Hello and welcome to a brief intro that I hope explains the reason for this blog.
To cut a long story short I was very active in my 20s and 30s, playing football and cricket as much as I could and walking everywhere. I’d never really considered running though, except to catch a bus or to make last orders. Ok, mostly to make last orders. Looking back on my cricket playing makes me cringe a little. I was fundamentally a defensive batsman due to a) not wanting to get his by a very hard ball with a prominent seam and b) not wanting to run much. But, still, I ticked over.
Then I got to 40 and found myself with two children. I still haven’t forgiven the bloke who dropped them round ours one night and buggered off. I did no exercise at all. Too old for football and with damaged knees. Cricket took a WHOLE DAY which, if you’re married with kids, you will understand you get to spare once every four years. I still liked eating and I very much liked drinking wine. You can guess what happened. I ballooned like a Weather Girl at a free, all you can eat buffet.
Anyway, in January 2015 my lovely friend Nicki and a group of mums from my kids’ school decided to challenge themselves to get fit and lead a healthier lifestyle by entering the BM10K, the “easier” race that goes off before the Brighton Marathon and I somehow ended up involved. As now I kept a running diary. I just didn’t publish it. I’ll be publishing bits and pieces from it on here as we go.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, while picking up my 10K number I entered again for the following year. In the big race. You know, the one that lasts 26.2 miles.
I trained for a year, entered many races, got myself an online coach, went through many, many pairs of shoes, lost an awful lot of weight, got sort of fit, worked out strategies for gels, protein bars and hydration and, at the end, I finished my very first marathon with a sense of massive disappointment.
DISAPPOINTMENT? Hang on, you ask, what happened to the roar of the crowd and the send of achievement? The adrenaline of the marathon finish line? Well, yes, I had all that I suppose. The problem was the time. I finished in the deeply annoying time of 4:00:06. That’s right, I missed sub-4 by seven seconds. Less than the time it takes Bolt to run 100 meters. The precise time it takes Youssou N’Dour to wait for something. Seven. Bloody. Seconds.
Then I got injured.
In fact I got very injured. Twice. My left knee swelled and filled with liquid after a ten mile training run. I went to one physio who thought it might have been my tendon swelling and gave me some exercises that eased it off but then I had to fly to Cyprus for work (I know, I can hear you playing the violin) and five hours sitting on Easyjet pulled the tendon so tight that I couldn’t walk for two weeks by the time I landed back home.
I was out till May 2017. I tried a few comeback runs but every time I went quicker than mega easy – 10:30 minute miles in my case by then – the knee hurt again. In May and June I managed a few trail runs and the Worthing 10K (six minutes worse than my PB) and then I got a massive groin strain playing football with my son and then I did my knee again by compensating when I ran. Out till January 2018.
So this is why I’m the comeback runner. Except for a slight hamstring strain two weeks ago I have not been injured since January. I ran Brighton half on only six weeks training (twelve goddamed minutes slower than my PB) and switched my deferred marathon place from 2017 to a 10K place in 2018.
All of which is a very long way of publicly stating that I have one goal, and one goal only. Next year, Brighton Marathon 2019, I will enter and I will beat my PB by at least eight seconds to get that magic “3” next to my name. Or I’ll get injured trying. And the journey starts by reacquainting myself with the whole, wonderful, Brighton Marathon weekend to get my mojo up to raring to go. A year to get sub 4 starts here with a 10K fun run.