The Long and Short Of It

I fell into running a couple of years ago and always had a goal to increase my distance. Two marathons down and a third in training I am loosing perspective on the running game. Not fallen out or even become disillusioned just we don’t seem to be getting on.

When I went to increase my runs from the 5 or 6 kilometre mark to that of 10K and then to ten miles when I was in training for the Great North I was enjoying myself. Even only a couple of months ago I would joke that a 10K would be something I would nip out to do before breakfast. Truth known I rarely run before breakfast.

I enjoyed the long runs and found it a pleasure that the 6 miles that I had trained to run was something that was really quite painless and getting past ten miles was now the target. This has gone on and on and as I try to train for my third marathon I really can’t be bothered.

I will wake and think ‘Nah forget it’. The trouble is while I’m out running I enjoy it. But I only enjoy it if its short. Well, I say short, I’m talking under ten miles. This is off course an issue with  Marathon training as I need to be pushing another eight or ten miles on top of the ones I am still enjoying. I think the trouble was the weather as I as many other runners ran for the gym rather than quite literally hit the icy pavements.

It was while I was in the gym I decided that long running on a machine was dull and therefore I should give the old interval HIIT sessions ago. A month on and I am enjoying these workouts more, far more. I prefer running fast and short than slow and long.

So what is to be done. Friends have suggested to take time off, which can’t happen as I don’t have the time what with the marathon being in 3 months.

I’m hoping some new routes and some runs with people will ignite the flame that I held for long distance running.

I certainly hope it will do the trick, otherwise I will be hitting that wall very hard.

An Update….

I get bored with thinking of titles for my blogs so this one I have left blank. Well, not completely blank as you can see as I have named it and for once it is a name that could be printed on the side of a tin or on a box. It does exactly what it says on tin you could say. It’s an update!

So as the bell struck midnight I was busy snoozing as the rest of the UK was seeing in the New Year. While I do not really make resolutions I promised myself that this year would be the year that I would break my running PB’s and really try hard to stop drinking the red stuff and finally get myself off to New Zealand even if it’s just for a holiday.

So how am I doing? Well I have not had a drink since the 1st and feel fine. I have also started to eat more healthy and while I may not be eating 5 meals or even three a day I am snacking more wisely as the share holders of Cadbury will notice when they see the sales of their confectionary come the end of January. I have been hitting the gym on an almost daily basis and mixed my running up with the bike, weights and cross trainer. I have also been using the gym to do my speed and hill work on the old treadmill. All of this has seen me loose the bloatedness of the Christmas belly and has seen the weight fall back to what it was before the annual gorging we call Christmas. To tell you the truth the weight has actually fallen below 13 stone for the first time since high school and while I can now fit into a 34″ waist there is still a lot to go.

No doubt as I keep up the weights, my weight will bounce back up, but for now I am feeling good. That feeling however was not to last. Today saw me go on my long run for the old Manchester Marathon training and while in my head I said I’d settle for 10 miles I really wanted to bank 13 and possibly 14 if my legs were feeling up to it.

So I set off with a bottle of water and no gels. After a very light breakfast and not too much carbo loading through the week, I found that mile seven had a little wall for me. I carried on and while the tenth mile was comfortable the final three saw me digging deep. I can’t believe that I did this run. I knew by mile five that I did not have it in me and should have stopped, it’s not like I am new to marathon training but today seemed to display that I had not learnt from past training mistakes and maybe I should do more homework before embarking on this athletic milestone. I’m hoping that this set back will be quite the opposite and will urge me to take on the training with even more planning and authority, but I am following a schedule that see’s me running 16 miles by the end of the month and if I really want to break that 3:30 mark I need to get the miles in my legs quick.

In other news I actually planned to spend over £1000 on plane tickets, until a job prospect came up… I have spent the last three days thinking about this job and the trip to NZ and think that come monday I will be making the call to the travel centre to get myself two tickets to New Zealand.

Oh well onwards and upwards. I have work in two hours that will see me working through to Sunday morning making sure that Sunday becomes a day of rest… But I might sneak a little trip to the gym in or a cheeky 5K in the evening.

See you all soon.

Ten is the magic number


Well those of a certain age will know that ‘three’ is the magic number but for me at the moment ‘ten’ is looking very good.

This weekend kicks of the first of many 10k’s one of which is Manchester’s Great 10k run, the race where my obsession all began. Sure back in November 2010 I had started running to lose the belly and as motivation I entered the race to make sure that the past times I use to loathe and have such distaste for would not beat me  and force me to give up my aim of dropping the excess weight. Up to that put, I would run and then feel shattered so would leave that past time alone. But now I had an aim, a race and further more I was doing it for charity so I couldn’t escape from the torment of running.

But now just almost a year on to that race which opened my eyes to the joy of running, I’m running in several races. Since that first race I have gone on to loose two more stone, ran a marathon, several halfs and a handful of 10k’s all of which sees me running five days a week to a tune of forty miles.

So ten is the magic number. It was the number that got me into running and is a distance I can just beat out before I go to work. It’s also a good race to train for as you can do some good hill and speed sessions and that is where this post is born from. For the last six months I’ve been working on my marathon training and now that I’m rested and recovered I can look forward to my preparation for the 10k races which means I can rediscover all those benefits of speed and hill sessions, not that I ignored them while training for 26.2 but I felt building miles in the legs were a bigger benefit and now I can just run and fit in speed sessions into my weekly training. So tonight at the gym (because I have more control of the speed and inclines) I did a stocker of a session that left me a little drained but still wanting more.

So here’s to one of my favorite distances and races both for what it means to me and the training that goes with it.


Repeating Myself!

This is not just a simple copy and past of another blog entry but thinking about it I could so easily do that and save myself time. No this is a new entry but the subject matter or matters are topics I have discussed on more than one occasion.

Now on Friday I think it was, it may even have been Thursday I wrote about a small injury I picked up fearing that it was going to be major. Well my fears of being injured just as the Marathon training kicks off have come to life. I have ripped, or torn or done some horrible damage to my left quad, making walking even quite painful. So I am now out of action for a while and learning from my foot injury last year then rest is the key.

The trouble is when I don’t run I become miserable, sad, I turn in on myself and with the prospect of the work I want to do still not in reaching distance and one of my friends ignoring me, and the other about to go through a rather large life changing experience (Baby) my brain is looking back and thinking maybe I should have packed it in and gone to New Zealand, maybe I still could. Or maybe a cold start is what I need, move to Wales or Scotland and just find a completely new job. Maybe if I could write better then I would submit articles to magazines and live as a freelance writer. After all I have nothing holding me back. My friends are moving on in there lives and the friends that aren’t seem to be moving on from me. The other night in the pub when I met with some people whom I hadn’t seen for a long time were banging on at me about not phoning them. The cheek of it, they have my number and never phoned. the fact that several time I texted them, and they never got back or said they were busy, only to find though Facebook or days later from some one else that they had been out or were out.

I know it’s me feeling sorry for myself, but when I have friends who say that they will be bored having two days off and their better half is away and how lonely and boring it will be, I want to scream out “Try it for two months where your supposed mates don’t get in contact or reply to any messages and you’re stuck in a house counting the pennies as your next bit of well paid work isn’t till April and you have rent and Christmas and god knows what else to pay for in-between”.  I try to keep busy  and am actively looking for some one, after all I have joined that once taboo subject ‘Internet Dating’ however the more I think, the more I come to the conclusion that maybe after twelve years the spell of Manchester is weakening on me and it’s time I leave this great city and find pastures new and a job which will make me happy. The job doesn’t even have to be well paid as long as it is in the hills of Snowdonia or looking after a castle I will be happy and for some one who thinks that money is the greatest treasure on earth then that statement really says something.

Oh well I’m hoping come tomorrow morning my leg will be better, and I will try a nice short run before I go into the theatre and create the finishing touches to the show.


P.S Just so I don’t seem like a complete dick, I will be there for my baby mate, and give me all the support and help he needs. He is after all my best mate and properly the only person who really knows me.