Tag Archives: marathon

Boxing Day Marathon: Summary

On Monday I returned to Valley Forge National Historical Park for my sixth Boxing DayMarathon attempt.

The first few years I did it by doing two half marathons in a day; one early in the morning and another late in the afternoon. I soon realized that this is actually harder than just running the total distance in one go. If you split the distance you’ll find your legs start to lock up during the day and it is really hard to get back out again.

This year, despite being very under trained, I went with the all-out straight-up marathon approach.

And it was very, very difficult!

Last year I took around 3 hours and 45 for this run. This year it was closer to 4:45.

So, what went wrong this time:

  1. Valley Forge Park is hilly. This shouldn’t be news to people that have been there before, but including circuits of the park in a long run is not such a great idea when you are under trained. I chose to start in the park, with a five mile loop, spin out for a run along the Schuykyll River Trail, and then come back for the seven mile outer loop around Valley Forge. The seven mile loop is even hillier than the main loop.
  2. Not enough training. Over the previous couple of months I had barely run. Perhaps ten miles per week in many cases, and in others less. Normally I would be up at 30 to 40 miles per week in preparation for the run.
  3. Not enough snacks. I didn’t have quite the right combination of snacks for the run and tried to put something together, but it wasn’t really quite right.
  4. Carrying extra weight. The reduced mileage and increased seasonal snacking left me carrying about 5-7 extra pounds for the run this year.

The first five miles went by quite smoothly and it was at 5.5 that I met up with my friend Ed. He joined me for 9.5 non-stop miles along the Schuykyll River Trail and the Betzwood Trail. This is the longest distance he has run without doing a walk-run combo and it was great to have the company along the route.

Mile 16 was where I started to have issues. My legs just stopped wanting to move. I tried fueling a little more and kept walking to give my legs a chance to recover. This is quite early in the run to be having issues. Once the food kicked in I was able to run again and kept going to about mile 19 where I took a bathroom break and refilled my water bottles (no, just no).

Crossing the new Sullivan’s Bridge I stopped to take a picture for someone who was half way through their first long ride since having some shoulder surgery.

The last seven miles were around the outer loop of the Park and it has many hills and is mostly non-tarmac trails. It starts with a long and steady climb. At mile 21 it started to hurt again, so I decided to switch to a walk/run strategy. This got me through to about mile 24…

At that point I had to just walk. I had nothing left in the tank at all. I felt like a bit of a sham walking around the park in my running gear but I had no choice.

At mile 25.5 I started running again and tried to keep going to the end… my car was waiting for me at 26.7, half a mile past the marathon mark.

I was sooooo glad to make it to the car. I got my thermal blanket out of the back of the car and wrapped myself up as all the walking had made me much colder than running would have done. It was done for another year. 

Next year I will prepare more. My thanks to Ed for the company during the marathon as that really helped early on.


And he’s back…

Greetings blogosphere!

Did you miss me?

I got caught up in spending time with family and really cut back my running for the last couple of months, so I stopped updating the blog. I seem to be back now, however.

Lots to catch up on but I’ll spread that out over the next few posts.

Reasons I’m back:

  1. I managed to run my traditional Boxing Day marathon earlier this week. It half killed me as I hadn’t been running enough to really be able to do it easily. Lesson learned. 
  2. I just upgraded my Apple Watch (original) to the Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+ version… and it is lovely. 

Today’s run was my first with the new watch and it worked great.

I had a music playlist on the watch and connected my Bluetooth headset to it to get some good sounds for my run.

I then used the built-in Nike+ application to record my run…and I left my cell phone at home! 

The Nike+ app (Nike+ Run Club) is really well executed, easy to read, use and it gives good feedback through the headphones, too.

As for the gps tracking on the new watch, well it was within 0.01 of the distance that is usually measured by my iPhone, so I’m going to call that accurate. Given that the iPhone number can vary by more than that on any one run, I’m thinking this is in the right range. It was old to see the route instantly on my watch when I completed. For some reason it hasn’t picked up my heart rate info from the Apple Watch so I’ll have to investigate that.

The watch looks cool (now I sound old) and I went with the model that has the light watch and strap with Volt colored inset holes on the strap.

It goes well with my shorts and belly in this shot. Yeah, I’m going to need to work on that a little. 🙂

I’m quite looking forward to giving some updates so I won’t blow it all on this first post. Have fun out there and enjoy your New Year training routines.

Recovery Catch-up

After taking it *slightly* easy for the last couple of weeks, I decided to knuckle down and do another marathon this weekend.

I hadn’t, however, reckoned on there being ridiculously strong winds in our area and a temperature drop back down into the 20s!

The British word “Bugger” seems most appropriate.

However, once I’d mentally committed to the distance I saw no reason to bail and went ahead with the run.

Again I pointed my feet in the general direction of Skippack, PA., and just kept on trucking. The wind was terrible for the first fifteen or so miles. At times it was like leaning against a wall. I was continually buffeted hither and thither as I tried to make slow progress along the road. The temperature drop meant that the chill really bit as the wind wound up. Brrr!

I decided I would take a slightly longer route back to my home as that particular trail was more shielded from the wind. This would mean that I would have to walk a little at the end of the marathon to actually reach my front door and, perhaps most annoyingly, the last two miles would all be uphill. The uphill part is inevitable to get home, but saving it all for the last two miles rather than spreading it across the last seven was a pity – however, needs must and the wind had to be avoided.

The last 14 miles of the run were all on the Perkiomen Trail from Schwenksville down to Oaks. Very pretty and somewhat protected from the wind. 

I completed the 26.22 miles in just a shade under four hours which shows how much of an impact the wind actually had on my performance. The walk home was a just over half a mile which was actually quite a nice way to let my legs relax a little. 

For snacks I had a bottle of Gatorade cut with 50% water, a Clif chocolate mint bar and a six pack of shot blocks. Just about enough to survive the distance.

Of course, once I got home I got an email from my running buddy requesting that we increase the length of our Monday morning run to seven miles. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger so I agreed… And it wasn’t tooooooo bad. Although, I did ask that we didn’t do any fartleks as my legs just wouldn’t have managed that.

Given that March has now past I checked my numbers for the month & year… 170 miles for March (pretty darn good) and 411 for the year to date. Now to eat my body weight in mini-eggs…

Boxing Day Marathon #4

It is done. In the bag. Completed for another year. 

In the past I have had to run on icy trails while being pounded by hail stones and snow, but this year was an entirely different story.

Today it was the perfect weather for a marathon. 51F. Little wind. No rain. No sun. Just steady temperatures and a grey sky. 

I chose to base my routes around the Betzwood River Trail location as this gave access to fully functional toilets and ample parking, plus lots of other people on the trails (which is a good safety thing if the marathon attempt goes to crap).

This year I was joined by my Monday morning running buddy for the first six miles of the route. For this section we headed out towards Phoenixville along the SRT. The trail has a gentle incline out of Valley Forge National Historical Park and the dives back down to run right alongside the river. At the three mile point we looked for a trail marker (in this case a bridge), ran to it, and turned around.

All this meant that the time we got back to the cars we had 6.4 miles under our belts. I grabbed a hat and my headphones and started out. My friend, Ed, ran a little further with me, then bailed at the end of the Betzwood lot. It was nice having someone with me for the first part of the run.

My plan was to do the next ten miles as a five mile out-and-back run through Norristown. This part of the SRT is quite pretty and goes past lots of riverside homes as it passes through Indian Head. There have been some issues for people in the past as they go through Norristown but I’ve been fortunate enough never to have issues. In general, I would advise women not to run alone through this area, but there were a few doing that today (well done them). 

The five mile turnaround point was part way through one of my favourite pieces of the trail when riding a bike… A fast and gentle downhill out of Norristown Railway station. On a bike I can hit over 30mph on this stretch, but today it was a more leisurely pace.

By the time I got back to the car I had 16.4 miles under my belt and felt fine. At this point I switched out my water bottle for a mix of water and Gatorade, grabbed another Clif mint chocolate bar, and a spibelt with two extra packs of Clif shot bloks in case I started having issues with cramps.

Then it was straight back out on the trail towards Phoenixville again, this time running all the way to the Reynolds Dog Park. I turned around when the trail hit the road and my legs were still feeling fresh. Distance-wise I was a little short at 4.8 miles out, but making up the last little bit by running around the car park is sort of a tradition on these… You don’t want to end up having to run further!

Through the last few miles my legs did start to tire, but they didn’t have any cramps or muscle issues at all. I think running with the Gatorade really helped on this front. As I spotted my car I still had another 0.7 miles to run, so I headed up to the far end of the car park, ran around to see the work on the new trail bridge over to Valley Forge (very nearly completed) and then turned back towards my car. As I reached the car I got the twenty-six mile announcement and had to go a little further to get to the final number. I did feel a bit of a lemon doing this, but I see other people doing this sometimes too.

Sitting in the boot of my Mini and drinking rather remainder of the Gatorade I felt really good. My legs weren’t too achy, I had some mild soreness from my shorts rubbing (my fault and not the shorts), I had only eaten one and a half Clif bars and six bloks, but I didn’t have any cramps or real fatigue.

I did run at a far slower pace (8:50) vs. the marathon I raced three weeks ago (7:50), but that was my plan so I don’t feel too bad about that. I didn’t use a music playlist but instead listened to podcasts for a more relaxing experience.

My weight before was 147 lbs and after was 146 so I think I did a good job with the nutrition and liquid intake. Here’s a recovery photo. Apologies for the unshaven wreck.

All in all, I finished in 3:51:44 and feel fine. Not a record run but the first time that I didn’t have to stop and walk near the end. Small improvements all add up.

There were a lot of people out on the trail today and most of the runners said “hi” and, in general, the cyclists also announced their passing and also acknowledged me. That’s nice.

Now to enjoy some of the xmas trappings that I had to avoid on Xmas day; bring on the wine and beer!

Medium Distance Run (Slacking)

After a long week of relatively short runs, and a hectic party schedule, I was a little more than reluctant to hit the streets this morning.

My son woke me at 5:30 and so we just hung out until the others woke up, then I sneaked off back to bed for a crafty catch up sleep.

Once I eventually got up at nine, I sat under a blanket and just enjoyed being lazy. This is very unlike me but felt great…

Then at 10:30 I just got up and went out. I managed a relatively slow 9 miles at a recovery pace of around 8:30. I think, strictly speaking, my training schedule called for fifteen miles, but it felt like my legs haven’t recovered from the last marathon yet, so I eased off.

It was crazily warm today. 65F when I went out of run. I sweated off 3.5 pounds. This is nuts for December! Normally it would be in the 20s. It has been like this for most of the week, too.

It was announced this week that the official marathon photos were available online and were free; this was a nice surprise. In a couple of them I look like I was about to keel over, but there were a few good ones.

The first of this set looks pretty good. The ear warmers look a bit dorky but they are so nice when it is cold out. I normally take them off after a couple of miles and just clip them around my arm. Very handy.

I also reached the end of life (400 miles) on one of my pairs of Brooks Glycerine 13s but have a new (cheap) pair of Glycerine 12s waiting in the wings thanks to some foresight with the Black Friday sales. The wear pattern shows a slight heal drag but they are generally quite evenly worn. This is in keeping with my neutral shoes and foot strike. I did start to find that I was beginning to feel the road through the soles by the end of their life, so I’m looking forward to the new pair.

Strictly speaking this week should be the start of my two week taper to the next marathon; my traditional and unofficial Boxing Day marathon. We’ll see how that goes… If anyone wants to run part of it with me they are more than welcome to come along… 🙂

Marathon Summary: Rehoboth Beach, DE. 

It is done and I am working through the aftermath of aches and pains, albeit only slight aches. 

So, I should return to the start and regale you with the full marathon story…

Friday I took the day off from work and started with a leisurely diner breakfast with the family, came home and packed all I would need for the trip. At one p, I hit the road to DE which was about a two and a half hour ride. Basically, a straight-line road trip that was dull and uneventful.

Upon arrival, the first thing to do was to get the race packet. This event was well organized and quite busy. Parking is plentiful and free at this time of year in Rehoboth Beach, so getting a space near the packet pickup was easy.

The packet contained very little of interest: a few race flyers, some freeze rub and, of course, the race t-shirt. 

Next stop the hotel and the staff allowed me to have an extended checkout for race day. Result! Nothing worse than hanging around in sweaty clothing with no shower available. The room had a side view across the beach in Dewey, DE. Quite pretty.

Then I unpacked all my race garb to make sure that I hadn’t left anything behind and laid it all out ready for the morning. Everything was present and correct.  

 After nipping out for a quick pizza I decided to hit the hay early at 7:30 after putting my devices on charge. Sometimes I’ve had issues with not being able to sleep the night before a big event so I wanted to maximize my chance to get some shut eye… However, it wasn’t a problem this time. I slept right through until 5:30 when my alarm went off. 

Parking for the race was very simple. Again, there are lots of free parking spaces there right near the start line. This meant I only had to brave the cold sea breeze for about 15 minutes before the race started. After a slow rendition of the national anthem, it was go-time. 

 Sunrise at the beach.

  Everyone is ready to go.
I started a little way back in the pack as I generally do. It allows me to feel like I’m fast as I overtake people in the first few miles and gets my legs turning over quickly.

I had some issues getting mapmyrun to start via my watch. My fingers were too cold for it too sense them, I suspect. I managed to get it started a couple of hundred yards after the start. The first few miles twist around the town and steer you out towards the Henlopen State park. Interestingly, they have the marathon and half marathon split around the four mile mark, sending us marathoners out into the wilds. The turn around point was at mile ten and was quite breezy.

The park was very pretty and nearly entirely flat.when we passed the thirteen mile mark I realized that my gps was entirely out of sync with the distance. It was well over half a mile off by this time. This was a concern.

The little voice from my phone had been telling me my pace was 7:30… Then it had dropped down to  7:25… 7:22… And eventually reached 7:15! I thought this was buying me extra time for later, but I guess it was because the distance measurement was so far off. This meant that I didn’t really know how I was doing.

Some slow mental arithmetic over the next few miles allowed me to work out what my time should be at the various mile markers, however, I didn’t know the exact time that I crossed the start line so it was going to guesswork to some extent.

At mile 18 I started to feel tired and eased up a little, figuring I had a little bandwidth. At mile 19.5 I was overtaken for the first time in the race and didn’t manage to retake them. A clear sign I was slowing a little.

At mile 23 I stayed to feel the beginnings of cramps in my thighs, so I waked for a 30 seconds. I had to do this three times. With two miles to go I figured I had sixteen minutes spare… Perfect for an eight minute mile pace.

I tried to pick it up a little but I couldn’t make much more headway… Finally I crossed the line with my gps saying 26.87 miles, despite starting it late.

After grabbing water, medal and a warm wrap I headed over to the official timing tent. 

 3:25:08. My BQ would have been 3:25:00… Well, except that you have to really beat it by a couple of minutes these days to actually still qualify. 

I missed by eight seconds… But this is still 13+ minutes faster than my previous personal best. Sweet. 

 I’m not sure why the camera inverted the picture for the selfie… Something funky going on there. You see all that salt… I certainly worked hard during the run.
Now I’m recovering at home after a long and enjoyable post-race party hanging out with a crazy bunch of marathon maniacs, some who did more than 30 marathons this year. Crazy.

Bailed on Marathon

I’ve posted no updates this week because I was planning to run a marathon today and was tapering… However, at mile 20 I’ve decided to bail. 

Cramps in my calf and dizziness when I stopped to tie a lace stopped me going any further. 

I feel like a bit of a failure but I guess I’ll just call it a 20mile training run and do the marathon attempt again in a couple of weeks. 

I hadn’t been following a plan and last weekend I did run 18 miles so I guess I was pushing it a little. 

The run was pretty good as I had planned it to hit several water stops and my car so I could refuel regularly. 

I ate well with sports beans, 2 packs of clif shot blocks and two clif bars. 

I drank three 20oz bottles of water and was helped by a friendly cyclist who gave me a bottle of Gatorade at mile 14.5. What a gent! He saw that the water fountain I was trying to fill at wasn’t functioning so he offered me his spare bottle. His shirt said “RoadDawgs” and they are a team I have drafted on the MS City to Shore ride before so a big “THANKS” to the anonymous rider. 

I was plagued with technical problems today. 

I forgot to charge my phone last night so had to delay my start by and hour to pick up some energy. Then my Bluetooth headphones refused to stay connected to my phone. Every 20 seconds they would disconnect. I tried everything to get them to work properly and ended up abandoning them at my car at mile 19. This is the second time that has happened with these headphones so I may have to return them. I seem to have no luck with Bluetooth tech and it is not like I’m hard on the equipment; I always keep them in their pouch. 

There were many cyclists out today and very few announced they were passing. Thanks to the four that did! 

The promised storm that I was hoping for never materialised so I ended up running in 75F temps with high humidity the whole time. Stupid weather. 

Anyway, I enjoyed the run despite giving up. I think it was a sensible decision to make given that I was heading out into the wilderness when I started to feel faint. 

The walk back to my car was relaxing and allowed me to write this article. 

Now to get some food, stretch and roll my muscles out. 

Chester Valley Trail: The Outdoor Equivalent of a Treadmill

Firstly, let me start by sending a massive congratulations and thanks to the people that look after the Chester Valley Trail. For, in a time with continuous sub-freezing temperatures and five snowstorms in the last week, their trail is completely clear. No snow. No ice. No slippery places towards the edges. No melt water patches. Nothing. Amazing.

If you are looking for somewhere clear to run outside in these winter conditions, there is probably no better choice than this trail. Big props!

But, boy, is it a boring trail. It runs parallel with the PA route 202 and is constantly within ear shot of the traffic, so run with headphones if you want some escapism.

The 5.5 miles out and back that I ran was straight as a straight could be. Here’s the GPS to prove it:

2015/02/img_4247.pngIsn’t that crazy? The outdoor, real-world equivalent of a treadmill session as there is nothing interesting to see.

The road weaves away a little and the later end of the path is through corporate office parks but the omnipresent hum of rolling traffic haunts the trail even early on a Sunday morning.

My run started at Old Eagle School road and went almost all the way to Wegman’s in Malvern. This was the base site for my recent Boxing Day marathon and means that if you were so inclined, you could run almost exactly a marathon along the length from start to end. By my rough calculations it is 13 miles out and back.

One enjoyable thing today was that EVERY runner that I passed today said ‘hello’ unlike the people in England last week. And I passed about forty runners during my 11 mile run today. Well done, American Runners.

The temperature was a fine 20F with no breeze and I slightly over dressed. Eventually I was running with my jacket tied around my waist.

Eleven miles in 1 hour 28 gives a 7:59 pace. My legs feel slow at the moment and I think it is because I am not eating properly or hydrating. I shall attempt to address that this week.

January is done and I ran somewhere over 100 miles which isn’t too shabby given the temps and conditions.

Solo Marathon Tips and Recovery

It is two days after my solo marathon on Boxing Day and I actually felt like I could go for a run today. I didn’t as I have a slight hangover from visiting friends, but I could have run without problems.

I thought I should write a list of things to ensure I would be better prepared next time, so here goes:

1. Only wear clothes you have run in before. No new clothes as you have to be sure you will not get chaffing issues. I was wearing shorts under some thermal skiing leggings and had some discomfort from them gathering as I ran. I was able to get away without any soreness due to making a few ‘adjustments’ while I was running.

Ensure you have your clothes ready the night before so you don’t end up hunting around for things at the last minute.

At my seven mile stop I ditched my hoodie at my car but didn’t want to take off the leggings yet. Top tip: if your hoodie has string pulls to adjust the hood, tuck them inside the neck hole before you start running so that they don’t whip your chin as you run!

2. Wear good socks. I use smart wool socks as I find that they wick any sweat away and reduce the chance of getting blisters. I had none from this run. Hurrah. I keep my toe nails short so none were lost or blackened.

3. Ensure your shoes are properly broken in. If I were to put a number on this, at least 30 miles of wear on shoes before running to ensure that they will be comfortable and won’t rub.

4. Eating. Yes, eating is an important part of the preparation. Running a Boxing Day marathon makes this difficult as the day before is Christmas. Late and large breakfast. Late and large dinner. Lots of sugary snacks. Alcohol. All of these will sabotage your preparation. I need to ensure I eat more of the right things before I do these long runs. I only had one ‘drink’ on Xmas day so I did that bit right, but it is so tempting to have more. We had a veggie tofurkey feast but I only had three slices which probably wasn’t enough protein. I should have had more potato too.

5. Snacks for the run. I ran unsupported which means I was solely responsible for taking the right foods. Making an eating plan is important, using foods you are familiar with. Do not introduce new items on a run of this length. Unfortunately, I dropped one packet of Clif shot blocks as I got into my car so I was immediately restricted a little compared to my eating plan. If you are doing your own run try to do a circuit so you can pick things up at your car while partway through. This also gives you the option of bailing if you get injured.

6. Hydration Plan. It was winter. It was 34F. I still drank 2.5 20oz bottles of water while on the run and then went to the store after for two large coffees (decaf) and two cokes. Either carry enough or plan a route via water fountains remember that some public water fountains will be turned off in the winter! Drinking extra water a few days before is a good idea.

UPDATE: the hydration plan should also extend to the week after the run. I did not pay attention to this and suffered badly with what I will call ‘liquid bottom’. Keep drinking more water or gatorade through the week following the marathon. Try to avoid having too many celebratory drinks (NYE 2014/5) as that is what triggered it for me.

7. Toilet stops. Running that distance will probably mean you’ll need a bathroom break at some point. If you know where some are, plan to go that way. Toilet blocks (buildings) are often nicer than porta-loos (porta potties).

8. Breakfast. Make sure you have sufficient breakfast before you start out. Carbs like toast and bagels are probably better than a bowl of cereal as you may not want all that milk sloshing around.

9. If you are starting pre-dawn you may need extra layers and a light. You might want to plan a short loop back so you can drop these things off at your car (say, after 6 miles or so).

10. Tell someone where you are running, or run with someone else for sections of the route. Wear a RoadID (or equivalent) band. Have a phone with you for emergencies. If you are a member of a running club, start with them and make use of them having multiple groups starting out. Run with the 6am group, then the 7am group, for example.

11. Weigh yourself before you start and after you finish. This is a good indication as to whether you’ve successfully hydrated. I was exactly the same weight after the run.

As for recovery, I had a fairly restful day but didn’t nap to recover. I ensured that I rolled out my thigh and calf muscles that evening and the next morning.

Stairs are a bit of a challenge after a run of this length so be prepared to have to use the bannister or scramble on all-fours. Avoid carrying children up or down stairs for a day or so.

Drink plenty of fluids and monitor your weight.

You will be extra hungry for a few days. Do not deny yourself as it is a part of the recovery process. Well, that’s what I’m telling myself anyway!

Do you have any tips to add ?

Boxing Day Marathon

In the end I decided to break with my two year tradition of running two half marathons on Boxing Day (one early and one late) and instead opted to simply run a full marathon in one go.

I was making my plans last night when I saw a post from my running club (FastTracks) on Facebook to say that there was a group run at 6am from a supermarket that’s relatively close to my home. They were planning a six miler then regrouping at seven for an optional 10 or 14 miler. Perfect base for a marathon as that would leave me with only six point two miles to go!

The run on the recently extended Chester Valley Trail (CVT). This trail runs along beside the 202 in PA for quite a while but these further reaches are a little nicer and head off through parks and campuses.

We all started together but I quickly found myself a way out in front of the group. It was dark and most people were running with headlights. I prefer to only use my knuckle light when necessary and was soon far enough ahead to be able to turn mine off and soak up the glory of the early morning. It was beautiful. I felt strong and connected to the world.

The first section was supposed to be six miles but I decided I could do seven and still get back for the regrouping. Indeed, I did manage this. I took off my outer layer and left my gloves, ear warmers and torch in the car. Drank from a spare water bottle and then stood with the others for a minute and we headed off for the longer run.

This time two people went off in front of me and it was all I could do to keep myself from hunting them down but I knew I was in this for the long game. Sure enough, they turned around at the 3.5 mile mark and headed back to base. They hadn’t got out of my line of sight. I kept going.

When I hit the 11.8 mile mark there was a park with full restroom facilities. Never pass an opportunity like that! I stopped in for a much needed bathroom break in a heated and plumbed restroom; lovely. As I came out and joined the trail, the ten mile group were just passing. I scooted past them as I knew it was approaching their turning point. Sure enough, they called out to me and I told them I was going long.

I then ran to the end of the trail which now extends past the shops in Exton which is a darn sight longer than it used to be. I was exactly at the fourteen mile mark at this point.

On the run back to the car I passed a few of the runners in the group who were doing the ten and fourteen mile runs. At the car I swapped out my water bottle for my second spare and ate half a Clif bar then locked up the car and started out for the last five point two miles. 21 miles done.

Everything was fine until about mile 22 when my legs started to stiffen up. I ended up having to walk a little and switched to a regime of 0.2 miles walking and 0.3 running for a couple of miles. Then I ran the last three quarters of a mile as a block to finish.

Since finishing I’ve been sitting in the coffee area of a wegman’s supermarket supping coffee and coke, and eating cookies and croissant. I have been here for about fifteen minutes already and the shaking is starting to ease off. My legs seem to spasm if I tense them at all. I think they are trying to keep running. Stupid legs!

I wonder what the staff make of me sitting in the corner shaking away?

Okay – the shaking has passed now (30 mins). I wrote that paragraph first and then went back and filled in the details. Now I feel back in control. The sugar in the coke must have kicked in.

Time to do a quick shop, refill my coffee and head home to relax with the family. And maybe, perhaps, snooze a little later.

26.2 miles. 3:38:17. 8:19 pace. Not too shabby considering my total lack of a training plan. I guess we’ll see what the recovery looks like!