One year ago to the day, I did two things, firstly ran the Chevin Chase Boxing Day trail race for the first time and secondly, published the first post of the Marathon Mann blog. Today I ran the Chevin Chase again and am publishing my 117th post.
When I started the blog I it was just after entering the London Marathon and including that race, it’s been quite a year. After a smooth start to my Marathon training I got hit with a nasty virus which effectively knocked out my programme for a whole month. While London was an amazing experience, as far as my running performance was concerned it was a bit of a disaster, a personal worst! Then, after months of training and not getting anywhere, I went to see my GP and got diagnosed with iron-deficiency. Now, with my iron levels back to normal, I am running better than I have literally for years. Back in 2012 I started to have heart rhythm problems which stunted my running ability until an operation in January 2015 and since then there always seems to have been something or other that cropped up. That is, until now!
So, despite the tale of woe in the previous paragraph things are looking up. Today at The Chevin, the challenge was 50mph gusts of wind which on one stretch in particular blew me to a standstill on a couple of occasions. Last year, if you recall, it was the floods and caused so much disruption to the region; I wrote that it was the most extreme running experience I had ever had and I know with road closures it was touch and go if we would make it home. Who knows which set of conditions are more hampering for running but, last time (in the floods) I was 474th out of 797 but today I was 487 out of 981 which is proportionally quite an improvement as well as knocking nearly 4 minutes off my time for last year.
For 2017, I have already set some goals which include running the Yorkshire Marathon in a personal best time. However I cannot tell how 2017 will treat me so for the time being I am thankful that I am fit enough to be pleased with my running.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIVUK