Florence Marathon – a year on

IT’S a year since Chris and a few of my friends ran the Florence Marathon. A year! I can’t believe it.

I should have been running too, especially as I was the one who suggested it in the first place. I encouraged everyone to sign up. ‘It’ll be brilliant,’ I said. ‘Let’s do it!’ I was well up for it. A marathon in one of the finest cities in the world, who wouldn’t want to do it.

Florence with Rolf and Chris

With Rolf and Chris

My enthusiasm lasted about a month, if that. The doubts soon set in. ‘It’s a long way,’ I told Chris. ‘I don’t think I’m up to it.’ My knees started hurting just thinking about it. A few weeks later I got injured (the knee) and decided that I wasn’t strong enough to run 26.2 miles.

Instead I Continue reading

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Finding the time and motivation to train

Finding the time and motivation to train

TO reach your running potential you have to train hard, keep motivated and prioritise running. Unfortunately since returning from honeymoon in July I’ve struggled to find the time or motivation necessary to do well. I’ve really not been bothered.

You could say I’ve been coasting, happy to run when I feel like it, happy to have days off. It’s been a choice I’ve made because other things in my life have taken priority including starting a new job, launching a creative writing group, and doing a master’s degree in writing. As well as this I commute for at least ten hours a week (AT LEAST!), have three horses, two dogs and a rabbit to look after, not forgetting the husband, who I’d love to spend more time with if only there were more hours in the day.

Running has plummeted to the bottom of my list of priorities. I’ve still trained, but not in the consistent or hard way that’s necessary to make progress. I knew I’d lost fitness, so I decided to do a few parkruns and a 10k race to assess the damage. I completed a hilly parkrun in 21.44 minutes and a flat 10k in 42.16, both are a long way from my best but I was pleased with them.

That said, I know I can do better. I know that Continue reading

Great Eastern Run 2017

Great Eastern Run 2017

WHEN I signed up for the Great Eastern Half Marathon earlier this year I had one goal in mind – to break one hour thirty. I was full of good intentions, had a great training plan and was determined to do it.

But then life got in the way. Degree finals, a postgraduate diploma submission, wedding planning and honeymooning all put an end to my sub-one-thirty hopes. Regular readers of my blog might have noticed that I did two weeks of training updates and then stopped. There was no time to train, let alone write about training.

I did what I could, a few track sessions here, a few long runs there, but it was difficult and my heart wasn’t really in it. Rather than pull out of the race, I decided to do it anyway.

Before Chris and I started training a bit more seriously, we were fun runners. We would happily turn up at a half marathon having not done much training, and get round in whatever time we could. One year we rocked up to the Blackpool Half after a particularly boozy holiday in Portugal. We’d done hardly any training but got round in two hours and fifteen minutes. It was fun and just completing the race was an achievement.

So, rather than pull out of the Great Eastern Half, we decided we would return to our carefree days of running. I was definitely not going to break one hour thirty. I was definitely not going to be anywhere near my one hour thirty-four personal best, but I was going to enjoy it.

The aim was to finish with a smile on my face.

‘Is that possible?’ Chris asked. ‘It’s a Continue reading