I know I keep barking on about this but when you’re happy why not. People shout from the roof tops when they get married or have found out that they will be bringing a new life into this sorry state of a world so why can’t I shout from the roof tops ‘I love running’ I can’t believe I didn’t find out sooner, maybe it would have changed my life. More than a year ago I found I could run and I enjoyed it. Well maybe not enjoyed… Not the actually motion of running, the cold, wet dark mornings before work, no that I didn’t enjoy, I suppose it was the after burn of running the comments from people saying ‘You look well’ and seeing how I was loosing the belly and trimming up into a more leaner guy who was a bout to hit 30 (not that in anyway I was having a mid life crisis and running was the answer but looking back maybe I was and this stereotypical activity came to the rescue). I felt good, I was sleeping and had bags full of energy and didn’t feel bad about reaching for the second Mars Ice Cream or bottle of wine.
I suppose the first time I actually knew I enjoyed running was March, when I developed an injury and thought I might not be able to compete in the Manchester 10K. Now I don’t know if this feeling was down to missing the event or thinking about all those wasted mornings where I could have stayed in bed were now going to waste. I was really really quite cut up about. It wasn’t just the fact I couldn’t run in the race (which I did with the help of pain killers) but the fact I couldn’t run at all. It made me miserable, so much so I missed out one of my best mates stag doo’s as I was to busy wallowing in self pity and hatred. This was the moment when I knew that running was more than just a hobby, more than a past time that was a way to keep fit, running was my life, it had become part of me, and if I couldn’t do it I was a joy to be around (Not) in the same one as a relationship ending or losing a loved one, I felt rotten. Who would have thought that this simple activity could have such a hold on you and make you feel this way.
It was true, I had started buying the magazines and reading forums, talking to other runners, looking at what I ate, the way I ran. Running was now part of my life, so much so that if I was married then you could compare the past time to the mistress. I was having an affair with running. And why not she made me feel good about myself… She was worth the money I spent on her…she gave back what I put in if not sometimes more…Yes running was my real passion.
I started boring mates with ‘running this’ and ‘running that’ I was hooked on entering competitions and still am. I was obsessed with time and numbers and PB’s and distance. The only thing I never did was follow a detailed training program. I didn’t for the two 10K’s the second one being no point as it was 2 weeks after the Great North and lets face if you can cross the finish line after 13.1 miles then 6.20 is a walk in the park. My second Marathon I didn’t really train for as I had kept up my weekly mileage and knew that I could run the distance and was not really too bothered of my time partly as I knew there was a large hill which would rub out any chance of my PB. However I did get my PB.
The trouble is I am now doing a marathon. A full on 26.2 miles of running. When I did the half I wanted to do a sub 2. Which I did. With this big beast I wish to do a sub 4hr but if truth were known I’m heading or training for a sub 3.5hr. For some reason Marathons to me are the height of running, a half for many is a large task, and I have to admit after the two I’ve ran I don’t think I could really of carried on another mile after the finish line so what chance do I have when on the half way marker of 13.1 miles I have to push on.
The reason I did a half, was after the 10K I felt great, I felt like I could do it all again and straight away and doing the maths two 10K’s in miles is 12.4 almost a half so mentally I knew I could cross the finish line in some state, and since running 13.1 miles my weekly runs have increased in distance. For me 6k was a long run, and 30 minutes on the road was long enough, after the Great North my average short run is 7 miles.
So what is the whole point of this, well its to say I will be following a detailed plan this time, I will increase my mileage like they say rather than doing 7 one week and increasing it by a mile the next, and so on. No I will be increasing slow and steady. I will add speed and hill work into my training, I will do slow steady pace runs. The trouble is there are two schedules. One that is based on distance… building the distance up week by week, another which is time. You could spend 2 hours out on the road but only cover 10 miles. The question is which one should I so.
Over Christmas I will be thinking hard about it, as come Boxing Day I am going to start. I have already started already with doing long runs just to keep my mileage up and getting use to this weather.
Well I am sure you will be hearing of my attempts and efforts in the coming months.
My next blog is going to be a nice round up of my year with the achievements I’ve made, or have yet again failed to achieve.
See you on the other side of this delightful time we call Christmas.