18 Months

18 months since my last post… Much like my running performance, absolutely woeful!

Signing in here I noticed that my London Race report didn’t even publish. Reading that really brought back some of the competitive juices, but also tightened the screw on “why am I so slow now” demons.

Since London I basically piled on some weight. I got a bit lazy, and having fulfilled a goal of running London (at all, irrespective of time) I lacked any real focus or drive.

Pretty natural really, I’d trained pretty hard for over 2 years without a real break. Maybe my body needed it.

I ended up embracing my inner homer. I didn’t run as far, or as often and ate a little more. Which some days was a lot more. That soon adds up and before I knew it I was well over 16 stone again.

I was so disappointed in myself. After so much hard work over so many years, and during the whole London process being at my absolute peak… Its been a tough pill to swallow.

Naturally being heavier, I was slower. As I was slower I wasn’t motivated to do hard sessions and the effect snowballed.

Earlier this year I made some inroads to address it. I needed to run with people again and try and reignite my mojo. Since we moved house I joined Andover AC, but never really went aside from the odd track session. So I joined the Muddy Runners. A much more social running club. I was warmly welcomed and it was one of the best decisions I have made, as it gave me the kick I needed to go out and actually run.

In the last 6 months I’ve made many false starts as I tried in earnest to be more consistent and get faster. But it wasn’t until needing to train for the New Forest Marathon that anything really happened.

Jodie was meant to run New Forest with our friend Jamie as support for her first crack at the distance. But, Jodie got pregnant (which we have since had a gorgeous baby girl, Edith) which meant I was lumbered with it.

In the build up to the race I undertook a careful mileage buildup to gradually increase my volume to over 45 miles per week. I went to the club speed sessions and towards the end of the build up I added some tempo running.

And as if by magic, things started happening again.

My legs got more used to the volume.

The speed got my lungs busting again.

And the tempo runs, those which I dreaded the most… started happening. 

Before New Forest training, my brain was telling me that I couldn’t do it. But consistency and increasing volume and intensity all of a sudden I could overcome my central governor again and give it some welly!

I’m not as fast as I was, but its improving. I need to go out and test myself.

Basingstoke Half on Sunday. Very hilly course but a good test, then I’m going to try a fast parkrun the week after.

The weight is starting to come down too. With going sober for October and Jodie and I both using MyFitnessPal again, I hope my birthday parkrun will give me a nice present… a fast time a bit closer to the 20 minute mark.

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