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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Good luck Mr Wells

Good luck Mr Wells

THIS weekend’s blog post is all about this man.

gnr-pic-4

Chris, my fiancé, is running the Florence Marathon. Here he is supporting me at this year’s Great North Run. Tomorrow, I will be supporting him as he takes on the 26.2 mile distance for the fifth time.

His previous marathons were:

  • Blackpool, 2009, 3 hrs 55
  • Berlin, 2009, 5 hrs 19 (he ran with me, and I’d not trained)
  • Edinburgh, 2014, 2 hrs 53
  • York, 2015, 2 hrs 45 for 14th place!

Chris has been training hard for this marathon. While I’ve had several dramas and running-disasters, Chris has been quietly getting on with things. He’s put in the miles, and has even done Continue reading

Looking for an autumn marathon

This idea I’ve had to run a marathon won’t seem to go away. I’ve tried to talk myself out of it, but it’s not working.

It keeps coming to the front of my mind. I wish it wouldn’t.

A marathon is a long way. It will involve miles of training. I’d have to make my long run more than 12 miles. It’ll be exhausting. It’ll take over my life. It might make me slower. I might get injured. And then there’s the time factor. What with work and the horses and study I’m pressed for time as it is.

I keep returning to these points, trying to talk myself out of it. So far, it hasn’t worked.

If I did decide to do a marathon which marathon would I choose? I decided to do a little research. I’m not committing to anything just yet (or at all), but a bit of research wouldn’t hurt.

The marathon would have to be in the autumn. I know there’s New York in November. Then there’s Dublin, Amsterdam and Florence. Closer to home there’s Nottingham, Leicester, Chester. Loch Ness, and Abingdon.

So many to choose from.

I’m no closer to making a decision. Do I run? Do I leave it for a year or so? If I run, which marathon do I choose? The UK or abroad? I’m not sure at all.

Thinking of a marathon

AFTER months of training in the cold and dark winter months, spring could finally have arrived.

The sun is shining, the sky a brilliant blue, and although there is still a chill in the air it is much warmer than it has been.

My run today was an off-road 12 miler in the Yorkshire countryside. Most of my winter training is done in the dark, which means I stay on the road. It was fantastic to be out running in daylight and off-road. For me, this really does mark the end of winter and the start of spring.

This is one of my favourite times of year. The extra daylight makes so much difference to training, to everything really. I always feel more positive in spring. I get a feeling that anything is possible. I really got that feeling today. In fact, a few miles into the run when I was relaxing and letting my mind drift, well, I started thinking about marathons.

This rarely happens. I’m not a marathon runner. This is what I tell myself. This is what I tell other people. Say NO to marathons should be my mantra.

I’ve done two marathons in my life. One in 2006. One in 2009. I survived both, but it was messy, very messy. The training was all wrong.  I didn’t really know what I was doing. The first one took six hours (45 minutes queuing for the loo), the second five hours 19 minutes.

Since then, I’ve focused on getting faster, and decided to avoid marathons. When anyone mentions the M word,  the barrier goes up. Say No to marathons. It’s a long way. It involves doing a lot of long runs, and long runs aren’t really my thing.

But today, as I was running through the woods and enjoying myself in the sunshine, I actually thought that maybe I could run another marathon, and run it well. Anything’s possible.

I could learn to love my long run. I could get into the right mindset. I might even enjoy it. If I did an autumn marathon it would be lovely to train through the summer months.

‘When’s the New York marathon?’ I asked Chris.

‘It’s late on. November. It’s always cold.’

I pictured myself running through Manhattan, over the bridges, through Central Park. If someone had given me an entry form today, I would have signed up, no messing.

But could I run a marathon?

‘You could do it.’ It was as though Chris was reading my mind. ‘You could.’

He’s right. I could. With spring here, and a long summer to come, maybe it’s time to put the doubts to one side, to believe in myself.

‘Do you want to run a marathon?’ Chris asked.

‘I’ll think about it.’

uploaded March 2016 636

I took this photo late afternoon, when it was just starting to cloud over and get dark.