Is there anything harder than a Marathon?

In truth yes. There are the Ultra’s or fell running. So what is my point. The point is that I have run a marathon, go me, woo woo and as a reward for all my training did I take time off to recover because oh boy did I need to recover the day after I couldn’t walk but I did manage to drive to the physio for a good deep tissue massage. No rather than taking time to recover and get back into running I had lined up a series of races which all began two weeks after the Marathon.

Now the thinking behind these races were recovery runs. Races to take it easy and get back into running however after the first it soon became clear that recovery was not the word. Over the past eight weeks I have ran ‘Port Sunlight 10K, Manchester 10K, Bangor 10K, Llandudno 1o miler, Mersey Tunnel 10K. In all apart from Manchester and Bangor  I beat my PB, each week I would go out hard, for my 10K’s my pace is under 7 minutes a mile for the Llandudno race I set off at 5k pace and some how kept going at this rate till mile 5 when I had to slow, but only slowed by 20/30 seconds.

A year ago I was running 10K’s at 55 minutes and now I’m about to run them in 42 minutes. From the Port Sunlight to Mersey Tunnel I have wiped 1:30 of my PB. The truth is that each of these races I found hard, my heart was beating overtime and my lungs had to take out a second mortgage for an extension to breath all the oxygen I needed. However despite this I enjoyed all the races, I felt relaxed, felt like I wasn’t over doing it but the week that followed the race would tell a different story.

The result of all this hard running on legs that had not fully recovered (I started running 7 days after my marathon) meant that I have been out of action. My legs have seized up and been so sore that I have not been able to run through the week. So now I am resting, not out of choice or out of injury but because I have no time to run. This week I was in Birmingham working and next I am in the Lakes and the week after I will be working hard. Hopefully this will allow my legs to recover so I can begin my training for the next race which at the moment isn’t till October.

Would I do it again? The answer is no. I might have done one or two of the races but the idea was to have something that would keep me motivated to run after the high of the marathon had died down, instead I found myself out of action saving myself, making sure I was recovered enough for the next race. I should know by now I will never lose my passion for running it has become part of me and the idea of having another goal to look towards to keep you motivate doesn’t really bother me. I enjoy running it free’s me up. If I am honest I could say I was addicted to the racing as well, trying to bag as many medals or tick off as many of the must do races as I can. While I wouldn’t do it again I certainly don’t have any regrets, all the races I have wanted to do and can now tick them off my list

So after the rest period I can hopefully start getting into a routine with some slow running, and some good old hill sessions thrown in, as I am going to need it as the next race is the Snowdon Marathon.

Sticking to the Game Plan

Let’s face it they are called races for a reason. Even the fun runs which are organised for charity and meant to be for every one are called races like ‘Race for Life’ I realise that the name of that event is a clever pun as it’s all about running to raise money for Cancer research which can save lives, hence the name ‘Race for Life’

But when you are on that start line and hear the gun, depending who you are with you will shoot off like a rocket and before you realise your mistake it’s too late to slow down into you steady pace. Even come the sight of the finish line you spy another runner and your captain shouts down to the engine room ‘Full steam ahead’ and with that you sail past your competitor and over the line with your heart trying to make a bid for freedom.

This Sunday is the Manchester 10K the race that started it all off for me and I want to return and get a new PB and smash my time I achieved last year, however I doubt that I will be able to achieve this. While I was training for my marathon I ran the Liverpool half with the game plan being ‘run marathon pace and see how you feel’ however the gun went off and I went with it, after 1 hour 41 minutes I crossed the line 2o minutes earlier than I’d expected and I had picked up a PB in the process. Last weekend I ran the Port Sunlight 10K on the Wirral and for all those who want to start running or are looking for a friendly nice 10K then this is a must do. I entered the race as a recovery run, just run the 6 miles and make sure my legs work as a warm up for Manchester. However the gun went and I was at the start of the pack and off I went to cross the line with yet another PB. I should also add that this was a quick race. I think the bulk of the runners had crosses the line on the hour and these were a mix of first times, kids, fun runners and the clubs.

So am I able to get another one this weekend, or have I burnt out. I have still not fully recovered from the marathon, as they say it normally takes a day a mile to recover, which works out around a month. While you can still jog and run, training and running hard on tired, worn out muscles is not a good idea and here I am speeding round Port Sunlight at 6.40 mile

The question is why can’t I stick to my game plan? What is it about a race and the adrenalin that spurs me on and gets me so competitive. Does every runner have this? I know training for the 10K last year my friend who also participated often moaned about the runs we did as I ‘was too quick’ and even I have to admit that he was slow. Running with him around Sale water park a cool 9 minute mile would be fast for him, however on the day he crossed the line just two minutes after me. I was injured on the day but was still running pretty fast for a newbie at 8.40, so there was something in the air with having other runners that made my mate pull it out of the hat.

So is there a point to a game plan? or should you just run and enjoy it, after all we all know out limitations if we have done our training correctly and on the day you will be surprised at what your body can do.Maybe the game plan should be to be to cross the line and enjoy yourself and that way you will always keep to the plan.

Good luck to everyone running the Manchester 10K especially to a fellow blogger (Runs like a Penguin) for what I believe is her first time. Her training diary as been a joy to read and I know all the hard work will pay off for her. Good luck to all those others who will be running in this very special event and one that I hold very close to my heart partly because I’m a local lad but also it’s the one that started all this madness off.