Wednesday, 29 October 2014

NYC Trip Oct\Nov Marathon Weekend 13#14

Wednesday 29th Oct

Arrived 1830 Out for dinner with Phil – we went to a really cool Italian – Dunc & James had their first mac and cheese J

Thursday 30th Oct

Tried to go for breakfast at the  ‘Friends’ coffee house unfortunately it wasn’t open so we went to The Pain de Quotidien… I had the best natural yoghurt and granola EVER!!!

Marathon Expo to pick up numbers – We went to the expo and spent a bloody fortune!!  James tried on numerous different tops, coats, hats and trainers!! 
Grand Central Station - Juniors for cheesecake. – We went to shake shack first for a late lunch and then had a humungous piece of cheesecake….. I felt sick!  James took his back to Phils and there it stayed… I wonder if Lauren and Phil ever ate it?!
TOTR – we tried to go up but we decided to buy tickets and then wait for Nick and Alistair the next day.
Shopping… Nike store / Abercrombie & Fitch
Time Square at night – walked round to get to the Belasco theatre.
Broadway Show 8pm Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Belasco theatre.  It was amazing – sad and funny, the lead was a genius.  Basically it was a one man show with a band on stage to accompany his singing.  Brilliant night.
Friday 31st Oct
Breakfast in a local diner…. ‘you want coiffee..?’  brilliant place J
We jumped in a cab and went back to the expo so that Duncan and James could get numerous shots of themselves in various poses with different back drops J
12:00 escape the room 107 Suffolk street  - This was amazing… 60 mins trapped in a room with 9 americans… James and Duncan were amazing… finding clues that would lead to a key that would then unlock padlocks to more clues… we did it with 5 and half mins to spare….?
Lunch at Kats Diner… it was delicious…..!
More shopping!!  Converse / Addidas store…
4pm Marathon Opening Ceremony  - this was amazing.. very proud of James.  Whilst we watched him walk past carrying the union Jack.. Alisdair and Nick turned up… then the fireworks started!!!!
We all went to Applejacks Diner – lots of pasta and chips were consumed J
Halloween night out with Phil – we went back to their flat and they were in the middle of their Halloween party!!  We stayed for a few drinks and then moved into Phil’s friends flat. 
Sat 1st Nov
8:30 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K – amazing experience!
Boat House Central park Brunch – we all went after the 5km.  Very nice!
Went back to get changed and then met Alisdair and Nick for some more shopping!
17:00 The Marathon pata party dinner
Location - Marathon Pavilion: inside of Central Park at West 67th Street and Central Park
Home for an early night….
Sun 2nd
6:00 NYC Marathon – best day ever!!!
20:00 Yellowcard - Best Buy theatre – awesome gig… sat at the back – loved it J
Monday 3rd
Went to get medals engraved at central park… Kelly met an old friend whilst Duncan and James queued up.  J & D got their pics taken with Kipsand and Mary…
9/11 Tribute Centre, 9/11 Memorial, - very emotional but well worth the visit.
5 guys for lunch then cab to the airport.
18:30 Flight Home

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Henley Half Marathon 12#14

On a mid October morning we were heading into uncharted territory. Henley looked beautiful as we drove over the bridge at the river Thames into the town despite the traffic jam that all the runners had caused by descending this small area.

The start was at the Henley rugby club and was in the middle of a field. The whole event was run by the local rotary club and had a budget feel to it but we were up for a nice morning run and the weather was again being very kind to us it was dry and bright. Also was our last event before our New York marathon trip and we were looking for hard training run.

This week we had no other people with use we were on our own so we decided to pace it at 8:30 miles and see how things developed. What we were not expecting was a course that was very varied under foot and a hill that was one of the most challenging I’ve ever run up.
So on the gun we ran out of the field on to the road up to into Henley town. The streets where fairly well supported by the locals and we looped around the town and knocked off the first mile bang on 8:30 pace. Then not for the only time we headed over the Henley Thames Bridge and swept around to the left and down a long undulating country path for 2 miles. Then we ran through a field and got to a choke point on course this was a little frustrating at it slowed us down to a walk.
We then picked up the pace and joined the Thames tow path at mile 4 this part of the course was mostly single file and I we were held up a bit by slower runner’s in front of us. Despite this the scenery was great there were lots of rowers on the river and watching and listening to them was a welcome distraction It also reminded me of Kelly she is a amazing rower. The serene tow path led us back to the Henley Bridge and over it again and at mile 7 we were heading though to the other side of the town. Our pace was still a consistent 8:30 and it felt quite comfortable but that would all change! We had heard prior to the race that there was some kind of hill around mile 8 but hadn’t really worried about it.
We turned a corner and started a steady incline up a county road about a mile in the hill was still going! I was flagging and my pace had dropped right down so decided to have a little walk to regroup. James continued and pushed on leaving me telling me “he would wait at the top” As I got into the second mile of the hill it got steeper and steeper it really was a nightmare! I got to the top exhausted ! had a look around for James but no sign it had gone on without me, I didn’t blame him I would have done the same. What goes up has to come down and the other side was just as steep and fast and you had to watch your speed because it was tough to run down.
The bottom of the hill was about 10 miles and from here it was a long straight home. I put my head down and tried to make up for some lost time on the hill and pushed my pace as much as I could.I was overtaking a few people but never saw James up ahead so  figured that he had the same idea and was pushing the final couple of miles.
The morning had gone well and it was the most varied half of the year tow paths, grass, mud all kinds of different terrain. But the overriding memory would be that hill! It was brutal maybe we will return next year to conquer it ?

James 1:46:47
Duncan 1:50:59

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Bournemouth Half 11#14

This one we have been looking forward to all year! Mainly because we get to stay with our family the night before and at the end Mum and Dad and our Brother and the whole family will be supporting us. This Half is also the most beautiful as you run up and down the coast and the piers at Boscombe and Bournemouth.  

Bournemouth half starts at 8am! Easily the earliest we have had to get out of bed for a run all year. Running with us this year was Martin Gay and our cousin Louise. Martin was looking do go under an 2 hours and as this was really a training run for our marathon we decided it would be fun to run it around 9 minuet mile pace and try and get him a PB.

We arrived a bit late and it was a rush to the start line near to Bournemouth football club with only a few mins to spare. The gun went and we set off though the nearby neighborhood out towards the coast. It was a really lovely bright morning perfect weather for a run and we were enjoying our steady pace not pushing it just running a nice steady pace. As we reached mile 2 we turned onto the coastal road looking down over the sea it was a beautiful sight. The course took us down the road for mile and a half made a U-turn on the way back we shouted some encouragement at Louise she looked strong! We got to mile 5 and the end of the coastal road and we dropped down onto the promenade beside the beach. When I ran this half last year this was my favorite part of the course the 3 stretch along the sea really is amazing crowds cheering us on with the sea air blowing in our faces really is amazing. We had quicken up a bit and we where do around 8:45 to 9 min pace so we were well within our 2 hr goal but we had to keep it up.

Just after mile 8 there is a big hill the only one on the course! We all dug deep to get up it and James stuck with Martin and as I powered up it and slowed down and waited for them at the top. With that out of the way it was a mile run across another costal path down towards Bournemouth pier. At about mile 9.5 we ran down a steep hill toward the pier where Mum and Dad where waving and shouting us on! Then began the run up to Boscombe pier and back! You can see the pier when you drop down on to the beach promenade and it doesn’t look like over a mile to it!

I was feeling I little bit stronger than James and Martin so I pulled away a bit and went for it. One of the brilliant parts of this half is running up and down the piers the Boscombe one seems a little shorter and the wooden planks make you feel like you are bouncing along. Coming off the pier it was 2 miles to go so I put my head down and went for it. I could see the crowd up ahead on Bournemouth pier and I knew that the whole family where waiting for us at the finish. I broke into a sprint up and down the pier and finished strong.! As I passed the line I could see Dad snapping photos and as I had just recovered I turned to see James finishing with Martin very close behind. What a great run a we had done it Martin smashed his PB by well over 2 minutes Job done! Louise came in about 20 min later in a brilliant time!

We met all the family and all chatted about a brilliant morning and headed off to Martyn’s house for a huge fry well-earned and well deserved.

Duncan 1:56:04
James 1:56:48
Martin 1:57:07
Louise 2:19:12