Friday, 25 April 2014

Manchester Marathon & The Elusive Sub-4...

54 ultras, 54 trail marathons and 32 road marathons (now 33) – I had never achieved a sub-4 marathon. So, I was pretty happy and a little teary on Sunday 6th April at Manchester Marathon to finally get a sub-4 (just) PB :-) - 3:58:43

I have been running a lot better than I used to, largely because I haven't been running quite so many marathons or ultras and so, my leggies now get better rest and better quality training.

I just had a look at my splits and there were definitely lots of places I could have upped my time. I couldn't go as fast as I wanted near the beginning as there were just too many people in the way/ people in the wrong bit, with the wrong colour numbers for predicted time etc. There were at least 6,000 runners doing Manchester Marathon and it was very congested to begin with. In hindsight, I think I should have gone further up the field, but I'm in the habit of doubting my ability and speed.

Some well-deserved post-marathon ale...

It definitely wasn't the most scenic marathon in the world. It started from Old Trafford and there were a lot of out and back loop-de-loops. I saw a sign for the sewerage works at one point. However, I made sure to stick with the 4 hour pacer for a little while and eventually I was able to overtake him. Soon, the 4 hour pacer was out of sight and remained so until around Mile 22, when he overtook me. It actually really threw me off, because I was still running at a sub-4 hour marathon pace. I could still do it. I was struggling and really warm and my energy was being quickly zapped, but I was still on target. When the 4 hour marathon pacer overtook me, I had a mini panic. He was obviously going faster than this pace, which I guess is great for those that had followed him the whole way, but was really bad for those that he overtook, because it puts you in a bad head space. Anyway, I tried not to let this scupper my dreams. I did not want another Loch Ness Marathon moment, of finishing just over 4 hours and 6 seconds! So, I absolutely legged it (and kept saying 'Come on!' to myself, a lot!)

Overall, I know there were lots of bits I could have run better, the wheels definitely fell off at some points. However, all in all, a great day :-). And in some ways, knowing that I could have done better and knowing that I didn't feel my best at some points is amazing, because it means that I can do even faster on a really good day...

Ooooh and I also bumped into some other runner buddies at Victoria Station in London. I was making my way back from Manchester Marathon and they had just run Brighton Marathon. It's a small world!

Sunday, 20 April 2014


It seems silly not to do an LDWA event whilst I'm in Eastbourne. So, I'm going to do the South Downs LDWA Marathon next Sunday (27th April). I'm actually a little nervous as I've not done anything involving a lot of navigation in a long,  long time. Try as I may, lovely George isn’t free to navigate with me as he’s doing a 10k in London, so I’m going to be brave and go it alone!

So, South Downs Way it is, then Three Forts the week after and then hopefully I'll be able to get up to Windermere for the Brathay Windermere Marathon (my favourite) and also have a little chill out (maybe) before my 3rd GUCR the week after :)  yeyyy

Also, I had the best run along the South Downs the other week, with George. We ran from Eastbourne to Beachy Head to Birling Gap. We stopped at Birling Gap for a cheeky cream tea. My scone was massive and it was great to refuel mid-run. It's been very sunny over this way lately. We ended up running a nice 15 ½ miles in the end, so the scone was much needed, and so was the beer afterwards... 

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Birling Beachy Beautiful

Okey dokey, it’s been a little while since I last wrote a blog post – I have been a bit of a busy-Lizzie. So, here we go:

I can’t really describe how exciting my casual running wanders have been in the last few weeks. Yep, I have been full of every type of cold and bug, but when I have gotten out on those South Downs, it has been absolutely amazing. I love it. I think it might be one of my favourite places to run ever.

It’s so calm and beautiful up there, all your worries just flow out to sea. Last week, I ran a little further than Beachy Head, past the lighthouse and onto Birling Gap. It was quite astonishing to see the extent of the coastal erosion at Birling Gap and how destructive the sea can be. 

As we ran I noticed a lot of ‘Endurance Life’ race event markers, since it was their South Downs race series the other weekend. Unfortunately, it was sold out by the time I got the job in Eastbourne. However, I feel so thankful and so happy that I can run this route all of the time, for free. Okay, Eastbourne is a pretty small seaside town and there’s nothing amazingly special about some bits of it. To be quite frank, some of its inhabitants seem downright miserable. However, the surrounding scenery is just beautiful. 

In the last few weeks I also got to visit: Smuggler's Cave, Stone Henge, The Roman Baths, Brighton - lots of cool places :)