After flying around Sydney harbour in my bamboo flying machine last year, the second part of my midlife crisis is to head back to “Blighty” to run the London Marathon on Sunday 17th April 2011.
Running a marathon has not been a long held ambition of mine, I owe it all to a rather large Friday night out on the town. The next Saturday morning feeling sorry for myself and a tad remorseful that I didn’t feel well enough to attempt my regular Saturday morning jog across the bridge, I decided to put things right and run a Marathon. The Sydney Marathon was less than a month away and applications for the London Marathon had already closed. Why I didn’t stop there and then is beyond me, it can be very easy to “think big” from behind a computer keyboard with a hangover.
After a little bit of research I discovered that I may be able to run in London if I got a sponsored place for a charity. So without really thinking it through I filled out a form for Oxfam, dreamt up a plan to raise the necessary sponsorship money and emailed it off straight away. Feeling much better about myself and having corrected the wrongs of the previous evening I went and had a fry up and forgot completely about it.
A couple of weeks later I was away delivering a training program when Robyn rang me and was more than delighted to inform me that I had been offered a place to run for Oxfam in the 2011 London Marathon!
So it began.
Initially I planned to go over on my own, stagger around and come back. Apparently there is a lot more to running a marathon, I now have the backing of a team of people (physio, chiro, and running coach) who are working hard to get me to the start line in peak condition and the family have managed to include themselves on the trip so they can cheer me on.
Christmas and a visit from overseas friends in the New Year means I have juggled a few too many drinks with some early morning training runs.
I have also been running in the Australian summer so even on an early morning run it is often 20+ degrees. I have been telling myself I have the benefit of warm weather training like the elite athletes. My own elite running coach was a Christmas present. My sister and brother in law (a London Marathon veteran) found some bloke on the Internet and they commissioned him to help me get around. I was a little sceptical at first, and Robyn didn’t help by saying she thought he was 25 stone and all he did was sit around in his undies all day and between mouthfuls of chips he was going to ring me up and tell me to run faster and eat more nuts!
I have met him he is the real deal. An ultra marathon runner himself, he firstly set about analysing my data. Running with a small computer on my wrist, tracking my every move brings me great joy, I enjoy the post run analysis more than the run itself. He has also deemed my internet sourced training schedule “light on”. The upshot is he now has me running time trials and a variety of distances at different paces whilst we balance my power output against my recovery profile. At least he knows what he is on about, I just do as I am told.
As long as I can balance the occasional piece of work with my running schedule and stay injury free I will be able to tick the second item off my bucket list on the afternoon of Sunday 17th.If you want to support my midlife crises and a good cause you can make a donation at: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/BenReeve