It’s been a couple of weeks since my last update and I am delighted to announce that I have officially started marathon training. And to be honest, I think I have had a great fortnight. Since returning from Glastonbury (and receiving a dressing down from Runkeeper) I have not missed a single training session. I’ve done long runs, I’ve done short runs, I’ve done fast ones and slow ones, I’ve done interval sessions, I’ve run on and off road, and I have put in nearly 50 miles. In fact, over the course of the last week I did a marathon distance (split over four and a bit runs, but still), and on Sunday I ran 11 miles in one go which is the first time I have done over 10 miles since the Great North run 2009 and the third furthest I have ever run in my entire life. And it all feels surprisingly good. OK, the very first one nearly killed me as I spent the whole day before drinking cider while watching The Flaming Lips at Jodrell Bank convinced I was only doing 5 miles the next day. I nearly cried when I saw it was supposed to be 10. I ended up doing 8 during the hottest part of one of the hottest days of the year so far, with a hangover, and subsequently sleeping all afternoon. But other than that it’s all gone really well, and I feel positive about training, I feel comfortable with running the longer distances and everything is looking promising for The Big One in less than three months time.
All that is about to change though. In a couple of hours I will be getting in my car, driving pretty much the length of the country, pitching my tent and spending the next four days getting battered and watching bands. Yes, it’s festival time again. This week is Latitude, an unexpected bonus as I only got a ticket last week, but it still presents a significant obstacle to training. Sunday I am supposed to be doing 12 miles as I gradually increase my mileage each week, and today was supposed to be a 9 mile interval session. Saturday was due to be 6 miles. Needless to say, none of that will be happening.
It kind of hit home this week how big a commitment to training for a marathon is really. I am actually enjoying being out there and doing it, which is bizarre considering the entire time is spent sweating and panting while being heckled by locals and trying not to keel over. But trying to balance a working life, a social life, and running 30-40 miles a week is definitely starting to get a bit tricky. I was out on Tuesday night but avoided drinking as I had to be up at 6am to do a 7 mile interval session before work, which I couldn’t do in the evening as I thought I would be driving back home before Latitude. This weekend I am missing three sessions. In August I have a stag do and a wedding to attend, as well as potentially another festival. It all adds up, and missing weekend session is the worst as the Sunday is always down for a massive one in preparation for running 26.2 miles on Sunday, October 9th. Just from the these three weekends alone I will be missing out on nearly 60 miles of training.
It will all be worth it though. The sense of achievement will be massive, and more importantly hopefully so will all the money I will be raising for The Children’s Heart Association. The more astute of you may have noticed a couple of links down the side on that front now I have sorted all the details on who I am running for, and I will be doing a big post on it all soon, as well as hounding you all for cash over the next three months. So look out for that. In the meantime, I’m off to Suffolk.