So as some will know, I decided (possibly in a moment of weakness) last spring that in order to try and raise some funds for the NYOW I would run the Cardiff Half Marathon. How hard could it be I asked myself, it’s not like it’s a full marathon and a 10k just sounds a bit, well, feeble. Besides, I play squash and touch rugby and so I’m generally fairly fit – it should be alright.
Well after a few months training my conclusions are:
1) 10k is not feeble at all; it’s still a long way and would have been much easier to pull off
2) Turns out that the short bursts of speed required to play squash and rugby don’t really prepare you for the rigours of long distance running with the stamina and mental toughness required
3) I’m very glad I didn’t decide to do a full marathon
As far as the training has gone, it started off pretty well; a couple of leisurely runs with colleagues from the WJEC made me think that this was completely do-able. I downloaded an app for my iPhone that would tell me my total distance, time taken and average speed – it was all great fun. However, after the first use the stats were a little disheartening. 3.5 miles in 40 minutes, whilst not atrocious, was no way near to the kind of speed I would need over 13.1 miles to complete the race within my own target of 2 hours – it was time to ramp up the training.
Unfortunately as soon as I’d decided this the summer residency arrived. My intentions were good, I was fully prepared to go for a number of runs during a fortnight in the beautiful surroundings of Lampeter. However, I managed the grand total of..... 1, and that was only a short one at just over 3 miles (although there was a very large hill!).
Since then I’m happy to say that training has been going a lot better. I’m gradually working up to decent distances in decent times – last run was 8.6 miles with an average speed that would bring me in under the 2 hour mark.
There is still a long way to go and the date (16th October 2011) is getting ever closer. I’m determined to beat the aching muscles and ankles as well as the blisters on nearly every toe and get at least one 13 mile run completed before the day. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
In the meantime, if you want to sponsor me – my fundraising page is below, to coin a supermarket slogan – ‘every little bit helps!’: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MattJones77