Digging deep I started to count my steps. Run for 100, walk for 100. Keep the rhythm, feel the rhyme. The crowds at Yorkshire marathon are always fantastic and the support is brilliant. The cheers of the crowd really do motivate you on. (Looking back, that is. Not at the time. At the time you want to shout “No I will NOT run faster and I am NOT almost there!” But you don’t, because it’s hard enough to breathe as it is.)

Before long the end was in sight, and so was a nice sit down.

Amazingly, I finished in 04:51:47! (Paul finished in 04:22:32 but no one likes a show off.)

Total number of Yorkshire Marathons I’ve completed: 5

Total number of Marathons I’ve completed: EIGHT!

Met Hayley at the end and also Paul and his missus were waiting too. (He’d been sick after finishing. Serves him right.)

Congratulated each other then made our separate ways. Myself and Hayley got to the pub for beer and recovery chips and then a four hour drive back up to Scotland. (I had a shower first otherwise that’d be an interesting scent to take!)

Already entered Yorkshire Marathon 2018. Standard.

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York Marathon Recap – 20th October 2013


In Which I (Painfully) Finish My Second Marathon

Saturday 19th October

I’d been following my carbing up plan quite well and felt good about how it had gone. Myself and Sarah went out for dinner with Sarahs mum and dad (Susan and Ironman Tony) and I had a chip sandwich.

Me and Sarah then went to Sports Direct to buy some last minute marathon things like a gel belt, running socks, energy bars and… well, these (not for the marathon)

Not Marathon Standard

Not Marathon Standard

Afterwards we got home and I packed my bag as I was staying in the Premier Inn in York so I could be ready for the run in the morning. Sarah was having to work on the Sunday so she was staying at home with the cats.

She dropped me at the train station just before 7pm and I got stuck behind a bloke who was using the ticket machine. The machine had a large sign on it saying ‘Credit/Debit cards only’ but that didn’t stop him trying to insert coins. Even though there was no coin slot, just the card slot. Aware of how close it was getting to the train arriving, I stepped in.

‘I think it only takes cards.’ I said.

‘No, it takes coins.’ He replied.

‘Pretty sure it’s just cards.’

‘No, it’d say if it only took cards.’

‘It does, on that sign.’

‘Ah.’

Anyway, after I bought my ticket (using a card) I had about two minutes to spare before the train came. I got on it just in time, and settled in for the hour journey to York.

When I arrived in York it was pouring down, not a good sign for the marathon. Luckily the hotel was only a few minutes walk from the station and check-in was nice and quick. I got to the room and noticed something… SUPER KING SIZED BED! Awesome.

I had a bath, then laid out my gear for the morning.

L-R Back Row: Running Stuff L-R Front Row: See Above

L-R Back Row: Running Stuff
L-R Front Row: See Above

I got into my massive bed and watched The Hulk (wasn’t incredible) then tried to sleep.

Sunday 20th October

01:30 Woke up.

02:45 Woke up.

04:15 Woke up.

05:55 Woke up.

06:00 Alarm went off, but luckily I was already awake.

I forced myself to eat some porridge and had a coffee with lots of sugar. I then got ready in all my race kit and made sure I had everything.

Game Face - Level: Serious

Game Face – Level: Serious

I’d booked onto a transfer coach from York Train Station which said I could be on it anytime between 07:30 and 08:00. I checked out and wandered down to the station and got there about 07:10 so carried on walking and had a little wander down over the river to York Minster. I took a picture, but have made it into a motivational picture so it’s at the end of the blog entry. Down there *Down pointing arrow*

After walking back to the station, I got on a bus which was full of nervous looking people. I sat upstairs (because I’m cool) and an elderly bloke got on and sat next to me. I got chatting to him and it turns out he was 65 years old and he goes around the world, running on average A MARATHON A MONTH.

He had on a Boston Marathon finishers jacket from 1999 so I said that he must be fast. ‘Not really,’ he said ‘I didn’t get there through qualification. I know one of the Kennedy family.’

‘Kennedy family as in… the former President?’

‘That’s them.’ He said. Then followed it with:

‘Had a police escort from the airport and back too.’ AS THOUGH THIS WAS A NORMAL THING TO SAY!

Before too long we arrived at York University where the race was starting and ending and myself and the gentleman wished each other luck. We then both ended up walking in the same direction, the direction of the race (seeing as though that’s why we were there.)

We chatted a bit more then I said that I was going to the baggage drop so we wished each other good luck again and went our seperate ways. Except that when I’d dropped my baggage, I queued for the toilet and ended up stood next to the same bloke again. He was chatting to someone else though, so I didn’t have to make anymore conversation.

Until after I came out of the toilets and he noticed me, so I did what any polite Englishman would do and wished him luck.

I followed the signs to the start of the race and got into the correct section for my predicted time. For the past few days I’d been talking to people on Twitter about the race and told a few people that I’d keep an eye out for their race numbers. As I looked around I noticed a name and a number on a bloke, who as it turns out was Rob who I tweet with!

I approached him and introduced myself and we had a chat while we were waiting for the run to begin. It started pretty much bang on 09:30 and then we were off, I was running my 2nd ever marathon!

There was another bloke alongside myself and Rob (Dave, I think) that Rob had met that morning, and he had a Garmin watch so we stayed with him for a bit as he was updating us with pace. My immediate plan was to stay chatting with Rob for as long as I could, then work out another plan.

The first couple miles of the run took us towards the city centre where we ran passed a few pubs that I like going in, then around the Minster and away from York. The crowds so far were amazing, especially near the Minster where they were 2-3 deep.

I stuck with Rob until about mile 4 -5 where I had a call of nature and veered off. By the time I got back on the course, Rob was well away so my new-immediate plan became to keep running until the Energy Drink station at mile 6.

Mile 6 went by and then soon after the 10k clock was in view. My first 10k of the 42k was done in 59:13 (My 2nd quickest ever 10k!)

At around mile 7 (I think) I saw Ironman Tony, Susan and Hannah in the crowd cheering me on. I waved, and kept on running. It gave me a nice boost to see familiar faces. After that the sun came out and made it a very warm run.

The next boost I got was being high fived by a female vicar in full sunday vicar-dress outside a church.

Before too long I was into double figures for the millage, having gone passed the 10 mile point.

The next few miles went by, soaking up the cheers from the crowd lining the route, and I was very happy to see the 20k clock as it meant the halfway point wasn’t too far ahead.

2nd 10k done in 01:03:10

1/2 Marathon: 02:10:24

Had to give myself a bit of a talking to around mile 14 due to starting to get tired and negative thoughts coming into my head. I told myself that I can have 3 minutes of walking, then I have to zip up my man suit and get on with the marathon. Which is exactly what I did.

So far, so good. On target for finishing in under 04:30 too!

That was until I got to about mile 16 and a tosser tossed an empty bottle down at his feet instead of to the side, which meant that it went under my foot and caused me to slip slightly, but enough to twist my left knee.

I felt a jolt in my knee, but it didn’t feel too bad so on I ran. By now I’d got into a run/walk rhythm where I was running for 5 minutes then walking for 30 seconds.

Just after mile 18 I heard someone coming in the opposite direction shout ‘Marc! Marc Hemingway!’ and it turns out it was Rachael, also from Twitter. Plus I’d recognised Gemma from Twitter who said she was going to be cheering everyone on from the Mile 18 marker (and she was!) It’s little things like this that cheer you up when you feel rubbish.

I eventually reached the 30k clock and the third 10k was done in a time of 01:03:29, only a few seconds slower than my 2nd 10k section.

By the time I’d reached mile 20 my knee was hurting, and felt like it had a bit of swelling.

But still, I was in the last 10k of the marathon so was feeling good about myself. I couldn’t run nearly as much as I would’ve liked due to the throbbing in my knee so started running 100 paces and then walking 50.

I’d printed off a split-time race thing which I’d fastened onto my wrist and with each mile could see that the 04:30 finish was getting further and further away. Nothing to be done about that now though, so didn’t let it get to me.

I’d been taking on energy gels roughly ever 45 minutes so didn’t feel drained. There were water stations ever 3 miles and Energy drink stations every 6 so was nicely hydrated still.

The mile markers were passing slower than earlier, but still passing.

I reached mile 23 and told myself there was only 5k to go. The sun was beaming by this point, so made sure I kept sipping at my water bottle.

I reached mile 24.

Then mile 25.

On the corner just after Mile 25 I heard Ironman Tony shouting me from the side, so I smiled for a photo and then carried on for the last bit of the run. Then, at roughly mile 25 1/2, was a nice hill to run up. Bastards.

Pretty much walked all the way to the top and Mile marker 26, and a little further the end, was in sight. The crowd was cheering and shouting everyones names from their race numbers all the way to the end and I finally crossed, arms in the air, in a time of 04:48:19.

Slower than I wanted, but a new personal PB by almost 8 minutes.

I made my way through the finishers section where I picked up my T-Shirt and Medal, and then went and met up with the In-Laws. We went for a beer.

Sorry, can't hear you over the sound of my AWESOME LOOT!

Sorry, can’t hear you over the sound of my AWESOME LOOT!

When I got home I recovered with a cold bath, followed by beer and chinese food. Sarah got home from work around 10:30 and had brought me a McFlurry (Mississippi Mud Pie flavour.)

After Blackpool Marathon it took about 6 weeks for my legs to get back to normal, but three days after York I’m almost back to normal already. Apart from a couple of little blisters, and a sore knee, I didn’t get any major problems.

After I finished the marathon I said that that’s it for running for a while and that I’m not going to sign up to anything longer than a 10K for ages.

EDIT: I’m now pre-registered for York Marathon 2014.

York in the early morning, made into a motivational pic.

York in the early morning, made into a motivational pic.

Four Days Til York Marathon


In Which I BRING ON THE CARBS!

In just 4 short days, I, Marc Hemingway, will have finished my 2nd ever marathon. (4 days and an hour or so. Maybe two hours. Hopefully less than 4 days and three hours. Oh my God, what if I’ve not finished! What if I… Wait, what’s happening? Blog post? Ohhhhhhhh, right! Sorry.)

Before Blackpool Marathon I gave myself a list of 3 things that were rated as Happy, Happier, Happiest results. They were as follows:

  • Happy: Finish the Marathon.
  • Happier: Finish in under 5 hours.
  • Happiest: Finish in under 4:30.

I ended up nicely in the middle with a finish of 4:55. For York marathon I’ve got a list of 4 things, rated as Happy, Happier, Happiest, Happiester:

  • Happy: Beat my time of 4:55.
  • Happier: Beat Robs time of 4:45.
  • Happiest: Finish in under 4:30.
  • Happiester: Beat Steves time of 4:20.

(No, YOU’RE competitive.)

If I finish nicely in the middle again, I should get a time of round about 4:37 which I’ll be more than chuffed with. I’ve been taking this one more serious than the last, with more training (probably still not nearly enough) and am also lighter than I was in Blackpool.

For the April marathon I weighed around 210lbs but now I weigh around 200lbs, and have been researching how to carb up properly. Plus I’m taking 5 energy gels instead of one energy bar, and there’s energy drinks on the route instead of just water. As I said, taking it seriously.

Just spilt coffee down my t-shirt. That has no bearing on this post, but thought I’d mention it. Also, Chandler just said ‘Yes, I’m quite the woodsman.’ (On TV, he’s not in my living room.) Hahahaha! Chandler!

Reading about carb loading, they say to start loading 2-3 days before the marathon, so I’m starting tomorrow. 85 to 95 percent of your calories for these days should come from carbs and they say eat about four grams of carbs for every pound of body weight (for a 150 pound runner that’s 600 grams—or 2,400 calories—of carbs per day.) One gram of carbs equals 4 calories.

For me that works out at 3’400 calories a day, with 3’000 being carbs. You know what that means? PIG OUT SESSIONS! (That’s how it works, right?) Of course not, (I just read that it doesn’t, gutted) what it means is that I should be eating 5-6 meals instead of 3 a day. (Turns out crisps are like 80% carbs! Wayhey!)

Also going to be eating lots of:

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Brown Bread
  • Pasta
  • Chicken
  • Potatoes
  • Jelly Beans
  • Sports Drinks
  • Porridge

And then I’m going to go smash this marathon right in its mouth. Wish me luck!

(Also, thank you to everyone that’s congratulated me on getting into the New York marathon, but I haven’t. It’s original old York.)

Marathon Looming… (As in getting nearer, not making rugs or anything…)


In Which I Zip Up My Man Suit

It turns out that the marathon is closer than I thought. It’s been slowly creeping up on me like a slowly, creepy, marathony bastard.

I thought I had about 9 weeks until the York Marathon on 20th October, but I don’t. It’s eight weeks on Sunday.

Adding in a week for tapering, that gives me seven weeks left of training.

Bearing in mind I haven’t been following my training plan that I was supposed to be following, I decided I needed to sort out my training and up my game.

Looking at my averages for each week, I’m nowhere near doing the distances I should be. I was talking to someone on Twitter and they said to aim for 50 miles a week! I’m lucky if I do 15!

Barney – Marathon Advice

THAT is why I’m zipping up my man suit and getting it sorted. Instead of running home from work twice a week (3.5miles each time) or cycling to work and back twice a week (3.5mile each way, same distance as running. Why wouldn’t it be? Weirdo) I’m setting myself TARGETS.

I tried following a training plan through MyAsics and while it gave me a good idea of what to aim for each week, I didn’t stick to it. I work different days and shifts each week so it can be hard to follow a plan that says ‘do this on this day and that on that day’. It lets you move run days around but only so much. That’s why I’ve decided to plan out my running schedule on a week to week basis.

“But Marc!” You scream (because you aren’t anywhere near me) “How will you stick to it?”

“Ha!” I loudly laugh, spinning as I do so as I don’t know in which direction you are, “I already AM sticking to it!”

I’ve changed my bike route to work so instead of 3.5miles it’s now 5miles. I’ve changed the cycle home to 10miles instead of 3.5miles.

Instead of running home twice a week (7miles total) I’m now running TO work and back once a week (7miles) , and then running home a 10k route on the other day. (6.2 miles, so a total of 13.2miles instead of 7.)

I’m also upping my millage one a day off too to get in a long run. Before I was doing 3-5mile runs (I once did an 8) where as now I’ll be doing at least 10mile runs once a week, upping the distance a bit each week towards the marathon.

Before – Average Run Miles a Week: 12-15, Average Bike Miles a Week: 14. Total = 26-29

Last Week – Average Run Miles: 25, Average Bike Miles: 32. Total = 57. DOUBLE what I’d normally do.

That’s without a longer run or a long bike ride. And you know what? I feel a LOT better for it. I’m still getting in a rest day or two each week and don’t feel burnt out or anything. I can feel the difference in my legs already.

After all, October 20th will arrive whether I’ve trained properly or not. I’ll finish the marathon, whether I’ve trained properly or not. The only differences that training will achieve are:

1. It’ll hurt a lot less than last time.

2. I’ll get round the course a lot quicker than last time.

That’s more than enough motivation for me.

marathon2