Thursday, 24 September 2015

Marathon time!

Well after a 3 year wait I can finally say I will be toeing the line in a marathon this weekend in Berlin. It's been a rough few years with a host of set backs but it's great to be finally getting to a marathon start line as there have certainly been many times when I thought it might not happen, plus I am actually in pretty decent shape too.

Essentially I have been back in action since the start of the year, all be it not very fit to begin with. It's taken a little while to get myself into the sort of shape where I feel I can race well and do myself justice, technically I'm still yet to show it in a race but I do feel ready to do that now.  If I'm honest it's been quite a frustrating year on the whole and I have found it hard mentally, more than I imagined I would. I thought once I was back running things would just take care of itself but in truth most of the battle has been dealing with my own expectations. I love running and enjoy the process of training, I will always run as long as my body can cope with it but in all what motivates me most is winning races, competing in big races, achieving fast times and making teams.  I want and still believe I am capable of all those things and in particular making teams is a big goal, making the Olympics. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't had doubts about whether my body would hold up to the training. In all honesty last years injury and the aftermath made me a little paranoid about any little injury or symptoms around my sacrum/hip area (for those not in the know I suffered a sacral stress fracture in June 2014). Apparently I am not alone in feeling like this with this sort of injury. Thankfully the body has held up and I will be making that start line, a combination of relief and joy. Only last week I had another little scare.... was this the paranoia again? no this was actually legit, my sacro-iliac joint was a little locked up but thankfully a bit of physio and a couple of easy days and I'm now good to go!

I have actually got in a very good period of consistent training this year despite the psychological minefield.  It may not be directly apparent in the races I have done but recent training in Font Romeu was very good. My training has not been directly comparable to past marathon preparations as changes have been made, I am now working with a different coach for one, Gavin Smith. Gavin has experience working with Renato Canova, who has coached a lot of the good Kenya athletes out in Iten, Kenya.  I have input into things but it has been nice for someone else to drive the schedule. This has allowed me to just get on with things, which with work and family commitments has been most welcome at times!  There be a few changes to how I was previously training, some of this has been Gavin's philosophy and some has been due to trying to manage my body but on the whole I have done some good work and made some good progression in various area's.  I do feel in general my fitness is the best it been since 2012.

Over the last three years I thought I might not experience this again... so I look forward to being part of the race day build up, seeing athletes I have not seen for a little while and soaking up the adrenaline and nerves that come with race morning. Most of all though I look forward to toeing the line in big race again and trying to achieve remaining ambitions.