It really wasn't meant to be like this. When I started running home from work a couple of years ago, where would it lead? I'm not a different person. But I have changed shape!
And just earlier this week I became the proud owner of a brand spanking new Egdon Heath Harriers hoodie. Reckon I look pretty good in it. Reckon I could almost be mistaken for a runner!
But then there was a marathon only last week just minutes from where I live, the Portland Coastal Marathon. And a chap in his sixties from EHH ran it, and is consequently now the newest member of the 100 marathon club. And then there is my new friend from swimming lessons. The Portland event was number 172 for him. And he missed swimming this week because he goes to Malta to run a marathon at this time every year. But these guys are not the fastest. As far as EHH is concerned that accolade goes to a different gentleman, like myself fifty-seven years old! And the recently crowned club ladies champion (again) is another of simlair vintage. I've previously failed (miserably) to follow her pace at parkrun, and this year used her to pace me through a measured mile on club night.
So don't get too up yourself Keith. Back on April 13th last year I really did pinch myself to prove I was not dreaming. And I still sometimes find it incredulous that I completed the London Marathon. And now I'm in the midst of serious training to do it all again. And with a definite goal in mind. I really wasn't too far off the four hour mark last April. A year further on, and surely there's no reason not to mount a serious assault on that milestone this year. But after this week's 20 miler, I know that's still going to be one hell of a challenge (see all the Paris training logs here).
The point is, you may be a small fish in a big pond. Or indeed you might be a big fish in a small pond. But never forget that, unless you venture out into the ocean, you are still a fish in a pond. But (at the risk of mixing metaphors) remember too that it doesn't stop you from standing on the shoulders of giants does it? :-)
Not sure if I mentioned my recent success in the ballot for Ride London 100. As a result my CLIC Sargent place is going to my friend and future training partner Mr Jon May. So I don't have a fund raising target for this event, but he does. The combined totals for Paris and London comes to £1500. So I've now raised the bar to £2500. But there is some logic to this. Last weekend I had arranged a bucket collection at Morrisons, Weymouth, and if last year was anything to go by, here was a great opportunity to raise several hundred pounds.
We got off to a prompt start with fellow pub-quizzer Donna taking the early shift whilst I helped at parkrun. I then took over, ably assisted by last week's guest blogger Kim during the afternoon. This went really well until Kim spilt the entire contents of one of the buckets on the floor. Given that, with her bad back, she wanted to empty the contents of her bucket into mine, but I was wary of breaking the seal, I suspect this was just part of a cunning plan to force the matter ;-) But when the proceeds were counted we had raised over £650, taking this year's total over £1000.
However much the liaison between CLIC Sargent and myself may be a marriage of convenience, this good cause, supporting children with cancer and leukaemia, is one that it is very easy to care about. As a support charity, it is very "hands-on" able to have an immediate effect and giving children and their families hope for the future. But of course there is equally a role to play where there is not destined to be a happy ending, and only a week or so back at work we heard the story of Lexi, a quite adorable seven year old girl, with an incurable cancer diagnosis.
As for training, with Paris only 50 days away, I'm following the plan. The hill work is complete and now it seems to be concentrating on speed work (as far as anything I do can be called "speed work"), and just for now it's all going well. But I know how fragile well can be. Last Sunday morning I ran the route of next month's inaugural Weymouth Half Marathon alongside Hayley, training for London, and recent New York finisher April, before I carried on for a final five mile push. But this week's long run was a 20 miler, late on Sunday after a busy day in London on Saturday doubling up as Dad's removal service. In the wind and rain it was a tough assignment, and I really struggled during the final mile.
Meanwhile the Weymouth Half really seems to be fulfilling a need, and has created quite a buzz in town, with loads of people already signed up. And next Sunday – The Grizzly – "Twenty Miles of Grime and Punishment" on the Devonshire coast (including an infamous mud bath – reckon the rain of the last couple of days will be making that nice for us!). Now that really should be one to write home about - #enroutepourparis
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