Hello Malcs, and everyone else - thought I'd just drop in and catch up, and say hi. Was great to hear from you by email, Malcs, and guess what, I bumped into James Carroll today, enjoying a last trip up to London before he heads off to Dubai!
So, I did the Highland Fling Ultra back at end of April. It was gruelling. Not too hilly but the terrain was really tough - a lot of it was clambering over boulders, wading through mud - especially in the 2nd to last section when I was, frankly, in pieces. Anyway, made it to the finish line in a fairly un-impressive 13.59 but proud to have finished at all! Got back into some running (went on a triathlon camp straight afterwards for a week!), but have had some heart palpitations and a lot of breathlessness, so am easing back and having some tests done. I suspect I have not recovered properly and need to back off. Good to see all your racing plans over next few months. For those who don't know, I am now a staffer at Runner's World - still writing features, Murphy's Lore and also editing Warm-Ups and Human Race. So let me know if you come across any exceptionally inspiring stories about runners or people who are changing lives (their own or others) through running. Good luck with summer training. I'm hoping to be recovered enough for my Alps camp in June but am co-coaching with my other half, so can take it fairly easy if need be. Cheers all....
Are you a real runner? A couple of weeks back, Athletics Weekly magazine editor Jason Henderson caused a storm when he tweeted: 'If London's many joggers'n'plodders want to see some real runners, they should go the Highgate 10,000s tonight.' Many runners were none too pleased. Henderson was accused of being a snob, a knob, a tool, a muppet, a buffoon, smug and scathing - leading to a lengthy justification of his comments in the next issue of his magazine. So does being a 'real runner' mean you need to be fast? Are you offended by the term 'jogger'? Or happy to be described thus? Is whether you are a runner or a jogger dependent on speed, or state of mind? I'd love to hear what you think!
I hope you're now feeling more positive, following everyone's great feedback and responses reminding you that you are now in the 1 per cent of the population who have finished a marathon!
For what it's worth, I don't think it's all about the lack of a 20-mile run. I, and many others I know, had never run 20 miles prior to their first marathon. (I'd done 16.) But what I HAD done is train regularly and consistently for many weeks and months prior to it. I think it's a challenge for someone so new to running to build up to a marathon in 16 weeks - and it doesn't really allow for any leeway for things to go wrong. It wasn't just the weeks you missed when you were sworn off ANY running but the fact that you couldn't then just jump back in when you left off even when you were running again. So I'd say you missed a month of consistent training which is a lot when you don't have months of mileage behind you as back-up. You now have this performance, and the training you DID do, to build on and take you to your next running goal. You said a few weeks back at TD2, 'I will finish, no matter how long it takes me' - and you did cross that line. I'm proud of you for doing that and hope you are too.
Good luck to everyone running London this weekend - run well, and enjoy!
Hey James - just seen your first and second half splits - incredible! Like Isabel, you ran almost exactly even halves. I'm so proud and impressed!
It's been a real pleasure working with you over the last 4 months - you've shown a great capacity for training both hard and long and I have no doubt you will be running sub 3.45 or 3.40 on your next outing. Best of luck to you and Sara in Dubai - it was lovely to meet her.
Big congrats also to James and Andy on your sub 4s - and commiserations to Orapidruns on the DNF. I'm sure you'll be back on form soon.
It's been great interacting on this thread. Thanks for all your contributions!
Isabel, hello! Hope you had a good journey back and bet you're still reeling from your marathon success. I'm so proud of you! To run 2.04.28 and 2.04.33 for the two halves is an incredible split - almost identical halves. I bet you now have your sights set on a sub 4.00 and quite rightly so.
Enjoy the recovery this week. It's been great working with you and I look forward to seeing you continue to progress.