When you think of a spring marathon, you think daffodils, blue sky, double-digit temperatures and sunset runs.
This is actually how I fell in love with running, spring and autumn training.
The reality is you train during the winter, swap those thoughts with the reality of icy, badly lit and uneven pavements, sub-zero temperatures, the dark, and the rain.
So, so much rain!
My eyes water when it’s cold so I’m permanently crying, and I’m suffering from cold hands.
My run group has started some long runs though, we’re a hardy bunch, with a lot of layers. We managed the Helsby Four Villages Half Marathon (13.1 miles) in a respectable 2 hours and 1 minute and added a 14.6 miles training run last Saturday.
Running is beginning to take over my life.
Training is something you add to your routine, I don’t know about you but I didn’t have much free time before; work, being a father, volunteering and all those other things that keep us busy.
I now have to prepare for the long run, the day before I need to make sure I hydrate and fuel up (I’m good at this part at least!).
I have to run early when everyone else is asleep and get up even earlier to eat before the run and let it settle. I’m starting to get up earlier at the weekend than I do in the week, and it’s always dark, and cold.
Afterwards, I’m looking to replace the 1200 calories I’ve just lost and then start my normal Saturday. Calories are always a consideration, I should be consuming 2500 a day to maintain a healthy weight, now it’s closer to 4000, but then Saturday’s are usually active days for me - I coach a youth team for Chester Hockey Club and invariably end up running around umpiring.
5000 calories then.
That’s about 6 roast dinners. 50 bananas. Or, two thick crust pizzas.
I have a running schedule now and look at the distances with some trepidation.
16 miles twice. 18 miles twice. 20 and 22 miles.
It just seems ridiculous, and a bit frightening if I’m honest.
But, every step is a bit closer, I look at each extra mile as being just ten minutes. I can always run an extra ten minutes, right?
Anyone can run ten minutes.
Even my MD Mike could run ten minutes, maybe.
What doesn’t seem as easy is the fundraising.
I hadn’t expected this.
Everyone is being asked to donate all the time. It has been a slow start but I was delighted to receive a donation recently from a client of ours - Gibyellow, the Gibraltar Yellow Pages.
Thank you, Gibyellow team, for your support!
If you would like to donate, you can help me to reach my target. My total raised will then be matched by Ixis. Please donate to my JustGiving page