Truth be told, this is more of a cathartic ramble and moan rather than anything motivating or inspiring - sorry!
I've been rattling though marathons over the last couple of years, chasing the hallowed halls of the 100 Marathon Club that many of my inspirational running peers are a member of. To date, I'm up to 40, and looking to hit 50 by the end of this year, to gain Associate Level membership.
I'm hoping that writing this may put things into perspective and stop my persistent self flagellation, curb my frustration, and borderline jealousy of my peers out each weekend enjoying themselves, whilst I struggle to motivate myself to plod out a 10K.
I started this journey (unbeknown to me at the time, that it was one :grin: in May 2006 at the fantastic Halstead Marathon in Essex. The build up and circumstance to this was not uncommon and many running peers have similar stories - never really athletic at school, put on a bit of podge in my late twenties, and found running worked to shift it, and unwittingly it became a "thing". I had a few years of relapse (work, life etc) and got back into running again in 2016 after yet more podge having turned 40.
Up to this point I'd achieved 2x marathons (Halstead and Dublin in 2006), 4x halfs including the Great North Run in 2008, and a smattering of 10K's and 5K's. So I knew that I had it in me (albeit slightly older and wiser). By the end of 2017, I'd completed Dublin again, trained hard for it, and was rewarded with a PB of 4:46. I subsequently smashed the 2hr half marathon in November of 2017 at the last Shakespeare Raceway event, and had plenty more halfs and 10K's under my belt by the end of the year.
Then it went a bit addictive. Whilst I trained hard for Dublin, I was aiming for sub 4:30 and was on for 4:20 up until about mile 18. So entered Phoenix Running Frozen Phoenix event between Christmas and New Year, determined to crack 4:30. Needless to say I failed miserably and managed only 16 miles (lapped event) as it was a quagmire on the towpath and I'd only ever run road races. However, what I did achieve, was to meet an incredibly inspiring bunch of runners of all abilities and speeds. Oh and some insane medals and challenges.
Starting in Jan 2018, I set myself the target to run 12 marathons in 12 months and just to make it even more challenging, to double up and run 52 events in 52 weeks, raising money for The Alzheimers society and Great Ormond Street hospital. I figured the charity element would act as a good motivator, and it was. I hit 19 marathons that year, including 2x ultras and smashed over 80 events. I also got bitten by the marathon tourism bug and ran Berlin and Amsterdam that year.
Facing 2019, I needed a different challenge - distance. A few friends had done Iron Man and SDS, but that way too bat-shit crazy for me. So I ran the Ridgeway, 100Km of it at Race to the Stones. I didn't find training for it that hard, as I was running pretty much 2 marathons a month, and it was a case of doing a couple of double headers over a weekend. I completed it and absolutely loved the event and camaraderie. I think I'm also very motivated by point-to-point races as they give you that sense of purpose.
So why am I moaning? I completed 18 marathons in 2019, including RTTS, and whilst I wasn't getting any quicker, I was consistently knocking them out and enjoying it. However, since December running has just been the last thing on my mind. I ran a dreadful "getting it done" marathon in Feb to notch up #40, despite been overweight, under prepared, and full of cold. I didn't hate it, but it was chore. I have only 2x fixtures in my calendar; Vitality Big Half next weekend (which I'm convinced I'll DNS as I've been suffering from proper flu for the last 3 days), and the big one; Race to the Castle - Thresholds new 100Km event up in Northumbria in June, that I feel woefully unprepared for.
I'm hoping it's a time of year / weather thing, and in fairness my asthma typically takes a whack this time of year, so it feels doubly difficult.