When you can’t quite make it to the start line….

This Sunday coming is the day I should be running my first marathon of the year. A race I entered almost as soon as it was open with high hopes of a distance PB and a more comfortable run that my last attempt, which was at the Loch Ness Marathon back in September last year. The Lochaber marathon is an out and back race on a relatively flat route and after the ups and downs and inbetweens of Loch Ness, I had really been looking forward to see what I was capable of. But after my rather shaky start to the year, I made the heart wrenching decision to pull out. I knew it was the right decision as I hadn’t been able to train properly, but the stubborn part of me was very reluctant to accept I wasn’t capable of doing it. In the state I was in I would have been lucky to complete the first 10k of it!

However, now that race day looms and I’m feeling much better and have a good few miles clocked in my fresh legs, I’m inwardly very jealous of everyone going up to the race. I know I’m still nowhere near marathon ready but now that I’m running well again, part of me wishes I’d still given it a go. The very silly part of me of course – I know I’d do more damage than good running on untrained legs, but still….. you know how it is.

The past few weeks have seen my return to running with a grin on my face. Not just a grin, but an elated , Cheshire cat type beam from ear to ear.

And, well whatever this is…

Black top on the right. Captions welcome...
Black top on the right. Captions welcome…

The above was taken at our club time trail on Tuesday. A 3 mile sprint around the Gartmorn dam, a beautiful – if somewhat muddy, circular loop where our club does loads of training. My splits for which were all under 8 minutes and my overall time being 22:35. I couldn’t be happier with that time, and if that’s how I’m starting my comeback I’m hoping at the next time trial I can slash at least another 30 seconds off that!

My giving it my all, Scott just having a leisurely jog. It's not fair....
My giving it my all, Scott just having a leisurely jog. It’s not fair….
Ruuuuuuuuuunn!! Pics - Richard O'Grady
Ruuuuuuuuuunn!!
Pics – Richard O’Grady

Thursdays training was one of my favourite pyramid set – 3 mins, 4 mins, 5 mins, 6 mins, 5 mins, 4 mins, 3 mins, following the old wagon way down to Tillicoultry and then, yep you guessed it, back UP again. I felt like I had so much power during this session which is something I haven’t felt since the beginning of December. I even managed a sprint up the last hill in the last minute of the last set – something I couldn’t have even dreamed of a few weeks ago!

So now the countdown is on until my next few events. Starting with sweeping the first 2 legs of the Hoka Highland Fling in 3 weeks – something that has just been finalised tonight and I couldn’t be more excited about! Then I have the Loch Leven Half at the beginning of May which is a race that I HAVE to run this year as it was my first ever DNS last year. Following that Jemma and I are running the Mull of Kintyre half at the end of May – one of the most beautiful in the U.K and then, in 10 weeks time, it’s marathon time again. The Strathearn marathon which will now be my first marathon of the year and my now ‘A’ race of the year. Training is well under way and if I manage to run it like I’m running just now, I’ll be elated and have a fantastic race.

Bring on the hours of running ahead.

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