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Life’s a Beach ;-)

Today was my longest training run or another kind of run for that matter and the last of my uber long runs before my Kent Roadrunner Marathon in 17 days time and I had 22 miles on my Schedule. Ant my coach said that 18 miles would have been enough but I think I needed to do over 20 to give me the confidence I needed to go into my first marathon at least knowing I was able to run it at a decent pace.  Of course pace is relevant to each of us, there is absolutely nothing wrong with running a 5 hour marathon but I have always wanted to run sub 3:30 to give me good for age for Boston and NYC both of which I want to run in the next year or so and at least now I know that if all goes well on the day its achievable.

Sue and I headed off to my favourite long run spot Boscombe pier nice an early hoping to arrive about 07:30 but after an accident on the motorway it was nearer 8am when we parked so after a toilet stop and a bottle of water I left Sue and headed off towards Southborne.  The weather was perfect, about 12 degrees and a very light 7mph headwind coming the other way nut certainly nothing compared to last weeks 30mph winds.   Ive spent the last couple of weeks trying to slow down my pace and I am getting better, well more consistent which is all important, Today my plan was to keep it “comfortable”  Ant said I should be able to run and hold a steady conversation and not get short of breath.

So I headed off and  running a pretty steady 7:48 and it felt awesome, I did have to keep a constant eye on my Garmin but thats ok,  I knew it would take me 3 or 4 miles to find my comfortable pace and thought I would end up running about 8 minute miles but the longer it went on the 7:48 kept popping up and dare I say felt very comfortable.  I chose my usual loupe which can be anything up to 7 miles but today I made the loupe 5.5 miles which would give me a perfect 22 miles after 4 laps. The first lap was brilliant and as I got back to the car I stopped to grab another bottle of water and more Clif Blocs then headed off for lap 2 which again felt wonderful.  I did see a few of the same people walking up and down with kids or dogs and stopping for coffee and breakfast which was nice because they started to comment on my running and my t-shirt haha they all love the bloody shirt !  Finishing the second lap again I grabbed some more blocs and water and headed off on mile 12 feeling as fresh as when I started.  The third lap was great although starting to get busy so I had to weave in and out of people, Don’t they know I am an athlete and should be given the racing line !!!!!!

after lap 3 again feeling fab I grabbed more blocs but this time with Caffeine and a water and headed back out to conquer mile 17,  I was clocking up more than the 5.5 miles now probably all that weaving 🙂  Anyway the outward journey went very well and as I approached the 20 mile mark I decided to have a couple more Caffeine blocs so I had those and drank my remaining water and had a quick survey of the legs, Yep all good so I walked the 30 yards to the super cool compactor bin and popped in my bottle and headed on my way for the last 2.75 miles of my run.  Shortly after my watch beeped and I looked down and noticed the pace was 8:08 !  WTF I had not slowed down that much surely, my legs felt great and mentally I was on fire, then I realised the walk to the bin and the amount of people near the Southbourne entrance PHEW…… the next 2 or so miles were fab 7:49 then 7:47 and as I reached Boscome pier I felt amazing and continued the half mile to where we had parked to a smiley Sue which brightened my morning no end, I finished with just under 22.5 miles on my garmin and very happy.

Todays main aim apart from confidence building was to test my nutrition and hydration,  I had 3 Clif Blocs (99 calories) before I set off then 3 every 4.5 miles which will equate to 3 laps on race day, the last 2 lots of blocs were Caffeinated mainly to keep me mentally focused, I think next time I would hit the caffiene earlier then alternate but energy wise it was a complete success as was the hydration, we brought some small 33cl bottles with sports caps so ideal to carry with you.  These 2 things are really critical for me being a diabetic and thankfully its a winner.

I have had a few people ask me why I choose to do my long runs along the Beach and Bournemouth, well why not ?  its safe and comfortable, traffic free and Sue can sit on the beach in a deck chair and read her magazines and catch a few rays and it sure beats the hell out of running around the traffic filled Southampton streets.

After the run I had a great stretching session then a walk in the sea and OMG it was cold 🙂  we then had a lovely picnic lunch before heading home to work.

Really pleased that my average pace today was 7:46 Min Miles which would bring me in under my target time and I am sure the whole buzz of race day will help me shedloads.

I am so lucky being able to run like this and more important having the constant support from my amazing wife which means the work to me, Thank you Sue.  I am also very grateful to my amazing coach Ant for all his help and for putting up with me and to my club mate Andy Griggs who is always giving me snippets of advice both of these guys are awesome runners and both help me loads, thanks guys.






Frimley 10k my first attempt at running my marathon pace during a race

After a mega long day yesterday helping and photographing the 100K Nationals and the 50K Nationals for our friends over at tzruns we were up once again bright and early for the Frimley 10k road race which was held at Frimley Park Hospital in aid of the Breast Cancer charity.  I booked this race a few months ago because my friend Sharon (Sharky) from Sandhurst Joggers RC was running it and it looked like a fun race and nice medal and well before I realised that the Milton Keynes half marathon was the next day 🙂  let alone knowing that I would be running my first Marathon 27 days later!  So my plans for this race changed slightly and instead of trying to knock out a PB I decided to run at my marathon pace which will hopefully be between 7:35 and 7:55 Minute Miles and despite trying my hardest I failed and ran 7:30 minute miles but to be fair thats much nearer my marathon pace than my normal 10k pace so all good.

We arrived a little later than we normally would have due to yesterday but still with plenty of time to collect my number and grab a drink and catch up with a few mates from Sandhurst Joggers including 1 new friend Claire who said she was after a PB wanting to finish sub 47 so I told her that if I got the chance I would help her.  After a few minutes and a pee I said goodbye to Sue and headed off to start and away we went,  To be honest I struggled so bad trying to keep my speed down and I can promise you this, trying to slow down is harder than trying to speed up 🙂  I guess I am a racer and thats all there is too it.  Anyway I passed Sue a few minutes later and she wished me well and off we went up the first hill.  It was an undulation course which made me happy because my Kent Road Runner Marathon course is anything but flat so all good,  We ran on with loads of local support and despite my first mile being a 7:20 which felt so blooming slow I was managing to contain myself and enjoying different aspects of the race too like high 5’s with the kids.

This carried on for about 7.5 K and all the time I could see Claire from Sandhurst about 50M ahead of me which to be honest was ok but the gab was starting to get shorter and she was looking like she was slowing down so after the next hill I sped up and ran alongside her and asked if she still wanted a PB and any help, yes please was the response so I pulled her in for the last 2k and it was a fun finish, still a nice plod for me but it definitely pushed Claire along,  One of the best thing about running is that my fast speed can be a buddies slow plod and visa versa and we don’t ever judge, its all about racing yourself and I LOVE that.

As we turned the last bend I told Claire that we were running too slow (white lie) and we had to sprint finish which she did in awesome style and we both crossed the line in 45:58 so a massive PB for her and she was delighted.  I picked up my bottle of water and my lovely medal and then I saw Sue and got my hug form her and said goodbye to Claire and we headed off for lunch in the sun.

What an awesome race that was, fab support and team and lovely location too, a nice semi hilly 10k and I would run it again and again it was fun.  I still need to slow down slightly but I will try again at the Milton Keynes half tomorrow.

For now tho I am very happy, a few nice hills at a decent pace and I could have gone on and on plus a lovely new medal on my wall.

Here are a few photos from today from my amazing wife.



New training plan starts today…..

After deciding to book the amazing Kent Roadrunner Marathon for 4 weeks time I decided to restart my Marathon training, obviously haha.  So today Sue and I headed down to Southbourne where we raced this weekend for me to start my first LSR (Long Slow Run) and I was hoping to run 15 miles which is exactly where I was at before Christmas when I hurt my Achilles.

We left home at about 7am arriving about 50 minutes later and after a visit to the loo and feeding the parking meter we both warmed up and headed off our separate ways, well actually the same way but separate speeds 🙂  I stated by heading back towards the school we started at on Sunday and thankfully no wind, well very little wind, I passed the school and kept going until I reached 3.5 miles, I had a plan 😉  and then headed back along the exact same route meeting Sue back at the car after 7 miles, I had a bottle of water and 4 Cliff Blocs and headed off in the opposite direction.  I ran for 4 more miles until my watch clocked up 11.05 miles before I turned back towards Sue which made exactly 15:05 miles.

The route was mostly enjoyable apart from a point where the road was closed so out and back I had to run along the loose sand which slowed me a bit but other than that all good.

I finished with a pace faster than I had planned at 7:34 average moving pace so this was not really a LSR in fact I would love to be able to keep this pace up over the next few weeks.

It was near perfect conditions today, overcast and very foggy and although this made seeing anything tough it was perfect running.

Sue had a lovely run too clocking up 4k, it was her first solo run and I know next week she will do better and be happier.

Below are my miles, not the best pacing maybe but bearing in mind I have not run solo since december I am pretty happy, Actually I am very happy
















I am so looking forward to next months Marathon and its a corker so please take a look at the link below and bookmark it for next year 🙂  you will regret it if you don’t once you see my medal.  Its a fab venue and Sue and I are actually helping out there this weekend at the 50k and 100k nationals which will give me a good idea of how the race will pan out and hopefully I might even get a practise lap in 🙂

Kent Roadrunner Marathon

I plan on another 3 longer training runs so will keep you all posted, in the mean time check out those links to see what I am in for 🙂






Well there is always next year :-) but I did get a PB

Firstly I should start by saying today was only my second competitive race since November when I ran the Gosport Half, straight after that race I started my marathon training and sadly after a fab start I hurt my Achilles heal and that put me out of competitive running until a week or so ago when I was advised by my amazing physio’s that I could start running again.  Last week I ran the Silverstone Half which was awesome but I finished about 15  minutes slower that I should have but pain free so all good.

Today was supposed to be a rest day for me but after recent changes and due to unforeseen circumstances my club the Lordshill Road Runners chose the Salisbury 10  mile race as our club championship race for 2014, this was of course rubbish news for me just getting over a serious injury, Anyway I spoke with my physio and agreed that I would book the race and try my best to defend my title of V50 champion. All that basically means is that I was the fastest 50 to 54 year old in the club for 2013, What am I saying “all”  it was and still is a HUGE kudos for me in my first year of running and my cup takes pride of place on my medal wall.


Anyway back to today,  🙂

Sue and I arrived early with our Son Andy in tow and picked up our race numbers as well as saying hi to a few fellow hiller’s,  we then had a coffee and got ready for the race start. I stretched and did a gentle warm up before saying goodbye to Sue and taking my place at the starting line.  The start was slow and crowded although as far as I could see unavoidable, it turns out it was a lot worse up front because a runner fell in the crush of it all, I was about 200 or so runners back and just like last week I wanted to start sensibly to avoid any Achilles issues.

I had a great start although slow due to the bottleneck, again this is not a criticism 🙂  I ran through the start tunnel and hit GO on my Garmin but as I approached Sue about 150 yards away I was walking due to congestion but that gave me time to tell her thanks and that I loved her 🙂  Our pal Virginia laughed hard at this point haha, Anyway on through the gates and a sharp left turn and I  felt strong, much stronger than last week  so very happy with my start.

I ran on in the clump of faster runners through the course and up a few gentle hills keeping my pace. My goal today was to push myself a little harder and beat my average 7:56 minute miles from last week so at this point I was aiming at 7:30 min miles bearing in mind I was fresh 🙂

The course soon thinned out mostly because the faster runners were leaving me behind which I must confess was an odd feeling but the sun was shining and my feet felt great so all in my world was good.  A couple of miles after this point my main “competition” for the club championship Mike overtook me looking strong, much stronger than I felt but honestly I was very happy still running pain free so I wished him well (through gritted teeth) haha only kidding, and carried on my way making great progress clicking down the miles and running pain free and feeling great fitness wise too.  My buddy Chris then ran up behind me and we ran together for a couple miles before I slipped back and he ran on, this was quite a welcome time for me because I was flagging a little,  shortly after that another pal Emily dropped into my world for a mile or so and it was fun chatting to her too. Along with Chris she trains in the same group as me so we tare all fairly close, it was at this point that we reached mile 6 and the “hills” I love the hills and instantly felt myself picking up my pace and I had to tell myself to slow down because fast hills would destroy my Achilles if I am not careful so I took it steady for the next mile.

Coming out of the hills and with 3 miles to go I felt epic, I had already given up any hope of catching up Mike and settled into a nice finish, as I approached mile 9 another club mate Rikki came up behind me and he is also just back from injury, to be fair when Rikki eventually overtook me I was happy because he is just a tad faster than me when we are both fit.

At this point we could see the finish track and I was looking out for Sue 🙂  thats always the best part of my race.  I ran well for the last part and although very tired I felt strong, again much stronger than last week and as I crossed the finish line I might have been totally knackered but inside I was smiling like I had won the lotto,  another pain free race and again it felt better than any PB I have ever experienced.

I had a great race today with quite a few high spots, meeting my friend from Disney Terry was just brilliant,  seeing all my LRR team mates epic and running pain free was just the BEST.  As races go it was a fab course and a lovely tech tshirt too but the support sucked,  the one thing I noticed about the Salisbury running club was they were only cheering other salisbury runners “POOR SHOW” Salisbury.  I would strongly suggest you should all attend a Lordshill Road Running race and see how marshals should marshal.  I know from experience its hard to encourage every runner but those wearing club shirts (probably 60-70% today) are so easily cheered on,  I am personally a very cheery runner and thank 90% of marshals just as I did today and yet not once did I hear C’mon Lordshill or Eastleigh or IOW or Striders just C’mon Salisbury, again POOR SHOW and very unsporting……….

Having said that it was a lovely race, first one of the year in the sunshine, O WAIT I lied, I ran Disney in January in perfect sunshine hahaha.  I seriously enjoyed today and am thankful to the running gods for my injury free run.  I am thankful for my club the amazing hiller’s and I think today I realised just how supportive we all are.

Next week I am running the very hilly Longleat Half which I am really looking forward to and hope to at least match my Silverstone 1:45, ambitious given the hills but what the hell.

I crossed the line in 1:16 which is about a 10 minute PB although to he fair this is my first 10 mile that I have properly raced, or tried to at least 😉

Very well done to my club mate Mike Mattingly for winning my crown for 2014, its well deserved Mike you were the better runner today but rest assured I will be back next year faster and stronger 😉

Here are a few photos from today thanks to my amazing wife Sue.







Silverstone half marathon raced like an F1 Ferrari

Well not really but I felt like a fully fledged racing machine again a few times !

Yesterday Sue and I traveled to Silverstone in Northhants with our son Andy so that we could run in the 2014 Silverstone half marathon. We set off from Southampton at 07:30 and had a fab trip up so arrived at about 09:10 so plenty of time to park in this notorious parking hell ! But more of that later, having arrived on good time we had lots of time to chill out with a coffee and mentally prepare for the race which was super important for me because this was my first bit test since injuring my Achilles back in December and my first proper distance since Disney on January 11th.

After our coffee our friends Simon and Damo arrived so we decided to prepare ourselves ready for action, I applied copious amounts of ibrupophen gel and put on my compression socks and trainers whist Andy performed what can only be described as the days highlights for the 2 ladies having lunch in their car behind, he applied Vaseline to his, well you get the idea I think !  2 very proud parents I can assure you and 2 very giggly ladies behind 🙂 we then met with Simon and Damo and headed for the loos, mainly to wash my eyes 🙂 haha

We then grabbed a coffee and had a peanut butter and jelly sarnie because the race started at 12 noon right on top or lunch time and withy diabetes I need to eat little and often, I am quite special ya know !

I then met with my online pal Emma who I met on my weight loss site and we have been trying and failing to meet since the oxford half back in October so that was pretty special.

A few pre race photos o course 🙂


Then soon after I said my goodbyes to Sue and off we went to the start. It was cold and very windy about 19mph winds so definitely not ideal for an exposed silverstone but we rolled the dice and chose this half out of countless available and we were going to make the most of it, we started behind about 3000 people, I had no desire to start too fast coz today was all about testing my Achilles and I was not concerned with timing just finishing.

A few minutes later and with the sounds of  Chains by Fleetwood Mac ! just perfect and we were off !  The 4 of is stayed together for about 500 yards before I started to feel confident and broke away, it felt good to be running at speed and although I was not running at my normal half pace of 7 min miles I was close enough at about 7:30 and I felt like an F1 racer and totally unstoppable :-). I heard someone calling my name and looked around but saw nothing I later found out it was Sue, I had not expected to see her because her plan was to relax with a coffee 🙂 not expecting to but chuffed to bits to see her 3 more times during the race. Every time I see her I get this overwhelming urge to stop and kiss her and thank her and tell her that I love her, of course if I did she would tell at me for slowing down 🙂  anyway back to the running This continued for the first few miles and I overtook I guess around 2000 of those people I started behind and to quote the TV “it felt epic”  this continued until about miles 7 or 8 and although my Achilles was fine I was starting to struggle with my fitness levels. My clubs lady captain the lovely Di whizzed past me and gave me a few words of encouragement which helped but I had to face facts that I was struggling with my pace, I managed to dig deep and keep a reasonable pace until about 9.5 miles in but thereafter I could notice a drop as each mile passed but no pain so I was very happy. By the time I hit 12 miles I struggled to keep to 8 min miles but as I passed the 12 mile sign I dug even deeper and pulled out an amazing last mile and above all I felt superb after doing so.

Before I crossed the line I saw my amazing and uber supportive Sue again and that gave me even more of a buzz, I ran through the finishers tunnel and then did a couple minutes cool down jog before collecting my goodie bag which contained the most amazing medal, a real crappy t-shirt, real shame considering this was a. Adidas race and sone great munch which Sue and I enjoyed later. The medal is by far my fav UK medal so far it’s just amazing.

I then spent 5 minutes stretching, had a few photos and met with Sue and had my post winter race hot chocolate and headed to our meeting point to wait for Andy and tbd boys who all came a few minutes later having done very well.

I did a few more stretches before visiting the Adidas shop to grab a few more pairs of #boost laces for my buddy Steve who missed today coz of injury. I also got to see fellow club runners Di and her hubby Mike and Lawrence which was nice.

After that we headed back to the car to change and warm up, it had stayed mostly dry but the wind was relentless all the way around. Once back at the car we had another coffee and pulled out into the queue of traffic and sadly that’s where we stayed without moving an inch for 96 minutes. Honestly not an inch. The parking exiting was  a complete and utter cock up and monkeys on heroin could have done a better job hell even moneys without heroin probably could have haha. It wax an epic cock up and after running 13 miles in the cold the last think anyone wanted.  Eventually close to 2 hours later we drove out of silverstone and headed for the services for dinner and them home for a few well earned ciders.

The race itself was very well marshalled and supported. I loved every mile and the crowd were great, lots of whoops and “go jules” which was great and her medal amazing but I would never do this race again because of the shocking parking which is a crying shame. I have had the massive honour of experiencing silverstone on the British Grand Prix day with loads more cars and they exited much much easier than this. Nothing short of shocking and inexcusable IMO

having said all that it was a great race and a fab experience and I am proud to have finished it injury free so soon after a major setback.

I finished in a chip time of just over 1:45 so about 14 minutes slower than my last half but I am chuffed with that bearing in mind my foot, having said that my garmin said my half time was 1:43 and today’s total was 13:33 miles I guess I weaved in and out of a lot of people haha.

I am so chuffed with today, I loved starting with Andy, I loved finishing in style and I can’t wait to push a little harder at next weeks Salisbury 10. I am not sure I am up to defending my club title at this championship race but I am going to give it a bloody good try and after today’s confidence boost who knows 😉

Here are a few photos from today thanks to the love if my life and my greatest supporter or SuePorter (see what I did there) haha, Thanks Babe X  As a side note I am so blessed to have Sue join me at my races and honestly if I could have anything else in my life it would be Sue’s strength of character, she amazes me every day even after being together 33 years I am 1 very lucky man.

Hope you enjoy these, as you will see I got quite excited when I saw Sue, it really was unexpected today. It’s great to be back albeit running like a Cortina rather than a Ferrari 😉