No. 3 – Marathon Day Marathon, Deal, Kent

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Three down, seventeen to go !

Marathon Day = 26/2 ……. Marathon distance = 26.2

Struggled in the ‘run’ up to this one with niggles and life, so glad to get it done in just over three and a half hours with almost as much sleep the night before.

Well organised and friendly race, but I’ll be glad to start running with friends in the coming marathons and seeing some familiar faces supporting.

Thanks to Kent Fire and Rescue Service and the guys at Deal Fire Station for putting me up for the night, much appreciated.

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Learning points :

  • I love my sleep … and I miss it
  • Saxon Shore goody bags will take some beating

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No.2 – Darwin Day Marathon, Shrewsbury Sports Village

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Two down, eighteen to go !

Blimey it’s cold up north. Shrewsbury was covered in a crisp layer of frost as I arrived at Shrewsbury Sports Village, the venue for the Darwin Day Marathon so named to celebrate the great man’s birthday.

I’d not really done an awful lot to prepare for this one, partly due to the niggle I’d been managing, and partly due to the fact I was trying to get miles in and tapering at the same time. In between marathon No.1 and this, the longest run I got in was just over 16 miles, along with one of 15, one of 10 and the rest between 5 and 8, not my usual preparation but then I guess this isn’t a usual year.

I’d wrapped up well anticipating the cold but it didn’t make much difference as I was still freezing for the first 42 laps. Yep, that’s right 42 laps of a running / cycle track ! If my brain hadn’t frozen it certainly would’ve numbed after about 5 laps.

The organisation was good and the organisers friendly, but the course wasn’t particularly inspiring and became a struggle fairly early on.

I managed to keep an even pace of sub 8 minute miles for the first 19, eased off a little for a few, but by about 24 miles I kind of switched off, got chatting and had a little wander !  Despite this I managed a pretty respectable three hours and thirty five minutes, and I was certainly glad to get this one out of the way.

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Learning points :

  • Track Marathons are tedious …. I shall not run another
  • Support from friends and family should never be underestimated …. I missed my crew on this one !
  • Someone telling you how many laps you still have to go every time you run past the eventual finish line doesn’t make for a happy Noddy
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“Running in circles doesn’t always mean finishing where you started”

“You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”

Whoever came up with that quote obviously never had the opportunity to appreciate what they had.

Maybe it was an early wake up call that made me appreciate the person I miss every day, and I take some comfort from the fact that we had a great time while it lasted, and I’ll always be thankful that I had the opportunity to spend the time that I did with such a special person.

Dark days come and fortunately they do go, which got me to thinking about what I’ve got now that I can be thankful for. It goes without saying that the family I have left and friends mean so much to me and have helped keep me afloat for which I am grateful.

But if I couldn’t run I don’t know where I’d be now.

And I guess that’s where these random musings are leading. I know how lucky I am to be able to run, the places running has taken me and the people I’ve met. Running has become my own personal therapy and a lifeline.

And so I find it somewhat frustrating that I seem unable to reign myself in on runs. It’s a release, a safe place to vent my frustrations and anger …. unless you’re a careless dog owner or driver of course ! But I also know I have the potential to injure myself if I continue at the same intensity on every run, which is why I’m grateful for another wake up call.

I’ve had a bit of a niggle that I’ve been trying to manage and so I took a self-imposed rest for a week which affected me how I knew it would. I’ve gently eased myself back in and am glad to be back out on the road again.

I’m now hoping, despite a speedy 10 miles today, that my sensible head will make an appearance. I originally planned to ‘look’ at a race this year to target for a PB, but I’ve now decided that my original plan to just survive and complete the year will be my priority. Prompted by my extreme phobia of a sedentary life and humbled by peoples generosity, I feel I owe it to everyone to slow down and get them all done.

I know what it feels like to lose the most important part of my life ….. it’s not a good place to be.

Roll on Friday.

“Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast”