The race that has always been at the back of my mind when I think about running is the Gin Pit Marathon, it’s a very low key and very local event to me here in Lancashire and one that I partly completed a couple of years ago before injury forced my withdrawal after 18 miles … and I have decided to make this my target race – THE one that I want to run in full from start to finish.
The course is one large loop taking in 11 miles of canal tow path, 9 miles of trails, which are mostly derived from disused railway lines and there will be 6 miles on public roads, very flat in the main but also very challenging as well, the weather can play a big part with the possibility of lots of mud and puddles if the rain comes down hard for a few weeks. It’s not a course that you run “for a time”, its a course to just get round and complete – it’s perfect for this project.
and so that is the easy decision made, I now have my first point on the plan .. assuming of course my entry is accepted when it opens in September. I will run the Sunday marathon and I will complete it without stopping.
With that in mind, it was time to complete Training Run 1 – the first small steps towards 7 months of hard work and effort to prove to myself that I still have it, to prove that I can still set myself hard challenges and actually complete them. This is quite big for me !
My first run was nothing special, in fact it was anything but … it was a 250m walk, then a 3.7km run and another 250m walk all a gentle pace and yes it was hard work at first, a week away on holiday and a birthday party last night meant I was not best prepared and no running since 31.03.2015 also left me with little in the tank – I said I was starting pretty much from ground zero didn’t I !!!
It’s a start, we all have to start somewhere and this was my somewhere … hopefully in a few weeks that somewhere will be a little leaner and a little faster but for now it’s a happy somewhere because I am off and running again.
During the course of my training I will be looking at all kinds of things that I have done before and looking how I might do them differently this time. Nutrition is something I have learned a lot about whilst on the bike, the fact that you don’t need all those gels and energy bars for rides up to 3-4 hours. You can do those on water, and so I am going to try the same with the running – it will be hard at first I am sure and the adaptation will take a few weeks or even months, but the freedom this will give me will be immense and it will make me a stronger better prepared runner.
Core and Gym work will be a feature of the week, one or possibly two days dedicated to this alone will help keep the body functioning properly – combined with my regular sports massage this will be the key to making sure all is working well as the training intensifies. Making sure I get one day to cycle will also be important – I have always believed that cycling cures many issues with the body and mind and the change from running will help keep me fresh.
I am also going to have a go at giving up the booze, we eat generally very well in our house having made the changes to this over the course of the last 12 months – lots of fresh stuff, a variety of things and little processed rubbish, but we have remained stable with our drinking habits and I am sure that cutting this out will have a big benefit to the training and body composition. It will require commitment and dedication, as I like a pint or a glass of wine, but with this project I am enthused … so my last glass of wine was last night and that’s that !
My wife and I are entered into the Wigan 10km event at the start of September and we planned all along to jog this together, so we have our first target to aim for and then I will pick other events to use as stepping stones in the progression up to the race next March.
Off we Go !!!