It's been a while since I've felt like writing about my running. I've considered shutting it all down and not writing any more. I've even given thought to not running again but downers like this come and go and when they do I try and remember what brought me into running in the first place. The thoughts of stopping come along every now and again but I always go back to it as I do enjoy both the writing and the running.
So it's back to it. Here is what's been happening since then....
Manchester Marathon - 2nd April 2017
The main reason I stopped writing was this run. After months of good training with everything going well, a sub 4:30 was on the cards. I learnt the hard way that no matter how good your preparation, it can go downhill pretty quickly. One bad meal of too much pasta eaten too quickly was enough to put an end to any PB. Trapped wind was the cause - pain in my stomach that had me keeling over at mile 13 and ready to pull out had there been a first aid station. Up to mile 13 I was running with the 4:30 pacer but in agony. I carried on and crossed the line in 5:02:48 - 32 minutes outside my target. Everyone said it was good to finish and the time was good - but to me it wasn't. It took a while to get over it.
I took some time off writing and running. I didn't want to write about Manchester and I didn't want to run. Some might think it's a bit silly and people that do not run couldn't understand my frustrations. People see a marathon runner. I saw frustration. I needed to learn to forget. As it happens I'd recently won a free entry to the Swansea Half Marathon so I had to get back out there and run. So I did and I'm glad I did. The mojo started coming back and I started enjoying it again - enough to get out and run, but not enough to push the training.
Swansea Half Marathon - 25th June 2017
This run went really well. The ghost of Manchester was still clouding my running so I had decided that chasing a Sub 2 time was not for me and I would just run and get back to enjoying being out there. I crossed the line in 2:07:46 - not my fastest Half Marathon but good enough. This was my third Swansea half and I really enjoyed it. It's always a nice run, out along Mumbles Road, around Verdi's and then back along the coast into the city centre. Some have said it's a boring route, but if the weather is nice then it's a cracking run. The spectators along the route are excellent and their support for the runners should not be underestimated.
Celtic Trail Half Marathon - 15th July 2017
My first ever trail event and boy did I enjoy it. It was different. In washed out, atrocious conditions I ran a tough course and crossed the line in 2:35 soaked to the skin, dripping wet and stinking dirty - but it felt great. It felt different to running a normal road race and I have no doubt I will run another trail in future. In fact I have the Hoka Trail Half in February :-) - back to the hills for more training. Running away from the road was just the tonic I needed.
These are the events I have lined up so far over the next few months - there's even my first foray into triathlon:
- 24th September 2017 - Swansea 10K
- 1st October 2017 - Cardiff Half Marathon
- 17th February 2018 - Hoka Trail Half Marathon
- 22 April 2018 - London Marathon (entered the ballot)
- 20th May 2018 - Swansea Triathlon
- 24 June 2018 - Swansea Half Marathon
In the end, I'm glad that i didn't give up and looking to the future and to all these races - I'm kind of excited!