Saturday, 14 April 2012

I just needed a good run

My MK marathon race pack arrived this week.

Yes, I needed a good run early this morning for a few reasons and that's exactly what I got.  Here goes:

Reason 1

The MK Marathon is looming very close and I'm far from my best.  It is on Sunday 29th April i.e.just 15 days to go.  The race pack arrived this week.  I've got a nice number.  So far everything about the MK marathon points towards a well organised race - I wish I was!

Reason 2

Regular readers will know I injured myself three weeks ago and since then I've eased back on running almost completely in order to allow some healing to take place.  I have done a couple of 10k runs and a couple of shorter runs or jogs to prevent myself from seizing up.  Plus I've had the odd bike ride and cross training session at the gym which I'm sure has been helpful.  So this was the main reason: doing my favourite 7.5 mile hilly run... how would that be?  Could I do that as easily as before?  Could that 7.5 mile run become 26.2 miles in two weeks?

Reason 3

I need to lose 4lbs in weight to feel "right" but I'm still in the middle of my ideal weight range with a BMI of 22.1.  I can feel it as I run, just a little tummy fat accumulating and that 4lbs makes all the difference.

Reason 4

I'm returning to work after the Easter holiday and starting to think about work.  Already I can feel the stress level starting to rise which is not a good sign.   I always used to worry what my offenders would get up to while I was away on leave.  Everyone's nightmare is a Serious Further Offence when there's an arrest for murder, rape or a handful of other serious matters and you're not there to defend yourself or explain why the file isn't completely up to date.  Everyone dreads that message awaiting for your return ("..... needs to see you about X urgently").  Even though I've climbed the ladder a bit, I still dread turning on my computer to see my emails and I have a potentially tricky meeting on Monday afternoon.

Reason 5

This reason is simple for me but maybe not so easy to identify with unless you're already a runner.  It's about the sheer joy of running.  Being free, just doing it and being alone with my thoughts.  Taking yourself to that different plain, thinking things through in a different way and rising above all of those niggles in life.  Feeling my body working and being more in-tune with it; listening to my breathing and my foot steps and rejoicing in the crispness of the early morning.  Sorry, I could wax lyrical about that for ages....

The result?

Not too bad.  I could feel my "shin splint" injury lurking there now and again but not too bad.  I'd say it is 90% healed and at this stage before the race, I'm going to risk going for it.  

I was watching my shadow at one point as this is a good way of checking my running form - again not too bad but not perfect.  My new Saucony's are brilliant, pleased I got them.

Just a quiet and soft dose of the Runner's High, in proportion to the run itself.  Nevertheless, satisfying and rewarding.
Although this was a "see how I do" run, my time wasn't bad and from a cardio point of view I've retained my capacity.  Mentally, a very nice lift too!


  1. Hi Doug,
    I'm just curious -
    1. What makes a good number for a marathon and what might be a bad one?
    2. How does a BMI of 22.1 give you any tummy fat at all? (Mine is 30.59 and I like to think my tummy is ok and almost toned)

  2. Hi Sue

    1. Only because I can then remember what my number is. So when I manage to lose it somewhere on the course, I can still quote it to collect my bag from the storage area which amongst other things will contain my car key!
    2. Maybe it's a middle aged man thing? Seriously though, I know I'm a little heavy for my optimum weight and I can feel the difference when I run; it doesn't seem to make any difference when I'm cycling. Also I think I read somewhere that midriff fat is potentially more harmful. I might read up on that sometime.

  3. You might consider pulling out of the marathon if you are not completely sure you can make it round. 26.2 miles is a long way if you are injured.

    1. Thanks Gerry, I keep changing my mind from day to day! I think I'll have a 10-13 mile run over the weekend and decide from there.

  4. Stop XXXXing around and make up your mind man.

    1. Dear Anonymous

      Thank you for your comment. Glad to know you're eager to know what I decide to do!!! Having done a couple of 10k runs in the last week I will go for a 10 mile run over the weekend and then assess how I feel.