There are Good Drugs

It’s like a drug, well that’s what they say and to some extent they are correct but unlike people who ‘Chase the Dragon’ or drown their sorrows with a bottle of ‘Vodka’ there are no support groups for people like me. Come mile 14 I was feeling strong and felt good. One hill out of the way and the other climb had just two more miles before I would be running on a level playing field. Manchester at fourteen miles had seen me smack into the wall so hard that my run turned into a mixture of walking, hobbling and staying still. This time I still had tears in my eyes but it was more out of joy than the sheer agony that I was placing on my body and soul.

I am off course talking about the joyful drug of running. The full race report of Snowdon Marathon will be up soon but the main aim of this post is to report that as I was approaching the finish line I promised myself that this would be the last 26.2 miles I would run. I’lll stick to halfs in the future as I know I can run those in my sleep I thought as I crossed the finish line. A quick walk to find my friend and I suddenly realised I was already feeling better than Manchester. The fact I could walk, I could bend. The truth was that my legs didn’t feel like I had just completed a gruelling challenge that less than 1% of the population of the world have undertaken but I had and have the finishers medal and T-Shirt to prove it. I was now a marathon runner for the second time and I felt as fresh as a daisy. Not too fresh that I could go off and run the course again or indeed run for another five minutes but I could walk to the car unaided.

As I sat at home and watched the coverage on S4C and looked at the pictures and read forums on the race and the triumphs of the day I suddenly thought… I need to run a marathon. Now I know I said I wouldn’t run one again but you see I got a new PB at Snowdon and I still need to get a sub 4 that’s the very reason why I am still running the other distances. I wish or a more truthful look would be that I need to break a sub 1.30 on the half and go sub 40 on the 10K.

Running is a drug and it’s one that can be dangerous. I am now not only looking at running my next marathon but indeed looking at the world of ultra running. To say I don’t care about the distance is not true as I do love the 13.1 miles and shorter speeder cousin of the 10K but marathon running is fun. It’s a test from the training to the race day and as I sit up and rest and let my body recover I dream off being able to tie my laces and pound the streets to the beat of my heart. The only downside to running races and marathons is the sheer fact you have to rest for more than a couple of days but at least those couple of days will see me find time to hunt for my next marathon goal.

There is no one to help the likes of me and while the drug of running comes in many forms of pounding the streets to lining up on the start line and going all out all I know is it is one you can not come off and at the end of the day it’s good for you. Isn’t it?

Thought Sundays Were Made for Rest!!!

They were! weren’t they? It says so in the bible ‘And on the seventh day he rested’ Through history Sundays were seen as rest days people didn’t work.There was no noise of clogs on the pavement trudging down the cobble road to Quarry Bank Mill in 1864 on Sunday and come to think of it it has only been within my lifetime when shops have decided to open their doors. No, Sundays are rest days they are getting up before your parents and watching ‘Sharky and George’ (google it if you’re unsure it’s a childhood reference) then helping to bake cake with your Ma before getting dirty in the garden digging holes for your dad before being called in for a milky coffee and getting cleaned up before a roast and the afternoon film which would often be a western or a war theme. While you snoozed the afternoon away waiting for the buffet style evening tea and the Sunday night bath you could be assured that the day had been spent in deed resting from your usual life. And even now the thought of Sundays are to sleep in and do not a lot.

So why is it that my Sunday just gone I found myself in the shower at 7am and in my car for 8.30 heading along the M56 and on to the A55. Yes Sunday was a Race Day. I had been looking forward to this cheeky 10K in Llandudno North Wales as I was using it as a warm up to my Marathon. The course runs around the Great Orme which climbs 650ft in about 3-4 miles, before it sends you cascading down in just over a mile.

I had run the Orme before as part of the Conwy half so half knew what to expect. The atmosphere was electric even for a small running club organised race. The truth be known it looked like the locals were staying in doors as the promenade was filled with the 800 runners that were ready to start. After doing so big organised races like the Great North and Manchester 10K, I do prefer these smaller ones. You get more for your buck and a better chance to have run rather than being stuck trotting along like a heard of sheep on a country lane trying to break away from the pack.

I manged to get to the front of the pack at the start and when the gun fired I was away. I didn’t really know how to treat the run, so I just ran my 10K pace and felt fine. I think I was spurred on by the fact that up the hill I was over taking and never once being over took myself.

It was only towards the end when I over took a guy, and no longer had anything left to give a final push and sprint across the line that he took back the lead and crossed the line seconds before me.

All in all it was fun, I felt I could carry on that pace and my legs were fine. All the long running  is making these 6.20 miles seem like childs play. The bonus of the day was I also got a new PB and came 160th. All I need to do now is try to break the 40 minutes for a 10K then I will be happy. For those who don’t know, then within a year I have gone from a 55 min to 44 min race time so who knows another couple of years and I could take on Mo Farah.