Well, I was meant to be heading up to the Giant’s Head Marathon this morning, but have decided to listen to my body for once. I have been pushing on a lot this year and have achieved things that just a few years ago I would not have thought possible on their own, let alone when all lumped together in the first 5 months of the year. After last year’s extremely rough season following my Dad’s death from a brain tumour this year has been somewhat of a revelation. You can find out part of how I turned things around in a small spotlight feature that Like The Wind Magazine did on me here.
This year I started with my Ivybridge Everest challenge which raised over £1500 for St Luke’ Hospice and followed that by finishing two ultra marathons that had beaten me before, The Thames Trot 50 and The Oner. I also managed to smash my road marathon PB by over 9 minutes in the Edinburgh Marathon. Not a bad first 6 months, especially for someone that rarely runs fast and really likes burgers and beer!
This year I was planning on carrying on and seeing if I could get a White Star Running black belt by finishing all the marathon’s in their series while training for my first multi-stage ultra, Fire & Ice in September. However this year something else has changed and it has given me a different set of challenges. I have taken up a new and challenging job which I am really enjoying. It is just 13 miles from home, giving me a commute that I can run, cycle, motorbike, drive or bus, albeit all on tarmac. I have been playing around with different options, but the extra running on tarmac has taken its toll a bit. My mileage isn’t massive, but I’m simply not used to such consistent repeat impact, the end result is that I fear I will turn a multitude of niggles into a proper injury if I forge ahead with another marathon today. Instead I will take a few days off before continuing to experiment with my commute to see what works best for me.
In the long term I think it will mean that I drop the rest of the White Star Running events from my calendar and instead focus on events that are closer to home around the three big goals that I have for the next 12 months. These are:
- Fire & Ice – Sept 2016 – 250km through some of the remotest parts of Iceland
- The Ivybridge Everest attempt 2 – 2nd January 2017 – Charity to be decided, but the ultimate goal will be the same as before. I had so much unexpected support when I tried it this year that I get choked up just thinking about it. I don’t expect to be that lucky again, as I’m just a silly runner doing a silly thing in memory of my Dad and trying to raise a few £s for charity, but if anyone is around and fancies joining me for a lap or two then I would be extremely pleased to see you.
- The Dragon’s Back – May 2017 – 290km, 5 days, 16000m of ascent and an awesome trophy 🙂
To be honest any of the above three things could be pitched as a once in a life time event, but I take after my Dad and always try to squeeze in more than should be possible.
I’m not sure what will come after I get through the above. Some may end up being multi-year challenges that take me a while to defeat, but I like to think not. My head is in a very different place this year and I seem to be able to hit a new level of stubborness and determination that has allowed me to reliably hit the goals that I have decided to take seriously. I haven’t got to that head space by accident, but you can read more on that in my earlier musings such as this one. or this one.
Watch this space. Or instead get off your arse and go for a run 🙂