I know what it looks like. The race number and chip, the booklet, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d put a late entry into Sunday’s Chester Marathon.
But this is just a training run. Plus a bit. Plus 10k to be precise.
Allow me to apply some runner’s logic to the situation (I use the word ‘logic’ in the loosest possible sense). I’m in full flow for my Snowdonia training and part of that would normally involve a final long run three weeks prior to event. Something around the 20 or 21 mile mark.
I figured, why not make it that little bit longer.
Then there’s my marathon history. With the exception of my first at London, where ignorance was most definitely bliss, I’ve developed something of a reputation for training well, but blowing up on race day.
Yet each has been preceded by a very strong 20-ish miler (23 in the case of Manchester 2017). No carb loading, no complicated warm up routine, no pacers, no pressure and, by and large, no notable issues. Just wake up, lace up, press play on the iPod…and go.
Let’s see if I can carry that relaxed mind-set through to Sunday. There hasn’t been time to stress about it or over-think how I’m going to run.
I can’t go hell for leather and risk injury either with Snowdon being so close; that would be heart-breaking (and really, really stupid!).
So the countdown begins. I’ve ran Chester before in 2015 (it’s where I set my PB) so I know what to expect. It’s friendly, well organised, well supported and follows a very pleasant countryside route. Some hills, but nothing too punishing.
Yes I know it was me who was blogging after Forest of Dean saying I thought I was done with the marathon, questioning my abilities and generally feeling fed up. Then you lot responded, as you always do, with words of encouragement and positive suggestions for managing my nutrition.
I started to believe again and that strong 19-miler over Cannock Chase a couple of weeks ago cemented things and convinced me to click ‘enter’.
Practice makes perfect. And I’m not even that fussy. I don’t want perfection; I just want to fulfil my potential.
By all means wish me luck, I’d certainly appreciate it. But remember, this isn’t a race. Just a training run. Plus a bit.
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