Gooooaal! We’ve all set one for the new year haven’t we? Losing weight, giving up fags, going to the gym, abstaining from the demon drink… everyone’s at it, so I thought I’d better set one too. And mine’s going to be (ta dah!) running a marathon. Or, more accurately, attempting to. I actually decided to give it a go after last year’s Great North Run. That was the first time I’d ever run a half marathon and felt that carrying on for a bit longer wouldn’t be the worst thing that could possibly happen.
I’d entered the London Marathon ballot (well you do, don’t you) but didn’t get in – no surprise there – so fished around for an alternative. Manchester seemed the obvious option, being not too far from home; I didn’t want to spend a fortune travelling to some far-flung event when I didn’t even know whether I’d make it to the finish line! Plus I was born about a quarter of a mile from Old Trafford, where the race starts and ends. That has to be a good sign, doesn’t it? Or perhaps at the back of my mind I had a vague notion that David Beckham would be handing out the finishers’ medals. Anyhow, before I knew it, one October evening I’d had a couple of glasses of wine and entered. Warning: never drink and look for races online!
I also entered the Brass Monkey Half Marathon, which is here in York next weekend, hoping this would keep me running and steer me away from the wine and chocs over the festive period. Of course I still indulged a bit. I blame my mother-in-law; she makes the most fantastic mince pies and Christmas puddings. But I certainly drank less booze than usual, and tried to time it not to interfere too much with tempo and longer Sunday runs. On Sunday 30th December I ran twelve miles, went dancing at the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show, then walked two miles home from town – I consider that a pretty good training day! I calculated that after the Brass Monkey I’d move on to week three of my sixteen week marathon training programme and would actually have a bit of a head start.
So, just as everything was sorted in my head, the new Yorkshire Marathon was launched this week to much fanfare and excitement. How could I possibly resist the lure of that? Obviously I entered straight away! And it’s great to see so many other local first-timers signing up too – it’s like we’re all in it together!
So now, even though I’ve never actually run a marathon yet, I’m entered into two and beginning to doubt my sanity. Had I known earlier about the York marathon I wouldn’t have entered Manchester, but now it seems like serendipity or fate that the two events are being held in the city where I was born and the city where I live. It’s a challenge for 2013 alright! I’ll keep you posted on my training progress – fingers crossed. In the meantime it’s Brass Monkey tapering for now. Oh, and did I mention I have a big birthday coming up this year? Don’t tell anyone will you, I’m keeping it quiet…
What are your health goals (running or otherwise) for 2013? I’d love to hear about them. Good luck whatever they are. And please follow me on Twitter if you’re doing the Manchester or Yorkshire marathons, it would be great to make contact! x