22 October 2012

Mission accomplished

My fitness goal has long been to be able to run a Marathon without special preparation. Just to keep myself in good enough shape to do it without those tedious 16-week training schedules which are so difficult to fit into a busy life (or even my life). To my amazement, I have got there.

Gone are the days when you can enter a Marathon on the day - I did precisely that back in the 90s. I'd had my number for the Abingdon Marathon for a few weeks, taunting me whenever I came across it among the papers on my desk. No way, I thought, after a six-month hiatus and with nothing longer than 12.29 miles under my belt since I got myself running again a few weeks ago. But on the day it was a different story. After all, I could pull any time if it was going badly - as I fully expected it to do.

I reckoned 10 minute miles would see me through, although they turned into 12 minute shuffles after about mile 20. I didn't worry about how long I stopped for feed stations, or to chat to friends by the side of the road, or for pit stops. I answered many questions about my huaraches, or "invisible shoes" as one marshal dubbed them, and apart from a tight calf muscle suffered no real discomfort - which is more than can be said of most of my previous Marathons with foam wedges under my feet.

Well, I can run a Marathon when I want, but not as fast as I would like. I was on my feet for nearly five hours, and that is too much time out of my day, so having accomplished this important goal I will get on with a bit of speed work.

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