Since recovering from my knee operation I’ve managed eight full weeks of training. I’m pleased to say my knee is still improving and the more I run the fitter I feel. Through March I completed 3 marathons which I suppose is amazing considering everything. The main goal is the Brathay 10 in 10 and I’m a long way behind with training from where I’d ideally like to be for this.
April has arrived, it is now only 5 weeks to the 10in10 and time for the Manchester marathon. It’s a flat, fast, big city road marathon these days and a chance for me to run a bit faster and find out where my recovery and training are up to. It was also a great opportunity to bump into lots of my running friends, including members of my local running club and other Brathay 10in10 members.
This year the weather was perfect for running; cool, dry, calm and mostly cloudy. I couldn’t have asked for better and I had no excuse for running poorly. I wanted to see what I could do but also didn’t want to overdo it either, so I planned to run at just under 8 minute mile pace and see how it felt by half way. All went very well and for a good period of the first half I enjoyed the unexpected company of my former coach, Steve from Swinton Running Club. It was nice to catch up with Steve and pass a few miles.
Half way came in 1:44 and I felt good which really encouraged me. Steve was looking strong and moved on ahead while I decided to maintain the same pace. By 20 miles I was feeling the pace, it had been a year since I’d run this fast. I was so pleased not to be experiencing any knee pain and instead was able to concentrate on pushing my pace. I’d forgotten what it was like to mentally push your body when it was very tired.
Each mile I was keeping a close eye on my pace which was very consistent and really pleased me. I began to realise a sub 3:30 was on the cards, something I often used to do but haven’t managed for over a year. At about 24 miles I caught up with my friend Rexy, it was his 100th marathon, I wanted to stay and keep him company but I was too out of breath to talk and I was on a mission. I wished him well and carried on.
It was hard work digging in to push the body over the last few miles but it was a real boost to see many friends from Astley and Tyldesley Road Runners manning the water station at the 25 mile point. One last push and then I was so pleased to finally finish in 3:27:39, far better than anything I had dreamed of doing.
I leaned on the railings at the finish trying to get my breath back where Rexy joined me minutes later. Well done Rexy, 100 marathons completed!
It was then time to return to my car in Man United’s car park and drink my customary post race protein shake, vanilla this time.
I’m so pleased on how my recovery is going and to go sub 3:30 in only 4 months from my operation is fantastic news but the real prize is the 10in10 in May. Am I ready enough for this?
Next stop London marathon in 2 weeks time and my last marathon before the 10in10. I’m starting to believe the 10in10 is doable this year but it is going to be one hell of a challenge. I suppose I wouldn’t want it any other way.
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