Test Run.

I’ve been putting off updating my blog because today was the test, the proof of the pudding, Blackpool marathon. I went with my latest trainers. Nike were having a sale of the original, benchmark, super trainers so I thought I’d give them a go. They don’t spin my legs up but they are very springy and the reviewers said they leave you feeling fresh at the 20 mile mark so you can start to push on. I only got them last week, when I was already in taper, so I was taking a gamble on them as I hadn’t tried them over any distance.

Weird looking things, but feather light and very springy.

Since ASICS have messed their sizing up I’ve gone from one pair of trainers at a time for all these years to this:

Anyway, it was all or nothing today. I was after a 3 hours 15, but I’ve been nervously watching the weather forecast all week and it’s been “windy with very windy gusts”. It was along the seafront at Blackpool, it’s nothing but gusts. The final verdict this morning.

The race was supposed to start at 09.00. That’s tough running weather. 13 to 17 mph winds, gusts of 21 to 27 mph. Tough.

This is what 27mph gust looked like yesterday.

I was not looking forward to it.

I set off quite fast but got tachycardia within the first mile. I wasn’t expecting that. I wanted to run through it, but I just couldn’t. I had to stop for 2 minutes to get it settled. First mile. What a bummer. I got back to it and worked my way through the pack. The wind was killer for about 6 miles in one direction, and you had to do it twice. Tough, tough.

I gritted my teeth and pushed on. I finished in 3.16:59. That’s with the two minutes lost to tachycardia, and against awful winds. I’m well pleased with that. It was only a small field of runners (355 for the marathon) but I finished ahead of the first woman runner (that’s never happened before), 41st overall, and third in my age group. An age group podium! Me! That was a good day’s work. And very encouraging for my goal of a sub 3.

In other running news, someone on Twitter just did the Manchester to Liverpool ultra. A 50 mile race between the two. And posted pictures of himself on Latchford locks. I’m far too easily lead. A few hours later I’d signed up to next year’s race. So I’d better smash this sub 3 pretty quick to get on to distance training.

My new training plan has arrived from Camille (the woman who’s setting all the records). I wanted to try her plan because mine has no easy days. Modern thinking is all about 80/20, 80% really easy, 20% flat out. My plan has no easy. It clearly works, but I’m worried it’s smashing my body too hard. Overtraining just leads to burn out and injury. So I thought I’d give her plan a go. It’s based on lots of little runs. Long runs at “super easy” pace (she’s American, bless). I am in two minds now it’s arrived. It looks too easy. But on the other hand it’s still about 60 miles a week and when you shuffle through a few weeks you see this: (finger and thumb)

Oh. OK, I’ll give it a go. I’ve got time to give it a month and see if it works for me, if not I can always switch back.

I spotted Boris (the rat that comes in our garden) again for the first time in a year but I fluffed my shot rushing it. I got cheap set of telescopic sight. I’ve not quite got them zeroed in, but I’ll take that for a 3 shot grouping.

I asked about why work is dead. Apparently while they are finishing off the automated sorting machinery they have just installed they’ve diverted loads of our work to another depot. I thought it was all the drivers they took on, but I got told out of the 30 they took on, 25 have already left. (I’ll do it. Gizza job!) The good news is the new kit goes online next month, then depot by depot we are going to be handling everyone else’s work. We are going to be mad busy. Good. I’ve been looking at other jobs and they are all less money, big commutes, unsociable hours and long, long shifts. The only one I could see with comparable pay was 00.00- 03.00 starts at Haydock. So say midnight start, 1 hour 20 commute (round trip) 12 hour shift, home for say 12.40, try to force yourself out for a run for an hour or two, food, shower, make your butties, bed for 15.00, try to sleep, up again at 22.00… That is not a life. Always exhausted. No time with Wendy. Just work and sleep and short runs (if I could find the self discipline after 12 hours and terrible sleep). The last time I did that I was slipping into depression within 5 months. And I was actually considering applying for it before I talked to the manager and found out what was happening.

I’m sure there’s plenty that’s happened since my last blog but I’ve forgotten and I’m a bit tired and done in after today.

A bit of a Twitter catchup and I’m done.

I was sorting some stuff out and came across an old demotivational calendar. They crack me up.

Look what Honda did to Tom Baker’s K9!

The bottom 2 look like some kind of avenging angel

(“Bangs” is American for a fringe, apparently)

And someone’s pic of spring in the UK.





Set up.

Hi Don and Margaret,

Here’s a few tips.


Take the rubber case off.

Where my thumb is, there is a hole. Get the pin from the box (I’ve put it on the charger plug)

Put the pin in the hole and press.

Your sim card tray will pop out. Lay it down the way it came out so you know it goes in that way up.

The tray has one corner cut off, so the sim card can only fit one way.

Put your old sim in and replace it. If it says something like “no sim card detected” that probably means the card is dead and you need a new one. If not, credit it and you’re good to go.

Next you want to start setting up your ‘phone.


With the power on, and screen unlocked (button on the side in the middle, then swipe the screen up) put your finger on the bottom of the screen and drag it up.

Somewhere on the page will be a cog looking icon which is settings. If not, swipe to the side until you see it.

Tap it and you get a menu. Tap Connections.

It will show you some toggle switches.

Slide the wifi one off (to the left)

Then back to the right and it will look for wifi connections. The top one should be yours. Here is the one from our house (don’t use it)

Tap on the top one, if it’s yours, It will try to connect. It should ask you for a password

Which you can find on the back of your router.

Be very careful to enter the correct upper and lower case letters. There is an up arrow on the keyboard to get an upper case letter. Press that then the letter. If it stays in upper case press it again.

Enter it and it should say you are connected.


Go into the Gmail envelope and enter your email address. Then password. It will ask for verification. Ask it to send it to a device you are already signed into (your computer). When you get the email, open it and click “this is me” or whatever. Then you are signed in.

Then swipe up again and look for Playstore (a sideways pointing triangle)

Tap on that and possibly sign in again.

In the search bar at the top type in Duolingo

Tap on the green one at the top. Then install, open, and select your language (Klingon. Or Spanish. Up to you.) And you’re in.

Another one from the playstore is Whatsapp. Then we can send you videos and you can get in on Wendy’s church stuff.


That’s just a matter of plugging that cable I gave you into the side of the computer (in the right sized slot, obviously) and in the back of the telly. The only trick is going through the sources on your telly remote to find the computer.

The other thing is to plug that stick in the side of the computer, in a different type of hole, an left click on the file you want. Season 1, episode 1, and you’re away.

Right. That’s enough to be going on with. Tell me when you’ve settled and given everything a go if anything goes wrong.



Sub 3 April.

Week 1:

I’ve been off this week as Don and Margaret are staying with us. It got me confused so I did the actual plan days (Saturday/ Sunday) instead of doing them on Sunday/ Monday. I only realised today (Sunday) so I’ve accidentally missed a day’s training. Not sure how, but that’s 7 fail days on this cycle, now.

By the end of last week my knees were hurting pretty badly so I’ve gone into taper this week. I wanted to test and set my Half time but it’ s been blowing a gale. Yesterday the plan said 8-10K race. I set off for a fast 10K, and even though it was quite windy I was battering it, so I carried on for a Half.

Absolutely smashed it! 1.29:09! Battered the sub 1.30 with 50 seconds to spare! Happy bunny. That’s sub 3 pace for half the distance now. It didn’t feel too awful. It wasn’t like a 5K race, where you are dying and hanging on by your fingernails, it was managed and just hard. I think a lot of it is down to calories. I’ve been gorging the whole week. Definitely taking that onboard for race prep.

Today the plan was long fast run. 16 miles at mara pace +10- 20%. After yesterday’s heroics I was happy to scrape the bare minimum 8.12m/m, but I did it at 7.53. That will do Donkey, that will do.

Oh, and missing a day has put me in sych with the plan so I can taper exactly for Blackpool in 2 weeks.