On 26 April 2015 I found myself among over 37000 other runners at the start line of the Virgin Money London Marathon for what would be the best marathon experience I've had so far. Along with most other runners, I arrived with great aspirations of a massive PB and my own goal of running sub-2:45. Boy was I wrong to think this was possible on my first attempt at London.
I stumbled upon this interesting article from the New York Times which links to an analysis performed by Danish statisticians on the non-elite finishers of the Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Boston, Budapest, Chicago, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Marine Corps (Washington), Paris and Warsaw marathons, between 2009 and 2014, and then determined which were the fastest nations by average finishing time.
Once again I find myself in San Francisco for work and I realised the American distrust for free extends to running too.
On Sunday morning I went for my last long run before the London Marathon and ran the length of the Embarcadero. I like the route as it's nice and flat, except for the big hill round Fort Mason, and has great views of the bridge and Alcatraz. It's also a great sunny route so I can top-up on my vitamin D at the same time. Anyway, my run was cut short because of an event starting and finishing at Crissy Field, the Presidio 10 Mile/10KM/5KM. I knew this event was on but chose not to enter any of them as a) I didn't want to tempt fate by racing so close to London, b) I had other plans for a long run already scheduled and c) I objected to paying what I consider an exorbitant entry fee. And it's this last point that I want to come back to.
I discovered another of Strava's experimental features the other day: FlyBy.
So what is it? It's a site that will let you know who you passed or "flew by" while you were out running or riding. It puts together all the logged runs that crossed or came very close to your uploaded run and then lets you replay your run/ride to see exactly where you passed the other runners.
08 Feb 2015 · The first test of my London Marathon training is today: the Wokingham Half Marathon. I'm not expecting to get under 80 mins, but it'll be interesting to see how close I get with a steady planned race.
Update: My training is definitely on track. Pretty chuffed with my 1:21:03 chip time. I think I might be able to dip under 80mins next month.
It's taken me four years and eight months and I've finally done it. I can now proudly say I'm now a member of the parkrun 50 club.
Waaaay back on 23 May 2010, I didn't don my running shoes and ran my first ever parkrun, and ran it completely barefoot. Since then I've run three more completely barefoot and all the rest in a variety of minimalist shoes - the stony & rocky parts of the Reading course became a hinderance to my times .
2014 was not the best year for running for me. I went into the year with so many plans and aspirations and nothing came of them. Why? Injury, and right at the beginning of the year too.
I'm in the process of reading Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science Is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes--and What We Can Learn from Them by Mark McClusky - a great read so far - and I've just read chapter 8 "What Getting Tired Means". It's a chapter that talks about how science and research has changed the definition of what fatigue is and talks about how it is likely to be more of a mental state than a physical state.
I find myself in San Francisco again this week and when planning my trip, booked an AirBnB in Lower Haight so I'd be closer to Golden Gate park and Presidio. The intent behind this decision was to see what it's like to "live" in another 'hood in San Francisco, but more importantly I had the idea that one of my runs would take me the full length of Golden Gate park so I could wet my feet in the sea and run back again and another would take me through the Presidio, across Golden Gate bridge, up to Marin Headlands (for the obligatory snap of Golden Gate bridge with San Francisco in the background) and back again.