Tuesday, 3 January 2012

This body wasn't built for long distance running....

Let me start this post by wishing you all a very happy New Year. I hope that you all had a Merry Christmas, I know I did and the scales show it!

It's at this time of year that I, like most of you, make the traditional New Years resolutions of getting fit and healthy, giving up smoking (the only one i've stuck to in 10 years), cutting back on the booze and to generally be a nicer person. By January the 10th I have usually failed on all counts and pledge that next year will be different. However, this year is different, it has to be.

In April of this year,  I have got to drag this currently very large body around 26 miles and 385 yards of London roads in the 2012 London marathon. For those of you who haven't met me  - I am 6'4" tall, I weigh approximately 16st and I currently have the fitness endurance of an asthmatic tortoise.....to say that there is some work to do is an understatement. By April this year I NEED to be 1.5 stones lighter, I NEED to be able to run 26 mile + non stop and I NEED to be able to do all of this whilst not letting down my good friends Marcus and Shelly. More importantly, I WILL do this in honour of Shelly's amazing sister Nikki who I'm sure you all know had to endure far greater challengers last year before sadly losing her fight against cancer. It puts everything into perspective when I think about the long runs, the hurting knees, the aching back that I'm sure we will face in the next few months. In reality, It's going to be easy, a piece of cake, a walk in the park compared to what Nikki so bravely fought last year.

This being a running blog, I suppose I should give you an insight into how the trainings going. In a nutshell, it's hard. This body was not built for long distance running. It is far more suited to long distance sitting. It hasn't always been this way though. I actually ran the London Marathon in 2003 in a respectable 4hrs 13 mins - needless to say, I was younger, lighter and fitter than I am now. There are certain things that haven't changed though, there are things about me that are often my downfall in life but are very very handy to have on your side when your training for a marathon. I'm stubborn. I'm Belligerent, I'm pig headed and I hate being proven wrong (I sound really nice don't I).

I started training properly in November 2011. The average distances were around 4 miles at a time which slowly increased to the 5m, 6m and then 10k distances within a few weeks...not bad as a base. Then all 3 of us set out on our first LONG ONE - 10 miles, non stop in under 2 hrs.

It was great for the 3 of us to get out and do a good run together. Shelly was rather nervous before we set off because, for some reason she thought that Marcus and I (with a combined weight of 30 stone) would be running to fast for her......it goes without saying that this was not the case at all we ran the whole way together and managed to finish the 10 miles in under 2 hrs. It was really interesting to see the different things that kept us going, After about 4 miles Shelly put the earphones in and ran the rest of the way listening to Lady Gaga (I can't blame her for this, she did have to listen to me and Marcus banging on with the usual mindless drivel that tends to spew from our mouths). Marcus needed an update every 45 yards in terms of how far we had run (If you picture a small child in the back of a car constantly screaming "are we nearly there yet, are we nearly there yet, are we nearly there yet") and I pretended that everything was okay whilst hiding the crippling pain coming from my knees, ankles, and hips, (see, stubborn, belligerent and pig headed) this body wasn't built for long distance running.

Since then, and I have to say that I am very proud of myself for this, I ran 6.4 miles on Christmas Eve. 5 miles on Boxing day. 6 miles on the 28th and then yesterday I ran 8.7 miles whilst also setting a new Personal Best (post 2003 weight gain) for 10k. I'm motivated, how could I not be. We're doing this in memory of Nikki and that's more than enough to ensure that all 3 of us will try our hardest over the next few months to make her proud.

I see from Marcus's posts that I should post a couple of photos from some of my recent runs - so here you go. Bear in mind that these were taken whilst running so please forgive me if the photos aren't a true representation of me :-)

This was me at the start of the training in early November, thought i'd enter a race to get some practice in -

This was me running three weeks later on a really sunny day in Farnham -

Until next time


Please visit www.justgiving.com/nikkifagg to donate

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