Marathon de paris part I (Un)
People who know me well understand that i am normally a very quiet and reserved person who says very little. However when it comes to writing things down (or typing) my mind takes over and i sometimes can’t stop... What I’m trying to say is, i will try and keep it brief where i can and elaborate where i think necessary. Apologies if it goes on in places. I wholly appreciate there are people out here who will complete races that achieve things that are out of this world. But this is my own story and here goes..
I am far removed from a natural runner due to being 5’09 and medium/stocky build. I only took up running 2 years ago after retiring from amateur football due to ankle and groin injuries. I gave up smoking 4 years ago, having taken to the dirty habit working in Saudi Arabia in the late 1990’s. Although i only smoked for approximately 10 years (relatively this is no time), it took me 3 years to get over the heavy breathing side affects after exercise.
Before i started running a couple of years ago, the furthest i had run was about 5 miles in pre-season football training at university 18 years ago. I have always liked to drink alcohol since about the age of 14 when i played in a successful junior cricket team and i am quite partial to diet coke and old skool sweets (toffees for us northerners).
Forgive me, i am not trying to illustrate how brilliant i am or how well I did, because that also would be totally out of character. In fact most people i meet in work and life tell me self-confidence is my biggest enemy. I half heartedly applied for London in ’98 and ’99 without success. My ambition for 2012 was to complete London with my brother (also doing his first one), but he was successful in the ballot and i wasn’t. Instead I received a pinkish loser’s fleece from VLM which immediately went to the charity shop.
After finding out i was unsuccessful for VLM my pal Simon asked me to join him at the Paris marathon. I thought why not, i felt i could train for one, so why not Paris? I started training in October by running about 5-7 miles as i already had a base level of fitness. In late November i had awful problems with shin splints and pain in the right Achilles and ankle ligaments. I stopped for 4-5 weeks, put on nearly a stone in December and started again late in the month.
I had what appeared to be common gripes, injuries and aches over the next 4 months but at times training was going really well. Then in March events at work took a turn that meant i put my marathon ambitions on hold for 3-4 weeks, but this was also partly through choice. I stupidly began to doubt myself and was concerned i would end up walking the last 6 miles.
I appreciate compared to some people that i am in an enviable position when it comes to preparation and training for such events. I have a totally supportive better half who has been brilliant for me. We are still at a stage in life where we don’t have children. This perhaps allows me more time out of work to concentrate on preparation than others. However anyone who has seen previous posts will understand for me, keeping the cat onside has been a bigger challenge!
What i am trying to say is that, I COMPLETED A MARATHON which 2 years ago i thought was well beyond my reach. Forget the time, the whole achievement has had such a positive effect on me i am trying to pass it on to other people. Even if i never run that distance again, i am proud of myself for getting there. HOWEVER, having been to the London EXPO today with my brother (stevew71), i will be applying again for London 2013! If i fail again, then maybe Barcelona in March will be nice?!
FIRST MARATHON EXPERIENCE
Absolutely brilliant, as well as the weekend being very enjoyable i was fortunate enough to run what i call i dream run. Everything came together. The furthest i had ran without a break (this was 3-4 weeks earlier) was a mere 17 miles. Those that like to read this blog thingy, I’ll post more about the actual Paris marathon soon and my experience running my first marathon.
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