Wednesday, 23 January 2013

A Look Ahead to 2013

Phew -  I just about made it through the Christmas party season, Ive managed a few long runs interspersed with a few lunch time tempo sessions and I've done some furious treadmill work. At last I'm regaining a bit of fitness and I can look positively ahead to the running challenges of 2013.
In September 2012 during the later part of a holiday as I lay on a sun lounger on a hot Greek beach I made an absolute commitment with myself. I was pretty fit in September after a good summer's running, I'd lost weight and was able to run back to back long events. I promised myself that this year I wasn't going to suffer my usual winter slump. This year I was going to keep running long whatever the winter weather threw at me. I was going to keep weight off and avoid the temptation to eat fatty food whilst hibernating indoors and I was going to shun the majority of Christmas parties...... In rolled the new year and once again i found myself partied out, weight gained, feeling lazy and unfit (but I did have a good time!) and so to 2013.........
The first major challenge is another assault on a sub three hour London Marathon. My London marathon history is:
 3:23:23 (2000)
 3:20:12 (2001)
 3:03:25 (2002)
 3:11:54 (2004)
 3:06:01 (2011)
 3:05:40 (2012)
Given that history its a tough ask but I think I can do it. I've managed one torrid speed session with Grantham RC which involved mile hill repeats - horrible but I have to go back and do more.
After London I should have peak fitness which can be put to good use during the LDWA 100 which I've entered again. Last year I retired with no good reason at 65 miles but despite DNFing I have some really great memories of the event which in 2012 was run between London and Windsor. It was a mad experience to run out of the urban throng of central London by myself and eventually into the more forgiving pastures of leafy Surrey as i caught up with walkers and runners that had left the start at an earlier time in the day. I had no idea where I was for most of the way but it was great to follow a route description for such a long distance along unknown paths and trails. This year's event runs from the West to the East coasts through Cornwall and Devon and crossing Bodmin and Dartmoor inbetween. I hope to complete a navigation course ahead of the event!    
Next up - the Thunder Run TR24 with the good folk of Grantham Running Club. The quality of the club's running has improved steadily over 2012 and I think this is the year when my comrades and I can achieve our potential in whatever distances or events we respectively target. In addition to London other club members are running marathon's including Paris, Milton Keynes and Berlin. Come July we should be sharp and ready to run repeat 10k relays continuously over 24 hours. the TR24 a spectacle that I'm looking forward to.
Team TR24 2012
Lets hope for a long summer as I leave the road behind in favour of the trail. I'll no doubt take part in perennial favourites in the Peak District such as the Peaker's Stroll (to be recommended Grantham folk, maybe with a bit of camping?)  I completed the Long Tour of Bradwell last year which was hard but good Bullock Smithy training so I'll go again. And then on to my favourite event of all - the Bullock Smithy Hike. where I'll be chasing a sub 10 hour time and an 18th completion. This year my friend is coming back to complete unfinished business having got lost on his first attempt. It's really got under his skin. You can follow his progress here.
Finally I've been hoodwinked agreed to organise this year's local Belton Cup trail race. (I suppose it's about time I give something back!). I will never again take race organisation for granted - risk assessments, race permits, volunteers, insurance, first aid, volunteers, route maps, entry forms, prizes, volunteers, course markers, marketing, volunteers, results, start gantries, finish funnels, health and safety, volunteers, the list goes on. If you want to VOLUNTEER I'd be more than grateful if you could get in touch! failing that come and run, the event is part of Belton International Horse Trials - a fine day out for all the family. last year's race was won by a Clayton le Moors runner proving that quality athletes will travel for this popular event.  
Whatever your plans are for 2013 I hope you run strong, stay injury free and achieve your goals, thanks for reading the blog.
Keep on running!