A brutally honest post!

If you only put the minimum in then you’ll only get the minimum results!

And then if you complain about under achieving you have only you to blame!

I aim those two lines squarely at myself.

No doubt I’ve not been putting enough in over the last few years and quietly feeling grumpy because I can’t get close to my personal bests etc…

I’ve also gone off on tangents such as taking time away from running at the start of 2013 and then I followed the length of the River Trent last year just because I didn’t know much about my home town river and with my Friend Drew raised over £800 for our local children’s hospice.

I’m doing much better this year and since the end of November I’ve been working to build endurance back into my legs but I’ve still struggled with motivation despite my goal of running 6 full marathons on consecutive days culminating in the final run on Sunday the 5th July at the Potteries marathon.

I’ve had lots going on and not much of it’s been good but that shouldn’t stop me from accomplishing my goal of completing a 3rd 6 Towns Run event. And it’s no excuse

I said from the off that this would be my last crazy running and fund raising challenge (though I never say never) I do still intend this to be the curtain call.

So it’s up to me to reset the clock and start full training NOW. Because if not now then when? Time is running out, the clock is ticking ever closer to the return of the full Potteries Marathon on July 5th 2015 http://www.potteriesmarathon.co.uk/ and I still feel a thousand miles from where I need to be if I’m going to do this and come out the other end relatively unscathed.

So the big question is; can I change my body and build the strength and fitness in 3 months? My longest run to date is 15 miles! I’ve a lot to do in a short space of time but this is kind of how I work so I’m not too worried (yet).

At the start of 2010 my life wasn’t working and for reasons I’ll pick up at a later time I needed to make amends; I needed to ask myself some big questions about trust and was I a good man!

So I started 2010 as I meant to go on and did a few bits for charity and I even give a blood donation despite having a phobia of blood and needles! As you can guess it didn’t end well for me but at least they got my donation!

Then in March of that year I set riveted to the spot watching Eddie Izzard’s Sport Relief marathon running program and realised I could do that; abet on a smaller scale and in my 6 towns of Stoke-on-Trent and so at the tail end of May 2010 with less then 10 weeks prep I set off on the 6 Towns Run and made just over £1000 for the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice in Trentham.

Though I had a good 4 months of training for the 2012 6 Towns Run X2 I did a similar thing with the River Trent Trek and only fully committed to the trek with perhaps 7 or 8 weeks to go.

So here I am having had over a year to get ready for this and now with 3 months to go I’m just about to start getting serious.

Oops…

Time to employ my methodology of life; the Triple D: – and in no particular order Dedication, Discipline and Determination.

That and my slap stick comedy sense of life will see me cross the finish line on the 5th of July.

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A Time and Choosing Of My Own

o this is where I’m at right now; it’s not been the best of years for running! After taking the first six months off in 2013 due to feeling tired and out of sorts; 2014 was the year I regained my love for running and hopefully hit a few PB’s.

This is what actually happened; I tore my calf muscle on New Years day at my home parkrun and limped home. Then a close friend asked a question “would anyone be interested in seeing the return of the Potteries Marathon”? I laughed at this and replied “If you make this happen then it goes without saying that I’ll run it 6 times in 6 consecutive days!” I never could have guessed that only a couple of months later I’d be part of the team organising the return of this iconic race for 2015…And, as a man of my word I said I’d run the race as my 6th consecutive marathon in 6 days so the third ‘6TownsRun’ was set up.

What no one knew at this time was that I’d already started to plan a huge challenge for this summer; I kept that quiet for a long time as I was very worried about how I’d cope in a canoe; not to mention how a runner with decent levels of endurance would adapt to 10 to 12 hours of canoeing for days on end. (For more on this search River Trent Trek on Facebook.) To cut a long story short, it was a great success. Drew and I had a great adventure and at some point we will write down on paper the 7 day river Trent Trek from the source to the sea.

I had high hopes that all the work I put in to strengthen my back and arms would benefit my running. I also gambled that long distance walking would help, its all time on my feet after all. However, since the trek my feet have been a constant cause for concern.

Before the trek I had supreme belief that my feet were built proof. Having only had one tiny blood blister from my first ever marathon I thought I could walk and walk and not have any problems…I couldn’t have been more wrong; my feet fell apart over the last 3 days of the trek which was to be expected but even three months on my feet seem to be prone to blistering easily so I’m doing all I can to protect them and toughen the skin on my soles.

Once home from the Trek my health took a nose dive and I subsequently had to pull out of the Chester Marathon which was meant to be a training step on the road to July 2015 and what was going to be my final ‘6TownsRun’.

Due to my calf injury at the start of the year I also had to pull out of the Flying Fox marathon which was also on my training program for the 6TownsRun #3. Things weren’t going well and, stupidly I still ran at the Great North Run a week after the Trek as well as the Stoke 10K the following week where I injured my calf again leading to another period on the sidelines.

All of this combined with much greater responsibilities in my day job, continuous work helping to build the 2015 Potteries Marathon and at times a complete lack of motivation has meant that my year of getting back into shape and training for my toughest ‘6TownsRun’ has been somewhat dismal!

2012 was my glory year in running, where I PB’s in every distance from the mile to the marathon, helped my team to 9th place in the Thunder Run and raised over £2000 from the 6 Towns Run X 2; by the end of that year I started to ask some big questions such as ‘do I want to carry on running’? And ‘why do I run’?

Almost two years on I still find myself wrestling with these questions and, if I’m honest I don’t really consider myself much of a runner these days. I certainly wouldn’t define myself as a runner now. But I also don’t think that’s a bad thing, for a while last year and even in 2012 I would over analyse my reasoning and answers to those big questions about running. Nowadays I just think if I don’t feel like running anymore then that’s fine and there’s no point trying to look deeper into the reasons behind it. The only problem with this is that I feel like I’m not completely finished with running yet. If I’m done with running then I’d prefer to be the one to choose a time to call it a day.

As for the final ‘6TownsRun’ next year; I still feel like the dream is alive and it’s something I still want to have a crack at. I can honestly say that I’m not too bothered about racing these days but I would love to do one last big charity run.

So this is where I’m at right now. I feel very unfit and unmotivated but I have been running more this month and I plan on taking part in something on Twitter called Advent Running, which is to run each day to Christmas Day. The hope is that if I can do this and nothing goes wrong then I’ll be in a good position to really start to up my training in January and February.

So one way or another I’ll know by the end of the year now if I’ve still got the desire to run and to work hard towards a goal.

Not many athletes leave behind their sport at a time and choosing of their own; most are seen limping off into the wilderness after trying to carry on and ignoring the bodies own signals both physically and emotionally or in some cases just through bad luck and injury.

…I’d prefer not to go that way.

So I’m not done with running yet; I’ve purchased a new pair of running shoes and will start to research HADD Training while doing the Advent Run Challenge throughout December.

I’ll keep you posted and let’s hope I can end the year on a sound footing.

coming back

Hello old friend, it’s been a long time.

I took time out last year to focus on other things and running took a back seat. Many people were surprised by this, at my peak fitness with PB’s in all distances I stopped. Ok some of which was forced by injury but I’d got board of running and racing.

However it never quite went away, and at the back of my mind ideas and challenges quietly fizzed away; ideas that I’d try to ignore; ludicrous ideas about running ridicules distances.
2014 started with no great desire or expectation to start running again but the ideas and thoughts in my head kept on getting louder.

I’d always intended to take on one last 6 Towns Run challenge and it was only a matter of personal confidence regarding my level of fitness that kept delaying me. Timing, they say is everything!
Plus I had so many different ideas to raise money via another running challenge that is was difficult to make a decision and stick to it.

Motivation also plays its part in all that we do each day. What will drive me to put my running kit back on and make the necessary sacrifice’s to achieve my goals.

Back in 2010 when I first hit the road in aid of the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice I had the grand idea of one day running the original Potteries Marathon route as a fundraiser.
At that time I’d never run a full marathon and the thought seemed a big challenge to me.
I’ve since gone on to run two full marathons and mostly hated the whole thing from the training to the races though I did enjoy running with some of my best friends I know via Twitter at the Portsmouth marathon in 2012.
But I have to admit that I’m no big fan of running 26.2 miles!

So when at the beginning of 2014 a good friend of mine asked the question “would runners like to see the return of the Full Potteries Marathon”?
I immediately said “it goes without saying that I’ll run it 6 times in 6 days in aid of the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice”.

There will never be a right time in your life to do something amazing. If you wait for that perfect moment, it will never happen. We come up with thousands of reasons not to do something, the timing will never be right and how do you measure perfect!
You have to create that opportunity.

And so the challenge has been set.
6 Potteries Marathons in 6 consecutive days in July 2015.
At the same time this is the beginning of the end of the 6 Towns Runner and brings closure to a period of my life which has taken me from such amazing heights of happiness to some of the darkest moments of my life.

It feels right to do this now; I’ll hit the grand old age of 40 in 2015 and always wanted to celebrate it with a new charity running challenge.
Through the first 3 months of 2014 have been wreaked by injury and illness I have never taken my eye off the prize and can visualise running the final marathon with lots of support and friends with me as I cross that finish line.

So this is my first blog post regarding the 6 Towns Run 2015, I need to think of a better title for the challenge but for now that will do.
So as far as an update of how my training has been going I can summarise that by saying- my training has restarted the week commencing the 17th of March with a total of 10 miles run and two gym visits.
I literarily have a mountain to climb but so long as I stick to my “rough” plan and have better luck with injuries I’m confident that I have the time to build up to this and ultimately conquer 6 Potteries Marathon over 6 days in July next year.

And once I start to see an improvement in my fitness then I’ll say “it’s good to be back”.

To find out more about the return of the Potteries marathon 11 years after it left the streets of North Staffordshire look up “Full Potteries Marathon” on facebook and follow @BringBackPotts on Twitter.

one of those days!

Have you ever had one of those days where you leave home at 4:15 in the morning and 5 hours later you find your self running through a field of cows on a wind swept Parkrun in the North East of England?
Well that happened to me over the May-day bank holiday weekend; and it only got more surreal when I had to carry on running from the Parkrun in Newcastle to get to my next race a couple of miles away in Jesmond Dene which started at 10am and was then put into the elite start! Like I’m anything but an elite runner!!!

So how did all this madness come about? Well I can’t blame anyone but myself for being so dumb as to drive over 200 miles north in the early hours and then run two back to back 5k races; though strictly speaking the Parkrun is a timed run not a race.
One of my best running friends Anji Ripon had a number for a local charity run The Bright Red Freeman 5K http://www.brightred.org.uk/
I originally thought this was on Sunday so I decided I’d make a weekend of it and do the Newcastle Parkrun on Saturday morning and the Freeman run the following day and then go out on the Toon with my North East friends that evening! Once I realised both races clashed I looked at the map and thought it was possible to do both but I’d have to hit a good time in the Parkrun to give myself enough time to get to race 2.
Matters were further complicated by the fact I had to register before 9:45 for the Freeman hospital run!
Anji and I got to Exhibition Park with about 10 minutes to spare and I was duly introduced to some of her running friends and people I knew from Twitter or blogs I read. I was very impressed to meet Craig Smith a Heaton Harrier who ran Boston and London marathons and wrote this fab blog http://www.heatonharriers.org.uk/a-tale-of-two-cities-part-one-craig-smiths-marathon-odyssey/
It was also great to meet Fred Henderson who’s a bit of a local legend up in the North East running scene and is always the trail runner at the Newcastle Parkrun and like many others he freely gives so much of his time to helping out at races.

I knew that this was going to be the biggest Parkrun I’d ran and looked around and estimated at least 300 runners gathered on a path in a long snaking precession with the likes of Craig Smith and other fast runners near the starting flags. I was about two thirds back. I listened to the parkrun director go through the usual information about the course and thanking the volunteers. He then asked if there was any visitors from other Parkrun’s, I thrust my hand up and wearing my green vest I got a shout out for Trentham running club at which someone shouted “Oat Cakes”! And a few others greeted me with much amusement when I said I’d driven there that morning!

As the run got underway I soon found the path to be very congested and it took about 2k’s into the run for me to feel comfortable with the amount of space I had to run and to run at a pace I was more happy with, it had a bit of stop start at the beginning. The run was also a very gradual up hill at first, until it levelled out onto the Town Moor and then the strong wind hit me in the faces. It was quite an exposed area and much to my surprise the field in which we ran also contained a herd of cows!

As we ran along the paths on the outside of the field cows wandered about in the centre and seemed utterly unfazed by the sight of hundreds of runners going around the outside of there patch of grass.
This made me laugh as it was the last thing I’d expect to see in a Parkrun.
The course is a single lap of the Town Moor area and without the cows to look at it would be a tad boring, though running out of the park and onto a pavement for part of the run was also a new Parkrun experience for me and going through a small gate gave me a chance of a quick rest before we all sped up again.
Once back into the park it was time to get a shift on and I crossed the line on 24.17 which I must admit I wasn’t that happy with as the course is mostly flat. Once through I had to stand in line to get my bar code scanned by one of the two scanning volunteers. Also new to see a Parkrun event being run on an industrial scale; but I guess when you have 300 or 400 runners each week your organisation will be efficient and well managed.
Once I’d been scanned and handed in my finish token (finisher number 206) myself and Anji jogged back to her car to whisk me off to my next race.

It was only a 2 mile drive from the Parkrun and I got there in the nick of time. I was the final person to register before they closed it down.
Without a minute to loose we headed to the start of race number 2 and one of the organisers called me over and without even realising it at first I was put into the elite start. I protested this but to no avail. I must have looked the part as I was one of only a few in club vests. I looked around at my fellow runners lined up with me away from the masses with a feeling of doom in the pit of my stomach. Even on my best day when I was a fully fit 6 towns runner I’d shy away from this; however I’m all for new experiences and this was surly a once in a life time moment. My first elite start in an actual race!
We even had a brief discussion about the pace we’d set. Sub 18 minutes for the whole 5K was the general consensus! It was about then that I said ‘you must be joking, I feel sick’.
But off we went; a full 5 minutes before the main race got underway and I made a plan in my head to not let any of the runners from the main race get in front of me. Like so many of my plans this was doomed to failure but before that I had personal pride to protect and so I ran my heart out for the first mile and managed to over take one of my elite compatriots. This gave me a lift and then we started to head down into the Dene and out of the wind and the sun started to poke out from the clouds. As I ran down quite a steep decent all I could think about was running back up this in about half a miles time! Then I spotted another elite runner stopping to re-tie her lace. I ran past her and managed to keep her behind me for the remainder of the race which I felt was some achievement. As the run hit a switch back and we started back up the path to the top of the Dene and the finish an upstart from the main race came flying past me at lighting speed. ‘Surely he should have had my spot in the elite start’. He not only got past me but went on to finish 3rd.

By now it was mid morning the Dene was filling up with people out to enjoy the warm spring sunshine and so I soon found myself dodging past lots of people relaxing by the lake and encountering the odd geese or two along the way.

By this point and for the reminder of the race I was on my own or I thought I was. In the closing 100m I was over taken by another runner from the main race. I used my tried and tested tactic to engage this person in conversation in the hope of slowing him down. He said sod all and just eased past me! Sigh…. I finished in 25 minutes so I’d gotten slower in race 2 and I thought I might be quicker as I’d warmed up with a parkrun an hour before.
Still I had thoroughly enjoyed racing in a different place and Jesmond Dene is such a lovely place; especially in spring time on a warm sunny day.
I wasn’t especially pleased with my times but considering how unfit I am and the long drive I’d not done to badly.

I’m already planning more Parkrun tourism in the near future too…

Oh and that Saturday’s Newcastle Parkrun was a record attendance with 402 runners and I came 206th which made me feel a little better.

Break time…

Aside

What happens when a runner stops being a runner?
Well lets stop right there; I’ve not stopped running though I have been asking myself that nagging question!
Firstly for anyone not aware; injury to my left foot has brought my running to a halt.
This is unfortunate for two reasons. Firstly; though I always intended to cut back on the amount of running and racing in 2013, I didn’t think I would have to stop all together and secondly it’s disappointing to see all the fitness from my winter marathon vanish. It would have been nice to maintain a base level of running fitness.

I’m all about new experiences; you could say I’m an experiences man! I thrive on the new, the unknown and the latest adventure. All my life I’ve gone out of my way to find that next buzz, the new thing which fires my imagination and helps me feel alive and play an active part in life. Maybe I’ve a short attention span but the moment I feel life has become mundane I shake things up, in the past that has meant booking a few weeks off work to go to a far flung corner of the globe or in an extreme case quit my job and my life in the UK and take a gap year in Australia. I was 27 when I did that and many people thought it was a big risk to take.

The moment someone says to you “that’s a daft idea” you know you’re absolutely doing the right thing.

In June 2007 I was walking into Hanley and lots of runners were flying down Hanley road, it seemed a race was happening. I was wearing tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt; when folk started to clap me and tell me “it’s only another mile” I said “I’m not in the race” but I felt embarrassed and said “what ever this race is I’m going to have to run it next year now”!
The race was the Potters Arf marathon.
By the autumn of 2007 I’d not forgot my promise to start to train up for the 08 Potters Arf but other things had taken over; mainly planning for my next adventure which would take me through South East Asia in the spring of 08.
On a randam Sunday in September I saw that the Great North Run was on TV so I watched most of it. It seemed like a lot of fun this running malarkey.
Up to that point I’d only ever ran for 10 minutes at a time on a treadmill as a means to warm up before my gym workout.
So a week after watching the 07GNR I set off on my first run outside since school and by the end of 07 I was able to run about 4 miles or so.
That’s how I accidentally became a runner!

In the years that followed I discovered that running was a gold mine for finding that buzz and that new rush by physically challenging myself. It seemed an endless way to keep this constant self challenge going. I must run further, I must get under 45 mins for a 10K, I must run a sub 4 hours next time, I must do more back to back half marathons, I must raise the bar even higher and on it goes!

It seems there is an inbuilt desire within me to never settle and always keep looking beyond the horizon and wondering what’s out there.

And so to that question; what’s beyond running, what happens if I decide I need a fresh challenge?
At some point in 2012 my running started to feel like a chore and at times I wasn’t sure if I was enjoying it.
Towards the back end of last year I made a decision to take my life in a slightly differing direction and embark on a new somewhat personal mission.

As I approach the last couple of years in my 30s there is still so much I haven’t done and would like to do and I’d started to feel running was getting in the way and stopping me from addressing areas of my life which I needed to focus on much more.

So I’ve stated attending workshops with the aim of self development and at the end of Feb I start a college course intended to help update my design and web skills and then in April I’m hoping to join the Open College Network and this will be a very intense course which finishes in September.
Its sods law that so far the school nights have all fallen on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights! So it seems even without having a bad foot finding time to run this year will be tough; so much for an autumn marathon!

I’m sure once my foot is fully healed and I start running again I’ll soon find that running hasn’t left me and I don’t want to leave running behind but for now what fires me up is the thought of going on a new personal journey and I haven’t a clue where I’ll end up.

So here are the stats for 2013 so far: – 23 miles ran but a journey of self discovery started…

The marathon day

Aside

I stood on the start line alone in the dimming light with rain stinging my face and an angry wind whipping around me like some giant dinosaur beating its huge bulking tail into the land.

It was Saturday the 22nd of December and I stood on the sea front at Southsea looking out at the darkness laughing “tomorrow is going to be fun”!

I had decided to go for it and run the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside marathon (yeah that is a bit of a mouthful). My knee had been fine for a couple of days and my short 5k run on Wednesday evening had gone well but the knee was painful again as I walked back to my hotel.

I genuinely had no idea if I’d get through the marathon; the best I could hope was that the pain would be manageable.

After a meal with friends I headed back to my hotel to discover there was a band playing at the bar which was conveniently situated beneath my room. I had been warned that there was a function on that night.

Mercifully it was all quiet by 11:30 but I still had a fateful sleep with dreams of putting Vaseline on my feet among others! So I woke feeling very nervous but felt happy to have made it to the day its self.

I went through my usual pre race rituals, a coffee, banana and a bowl of ban flakes all finished off with a Beet It beetroot shot plus some toast and sips of Lucozade sport and some apple juice. To my surprise the 2nd place runner from the 2011 marathon Mark Carwardine was staying at my hotel and we wished each other luck before setting off to the marathon.

The weather was a touch calmer but I still expected rain but for the moment it was dry. I wasn’t able to make it to the marathon expo on Saturday so I picked up my number and timing chip before the race got underway.

I met up with lots of friends and it seemed I’d have company for much of the race. Both Kevin and Andy would pace both my self and another runner Adam who was also aiming for a sub 4 hour marathon.

Despite the last minute knee injury and my short hospital stay with a kidney problem I would still give it my all.

The race got underway the beeping of timers and watches was electrifying and once I got over the blue mats the shuffle soon gave way to a steady jog. Though it’s a low key marathon with about a 1000 runners it was a congested first few minutes with some jostling for position.

The first 2 miles along the Southsea Esplanade were very enjoyable but as we hit the first beach I became aware of pain in my knee. I carried on running as close to my pace as possible but it was tough going on slippery rocks and shingle beaches.

I also had wet feet from 2.5 miles into the race when we ran across a small inlet to the sea. Wow this was a real off road marathon! I felt good and the banter between Kev and Andy was funny.

It wasn’t long before we came upon our first puddles which had become lakes; like me most runners were still trying to skirt around them in a fruitless attempt to keep their feet dry.

At the water station Adam miss took the shots of brandy for an energy drink. This caused great hilarity. I doubt I’ll ever run another race which provided mulled wine and brandy as well as water and energy drinks. I was also very impressed by the huge glass bowls full of jelly babies and jelly beans.

Due to the nature of the course and the time of year spectator support was at a premium and people would often gather at the water and aid stations and this was always a boost.

I motored on and from 10 miles in my right foot was in pain and that would become agony for the rest of the marathon. It distracted me from the left knee pain!

As we approached the turn around point the conditions under foot became much worse.
To say it was a quagmire was an understatement. We ran along a bridle path split down the middle by a fence and the leading runners who had started their return leg ran on the right side with outgoing runners keeping to the left for the remainder of the run. We cheered every one who came past us and made a lot of noise when we spotted people we knew like Mark @MarkCarwardine1 and Brian @churchlard

I remember getting a bit annoyed with a runner in front of me who started to count the runners as they came past him. I thought he’d stop or lose count after 10. I got past him when he was counting the 44th runner pass by!

At the half way point we met up with Emma and shared a hug and had some water and jelly babies before starting our return leg. I really liked the fact that it was a there and back run; it was also the first time I’d experienced that kind of race. It was good to know what lay in store for the final 13 miles. Though it was also scary knowing we’d be running through some very boggy tracks and had to tackle the two shingle beaches again.

By now no one was trying to keep dry and we just ploughed through the muddy lakes and bogs which in places would swallow your feet right up to your shin and ankles. I was so glad I’d not taken my Gore-Tex lined shoes. At least with my Asics Fuji trail shoes on the water could drain out.

I remember hitting the beach at mile 17 and thinking “this is the hardest running I’ve ever known”. Fatigue was now starting to creep into my legs.

From around mile 19 I took my 4th of 5 gels to try to get going again. Andy kept offering advice to help distract me from the pain and I knew from my first marathon that I start to lose it at this point.

I was determined not to walk this time and kept pushing on. At 21 miles I took my last gel and started to look ahead for a sign I was approaching the final beach. Once there I knew it was only another 2.5 miles to the finish.

It was past 21 miles that I started to feel somewhat dizzy at times though with Andy Goodson’s help I kept moving, though it felt as though I was getting slower and slower now. Once we got onto that last bit of shingle I knew the finish line was getting ever closer. Once back onto the Esplanade Emma who had waited for us to arrive ran with me for the last 1.5 miles and helped to keep me focused and upright. I was still feeling very unwell and thought I was going to pass out a few times.

We posed for the photographer at the 25 mile mark and even raised a smile or two. I looked out across the beach to the sea to savour the moment even though I felt horrible.

The conditions underfoot meant I’d spent much of the run looking down at where best to place my feet and so I kept reminding myself to look around as this was a beautiful course with fantastic scenery and living in land locked Staffordshire I don’t get many chances to run at the seaside.

And as the finish approached all 4 of us crossed the line together and though it wasn’t a sub 4 hour marathon I felt pleased as punch with my PB of 4:24:01 which beats my last marathon by 21 minutes.

That was my goal and it capped a perfect end to 2012 for me. A year in which I hit new best times in every distance from 5k to the marathon; a year in which I raised over £2000 for charity but more importantly a year in which I made many new friends through my running and charity runs.

For anyone who might fancy a crack at the Portsmouth marathon this year. The online entry will open on the 1st of February at the early bird price of £20 until 28th Feb 2013. Then it will revert to £26 after this.

Or why not have ago at the Portsmouth Coastal half Marathon on 17th February 2013. http://www.fitprorob.biz/marathons/

So for now I’m having a few weeks rest, I owe it to my poor knee’s. Plus I do feel a bit tired, 2012 was a year of running and racing. I ran just short of 1400 miles and raced over 200 miles and I now feel the time is right for a short break.

I don’t know what 2013 will bring me but I do know its up to me how to play it. Good luck and happy new year to you all.

Twas a week before the Portsmouth marathon

Ok well I should have written this on Sunday the 16th which was a week before but watched the BBC Sports Personality of the year. All I’ll say on that topic is ‘it should have been Mo or David Weir’!

Any how its time for a quick update as to how my injury / medical problems; I’m sorry I think I mean quick update as to how my training is going.
Well its not! I’ve not ran for 8 days now and spent much of last week feeling despondent and sorry for myself (which is not a good look for me) I saw Brian Cole http://www.colestherapy.com/ last Monday evening and he gave me knee issue a good going over and gave me a lot of confidence that I’ll be on that start line by the sea.
He seemed to have worked his magic and generally it felt like it was easing off but always still there like a dull ache close to the patella and by Friday for reasons unknown to me the pain came back with renewed vigour and I felt that was it; game over.
I have iced it, rested it, stretched it and yet over a week later there is little to no improvement.
Over the weekend it again seemed to be easing slightly and today too its felt much improved and if I’d two weeks until the marathon I’d be confident of making.

Today has been a good day and I woke up in a bright positive mood and that can help enormously and I wish I could be more positive in life (I kinda like it).
I have until Wednesday to decide if I’m going to go as I can cancel my hotel booking up to the 19th but I’ve already made my mind up that I’m going, I want to see my friends from that part of the UK and if the worst happens I will still be there to watch and support all the runners and feel part of the day.
Though I’d find it hard it’s the right thing to do, I can’t live life with regrets.
And between you and me I’m taking my kit with me and picking up my number from the marathon expo on the Saturday.

My hopes of running a good marathon have been replaced my a hope to just be a part of the race in some form and if I run I’ll just be happy to get round not matter of the finishing time.
I’ve learned a lot from this training and how and why I’ve picked up an injury in the final phase of training and I will one day put that lesson to good use when I next decide to have a crack at going sub 4 over 26.2 miles.
I know I have it within me, I just have to learn how not to break down in training.
If I can run a 157 miles over 12 days for charity and come out of that stronger and fitter without any injuries then I’m sure I can run a marathon.

Talking of the 6 Towns Run X2 I’ll be on Moorlands Radio on the 29th but more on that next week.
So for now I’ll rest up and maybe have a short run mid week but anything and everything is possible.