Attitude, Kit, Running, Training

The final furlong

York Marathon are being very good about emailing me EVERY day to remind me how many days there are left to go now…like I can forget!

In 3 days time, I should be coming towards the last few miles of my first ever marathon.  This week has been more tapering and little bits of mental nagging.  I mustn’t forget this…I must be careful to…I should do…

I’ve got my number and my pins ready to go, and I’ve got my outfit prepped as well.  Unless snowpocalypse arrives, I’ll be running in shorts, a compression t-shirt and an asthma UK vest sent by my charity of choice.  Ipod, sunglasses, baseball hat, Spibelt, garmin will then be added on top.  I’ll have some timings written on my arm too so if I fall below my 5 hour goal pace I’ll know and can recover.

The biggest thing I need to do now is sleep!  I need to get lots of rest because I’m pretty sure I won’t be sleeping the night before.  I also need to charge all of my gadgets and gizmos – nothing worse than a flat garmin when you set off on a run.

Have you got any pre-marathon rituals?  Is there anything I should remember or do?

Running, Training

Week 18 Training

From the weather reports, it seems like week 18 was the last week of ‘summer’ training – it’s definitely feeling more autumnal now.   Good news, as it means I can run for longer without running out of water and panicking.

Here’s how week 18 looked:

  • Monday: should have been a 70 minute run, instead was a 5 mile walk as I was on a short break at Malham.   We did hike up the 500 steps at the side of the cove so I got a pretty good sweat on!
  • Tuesday: another 5 mile walk
  • Wednesday: fartlek 55
  • Thursday: fartlek 22
  • Friday: jog 10, 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (shoulders), got a lift home as it was monsooning
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: 22.2 miles!

Sunday was interesting.  I’d planned a 3 x 7.5 mile lap circuit, but realised at the last minute that York Races were on.  My lap route included a half circuit of the racecourse, so that was never going to work.

Instead, I ran to Bishopthorpe (4 miles) and then got on the cycle path to Selby.  I kept going until I hit 11.1 miles in the village of Riccall, and then turned round and headed home.

The first 11 miles were great, but on the route home I had some walk breaks.  I ran out of water and found myself at one point eating brambles from the hedge – not really classic long run behaviour!

I did the 22.2 miles in 4 hours 14 minutes, which is an 11.44 minute/mile pace.  If I can maintain that, I will just squeeze in under my 5 hour target.  That’s the longest run I’m going to do, so my focus now is on speed work to make sure I can keep going on the day.

I used my Spibelt to hold 3 gels, once I got it settled comfortably it worked perfectly.

I’m doing the Great North Run next Sunday, it’s weird to be viewing it as a shorter run rather than the longest run I’ll do all year.

Happy training this week!

Kit, Reviews, Running

Kit Review: Spibelt and Sundog

It was my birthday last Saturday (that’s another year I have to drag round the marathon course with me 🙂 ).  I never know what to ask for when people ask me what presents I want, so this year I decided to trial some new running gear.

I selected a Spibelt energy gel carrier and some Sundog glasses.

Spibelt Energy Running Pouch

I’ve mentioned before on the blog that I’m looking for ways to transport the ridiculous amount of gels that I intend to consume during the marathon.  I tried a Roosport pouch (read the review here) but as my running distance increased I’ve found it’s really not practical for more than 2-3 gels.  Beyond that it feels very heavy, and unless I’m wearing really tight capris it drags my pants down as well – not a good feeling!


I’ve heard good things from triathlon friends about the Spibelt, so I thought I’d give that a go.  I went for the Energy Running Pouch which holds 6 gels and also has a handy little zip pouch.  It promises not to slip and shift around which I think is essential.

The belt has little loops that the gels slot into, it’s quite a tight fit but not impossible for standard size SiS gels.  I adjusted the Spibelt so it was on my hips as I’m not comfortable with things round my waist and headed off for my 19 miler.

I have to say, it was brilliant.  I had to adjust it a bit as one of the gels was scratching my back, but once I had it on it didn’t move and I really could forget it.  Getting the gels out was easy and quick, and the zip pouch is perfect for a key and other small items.

The only problem I had was feeling like a bit of a div running in it, like a cowboy with my holster belt on!  I pulled my t-shirt over it so just looked like I was a really odd shape rather than a gel addict 🙂

So in summary – Spibelt gets my recommendation for carrying gels on long runs, the Roosport is great when you don’t have to carry more than a couple of gels and your pants are tight.

Sundog Sunglasses

The other bit of running kit I’ve been after is some sunglasses for those days when it’s not really bright enough to wear the dark glasses I have.  I  had my eyes lasered a few years back and they are quite sensitive to light.  I’m also sensitive to wind in my eyes, which could be from being protected behind glasses for years.


I chose the Sundog Lady 2 Golf Sunglasses, their full Amazon description is “Sundog Womens ‘Lady 2’ Golf Sunglasses, Silver TR90 Ultraflex Frame With Orange Polycarbonate Distortion Free, Scratch Resistant Lens With Full 100% UVA/B/C Protection” which all sounds very technical and impressive.

I wore these for my 19 mile run too (I know, brilliant idea, take loads of new kit on a long run!) and loved them.  They are lightweight, have rubber covered ear bits and I barely knew I was wearing them.   They cut down on glare without being too dark and I would certainly recommend them.

And the short version – loved them.

Stand by for more kit reviews, I’ll be doing socks next!