Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Marathon Goal

Over the years I've done a couple of races - 5Ks, 10Ks and two half marathons. Not much but enough for my needs. There is one race missing in that list. Yes - you guessed it - the marathon - the 26.2mile monster.
I haven't taken part in a marathon yet because I've only ever wanted to run the London marathon and that is because of it's fame and popularity. Unfortunately for three years now I've not been able to get a place in this most prestigious of races.
Early this year I realise there was something wrong with that thinking. Why am I so fixated on the London marathon? I am a runner: it should not matter what race I take part in as long as I put in the miles and finish. Right? So I made up my mind I was going to run a marathon this year. It wouldn't matter where. It was time to take on those 26.2 miles.
I shopped around looking for one that met my needs and fit into my running goals for the year. Initially I picked the Marathon in Chester but due to a conflict in interest at work I had to change that. I finally settled on the National Lottery Marathon in Dublin, Ireland on the 31st of October.
I'm in my tenth week of training and it's all going according to plan. No injuries and absolutely no doubts. Come 31st October I will be one of the thousands of runners pushing myself to the edge.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

In The Beginning.....

When I started running about seven years ago it was simply to stay fit. I never envisaged myself running in races and becoming something of a running fanatic. I did not even take it seriously. I was not a regular runner. I only ran when I had time, when it was convenient and when I felt my waistline was getting too big. And when I did run it was not for long. I can't remember doing anything more than twenty minutes back then.
All that changed in 2006 when I was first diagnosed with High Blood Pressure. My doctor at the time told me he did not want me relying on medication to treat the condition. He wanted me to make some serious lifestyle changes that included changing my diet and exercising a lot more than I was doing at the time.
I did consider other forms of fitness like soccer, swimming, and the gym. Soccer I considered too risky for a guy my age, swimming was expensive and there was no pool in my neighbourhood. And the gym was just too expensive for me at the time. So I settled for running.
Three things helped make that decision an easy one. One, I realised running was something I could do anywhere, anytime and at minimal cost. Two, there were a lot more people into running than I thought. Three, I discovered Runnersworld and a little known website called A whole new world was opened to me and before you could say running I had fallen head over heels in love with running.
I was scouring the Internet for training plans, nutritional tips and all things running. I was mapping out routes, doing long runs and taking part in races. My weight dropped, I felt better about myself and other areas of my life was positively impacted.
It's not been smooth sailing over the years. I've had my share of injuries from shin splints to hamstring problems to problems with my toes, knees and ankles. All these injuries at one point or another have kept me from running but I never lost my love for the sport if anything it has grown stronger over the years.
I am still here, still running, still having the time of my life.