...slowly began to reduce my waist measurement too. After a while it all started to tone up and I started to look thinner. I knew that the diet & exercise regime was working when I was finally able to buy small sized clothing.
Other club members helped me immeasurably with my running, especially when I was suddenly struck with ITB syndrome and all the associated pain that goes along with it. With help from a brilliant Physio & Sports Masseuse and a couple of club members who were prepared to put in a few slow runs with me I was able to train slowly but surely and build my leg back up to full strength again. It was at about this time, when I was at my lowest and racked with pain whenever I tried to run, decided it was time to bury my London Marathon ghost by entering the Brighton Marathon.
One of the club members agreed to coach me on my quest and together we drew up a training schedule for me. I knew that if I was going to run a marathon then I'd have to be serious about my training. So on Sunday 27th of December 2009 I smoked my last cigarette and drank my last drink. I found the 16 weeks of training hard, especially on Tuesday evenings when I had to train in the evenings after a long day of work & college. The snow and ice at the beginning of January did nothing to aid training, indeed one evening saw me doing 'shuttle runs' underneath a railway bridge as it was probably the only snow free, and therefore safest, stretch of road in Bristol!
I came to love my early morning runs on Saturdays & my long runs on Sundays (Bath - Bristol being my favourite), with the odd race thrown in for good measure; and whenever I put in a long run my fiance, now wife, cycled alongside me for comapny. It was obvious that the training schedule was paying dividends as I broke my PB for both the Half Marathon & 10K as well as posting respectable times at the Bourton 10K, Lliswerry 8, Pontypridd Reverse 10, and the Forest of Dean Trails Half – I also got to see quite a bit of the Welsh side of the bridge too!
The weekend of the Brighton Marathon turned out to be a scorcher. An early morning chill at Preston Park, where I met up with my fellow Bitton runners, soon gave way to warmer weather as we ran along Marine Drive, first towards Rottingdean, then after doubling back past the Pier, along to the power station at Fishergate, before doubling back once again, and finally finishing just past the Pier in a time of 03:27:15 – knocking a mere 91 minutes off of my previous Marathon PB!!! The crowds were amazing, as was the scenery (if you discount the power station) and I can't recommend this race highly enough – I don't think I stopped smiling all the way around...
Currently I'm still putting in the miles, enjoying my first ever cross country season, slowly improving my times and thoroughly enjoying my running. If I'm not out running then I feel as if I'm missing out - I even took my running kit on Honeymoon with me!!
Seriously though, I really do wish that I'd taken up running properly when I was younger, instead of waiting for a mid-life crisis to spur me on. I've found a new lease of life, the physique I'd always wanted, a new group of friends, a new social circle, and a wealth of advice & anecdotes that I could never find anywhere else.
Please, take the time to vote for me & help this bald, middle-aged, man achieve his dreams.
Love, light, & peace,
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 21:32