Thanks very much for the advice. I feel good and bad... Last year I did my first marathon, partly as an attempt to give up smoking. 5:10:24 and was very proud, although would have liked to crack the 5h mark actually. Friend egged me on to do it again this year with her which I stupidly agreed to. Kept up running for a bit but then relapsed on the smoking over the summer and was pretty heavy with that up to the beginning of this year; needless to say, I didn't do any running during that time! Started off the year ok with some fresh determination, spurred on by another friend who encouraged me to do a 10k in Rome with him towards the end of January. 60:00:26 which I was extremely happy with as I was expecting more like 70 minutes - especially given the fun times I'd had over the winter period! Anyway, have increased rapidly since then, probably way more than the 10% rule (anyway, is that 10% distance per week, or per long run, or what?!). Hindrances have been work (24h shifts every once in a while) and holidays (diving!) whereas help was the glorious - but scary and unseasonable - weather recently. The HM this weekend will be an "easy" week after the 17m last weekend (and a planned 18-19 the week after), then one more long run after that and looking forward to the taper before hoping the weather warms up again a bit in early April. Aside from that, just planning on doing some intervals if I can fit them in - but all depends on "outside" / other committments.
Anyway, great thread (like so many others on this forum) and love picking up tips from reading even if I don't post so often. Thanks to all!