2013 Roundup

Firstly a new years resolution – to try to keep this blog updated a bit more than once every 2 months.

Since the beginning of November I have on a bit of a medal hunt, running the Henley 10k, Chorleywood 10 mile, Marlow Half Marathon, Rugged Radnage 10k, Movember MK 10k and Milton Keynes Half Marathon. Happily I have been beating previous times (except for Radnage which was a proper bitch) and have managed to stay injury free. Along with that I have succumbed to the sweet temptations of Parkrun though times have fluctuated wildly.

Of the two half marathons Marlow was, due to the quantity and height of the hills, the hardest but also the most fun. Starting with a gradual climb for the first mile or so it became a roller coaster of ups and downs with the infamous Rotten Row climb at about 8 miles. It was a great feeling to overtake people who were walking up the hills, not so nice to see them easily pass me as soon as the going was flatter.

The most annoying part from a performance view was the final mile run in. It was the same mile out but reversed so was a nice gentle downhill to the finish. I really wish I had pushed myself on that last mile as I could have achieved a much better time for my first half marathon in 25 years. As it was I came in at 1.50:28

Milton Keynes was a month later on 15th December and I was hoping to smash my previous best – especially as it is pretty much a flat course. As seems to happen, progression isn’t a straight line and I had a terrible run. Set off too quickly in a bid to beat my previous time and by 5 miles I was knackered. By mile 10 I could cheerfully have given up. Eventually came in at 1.45.21 but have learned a valuable lesson in pacing.

2014 will start with  bit of Parkrun tourism, a lot of Jantastic and longer runs in a build up to the London Marathon in April. Be back soon

The Start

There are probably thousands of blogs from runners far more experienced and definitely more competent than me, so why add to it? I guess it started with my first run. I’d been making excuses not to run for days, weeks even. I would get as far as putting all the gear on and sitting in the kitchen lacing up my shoes. A couple of spots of rain on the conservatory roof and the trainers would be off quicker than Usain Bolt off the starting line. Finally, I ran out of excuses, the weather was fair and I tentatively set off for my first run. Living on an estate, though, meant there was no possibility of starting out running confidently from my front door through the streets. Too many people to point and laugh on the way through. No, luckily I had my dog with me so I could pretend I just happened to go for a walk dressed like this until I got away from anyone I might know.  Final hurdle over I hacked up a nonchalant cough and started my first stumbling steps toward becoming a runner. Down barely used footpaths I fumbled my way lungs burning and shin splints starting until I saw a lady of a certain age crouching, perfectly still, staring intently into the opposite bush. Thinking she might have spotted some rare type of fauna I approached quietly and stealthily trying not to disturb whatever magic of nature she had spied. At exactly the moment she noticed me and turned to look over, I realised that here was a woman with trousers round her ankles and that the look of concentration of her face was far removed from one trying to recall the genus of some rarely sighted willow warbler.  In a typically British scene we both apologised profusely and I ran on. This, I decided, was the sport for me