Up to Speed

Until the last month or so, I’ve had one of the least active periods of my life since I started running seriously in 2006. I had my first ‘proper’ injury in the new year (tendonitis on the top of my left foot), then life got a bit too complicated (I’d moved up to Perth, Scotland in December for work) and the running took a back seat. Whilst my injury still had a firm hold, I hatched a plan for a big project: check out my post on Twitter. It’s sometimes good to bite off more than you can chew, but my plan to run all 116 miles of the Fife Coastal Path in less than 24 hours on the ‘longest day’ was definitely a step too far with the other pressures in my life, and I shamefacedly dropped the plan in June. I will resurrect this plan, though. I managed 100 miles last summer, on a hillier route, so it should be within my capabilities.

I’m now firmly established in Perth, doing the new job, life has eased up on me, and I’ve re-discovered the joy of running, especially racing. I’m still dead keen to get a 3:15 marathon under my belt; to take the struggle out of getting into a future London Marathon as much as anything.

As I said, I’ve rediscovered the joy of racing: from 22nd June to 6th July I raced 5 times! They were 2 short and 2 medium hill races, plus a flat road 5 miler for good measure. This renewed enthusiasm led me to cast about for a marathon to run at the end of the summer, to see if I could put this 3:15 thing to bed. The Moray Marathon looked good, but it’s on 1st September, a little too soon to train properly for. The Loch Ness Marathon is on at a much better time, 29th September, but it’s £46 to enter and very hilly for a road marathon. Then I found the Newcastle Town Moor Marathon on 27th October. It only costs £17, is near my family, and would give me plenty of time to train. It’s a very small event (you could guess that from the website), on a lap course on the Town Moor. And it gives me LOADS of time to train.

And training I am doing; combining hill running, a bit of speed work, and some slow stuff. I just need to mix in plenty of long, slow runs to get my stamina up to scratch. To help with that, I’ve just found out I’ve got a place in the Glenmore 12 hour Trail Race (I was on the reserve list), little brother to the 24 hour race. Getting in training for that should be a real boon to my endurance for the marathon.

I’ve been really enjoying the mountain and hill running since I moved up here. Another endurance event I’ve entered is the Glenshee 9. That’s 21 miles, 6000 feet of climb and 9 Munros. That’ll really punish those legs! Again, training for that will build my endurance, and on that note, I’ll leave you with a few pictures I took when I had a big run/walk this Friday and Saturday, over the hills between Blair Atholl and the Linn of Dee, spending the night in the ‘Tarf Hotel’ bothy and taking in 3 Munros

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