What Next?

I like structure, I like organisation, I like having a plan. There’s still nine weeks of my current marathon plan to go but I have already started to look ahead and think about what I will do after Sunday 8th October. Firstly I will take the day off work and most likely eat as much as is humanly possible, I once put on 6lbs in an afternoon at a family barbeque so I have form for high level eating achievements.

In terms of running though my plans are to a certain extent up in the air. I am not Marty McFly, 

I don’t have a crystal ball and I have no idea if I will ever want to run another marathon or not. I genuinely hope that York won’t destroy me like the 2007 Great North Run did and that I will want to take the challenge of 26.2 miles on again in the future but I know that training properly takes a huge commitment in terms of time and this also has a knock on effect on the amount of time I spend with my family who mean the world to me.

I have entered the ballot for the 2018 London Marathon vlm18and if I am lucky enough to gain a place then there is no question of turning that down. I have also considered the 2018 Manchester Marathon mainly due to the various running friends having already entered and this may be a target for next spring. I would love to do the Manchester Half Marathon the Sunday after York but I think I need to be sensible as walking may still be a struggle for me at that point.

One plan that is in place is REDNovember. Having been inspired by the one and only Luke Zwalf and his REDJuly exploits, I have committed to running every day in November (REDNovember).  A group of @ukrunchat pals have also nailed their colours to the mast and we are going to run a minimum of 5k a day, whilst we won’t physically be running together the theory is that by going through the same struggles together we will be able to support and motivate each other, one of the traits I love about the running community. Towards the end of November I will turn 40 so it seemed appropriate to mark the occasion by doing something memorable.

I only currently have one race booked for next year which is the Leeds Half Marathon in May. I loved my first time at the event this year and signed up straight away to run it again. I think that half marathons will feature more for me in 2018 and there are a couple of small, challenging local events that I want to take on.

endure24A bigger challenge is the Endure 24 hour event. As a relative running newbie I wasn’t aware until earlier in the year that such events even existed and when I saw people taking this on I was in awe but it also sparked an idea in me to get together a team of like minded individuals to enter in 2018 and see what we can achieve, whether this comes off remains to be seen, I certainly won’t be running it on my own!

My major goal after the York marathon though is to step down in distance and to try and run a sub 45 minute 10k. My current 10k PB is 46:28 set earlier this year in Accrington so there is work to do and I know that will mean a different focus and style of training, I feel the need, the need for speed sessions!

There is a plethora of 10k events that I can take on both locally and further afield so there is no lack of opportunity, I have heard very positive reports about the events organised by Fylde Coast Runners, one of which I am running on August Bank Holiday Saturday and the Run For All events are very well organised in my experience and feature several which are within an hour or so of where I live so I hope to be able to take on a couple of new courses and work my way towards my target.

Whilst unpredictable, the future holds great excitement and opportunity, I want to continue to challenge myself but also to enjoy my running and hopefully inspire and encourage others to do the same, I’ll try to keep this blog going too although a change in name may be necessary, 10kbore doesn’t quite have the same ring to it though!

Eyes On The Prize

The idea for my blog this evening came from my 6 year old son Isaac. This week has been half term and he’s been attending a football camp run by the lovely people at Burnley FC In The Community. As Burnley are playing Lincoln in the FA Cup tomorrow live on TV there was a special visitor at training this morning, the actual FA Cup!!

fa-cup

All the children were excited to have their photos taken, some slightly apprehensive after the briefing not to touch the prestigious cup. Isaac was absolutely thrilled to see it and I really hope it has inspired him to keep training hard, practising his skills and dreaming that one day he’ll actually get to hold the trophy. Maybe he’ll make it, maybe he won’t, who knows but I think that having a dream is really important, having your eyes on the prize drives you on at times when you think you have no more to give and motivates you to find that extra something from somewhere.

Until signing up for the Yorkshire Marathon my training was purely about achieving a healthier lifestyle and keeping active. Although I enjoyed my runs/advanced jogs, they lacked somewhat in intensity and real purpose and a friend had planted the seed that having a specific goal to train for would be useful, not sure whether to thank you Rick or curse you, I guess I’ll find out for real in October. Having something to work towards now though has helped to give me an extra push. For the marathon itself I’ve set myself what I think is a realistic time goal but I’ll genuinely be thrilled to just make it round intact.

Tonight’s run, 11.6 miles, 1hr 33mins 13 secs, was tough for a couple of reasons. Firstly it was an almost entirely new route for me and at one point I actually got lost, secondly it was quite an undulating route and I actually find running downhill harder than uphill, don’t seem to be able to get the technique of not letting me legs run away with me and maintaining a steady pace quite right and finally we’d had a buffet lunch celebration for a colleague going on maternity leave and sausage rolls, pakoras and samosas is hardly the greatest pre-run meal I’ve ever had!!! I broke the route down in my mind though and set some goals which pulled me through.

Whatever you are doing in life, whether you consider it big or small always have a goal to help motivate you, keep your eyes on the prize and dream big, what’s the worst that can happen?