I wasn’t going to enter a marathon this year. I didn’t, and still don’t, know if my legs have got it in them to run 26.2 miles. However, I found myself signing up to the 2015 Berlin Marathon in September. I’ve always thought I would someday run a marathon, even before I became a runner. It’s always been one of those things on my ‘must do’ list, but the more I got into running the more unachievable the distance seemed. I mean, to sustain a decent pace for such a long duration would take a monumental amount of training. So why sign up now? And why on earth Berlin?
Readers of this blog (we must be nearing double figures now) may be wondering what all this talk of marathoning has to do with the #RoadToSub20, in short it has everything to do with it. On that fateful night when the parameters of the bet were set, Mark, Tommy and I were keen parkrunners. I can only speak for myself but I rarely considered any races that could be classed as long distance. The bet has inspired all three of us to try to explore increasingly radical strategies to improve our running. We’ve implemented interval training and upped the length of our long runs in a bid to reduce our times. So without parkrun and without our friendly wager, I’d most likely not have made my foray into long distance running at all.
Training has been going well, I feel the strongest I’ve ever felt. Combine that with my desire to one day run a marathon and I found myself hitting the submit entry button. I always thought it would be the London Marathon but Berlin was there with the right timing for me. Who wants to train through the winter anyway? The good lady wife ‘er indoors asked ‘Did you sign up to Berlin because Dennis Kimetto just got the world record there and you think that you’ll get a better time on a fast course?’ Well no, not really, maybe a tiny bit yes, but mostly because the timing is right and Berlin is a fantastic city and I quite fancy an adventure.
I’ll be running for the British Heart Foundation. This was an easy choice for me because I had open-heart surgery as a baby so I feel a huge affinity towards the charity and would like to in a very small way show my appreciation. The reality is that without the surgery I wouldn’t have been able to walk down the street without being out of breath let alone run parkruns each week or enter a marathon. If you would like to sponsor me please visit my Just Giving donation page. I would be so grateful if anyone who reads this chooses to donate on my behalf.
So there it is; by reading this blog you’ll be updated on the road to sub 20 bet and my marathon training. An enticing prospect I’m sure!