It started exactly ten years ago. I was unfit and overweight, and a friend was encouraging me to take up running. “Sure, why not. How hard can it be?”, I thought. And so, on 30 December 2009 at the age of 36, I went out for my first ever run. Never could I have imagined what those simple beginnings would lead to or what I would be able to achieve over the next ten years.
Six weeks ago I ran a marathon; today I struggled to run 5 miles. If anything sums up my running year, it’s this. As 2019 draws to a close it’s time to review, reassess and plan for a more successful and consistent 2020.
The final three days of my Brathay 10in10 journey all passed in something of a blur. And sitting here, experiencing a maelstrom of emotions, it’s a little difficult to draw out specific details to share with you. Days 8 and 9 very much followed the pattern of Day 7.
Rotterdam marathon 2017 – race day
Marathon morning began bright and warm, with it forecast to be the warmest day of the year so far – not ideal conditions for chasing a sub-3 hour marathon. But then you can’t change the weather, only adapt to it. So, we made the short journey on the Metro from our hotel to the start area outside Rotterdam’s Stadhuis (town hall) with plenty of fluids and sun-cream.
The question I’ve been asked most about running the 10in10 (apart from ‘why?’) is, ‘How do you train for something like that?’. It’s a great question, and it seems there is no simple answer. As the 10in10 is so different from anything else I’ve attempted, I have been keen to test myself by running marathons over multiple days and incorporating more hills into my training. The last ten days have provided the opportunity to test both of these elements out. I have run my first fell race, and then completed 3 marathons in 3 days.
It’s been a funny couple of weeks with a mixed bag of training, racing and injury coming amid plenty of non-running distractions, all making this a pick ‘n mix of an update! First things first, however. Yes, it really is just 100 days until the start of the Brathay 10in10.
The January training weekend forms a key component of the Brathay 10in10 experience. The opportunity to meet the other sixteen runners fortunate (and crazy) enough to have been selected for Team 2017. Sharing stories of running, training plans, fundraising successes and failures. Understanding how to prepare in the right way. Learning more about Brathay Trust and its work with vulnerable young people. And yes, the opportunity to run the hilly and undulating course around Lake Windermere in the stunning Lake District.
As I finished my last run of 2016 I was able to reflect a little on my running experiences of the last twelve months. My attempt to run all six world marathon majors (the timmyslam) may have dominated my running calendar this year, but there were plenty of other great experiences and achievements too.
Well, the Timmyslam may have taken a break over the summer, but it’s been full steam ahead on the running front over the last couple of months, with silly distances conquered, a successful return to racing, seeing others start their running journey and the launch of a big challenge for 2017.