Annus not so horribleus

It has been a while since I have written a MarathonMann blog so I thought I would make amends because things have been going rather well running-wise.  Last year was my “Annus horribilis” blighted by injury and illness but thankfully this year, I have had a clear-run, free of problems and this is the first time I have been able to get fully-fit since my operation to fix my heart rhythm a few years ago.

I have been able to achieve most of my goals this year, to run 200 miles in a month (which I did in August), run a sub-48 minute 10K (which I did in Wakefield) and a sub-1:50 half, where in Leeds I not only achieved that but beat my course record.   I have achieved my goal of running a 5K in under 23 minutes twice and my one last goal is to run 1,500 miles in the whole year, which is on course (today I stand at 1,346 with over 2 months to go).  In addition to all of this, I was able to do a few unexpected things such as getting under 1:20 in the York 10 mile last week.

So what next?  Running fairly long distances fast seems to take its toll and I do ache somewhat after the Yorkshire 10 mile (followed up by a fast parkrun the week after).  I think I will back-off high mileage for the rest of the year in order to let my body recover.  I do want to do 100 miles in every month this year but setting this as my goal for the remaining months does seem like ticking-over which brings home the strength and fitness I have achieved.

The final challenge I have set myself this year is to run the Abbey Dash 10K in under 46 minutes which would be an all-time PB.  One part of me tells me that this is hopelessly unrealistic but I do find I can run the last halves of 10Ks very quickly (in Wakefield it was well under 23 minutes) because it catches me when I am properly warmed up and before fatigue sets in.  I believe that the only way you can achieve challenging goals is to set them so I will give it my very best shot!

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

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God’s own trail race

When I first ran the Flat Cap 5, several years ago I didn’t know what to expect and my memories were having to run uphill at the start and overall a very difficult route.  I don’t think I was very fit at the time because I have come to really like the route and find it fun to run.

The race has got some poignant memories for me.  When I had heart fibrillation problems (intermittent irregular heartbeat)  a few years ago,  they came on, just in the evening before we were due to leave.  I put on my gear and went to the race all the same, hoping against hope that the episode would pass.  Just as everyone was being called to the start area and I had resigned myself to not being able to run, the fibrillations just stopped and I was able to run after all..   I was not however able to run at my full potential and year after year this seemed to be the one event which for me was always spoiled by injury or illness.

Not so this year and finally I was able to enjoy the run and give it my all without any impairments or excuses.  I managed to knock a clear two minutes off my previous best time.

This is a running race with a fantastic organisation and atmosphere,  the introduction of an outside bar this year was an added bonus and with the amazing weather it was a great evening.  It will definitely continue to be a regular in my racing calendar.