It’s six weeks now since the Consultant gave me the ‘O.K., go for a jog’ good news to lift my faltering spirits so here’s a quick update on my progress since then & yes, my thoughts really did begin to think about the Snowdon Marathon which was at that time six & a half weeks away.
Week 1 – One run, 3 Miles, ankle tender but no negative aftereffects.
Week 2 – Two runs, 11 Miles total, as week 1 but energy levels feel like I’m running through treacle.
Week 3 – Two runs, 11 Miles total, as Week 2, looks like I’m on a long journey to nowhere.
Week 4 – Four runs, 25 Miles total, at last some seriously good progress as I gave myself a bit of a kick up the ass ‘get serious now Paul or Snowdon is off’. Also had one run of over 10 Miles albeit a slow one.
Week 5 – Five runs, 35 Miles total. Continued progress including a hilly almost 13 Miler & another double digit run along the undulating Aberdeen coastal path. However, the week ended badly when I took a bad fall on the Sunday when taking Dorina for an early morning run again along the Aberdeen coastal path. Schoolboy error failing to see the start of a shallow ramp on a concrete slipway, my right chest took the brunt, winded with grazed hands & right knee to boot. It was one of those where you stay down until you’ve come to terms with the damage. I ran on but later that day having driven a couple of hours to Perth I got out the car feeling like I had bruised ribs.
Week 6 – Two runs, 23 Miles, I’d backed off as much to do with returning home & back to work at the Cafe. Despite this I put in a good albeit flat 15.7 miler backed up the following day with a 7 hillier miler so pleased with those at least. However, from the moment I set off on both of these I could feel my heart & lungs pounding against my bruised ribs & wondered should I continue ‘it’s a long way for such pain’. Perseverance proved (as in the Karakorum) that pain can be managed if not enjoyed. As for the ankle, holding up well but with the odd twinge near the end of the 15 miler, no bad aftereffects.
Week 7 – No runs as yet, bruised ribs as they were but subject to at least one easy training run just to check the ribs out I think I’ll be at the Eryri Marathon start line this coming Saturday with a mindset of ‘slow & steady, sub 4:30 would be very satisfying all things considered.’ Of course, a mere 15 miler is hardly an ideal steppingstone for a hard Marathon, but it is what it is & will have to do.
If you discount the barren Covid years it’ll be my 8th consecutive Snowdon Marathon, my previous seven were all completed between 3:31 & 3:39 but none of them were preceded with any of a badly sprained ankle, fractured tibia, bruised ribs or a 16 week break from running. If you see me walking a section that I should be running, please cheer me on as I’ll clearly be needing all the help I can get.
& So, to the Marathon itself, it really is a great one, three serious hills, fantastic scenery, tremendous supporters cheering us on & it feels like my home Marathon as I’m sure it does too for many of us who live in Snowdonia. My thanks to Jayne Lloyd & all her team & those happy & joyous feed stations, I hope it goes as well as it possibly can. Good luck too to all the runners & remember all ‘good’ things always come to an end!
Will I tell the Consultant on 13th December what I’ve been up to, too early to call:)