I started “running” when I was at uni. Never more than a couple of miles, but if I am honest, I was hungover most the time so let’s just say it was the elements of youth on my side that actually allowed me to actually run!
From the moment I stepped off the plane, I knew I was home. Nowhere else (and still doesn’t) felt like home. The mindset of the population is all about being outdoors. It’s the norm there. So, I started running to get fit. Running wasn’t my goal. I’d met a bunch of “climbers” and a couple of others that I’d made friends with who liked to climb, so I started to run to shift the weight to help make climbing more possible for me.
It’s here I did my first half-marathon a couple of informal ones as part of my “getting fit” attitude but also the Auckland Half. I got the t-shirt and coming round the corner to my name being read aloud of the tannoy made me feel like an Olympic athlete. I run it in about 2:35!! So not at all fast, but the first experience of it’s kind. From there on in, running became an actual past time I enjoyed.
When I returned to the UK, I signed up for the Edinburgh Marathon. It was the suggested alternative should your London Marathon ballot place be declined. I made my own training plan and sort of stuck to it for at least the first 2/3s of my training.
I remember running well the first half, run-walking a lot of the second half and then at the 20ish mile marker, hitting the wall so badly I walked the last 6. My time, somewhere around 5:30 hours. I do however want to say, at the time I lived in Bognor Regis, a very flat coastline central south of the UK. Hills are not something we are used to. Edinburgh, however, is made of them. So this and running head-on into the wind as it whipped up across the beach as you hit the coast road made the marathon memorable for being one of the toughest things I had done at that point in my life.
Knowing how hard Edinburgh had been I had trained hard for this and was doing reasonably well having left my running partner miles behind. Around 2/3s into the course, I got a phone call. He’d tripped and hurt his back and was literally lying in the side of the road somewhere in Paris. So I actually quit and run back the length of the course to help him. I never completed and still want closure for it to this day!
MK Half Marathons
I’ve done the odd MK Half Marathon as well whilst living in Milton Keynes. Again with little training before hand and got around 2:40.
London Marathon – I’ve paid to do it twice now – but not done it.
I think the rumour is that on your 6th consecutive year of trying for a public ballot place, they offer you one. The summer I find out I successfully get one is the summer I had just fallen pregnant with my first daughter. The Marathon was 4 weeks after her due date. So I paid a second time to defer it. With the right circumstances, they allow you to do so. So then I became one of the very few people to know 18 months in advance that I had a place guaranteed. $ weeks after giving birth, I started running. My training was going well. That is until 3 weeks before the marathon and I had appendicitis! I’ve been trying for a place via the ballot again ever since.
General knowledge about myself and running.
I have learnt that when I push my training past a half marathon distance my left leg shows signs of ITB. So I am wiser then I have ever been before now that I am running again.
I’ve bought and read all the books on technique and training plans and so intend to actually put them into practice this time around.
What I have never done is taken my diet seriously. I’ve always eaten what I wanted as the number of physical activities I would do kept the weight under control. But that is now changing also. I have a more sedentary lifestyle sitting at an office desk and less free with my time due to kids being with me when I’m not working. So now I’ve really got to take control of both diet and exercise if I want to feel like I used to and run well.