Guess who’s back

Posted on: 13 Jan 2017

As the famous song goes, two out of three ‘aint bad.  I’ve kept on top of my training and set myself a goal for the first half of 2017, it’s just the blog I’ve been tardy with these past few months.

So apologies for the radio silence.  New Year, new start, must remember to type on the days I’m not busy running! 

The last time I posted I have to confess it was a pretty miserable affair.  I’d managed to break my big toe after falling down the stairs at home (doh!) and therefore had to cancel my plans of running an autumn marathon.

It put me out for around five weeks, but I was given the all clear by the hospital and told it was OK to get back out there, albeit very gently at first.  So I started with a few run-walks, one mile on – one mile off, and soon enough things were starting to feel better again.

Good job, because I was due to run the Great Birmingham Run in October, which is half marathon distance.  I was teaming up with 12 runners from work and raising funds for Teenage Cancer Trust, so felt obliged to do my best to make it to the start line.

For the first month, training was a slog.  My stamina was long gone and I’d definitely put some weight on while stuck on the sofa.  But eventually, the mile splits became more respectable and my times over 5k and 10k were closer to what I’d expect. 

I trained up to the full race distance, which gave my confidence a much-needed boost, and low and behold things went really well on the day.  I was even on for a PB, but Birmingham is renowned for its fearsome hill at mile 11 which always costs you a good minute or two. 

In the end I crossed the line with a 1:44, one and a half minutes shy of my half marathon best but still the quickest time I’ve managed for the Birmingham course in five attempts.  And a decent chunk of money raised for an awesome charity to boot.  Happy days.

As far as races go, that was me done for 2016.  No marathon, but at least there were two halves (PB at one), an 8.5 miler and a 10k (another PB) to help flesh out that medal collection. 

And consistent training runs throughout the year too, save for early December when I was waylaid for a week or so with a nasty virus.  I clocked it at 778 miles on my Garmin in total, all part of the plan to stay fit and healthy through regular running.

And what’s that 2017 goal, I hear you ask?  Have another crack at 26.2 miles!

I really want to try one more time to hit the magical four hour mark before a certain big birthday arrives in mid-April (let’s call it 30 plus 10, I’m in denial!). 

I wasn’t successful in the London ballot again, so started looking elsewhere.  My home race, Great Birmingham, is adding a marathon event to the half and 10k they already offer, but it isn’t until October and I don’t like the look of the route because it’s laps.  

The other logical choice is Manchester, which is a spring marathon that falls a few weeks earlier than London.  It’s a large event and I like the sound of ‘fast and flat’, although they said that for Chester and remember what happened to me on that day…

Training is going well and I’m into week five of a 16 week programme.  Oh how I’ve missed my spreadsheet!  Four runs a week, with Sunday long runs eventually taking me up to 20 miles. 

Depending on how sprightly I’m feeling at the time, I may well extend this because I’ve hit the wall at 21 miles during both my previous marathons.  Slow and steady is the order of the day, and not trying to overdo things in the first half of the race by aggressively pursuing a time.

And so it begins again.  Marathon madness, winter training, early starts and cheeky lunchtime runs while I’m at the office.  There’s also the Stafford Half Marathon in March which I’m booked in for and that falls nicely into my programme.

I’ll endeavour to keep you updated on my progress and here’s to staying injury free this year.

I look forward to spending some time catching up on your various blogs and getting inspiration from all the great achievements you’ve no doubt made.  And reading about London first-timers getting ready for their big day always makes me smile.

It’s good to be back and with a purpose as well.  Here’s to a great 2017.

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