My 2015 Running year in review Part 2 – July to December

Part 1 was long and boring, never mind that heres part 2!

July 2015
Runs – 17
Distance – 125.2 km

July would become the start of our Marathon Training. We decided to go with Hal Higdons Intermediate 1 training plan – which featured no intervals which was a great thing to use as an excuse whenever Martin asked us to do them.

With pressure on I immediately had calf issues and got hurt, firstly on a run in Wales where Mum and Ju followed us on bikes.. Just as I felt totally unmotivated and like crap I managed to smash a run at Great Run local and hit a new PB of 26:56. This was followed by a 10k.

Now this was a strange one. I wasn’t feeling like going for it, but Rach was, so at the start she left me for dust. As I started to go round I felt more and more comfortable and as I hit 8km I started to see Rachel in the distance. I decided to bust my guts to catch her, and smashed out a fast 9th km. As we entered the final straight there was a uphill part and I burst it up there and managed to get her in my sights. As we entered the athletics stadium for the finish someone shouted “Go on Chris!” and I paniced thinking Rach would turn and see me and speed up. As I reached the final straight I came along side her and said “Hello” and (and please note what follows is what I say she said as she denies it) she said “Oh I’m so happy to see you”. I began to push to sprint and she yelped out a “No!” so I grabbed her hand and we ran in for the finish.

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So I was delighted as it looked like we’d both managed to grab a PB and finish together at about 55:20.

Then the times come in and Rachs time is 55:19 and mine is 55:21. I’m still mad to this day.

I managed to follow this up with a 26:17 at a Great Run Local. Martin and I also went for a look to see if the horse Rach possibly killed was there

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He wasnt.

With mileage upping the next few weeks would become a record every week it felt like, starting with a 16.2 km run on the 26th

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As usual I was always chasing Rach.

August
Runs – 20
Distance – 211 km

August saw us do 2 laps of the Pike which went well. We did it with my best man Top Dave who said he thought it was a stupid challenge and he’d never do it (despite him being the fastest Iron Man I know).

We’d then take a trip up to Newcastle where we managed to do a run n a thursday up and down the Tyne, then on the Saturday get all the family out on a parkrun after a heavy night on the disaranno sours

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As usual I was chasing Rach.

I didnt drink that night knowing what was to come. The next day Mark took us out on our long run which would be our longest so far at 17.8 km (10 miles). We got dropped off in Whitley Bay and ran all the way back to Uncle Colins.

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This was probably the point where I started to get doubts. We really struggled, and when we got to 9 miles I felt dead. It didnt help that it felt like there were nae downhills in the toon like why aye man.

When we got home I was ill and had to take a few days off. Managed to get back out and do a 19k the next weekend with Rach and Dave, then thankfully had a roll back week.

We had become canal experts, spending lots of times running up and down them. The peak came at the end of August where we ran 22.5 km (14 miles). We’d officially done a half marathon distance for the first time. We ran from Home up to Old Trafford, to town and then back home. I think my strava title for this summed it up. “Running hurts, Running sucks, Running is wonderful. 14 miles with PAIN at the end”

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September
Runs – 19
Distance – 236 km

September was uneventful. Oh no wait, we had a half marathon! But first a training run with Martin

Then we’d be ready for the half. My plan when we started training was I wanted to finish in sub 2 hours, but as the training had gone on I was starting to doubt it more and more.

I had roped Top Dave (fastest Iron Man I know) to run it with me. The night before he turned up and we planned a full strategy. Set off at a nice pace and try to run a negative split (so run the second half faster). We even pulled up a plan of the route and its elevation, so we knew the 7 mile mark was the peak of the elevation. We were going to walk through each water station and drink and then pick up the running again. We were primed and ready. The next morning we got there, started and well. It went amazingly. We stuck to plan to perfection.

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1 hour 56minutes and 69 seconds. The plan went to absolute perfection, having Dave with me kept me focused and at times I was even carrying him along. In the course of this we even knocked out a pb for 10k (52:54).

The week after we had to run an 18 miler. Mileage was getting mad.

October 2015
Runs – 14
Distance – 162.8 km

October saw the peaks of our long runs, with 20 mile runs twice in the month. The first one was after mum came up to Manchester and ran a park run with us on the Saturday where we all pretty much got PBs – with me smashing out of nowhere a 25:21!!!

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The day after we had to do 20 miles so went out with our Camelpacks. We started the run with Mum, who was going to do the first two and a half with us then turn round and go home. Only she decided to leave us for dead as we were too slow

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This was a run where Rach had her first training breakdown at 11 miles. She was teary and saying she didnt think she could do it, and I was trying to work out if it would be ok to get mum to pick her up and let me finish my run.  Thankfully she got through it. You can tell she was suffering because I even managed to come in front on a selfie.

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A week later we did 3 laps of the Hell of a Hill. It still felt like lunacy.

Then I bought some new leggings. Rach had bought some from a site called Tikiboo and I messaged them to see if they did mens sizes. They said they didn’t, but they could tell me the equivalent size in ladies. So I ended up purchasing ladies leggings.

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We did our final long run of 20 miles and that was October done with!

November 2015
Runs – 8
Distance – 97.7 km

The first time since Feb that I did less than 10 runs in a month. We started the month with 4 laps of Hell of a Hill. I figured if we could get halfway we could get all the way.

It was a pretty comfortable run which was surprising and boded well.

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In the last few weeks training became hard as work went mad and it became difficult to squeeze in. So we came to the marathon.

I’ve written a full review of the marathon here so I don’t want to bore you anymore than I have on this 2500+ word review, but lets just say we smashed it, but there were tears and pain and happiness.

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After the 7 hour slog I didnt run for the rest of the month

December
Runs – 5
Distance – 25.6 km

It took till December 5th to be able to run again. A cheeky park run at Warrington where a sprint finish saw Martin just pip me to finish 29:59 while I finished on 30:00. The bugger.

Aside from that december was a dull month, we did the Stretford Parkrun for the first time, and then on Christmas Day did a park run at Brueton on Christmas day

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Then one more on Boxing day in Wales with my family for our last run of the year!

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Final round up of stats for you!

Totals – 143 runs
Distance  1282.9 km
Parkruns done – 35
Most parkruns – Warrington (10)

PBs
5k – 25:21
10k – 55:21
Half Marathon – 1hr 56mins 59 seconds
Marathon – 7 hours and 2 minutes

Goals for 2016

  • Finish another marathon – in less than 4 and a half hours if possible!
  • Get the 5k pb under 25 minutes.
  • Get the 10k pb under 52 minutes.
  • Do at least 2 half marathons.
  • More than 150 runs
  • Bigger distance than 2015