On the eve of my first Ultra marathon – The Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones 2019, I realised I’ve just gone past my second anniversary of having taken up running. I knew it was about June/July 2017 but I checked back on MapMyRun which I used when I started and realised that my first logged activity was the evening of the 25th June 2017. A 2.11Km run around the park outside my house – one of the motivational aspects of getting me running int he first place.
That first run nearly killed me, looking back it was only 2Km, at a pace of nearly 7min/Km but it was real hard. Now I look at it and thin how things have changed over that two years. I now comfortably run in the sub 5min/Km pace for half marathons, and 5:15min/Km pace for marathons. the idea of trying to run at near 7min/Km pace for me is now something that I simply couldn’t do!
The simple act of reflecting back on that run makes me very proud of what I have been able to achieve. I’ve literally come a long way, I now regularly look at UltraMarathons with a genuine consideration for signing up, I don’t think for long about running a marathon, and I regularly. run more than a half marathon on a Sunday morning for training.
Thats one hell of a world away from early 2017.
I’ve learnt quite a lot in the intervening period. I’ve often been a person that would start a hobby or interest and quickly lose interest. I’ve always liked my sleep and I’m a snacker. I hadn’t run since being at school some 20+ years before. There was no real reason why running would be a success. That, coupled with a 3 hour daily commute to work as a Director in a fast growing Cancer therapy development company in London and having four kids ranging from teen to newborn (back in early 2017) were all good reasons that this flash in the pan idea was doomed to failure.
It gives me great satisfaction and areal sense of achievement to think two years on I am still on the run! I’m still pulling on the trainers and putting the miles in. I have managed to balance my sleep and family time around the work demands and find a way to put up to 7.5 hours of running into a week on a regular basis.
I have a lot to be thankful for. My body has been welcoming to the idea of running – it could quite easily have said no chance – as a youngster I played a good deal of football and had real issue s with my knees. My doctor told me at the age of 14 I had ‘Old Mans Knees!’
So what does the next two years have in sight for me? More of the same with more endurance running I hope. I have truly been bitten by the long run bug. I loved a recent 50Km+ training run! So entering more Ultramarathons is very much part of my plan. I also hope to continue exploring areas such as the South West Coastal Path, The Cotswolds Way, South and North Downs way and also exploring more of the amazing countryside around me in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.
Running has become an integral part of my life and I genuinely cannot envisage a life over the next few years without it. I have to trust that I look after myself and that I am lucky enough to avoid any significant injury or incident that makes this more difficult. But with luck and hopefully some good judgement, I plan to be lacing up my trainers and pounding the footpaths for some time to come.
- London Big Half Marathon, 2018
- 10K Henley Trail, 2018
- Windsor Half Marathon 2018
- Maverick Original Oxfordshire Half Marathon (and a bit) 2018
- 10K Rivermead Reading 2018
- London His Half Marathon, 2019
- Brighton Marathon, 2019
- Henley Trail Half Marathon, 2019
- Hampshire Hoppit Marathon, 2019