Whilst I have spent a total of 7 hours 18 minutes and 5 seconds (roughly – this was done in my head and not on a calculator) physically running the London Marathon in my life, mentally I had been running it for two years. From signing up with Spinal Research in May 2014 for the 26 April 2015 to submitting my Good for Age application a few months after to run it again on 24 April 2016, there has not been much time in the past two years in which my goal was not to run the London Marathon.
However, after giving it all I had on April 24th this year, I truly understood what it meant to leave it all on the road. I felt satisfied and at peace with my performance and achievement. So, what do you do when you reach your goal?
Temptation is to try and keep beating it, but I made a decision to put myself on a new path rather than keep chasing my tail. This year I made a note of the deadline for Good for Age submissions, and missed it on purpose. Why? This was partly me tripping the fuse on my highly driven and competitive self. I love the London Marathon and I owe it a lot – it gave me peace of mind at a time when I felt I was losing the post – and I decided it was out of this love and respect for what I believe must be the greatest road race on earth that I decided the next time I find myself in the starting pens I will be doing it for the experience and not for a PB. I knew if I ran it three years in a row then the third medal wouldn’t be special unless it represented another PB. To put it simply, I staged an intervention for myself.
That being said, I do love running and I wanted a new goal. I toyed with an Ultra Marathon, at which point my body said no and after months with a strained quad I’ve decided that the Ultra goal will be when the time is right, not when I’m frantically searching for a new goal.
It’s taken me a while, but I’ve decided that the new goal isn’t too run further, but to run faster. For the first time since I signed up for a half marathon more than three years ago, I’ve decided to train with a half marathon as a goal rather than a stepping stone.
However, me being me I had to find a way to make it harder than necessary…I’m taking on two in two weeks. On September the 11th I’ll be lining up ready to start the Great North Run and a week later I’m getting on a plane to experience the Copenhagen Half Marathon. Naturally, I can only choose one of these races to try and PB at, the other will be for fun as my body needs to recover. I don’t know which race is the main goal yet, but what I do know is that between the party capital of the North and the famous Bridge the Gap spirit, shakeout run and party that will be going on in Copenhagen, I am going to have a lot of fun as I work towards this goal. The GNR is a ballot race and I am heading to the starting line with Lucozade who will also be powering me around the course, but if anyone has itchy feet for a last minute half marathon than places for Copenhagen are still available here.
Sheffield Half Marathon 2013 – 1:54
Edinburgh Half Marathon 2013 – 2:02
Sheffield Half Marathon 2014 – 1:47
Vitality North London Half Marathon 2015 – 1:41
Silverstone Half Marathon 2016 – 1:39
Great North Run 2016 – TBC
Copenhagen Half Marathon 2016 – TBC