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It’s a marathon, not a sprint

I completed the 2011 London Marathon in 4h 28m 51s.  That’s about three minutes faster than the last one (and the course was more congested this year, it was really hot, I was wearing a large nylon wig etc etc).

My target throughout training was 4h 20m (just under ten-minute miles), and I was more or less bang on for it up until 18 miles.  I gave the 10-minute-miling pacers a two minute head-start, caught them up by around mile five, and stuck with them until we left Canary Wharf at around 19 miles.  Here my thighs started to cramp and get really tight, which shortened my stride and slowed me down.  For the next four or five miles I just about kept the pacers in sight , so I’d have been looking at around 4:22 and still have been really pleased.  At 25 miles, on the Embankment, I was still running (even though I was being overtaken by the faster walkers!).

Then something suddenly popped in my left inside thigh and all I could do was hobble along.  The crowd was fantastic and hundreds of people shouted me on – after half a mile I’d stretched whatever had happened in my leg out enough to jog again, and after the last corner I managed to cross the finish line running and smiling.

So I don’t know if my body’s trying to tell me I’m a four-and-half-hour marathon man and that’s it, or that if I’d done one or two more long training runs I could have knocked over ten minutes off my previous best.  There’s only one way to find out, and I’m not planning on doing that again.  Well – for now!

Thank you again to everyone who donated (cash or cakes) to help me meet my fundraising target – I raised £2,038 for the Spinal Injuries Association.  And thank you Pip for baby-sitting for hours every Saturday since Christmas, more or less, while I was out enjoying myself on 15 mile runs in the rain.

Come and support me on Sunday!

Come and support me on Sunday!

Marathon Suit

It really makes a difference.

I’m aiming for 4h 20m, but my last two have been between 4h 30m and 4h 40m.  So hopefully I’ll be somewhere ten minutes either side of a 4h 30m time.  The gun starts at 9:45, but I’ll probably cross the start around 10am.  I’ll be looking like a fraggle.

So, you should be able to work out where I am at any time from the above, or you can use the interactive map, the times table, the live tracker, or the SMS service!

My vest number is 52858 – the SMS service will text you every time I cross one of the 5km checkpoints.

If you don’t see me, support some other runners instead.  We all need it!

Hook up with Pip near St James’ Park by 2:30pm if you want to see me/us afterwards for a drink.  And it’s not too late to sponsor me either.


Almost at the start line

Almost there.  Last long run yesterday, 20.1 miles round Rotherhithe, Deptford, Greenwich, through the foot tunnel, Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf, Wapping, over the Millennium (wobbly) bridge and back along the South Bank, Shad Thames and Bermondsey.

[iframe_loader width=’85%’ height=’345′ src=’http://runkeeper.com/activityMap/i2re4′]

It’s my birthday today.

We went here.  It was good, but the children were not.

Also, I’m on the final two-week marathon countdown, so today was my last drinking day until after the run.  But this cafe is unlicenced, so no beer for me!

I am now 37.

One, Two, Skiiiiiiiii

Pip and I got four days skiing in, courtesy of my Mum & Dad babysitting the girls last week.  We went to Samoens, France, and skied in the Grand Massif.  We stayed in a fantastic chalet where all our meals were cooked for us and we watched the sun set over the alps and the stars come out each night with a glass of wine in the hot tub.

Not too many photos, but a few videos on youtube.  I’m not posting the one of me running someone over on an empty piste.

Still Running…

I’m still building up the miles and the pace for the marathon.  Only a month to go.

Here’s last weekend’s:

[iframe_loader src=”http://runkeeper.com/activityMap/h8ou8″ width=”75%” height=”345″ ]

Sponsor me now, before gift-aid goes down on April 1st.

January Planetarium

A few pics from this weekend’s trip to the new planetarium at Greenwich, wth the Silkys and most of the Griffiths/Prentons.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Laurie Starts School

Laurie started school last week.  She’s in the nursery class at Redriff Primary School.  I walk her to school in the morning Tuesday to Friday, so I finally have a good reason to be late for work.

Laurie School Uniform

Laurie is FOUR!

Laurie is now four (0,1, 2, 3), and we are looking forward to our new life free of tantrums and thumb-sucking.
We had a party at Surrey Docks Farm – the theme was animals, and there was a face-painter.

Laurie's 4th Birthday 5 Laurie's 4th Birthday 4

I’ve put a set of photos on flickr, with a few other things we’ve done in the last month or two.

Southwark Park Bandstand Millenium Bridge Anish Kapoor - St James Park Bedtime Photoshoot

Created with flickr slideshow.

Two Towers Climbed, None To Go

We did our tower climb at the weekend. All four of us finished – my time was 12m 3s – that’s 11 seconds a storey, or two stairs a second. I came 22nd overall, and our team came seventh (out of nine!).
Here’s a video of the first tower climb…

And some pictures…

Created with flickr slideshow.