Happy New Year everyone!
I feel like I should step up to the front of the room, like someone from AA, and confess…… Yesterday I went for my first run of the year! And more shameful still, this is my first blog in 2 months. I will do better!
My last event in 2017 was a fast flat half marathon in San Sebastian, on the coast in northern Spain. If anyone ever is thinking about a warm winter run (or even just a winter break) this is the event for you . San Sebastian is beautiful, my flight was just £45 return and the food & wine is amazing. I really loved the place. I went with my brother and his wife, and the new man in my life Gary – who some of you met in Manchester. Gary had never run more than 7 miles before –so it was an interesting challenge for him. My brother and his wife had challenged themselves to run their first sub 2 hour half marathon. For me, just a couple of weeks after Snowdonia, I was just looking for a good solid run. It’s so long since I have run a half, or done very much speed work that I wasn’t sure what I could do? 2 hrs 12 should be very possible as I have hit that so much at the mid point of a marathon. I decided to aim for solid 6 min Km, aiming to finish 2hrs 6, maybe a little faster if I felt good in the end. But more importantly just enjoy the run. And for Gary? Who knows? Over the 6 miles or so that we often run together he out paces me big time. I suspect if he put some real training in he could be a great runner. His plan was to keep his pace low, stay with me till about half way and then see.
The day started with a lot of rain and I once again found myself on the start line in a bin bag, not what I had imagined for sunny Spain. But as the race started the rain stopped, the sun came out and it was a lovely run, looping along the coast line. Interestingly there was also the option of running a full marathon, which started at the same time and did 2 laps of the course. A new challenge for me, could I finish before the winner lapped me?
The course is a few little switch backs, a bit like Brighton. So as ran along I often saw my brother on the switch backs just a little ahead. I loved running with Gary, running with a partner is something I have always wanted to do. He may not yet share my passion for running, but he is attracted to the challenge, we stuck to solid 6 min Km and the miles passed really easily till we hit mile 10. Then the lack of training for Gary kicked in and he started to struggle a bit. By mile 12 we were run walking. Suddenly for the first time ever, I was tucked in behind the timing car and the photographers on motor cycles. Was I in a parallel universe and about to win the race? No we were about to be lapped by the elite marathon runners. We finished in just under 2hrs 10min – my brother and his wife in 2 hrs 5 sec!!!! so close !!!
So how did I get so far into January without running? Mostly because I spent the new year skiing in Italy. Or more accurately I spent New Year at a ski resort in Italy. Unfortunately there was so much snow (surely a dichotomy when skiing) that the resort was closed for a couple of days and skiing was limited even when open. Imagine that, beautiful sunshine, perfect fluffy snow and no skiing. Was just like those days you can’t run and you see people run past your window. I couldn’t even run in the resort coz there was too much snow. I resorted to walking up the piste with a snow board.
Back to work then and a work trip to San Diego and finally I get an opportunity to go for a run. 4 miles in the sunshine. Yes! My running year has finally started and a big plan I have.
For the last few years the New York Marathon has been my target. It takes place in November around birthday. I had wanted to run it for my 50th birthday and then my 51st but always some other event happened that ruined my plans – my best friend planning her wedding of that weekend for example. Going to New York on holiday last year and finally running in Central park sealed the deal for me, I AM going to run this Marathon! For once I have got in their first, I have booked my place, marriage, babies, birthdays can all happen without me. 2018 is going to be the year I finally run the New York marathon.
Happy running everyone
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