My main goal for this year was to successfully complete marathon training and run strong at the Liverpool marathon. Against my wildest dreams I managed both of these things without issue (apart from a minor shin blip that I probably blew way out of proportion in my maranoia).
So what now? Well, I didn’t really know how I’d feel after the marathon, whether I’d be injured, ruined, exhausted or raring to go again so I didn’t plan anything in concrete. As it turns out my good training meant I was in pretty good shape afterwards (can I get a HALLELUIGH!) so really the door was open to whatever I fancied, in reason obviously.
Even though my DNAFit results told me my body’s apparently good (relatively speaking) with both short and longer distances I know which I prefer and which feels better. I adore marathons. There’s just something so special about them. And so far they’ve been enjoyable rather than painful. There’s no OMG I CAN’T BREATHE OH THE LACTIC ACID BURNS pain of the shorter distances. Marathons are hard in other ways though: mentally fatiguing as well as physically tiring with the dull aches of continuously running over so many hours.
When I finish a marathon I instantly want to do another one. When I finish a fast 5k I want to be sick and never run again. I constantly think “why am I doing this?”, whereas during a marathon I’m thinking “I can’t believe I’m doing something this amazing”.
There are some pretty incredible runners in my running club and in the blogging world that are striving to hit certain shorter distance goals. My friend Karen, my blogging friend Autumn and my fellow Brighton half marathon buddy Cathy (over a year ago now??) are all striving for (and likely to hit) the elusive and indeed very impressive sub-40 10k goal. That’s eye wateringly fast. That’s insane. But it’s not for me. Don’t get me wrong I’d love that PB on my roster but I just don’t have the drive to put the effort in to get it. Because it would require a lot of effort for me…speed drills, intervals, bleurrghh! And to be honest, I’m not sure I’d ever achieve it.
So again, what’s next for me? Well another marathon obviously. I’ve signed up to Bournemouth marathon and I’m very excited.
Loads of my club are doing it, it’s within driving distance so I can actually sleep in my own bed the night before, my parents can easily watch and I can join my cub for loads of the Sunday long runs leading up to it. At the moment I don’t really have a goal time-wise as I’m so pleased with Liverpool…but a little part of me wonders because it’s flatter what I could do. But that’s food for thought right now.
There’s also another marathon I’m considering. Now I know it sounds greedy, maybe stupid and reckless given my past issues…but hear me out. It’s the Cheddar Gorge marathon. Yes OK that sounds even more mental. It’s hilly and completely off-road.
I’ve done the half marathon and absolutely hands-down loved it. It felt like an adventure the entire time and I’ve been meaning to get back there to relive the experience. Only this time I want to do the two laps – the marathon distance.
If I did do this then it’ll be without a care in the world for pace or time. I’m well aware it will take over four hours to do (my half time was almost two hours, so I’m pretty sure I’m looking at around 4.5 hours if I have a good day!). I’ll walk the hills, stroll through the aid stations and stop to chat…I won’t be thundering along pushing the pace. I’ll be stopping to smell the flowers 😉
Anyway it’s just over six weeks away…I have the Stansted Slog Half Marathon (which I did last year) this weekend which will be a good indicator as that’s a very hilly off-road half. Another good test will be the the Ultra12 event I have coming up the weekend after. This is a 12 hour event where I’ll be part of a five person team running 5 miles laps all night on an off-road course…a bit like Endure, but in half the time. I hope to do three laps so that’ll be a nice lot of mileage to play with.
Then I’ll just take each week as it comes. If things get too hard, too tiring, or niggles start appearing I’m going to drop to the half distance and focus on Bournemouth, which is ultimately more important to me.
So that’s me! Who knows if I’ll do the Cheddar Gorge marathon or not. I won’t be too sad, but I would like to do it as a change from the road marathons…but we’ll see.
What are your current running/fitness goals at the moment?
Have you done multiple marathons in a year? Or back-to-back?
Am I risking it by doing another marathon so soon?