It’s fair to say that I had it easy for the first eight years of my running ‘career’. Dressed as Liza Minnelli in 2009 for my first ever race (in the grown up world), despite being inhibited by the French knickers that kept falling down my legs, I finished in under 1hr 32. Skip forward seven months and I ran my first ever marathon in 3hr 18. And over the next seven years, my marathon times came down to 2hr 35.
Up to this point, I saw a proportional improvement in times with an increase in training and effort. Then in 2018, that increase in training load got me injured. I thought I could bounce back within a few months but life can be a bit of a biatch – what takes years to build can be lost in weeks. It’s actually taken me a year to get back to where I was. Often, it’s not until you’ve had a setback, that you realise how much of an easy ride you had!
So, roll on eight months since my last blog and it’s fair to say a lot has happened. First – Phil, Nick and I picked up a Guinness World Record for the fastest half-marathon wheelchair push at Worthing Half Marathon back in February.
There were some shaky moments – hurtling round the roads of Worthing, what could go wrong? Namely getting up onto the promenade in the last mile at sub 6 minute/mile pace where Phil and the wheelchair were at a 45-degree angle tilt. Thankfully we crossed the finish line with Phil still in the chair!
After a few warm up races in Feb/Mar, I ran London Marathon 2019 in April. I was never in the shape that I thought I was and so it turned out to be a difficult race.
The last few months have been a lot more positive. I’ve turned to the running track to work on improving my speed to take into marathon training. I’d never run a mile, 3000m or 10000m on the track. And I raced all of these distances in July. Of course, that meant an instant PB as soon as I crossed the start line! I’ll have to find some more distances to do for the first time.
It’s 11 weeks until I run Frankfurt Marathon and marathon training starts the week after next. But I’ve got a new target too – on Sunday 8th December at Goodwood Motor Circuit during an organised marathon race, Phil and I are going to try and break the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon wheelchair push. The current record stands at 3 hours 1 minute 24 seconds. More on this next time!