Six months ago I was on top of the world. Running at my absolute peak, I achieved a lifetime ambition after the greatest run of my entire life, the culmination of a decade of planning, trying, failing and trying again. After eighteen months of training, I finally got the sub three hour marathon I’d always wanted, but never thought I could achieve. My proudest ever moment.
Naturally after that, in the weeks to come my running dropped off a little, but by January normal service was resumed and 40-mile weeks were back on the agenda. All eyes were on a possible triplet of half marathons in March, May and October with maybe one of them being a PB attempt and all in all things were ticking over very nicely indeed.
Then I got Covid.
In May 2008 I ran my first timed event, the Great Manchester Run 10k, in 41:14. Literally since that day I’ve wondered if I had a sub three marathon in me, and my first half marathon in 2009 coming in under an hour and half made me think even more that I might have a chance. That was, however, until I ran my debut marathon in 2011 and struggled to even hit my loose 3:15 target, staggering over the line in 3:19:07.
A decade on from that first marathon, and three and a half years on from the immortal words “no more marathons”, it was time to attempt to run my best. A final attempt at the challenge that had been hanging over me for pretty much my entire running life.
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