So this is nearly Christmas, and what have I done?
Well, so far this week, a whole lot of nothing in terms of running, as I’ve been coughing and sneezing my way through the days. It doesn’t feel chesty, so I could have popped out for a gentle bimble, but for Monday and Tuesday we had two grandsons to hang out with and that normally knackers me out considerably more than running. It’s usually because I insist on treating small children like dogs, and making sure they get out for a good run around at least once in the day.
This time though, the eldest (three and two-thirds), who’d just managed his first full-time term in the school nursery brilliantly, couldn’t quite make it in for the final two days as he was exhausted. So, it was a morning of drawing objects of the solar system with the free-flowing gusto of a young expressionist, followed making cup cakes with nannie Annie, and finally it was feet up, blankets over, and a re-run of Madagascar. Meanwhile, the younger one (nine months), in typical second-child mode, is refusing to learn how to get on his knees and crawl, and is instead, rolling his way around the living room carpet, but only when you leave the room for two seconds. I think he took a few tips from the commando penguins in the film.
I could go out today, it being a beautifully sunny one for the shortest day of the year, but I’m going to rest up for a little longer, in a doing housework, getting presents ready, pondering lists for the coming days kind of way.
After my, just about, successful 10K effort in November, my aim, for the rest of the year, was to keep a base level of miles ticking over each week until I start ‘official’ marathon training in January. I’ve managed three 22+ miles a week for the last three weeks. I should be able to squeeze another 20+ miles this week before having a nice festive few days.
There are a whole bunch of unknowns for me as I embark on this journey again and I am a bit nervous. I’ll be eight years older, plus I’m getting close to the average menopause age, so who knows how my body will be changing. I’m a lot slower than I was when I began my training last time, my Halfs had been down to under 2:15 at that point, and now I’m up to 2:30 plus.
However, what I have got this time, is a bit more consistency, and the joy of doing more races, with the Cross Country, the Borders League and the internal club races. I remember listening to an interview with Steve Jones, the one-time world marathon record holder in the 1980s, who said that he never did ‘tempo runs’ in training as he used to race almost every weekend.
Granted, I can only compare myself to elite marathoners in the most tangential manner, but occasionally lessons can be learnt from the gods. So hopefully, with that consistency, and the odd attempts at speed, will come some of the strength and stamina required for the big M. I just need to remember that I’m not trying to get a PB in April, I’m just building my legs up, to get ready for the autumn. I just hope that I enjoy the training a bit more than I did last time. But that’s all in the future. For now, I’ll keep racking up the base miles until this year’s over. And start building up when the new one’s begun.