Friday, 27 November 2015

The Marcothon challenge is upon us again, how will this years challenge go?

My blog posts these days are very sporadic and when I do post it seems to be just race write ups, and when I do have something other than races to write about I don't seem to find time to blog. The other reason I don't blog as much as I used to is a little 2 year old called Flynn!  Yeah he's 2 now and very bossy too. He has discovered words and a few sentences so I get told to get him things a lot or take him places he can't quite reach yet, like cupboards, shelves and mainly the fridge because he wants everything now and won't wait till Lunch or Tea. The main reason I don't blog as much is my best ideas come when I'm out running and by the time I'm home it's gone, memory like a sieve some times!
A Flynn selfie

So what have I been up to recently? Well since the marathon I've taken it a little easier dropping the distances on my runs to no more than about 10 miles and I've been happy to now and again say to myself, I don't have to run today so I won't. That's not because I've lost the love of running or the inspiration to get out there and pound the streets, no. The thing with marathon or longer training is the amount of time you're away from family, and it's especially unfair on SJ as my runs we're mainly when she gets home from work. So she would come home we would have a little time together then I would be out running for a couple of hours, come home jump in the shower and then she would be out doing her things (Judo, Pub Quiz and Beavers). So it's been nice to be able to sit down with her and just do nothing, watch a bit of TV and just enjoy being in the same house together.

A photo of SJ and I at the recent Stadium Runners 10th anniversery awards night and a rare night out for us, it was a great night.

I have done a couple of races since the marathon, the Guy Fawkes 10 over at Ripley castle which was a tough hilly 10 miler, but I finished in a very pleasing time and comfortably too. Then there was the Leeds Abbey Dash which I entered for one reason only, to go for a sub 40 time as I had been so close to it at the York 10k a few months back. Things didn't go to plan and I finished it in 41.04 which is my second fastest 10k time and a nearly 5 minute course PB, which I had to remind myself about as I was a little annoyed that I couldn't break the 40 minute mark. I know it will come but I had set my sights on it and was feeling great leading up to it, plus it's probably the first race that I've done where I haven't hit my target or surprised myself at how well I had done. I've stopped being so hard on myself and just got on with my usual weekly runs but as always my thoughts have moved on to the next challenge or figuring out what the next challenge is.

As it is nearly December it would be a shame not to do Marcothon again as it had such an impact on my running last year. For those of you who aren't familiar with Marcothon it's a challenge that someone started a few years ago that has increased in popularity over the last couple of years. Basically you have to run everyday throughout December for a minimum of 5k or 25 mins that includes Christmas Day as well. Last year I started it with a 21.28 5k PB and a 45.33 10k PB and ended the challenge with a 20.52m 5k PB and a 43.14min 10k PB. I did go on to smash those PB a month later but it was the Marcothon challenge that started the transformation in my running. 

This year however I am going to try to run each weekday with Flynn in the buggy unless the weather is bad as it would be just too cruel to take him out in it. That at least will be a little tougher than usual and could just be what I need through December to give me a good start to the new year and hopefully kick start my next set of races in 2016. 

When I started running, now 3 and a half years ago, I just wanted to be able to drop the boys off at school without breaking into a sweat (check, done, unless we run up because we are late) but as I got fitter and could run further I wanted to keep going to see how far I could run. At the time I was thinking 10k, 10 miles, half marathon possibly, but I didn't think about marathons until I had been running about a year, that was just silly to think I could run that far. That seems to be the case with a lot of people who are new to running they build and build and test themselves and push boundaries and limits, but most people will get to a point and then discover their favourite distance. Even if they have run further before they find a distance which challenges them enough without it turning into pain and that feeling of why on earth am I doing this. 

Now I have done a marathon I can say with almost 100% certainty that I still have further to go, the fact I went 26.2 miles for the first official time and only got a tiny bit of cramp at the finish line has made me question just how far could I go again. I am really looking forward to finding out too but like I said earlier it does take up a lot of time away from the family, so this is going to have to be planned very carefully as I love my family to bits and I don't want my hobby (if I can call it that), to take over their lives too much, it's just not fair. Now don't get me wrong it's not like they hate running they quite enjoy it taking part at parkrun each Saturday and junior parkrun on a Sunday too, there are more things in our lives other than running. SJ, Dexter and Clark have taken up Judo and really enjoy it, so much so that all of their faces light up when they talk about it, just like I'm sure mine does when I talk about running. 

So 2016 is going to be the year of Judo Mons, Judo belts and running miles (or Km if you're like me) let's just hope we can all progress together 

Keep running everyone

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