As mid life crises go I thought taking up running was a pretty safe bet. Quite sensible compared to many of the other alternatives. Maybe I was right . . until I decided to sign up for the London marathon (still not quite sure what possessed me). Turns out I am quite, quite mad.
Over the last few months I have been busy pounding the streets and doing training events. There was the 30k (about 18 miles) event in Stamford. Undulating they said. I swear there was hardly any flat. The hills nearly killed me but I finished without stopping, and the best news was that some seasoned marathon runners who also did Stamford, told me that if I could complete that event, I would certainly be able to do London.
Then there was the Silverstone half marathon. What a way to spend mother’s day. Instead of tucked up at home enjoying breakfast in bed, I was in the wind and the rain running around the famous race track. It was pretty cool to run on the actual race track and in the pit lane but it all felt a bit weird. Loads of empty grandstands, not many spectators on the course and did I mention the wind? I hate wind. Best thing though was that I did a personal best time! I was really surprised with a performance of 2 hours 5 minutes. A 2 hour half marathon is tantalisingly close.
The following Sunday I did a cheeky 10k. Almost a rest really and not what my training plan dictated, but the Lincoln 10k is close to my heart and I really wanted to beat my time from last year. In 2014 I had been trying to beat the hour but only managed 1 hour 5 minutes. This year I am delighted to report that I did it in 57 minutes. Finally my speed is starting to improve. I’ll never be fast in runners’ terms – but I am so pleased to be moving in the right direction.
Last weekend the weather was my enemy. It was time for my longest training run. 22 miles along country lanes – most of which were open to lovely rolling fields on both sides. Which left me exposed to the rain and the wind which I swear was trying to blow me off my feet. It was definitely transpiring against me. I did however make the 22 miles without stopping, just me and my music . . and the wind and the rain of course . . it took me 4 hours and 10 seconds and I could hardly walk for 2 days afterwards but it feels great to have got that distance under my belt. The marathon is 26.2 miles – I will crawl the last 4 miles if I have to, although everyone tells me the adrenalin and the crowds will see me through. Fingers crossed.
So, I was sitting at my desk at work when an email came in from the London marathon people telling me when the ballot would be open for next year’s marathon. The most surprising thing happened. My first thought was, oh better put that date in my diary. Woahh! Hang on a minute – what on earth was I thinking? I stopped myself in my tracks and resisted the temptation. So far.
And now to ‘taper’ as they say in marathon circles. I am almost looking forward to my 15 miler this weekend. Well I would be, but as I look out the window the rain is pouring down . . .