Irritations

I’ll say now this isn’t going to be my most positive post ever. I have various reasons for feeling disappointed with running at the moment so will post them here and probably feel a bit sorry for myself.

But first of all, let’s look at what runs I have managed to achieve.

During the early part of September, we spent a short time in Greece on holiday and in that time I managed to fit in a couple of really good runs, lots of swimming and my first time ever stand-up paddle boarding.

During the course of September I also began getting into a routine splitting my time between Jersey and Reading. When my wife goes to work when I am in Reading I tend to go for a run, even though this tends to be around 7 in the morning which is certainly not a time I’d ever do when I am in Jersey. although having said that I might change my attitude to early morning runs based on my Reading experiences.

I also ran at my sixth parkrun destination at Prospect Park (following Jersey, Southwark, Reading, Southsea and Old Deer Park) but unfortunately this wasn’t my best ever effort coming in around 28 minutes.

A couple of weekends ago I went for an 8 mile run around a loop I have created between home, the River Thames and the Reading Festival site. The loop is about 4 miles and I did the first lap with my wife and the second on my own at a slightly faster pace. For a change it was at the relatively luxurious time of 8am.

My next run after that did not go well. I had planned to do an interval session but only got as far as the first interval before feeling a tweak in my calf muscle. I tried to run the second interval but it got a bit worse for that, so instead I just walked home.

I thought that a couple of days rest would help however a week, and a couple of tentative attempts at running, later I am still being bothered by the problem. At the moment I am hoping to be better by the time I get to Reading next on Thursday.

Ideally, I need to be better soon in order to get myself fully prepared for the Poppy Half Marathon in just under 5 weeks time. That being said I have certainly gone into half marathons less well prepared than this (such as the 2017 Reading Half) but I was certainly hoping for a better preparation for this run.

Other than being injured, the other irritation has been the ballot process for the London Marathon. Once again for what I believe is the 5th year in a row I’ve been rejected and while the rejection itself is not rare at all, the whole process of it annoys me. When the race is as oversubscribed as it is I don’t really understand why the organisers prioritise people who have run it before over those who have not.

Maybe part of it for me is that I have no intention of running any other marathon. I did my 1 marathon in 2016 in Jersey and don’t plan to do another, other than London in the unlikely event I get in one day. So the fluffy well wishers on Facebook saying there are so many other events that you could take part in just about me more. I have lots of events I can take part in but there’s only one marathon I’m interested in and that’s London.

At the end of the day I can easily imagine that the next time I run a marathon will be during a longer event such as the 24-hour event we’ve been looking at. But I dare say I’ll keep trying to enter London until they let me in one day.

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May to August in review

It’s been a good 3 months since the last time I posted here and in that time running has probably taken a back seat to many other things. I won’t bore you with those things right now but they’ve been really interesting times.

From a running perspective, last time I posted here I talked about the Durrell Challenge and I haven’t really competed in any races since then. A couple of parkruns but not really anything more. Partly this has been down to illness, partly injury, and quite a lot of lack of enthusiasm and focus.

This picture of a beach bar in Reading, complete with sand, swings and a live band, has no relevance to this post but I just like the picture!

Anyway, let’s have a stab at reviewing the last 3 months of running.

One highlight came while the royal wedding was going on during May this year. I decided that the seafront would be really quiet given everybody else would be watching the wedding so it was a good time to chase a Strava segment along there. In the end, the run went really well and I managed to get my fourth fastest half mile run ever.

During early June I was struck down by a cold which took me out of running for about a week and a half. When I got back to running I was struggling for enthusiasm and ended up running a few different trail runs. One around St Catherine’s and Flicquet was a particularly interesting diversion, as was Prospect Park in Reading the following week. Prospect Park is likely to be the venue for my new home parkrun over the next few weeks and months, although for one reason or another (Thai festivals, the circus etc) I haven’t yet managed to make a parkrun there, but I have completed another parkrun in Reading last week around the Thames Valley Park.

Me finishing Reading Parkrun #446 strongly with a smile

I was injured again in July missing another week and a half of action but since then I’ve been able to get a bit more back into running. I think it’s made a difference that we have more firm running plans for the immediate future.

We’ve decided to sign up for the Poppy races in Bexhill-on-Sea once again and this year I plan to chase my half marathon personal best from the Rock and Roll Liverpool Half Marathon last year.

Also during the past few months I decided that next March I would take part in the Fleet Half Marathon rather than the event in Reading. The Reading Half Marathon really didn’t treat us very well last year when they cancelled and while I have no doubt I’ll be back sometime in the future, this year I’m going to turn my attention back to Fleet and see if I can do even better than this year.

We have also been looking at other events and not necessarily just running. At the moment, I am considering whether training for the London Triathlon next August would be a good idea or just plain mad.

In another development which is almost certainly mad, we’ve been looking at the Henley running festival 24-hour race. Having said after the Jersey marathon in 2016 that I wouldn’t take part in another marathon again that was not the London Marathon, I think it’s amazing that we are considering such a long event. Granted I would not be running the whole 24 hours, but even so I can still imagine that at least one – more likely two or more – marathons will be completed in such a long time. We haven’t made a firm decision on that yet but I don’t really need to for quite some time.

The most important future plans focus around next week when we travel to Greece for a week and half of well-earned rest and relaxation – and no doubt some early morning runs as well.

Running and other mad pursuits