It feels a bit strange blogging back on Hoverboards. I know it’s been a long time since I posted here, and whilst that hiatus was never planned, life and other things got in the way. I do still blog at least once a month over on the Diabetes UK blog site, but I somehow never found the time to come back to where it all started. Until now.
I’ve returned to talk about a familiar theme – running. In just under 12 weeks, I’ll be lining up at the start of my second marathon, this time in my native Yorkshire as I put myself through the mill for 26.2 miles. I realise that blogging about marathon training is nothing new here but I’ve returned to it for a couple of reasons. Firstly, being able to approach this race with an element of hindsight after my endeavours in London in 2012 is helpful. Surely I’ve learned something from that process right? Secondly, whilst some of my battles remain the same (unsurprisingly I still have type 1 diabetes, I still struggle with my weight, I still get shin splints….) some of my circumstances have also changed.
For the time being (until December at least) I’m now using an insulin pump rather than my old regime of two separate pens for injections. Overall I think the impact on my quality of life over the last 18 months since getting the pump has been incredibly positive and I’m hoping I can transfer that into my running. I’m also starting from a different place physically than I was before. Last time I hadn’t run for a long time and I was starting out with one mile runs to get up to a decent level of fitness. This time I’ve covered just over 220 miles so far this year, having done 450 miles in 2013.
I’m also being a bit more ambitious with my target this time round. I’d desperately love to run under4:30 (knocking an hour off my London time) when October rolls around. I know that’s incredibly aspirational but it’s good to have it in mind while I’m training. I know I’m not built to run quickly – my frame, weight and fragile shins mean it’s pretty much impossible that I’d ever run under 4 hours so I’m setting myself a target that is potentially in reach if everything goes well over the next 3 months. This year is also the first year that I’ll have done both a half and a full marathon in the same year. That’s not necessarily something incredible in itself, but for an average Joe, it’s something worth celebrating.
The title for this post relates to my training plan. All being well I’ve got 286 miles to run between now and crossing the finishing line in York on October 12th. By the time I get to the start line, I’ll already have covered the equivalent of 19 marathons this year (although mercifully that’ll be over 9 months!) As before, this blog will really serve two purposes. Firstly, it’s a great way for me to document the training journey and have something to look back on that stretches beyond logging numbers in a spreadsheet. Secondly it’s to share the highs, lows, pains and successes that doing something like this will give you. For every race there’s countless hours of training, and for every ‘perfect’ training run there’s an equally atrocious one that makes you wonder why you bother. Being able to communicate those highs and lows is great motivation for me.
As I do every year, I’m raising money for Diabetes UK, with this year’s target being £1000. Following on from my half marathon exploits earlier this year, I’ve already raised £115 which is very pleasing. I also did the Fun Run with my 4 year old daughter at this year’s Sheffield Half Marathon. I’ll also be doing the Great Yorkshire Run in September and (hopefully) the Sheffield 10km in October too. Whilst I run primarily for the personal challenge/satisfaction and health benefits, I try and raise money as well – mostly because I don’t know how to do it any other way.
Anyone who knows me or has the (mis)fortune to chat to me on Twitter probably knows how important Diabetes UK is to me and millions of other people with diabetes of any type. I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to get personally involved with the Diabetes UK voluntary group in Sheffield and I know first-hand how much of a difference the support of others can mean to people living with diabetes every day. If you’d like to donate, then anything you can spare will be gratefully received. Visit http://www.justgiving.com/broomhead to make a donation.
Training starts tonight with a gentle 4.5 mile run. The basic plan is to do three runs a week with one longer run included. Anyone who followed my 2012 training will remember that there came a point when three runs a week became too much – I’m hoping that’s not the case this time. My longest run so far this year is 13.2 miles but that’s all going to change in the next few weeks!
If you made it this far then thanks. I appreciate that a blog about running and chronic illness isn’t the sexiest of combinations. I’ll be interspersing it with the odd snippet of something else to try and keep it interesting. Having lived in York for 10 years, I’m really looking forward to being able to do a marathon there so hopefully I’ll be here in 12 weeks’ time with a picture of a finisher’s medal as a reward.
You can find me lamenting my weight and extolling the virtues of bacon on twitter @broomowl