We run and we run RaceBest. This blog is about running, but it's also about what we're up to at RaceBest.


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Bloodbuzz Ohio

Not Ohio actually.  Nowhere near.  Not even the same continent.  No it was Spofforth, Yorkshire, England, Europe.  And it wasn’t even bees, it was hornets.

Bees conjure up images of Pooh Bear and honey, warm woody words like bumble and pollen, or concern about their disappearance in the Medusa Cascade.  Not so hornets. Descriptions of them more often than not revolve around adjectival terror like predatory, vicious, nasty. Hornets are Daleks and bees are Ewoks.  Pooh Bear never met them in the 100 Acre Wood.

Well somewhere in the two and a half acre field I met them.  Somewhere between 5 and 6 kilometres on the Spofforth Gala Trail Race.  They came at me.  Surrounded me. Beat me up and then moved onto the next runner.  Suffice to say, we didn’t become friends. Bear with a sore head doesn’t even begin to describe it.

And it confirms my preference for roads over trails.  I’d more happily battle tarmac and bad-tempered BMW drivers than a drove of vespa crabro taking out their pent up aggression upon hapless and mostly harmless Bank Holiday runners.

It’s pretty unlikely that I will ever be “carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees” (and certainly not accompanied by Matt Berninger’s heartfelt croonery), but having been chased to Spofforth in a school of hornets, I can report it would not necessarily be my transport means of choice.  

 

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Beat The Clock

Race number? Check.  Safety pins? Check.  Shirt, shorts, shoes? Check.  Gels, jelly babies, jelly-legged jalopy? Check.  

Oh it’s all coming together like a Flaming Pie’d Beatle with a yen for Japan.  Or a Byrne’d out talking head on a road to nowhere.  Or a zimmer man with any number of roads he’s impelled to walk down.  Talking of which, I’m on the low road and she’s on the high road, and many will be in Scotland before wee me.  I start in London, she starts with a Regent, but we both end at Muscle Beach…or something like that.

I’m talking Edinburgh Marathon Blues. Numbers, pins and energy tablets arrived today, so barring limb loss we will be on our way in ten days to the Scottish capital to run 26.2 miles for no other cause than the mere fact we can. Which is enough. I think.

The long runs are behind us, the long run before us. We’re tapering hard (if that’s possible, because frankly tapering is easy, running less has never been a problem for me). Targets have been set, plans and splits discussed, fuel strategies practised.  I’m as prepared as a boy scout with a Prince 2 badge.  So like a moustachioed Mael and his kid brother all I have to do is beat the clock (you gotta beat the clock, you gotta beat the clock).

What can possibly go wrong?


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Tardy or what?

I blame the Easter bunny, that malevolent six foot rabbit with a chocolate fetish, sort of Donnie Darko meets Willy Wonka. Or perhaps it’s all the plodded miles.  Or the return of Dr Who.  Oh, I don’t know, it’s all excuses for not having posted for a while.

Marathon training continues, not quite apace, but definitely at a pace, more tortoise less hare, more Eeyore less Tigger,  more Long and Winding Road less Jet.  The training group has dwindled as others have had their day on the finish line (Paris has gone, London is imminent) or the finish line is fast approaching (Mancunians are tapering).  Meanwhile Edinburgh is still five weeks away.  That’s 2, maybe 3, long runs away.  About another 200 training miles to go, which coincidentally is the distance from here to there.  So I could set off now. Maybe not.

It’s all gone to plan, which if my past marathon experience is anything to go by, means not a thing.  My poorest training programme (longest run 17 miles, 6 weeks before the event) is my second best time.  My best programme (over 600 injury free miles) is my personal worst.   What will be, will be.

I hope to be better than tardy on the day, but at my age and with my reputation, I’ll settle for finishing.


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Not yet halfway

Marathon training is a slog.  In fact it’s a bit like running a marathon. A lot of miles, a long way, a journey where the end is not conceivable, let alone visible, when you are at the start.

I’ve reached Week 6 of 16 (37.5% for all you statisticians).  In marathon terms that means I’m just approaching Mile 10…16.2 to go.  Which still seems like a long way. Probably because it is.

My weekly average is over 44 miles, which is definitely more than I’ve done before.  And whilst part of me thinks that none of this seems to be having any impact on my readiness for a marathon, there is evidence that it is.  I ran the Dentdale 14 at the weekend (which I thoroughly recommend for those of you who like hilly courses in beautiful surroundings topped off by cream teas made by the good lady villagers of Dent) and felt as strong on the last hill (mile 13) as on the first.  And I know that would not have been the case six months ago.

So with 10 more weeks of my training to go, I guess I’m heading in the right direction.  But when I think of having run 10 miles with 16.2 to go I struggle to think anything other than “OH. MY. GOD.”


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Getting to the start line

Second session with our first beginners’ group.  Their enthusiasm is infectious. Set us both up for the rest of the day!

We’ll be setting up more beginners’ groups in the coming months, in and around Headingley.  If you’ve never run and want to start (it’s never too late, I was pushing 40 when I started) or if you want to build up your distance and stamina to get from 5K to 10K then get in touch.  We’ll post times and dates shortly, but drop us a line if you’re interested now.


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Who are you?

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Martin & Lynn, that’s who!  We run and we run racebest.  We post here about running, not running, training, not training, and some (but not all) points in-between.  To stay up-to-date you can subscribe, email, and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, cake always helps!


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Coming out of hybernation

I know, I know, you should never talk about yourself in the third person, but The Bear is back!  Actually, I never went away.  I’ve been very, very busy in The Less Than Hundred Acre Woods, building a lifeboat.  Hmm, you’ve seen the flaw there straight away, I’ll wager.  What use is a lifeboat in the Woods?  Bad metaphor.  Maybe it’s more accurate to say I’ve been building a new den. Lifeboat, den, escape pod, call it what you will, but I’ve been building it.  That’s not really true either.  Me and Mrs Bear have been building it.  That’s being economical with the truth still.  Me, Mrs Bear and some more agile species than us have been plotting and building.  And the fruits (these metaphors are becoming very mixed) of our labour will be revealed soon.  And then I’ll stop talking in cryptic, third person code. Or perhaps he won’t…