Lurgy, prep and unexpected personal records

First of all – thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon run on 6th May.  I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!!

With just three weeks to go I can’t help being a bit nervous about the challenge ahead.  This feeling has some panic atop, as over the last two weeks I succumbed to a “dreaded lurgy”.  Was it a cold?  Flu?  Or worse – MAN FLU?  I don’t know, over ten days or so it manifested itself in just about every way, one day after another.  So, reader, I apologise for the lack of recent updates.  The good news is I am on the mend.  The positive part of my brain says the good news is I am far less likely now to be ill at marathon time.  My immune system should be prepared for anything!  The bad news is that I am behind with my training.


Fastest 5k – in heart rate zone 5

An unexpected outcome from all of this came on Saturday 13th when I attended a local Parkrun (free, weekly 5km timed runs that take place around the world – managed by generous volunteers and donations – see

I decided to try out a 5km run because I knew I was on the way out of my “lurgy”, even though I still felt tired, achy, and not on top form.  I really wanted to be sure that after two weeks of rest from my training – that I could actually still run.

The results surprised and encouraged me, because I actually ran my fastest ever 5k, and include within that I broke my fastest ever kilometre and mile.  It seems that despite not being totally well, the rest did me good.

Heart rate zone 5 for 58% of the run

Another surprise was in the data.  Unlike practically all my previous runs over the last two years, I spent the majority of my time (58% of the run) in heart rate zone 5 – which for me is over 190 bpm.  This is normally my sprinting zone that I move into in short bursts, to overtake, or for a sprint finish.  Somehow, I managed to sustain this for longer than ever before.  Was it due to rest?  Due to illness?  A measurement error?  I don’t know!

After the run, I also felt far more energised – and a lot less ill!  Bonus!

More gear and preparations

During my “down time” I had some more time to consider the details of the day – the route, the weather, my kit, etc.

MK Marathon map

The full marathon takes place the day after the “Rocket 5K” on the 6th May.  Of course, it’s May – it could be cold, wet, hot, snowing – who knows?  With my recent experience of running in the sun and running in hypothermic wind / rain I now respect the weather more than ever before.  So, I have taken some time to prepare a kit for wet and windy, or hot and sunny (and something in between).

If it’s a bright day, you won’t be able to miss me with my very bright, UV protective sun hat, t-shirt and sun glasses (I am sure, I will look very cool of course 😂😂😂).

I am still working on the wet and windy kit.  I have some waterproof socks that I have tested out (they work well), will likely wear a polyester (quick drying) t-shirt, but would like to find a super-lightweight waterproof jacket.

What would be my preferred weather?  Whilst most people will be hoping for hot, sunny bank holiday BBQ weather, I will be hoping for a cold, dry and overcast morning – once I cross the line – then I’ll definitely join everyone else in the hope for BBQ weather!

Please don’t break a leg

I sustained a bit of an injury today, which I hope will not cause me problems.  I learned that, it’s not all that sensible at 40 years old, to perform BMX style jumps on a mountain bike, when trying to impress your three-year-old daughter – especially in the weeks before a marathon.  Hopefully, my shin isn’t as bad as it looks.  Thanks, silliness.

What’s next?

I hope still to have one more chance at a long practice run, though most experts tell me it is getting a bit late for that.  Given I have had two weeks out however, I feel I have some catching up to do.  I have a few other shorter training runs lined up, and a few more preparations and gear to get together.  Not long to go!  Please – wish me luck!

Find out more about my Marie Curie marathon in memory of “my third grandparents”

30km running distance record achieved!

23km run in a fasted, low-carb state

Running on fat without sugar

What the keto?

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