Race 3 of 12–Berkhamsted Half Marathon

After training had gone so well for the first part of 2011, I guess something, somewhere had to give. After the success at Watford I was seriously eyeing up a sub 1hr 50 half marathon at Berkhamsted. Training had gone really well in the lead up to the race.

Then on the morning of the race I woke up to find my right hamstring to be quite painful and feeling really quite tight. I wouldn’t mind, but I’d even tapered slightly for this race, so can’t really see how or why this has happened. Sitting here writing 2 days on it still sore.

Anyway driving to the race I was still hopeful that a little warm-up might tweak something and loosen it off – no such luck. Decided to take the sensible option and ran with Craig who was doing his first ever half marathon, en route to the Edinburgh Marathon in May.

The Course

A lovely scenic course through the lovely countryside around Berkhamsted. Unfortunately I didn’t have my phone on me otherwise I would have probably stopped and taken a couple of photos.

The downside to these lovely views were the views of the approaching hills. This was by far the hilliest course I’ve ever done, so I think my hopes of sub 1hr 50 would  have been dashed with or without my hamstring – although I do have a habit of being able to run well up hills, so perhaps it may have suited me further.

I think my personal highlight of the course was running through the Ashridge Estate.


Elevation Summary


Course Route

Alongside the half marathon, a second race was taking place – a 5 mile ‘fun’ run. With some of the course sharing some of the hills used in the half marathon course, I’m not entirely certain fun was the right description. However, Rox completed her 1st race since London Marathon last year, and Claire also completed her first 5 Mile Run as well. Congratulations to both!

Some Photos from The Day


Me, Craig (and Rox providing ‘support’) approaching the finish


Me and Craig with our finishers medals


Craig and Claire with their medals


Me and Rox stretching, complemented by the fantastic background shot of portaloos


So me and Craig finished the course in 2hr 12m, a fantastic achievement for Craig having only really started running just over 2 months ago. Also massive congratulations to the organisers for a fantastically organised and run event. I’ll hopefully be back next year to conquer those hills properly.

Hamstring Update

Still with me, 2 days on. Not sure if the pain has eased or I’m getting numb to it. I’ve attempted a swim, foam rolling and stretching (oh, and a little icing, but then keep forgetting to continue with it). I think I’m essentially looking at a week of rest, which is really playing on my mind with my first 20 miler scheduled for this weekend.

Isabel Hospice

Finally, but most importantly, I need to thank another couple of people for their kind donations. As ever, every little counts, so if you can spare some cash, please feel free to donate by clicking here. Thank you very much!


Janathon Day 4 – Ankle Injuries!!!

I thought today I’d write a very short blog post, something along the lines of ‘Day 4, 8 miles’ – just to try and help save @knittingpenguin marriage if nothing else. But there is too much to write, and so I apologise to @knittingpenguin if this causes marital unrest! :o)

The Run

My marathon training starts properly next week, so I wanted to just do the mileage this week without doing any of the actual sessions. This meant an 8 miler tonight, next week its 8 miles but with 4 of them at Half Marathon Pace.

I also decided to try out different paces to see what my heart rate monitor did. I’m hoping to use HR for training for Edinburgh Marathon this year, but I’ve not really got to grips with it. @tryingtriathlon sent over a link for a Heart Rate Zone calculator, and the values came out very similar to those I’ve already got. My aim therefore was to run Mile 1 as a warm-up, 2 at 11m/m, 3 at 8.30m/m, 4 at 10.30m/m, 5 at 9m/m, 6 at 10m/m and 7 at 9.30m/m with Mile 8 as a warm-down.

All went well – in fact I quite enjoyed the run tonight. It was a completely new route having never run from work before, so decided to run from Hatfield to St Albans and back.

The splits came out as:


Didn’t quite get them right, but hey Miles 2-5 are pretty good! However looking at a difference of 2 mins per mile, my heart rate stayed relatively consistent:


Anybody able to explain??? (Hope the image above comes out readable…)

The Injury

Anyway, after a fantastic run, returned to work to collect some stuff. Was climbing some stairs to the car park and got a very sharp pain in my left ankle. I stopped and thought hmmm… but then nothing as I walked to the car. I’ve got no pain to walk on it, it doesn’t hurt to prod, but every now and then I get a little pain. Ice, bath, elevation for tonight me thinks. Swimming always seems to help me out and I’ve got a session in the pool tomorrow lunchtime, so hopefully that’ll sort out whatever this is.

On the brightside I’m in good company with @RunHelenRun having similar issues :o)