My last marathon?

Posted: May 3, 2015 in Marathon, running
Tags: , ,

I really am not much of a runner.

I can just about remember how I started really. Here’s the short version…

Stress relief during a student placent,     I believe. Keeping a friend company on her runs when she didn’t want to head out alone.

I don’t think it was the running that I enjoyed but more the sense of accomplishment after the run. I remember that I used to hate running at school (sometimes hiding by the bushes on lap 1 of cross country just to rejoin the group on lap 2), but as a university student, feeling a real buzz after the first time I ran for over an hour! 

Telling a friend about this while I was doing some youth work they pursuaded me to really challenge myself and enter the London marathon. I didn’t get in. But surprised at my disappointment at this, I entered again the following year and this time I was successful.

 It was the year 2000, my final year at university, and I had just turned 23.

I was possibly the fittest I had ever been and possibly the lightest (as an adult) …. oooo maybe with the exception of the gap year I spent in Zimbabwe when I pretty much only ate whatever the local farmers produced and lived in the mountains for eight months.

London in 2000 was the best marathon experience I’ve had. And it remains my fastest. I can’t actually find my official finish time, but the clock said 4:28 as I passed underneath and I know it took about 15 minutes from the gun to cross the start line (I can’t find the official online results anywhere now so if you know where I can find them, please do tell me). 

I had to get this out of storage to snap the photo

 

I’m not 23 anymore.

I’m not the lightest I have ever been as an adult.

I don’t live in the mountains.

And it just took me over twenty minutes to get out of bed because I happened to do a few sit ups the day before yesterday!

I completed the huddersfield marathon recently. It took me over five and a half hours but despite this, (and a significant amount of cramping) in the last few miles, I was happy with that because it really was a tough course and besides, I knew that a month earlier I had run twenty miles in 3 hours 5 mins on a reasonably undulating one in Ashby.  I know another six miles would have been tough but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have taken me more than 90 minutes would they?… Or would they?

You see, I don’t really know. But I’d like to.

Being sort of marathon-fit at the moment (minus the post-marathon beer-drinking, takeaway-munching slob-out) it ‘makes sense’ (if it ever makes sense) to run another marathon soon – if I’m going to at all.

Nottingham’s Robin Hood Marathon is in September. 

I’m tempted.

04:30:00 would be the target but I would REALLY need to shift some weight if I was to aim for that.

It’s expensive too I think, at £40 so I am saying now,  

“I will only enter if/when I lose 10kg” (So I’d be 82kg)”. 

Please, please ridicule me / call me out / shout at me if I tell you on here that I’ve done otherwise!!

If I’m honest, I would like to actually beat my first and best marathon time too… But this would be like racing against my 23 year-old injury-resistant and lighter self. Is that realistic?

Perhaps not. But I fancy giving it one (last) go.

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Comments
  1. shazruns says:

    Oh Phil I have a book with results in it I think for 2000 to 2010 purchased as my name in it twice! Will check for you later can’t at the mo as would mean waking big madam, and I really don’t want to do that!

    • Oooo… cool! No rush, obviously. I’ve waited 15 years already 🙂
      Should be somewhere right around 4:15:00 to 04:28:00
      I can’t even remember if they had chip timing in 2000. They must have done, right? I’m fairly sure I can remember walking up a small sloped platform to make it easier for the folks to cut the chip from my laces.

  2. Babs Shiells says:

    Do it! Oh and Never say ‘last’! I say it every year and here I am again faced with another. Must challenge ourselves though! Good luck!

  3. mbcrower says:

    It’s better to try and not succeed than not try at all. 🙂

  4. So Sharon at Shazruns informs me her book goes from 2001-2010.
    Therefore it would seem records for the year 2000 are nowhere to be found and I can now recall quite clearly that in the year 2000, it took me exactly an hour to cross the start line thus making my chip time an incredible 03:28:09 … A new PB 😉

  5. Cecilia says:

    Do it! I think you’re better off giving your last marathon a crack than looking back on the past and saying that other time was your last marathon.

    • aprilruns says:

      Do it. Or else you will always wonder how painful it could have been.

      • Yes. Because I often wonder if I can cause myself more pain.

        In fairness, cramping up (which has happened when I have to run for over 5 hours) offs the most painful, therefore running faster to avoid this sounds like a plan.

  6. EmmaJCarson says:

    DO enter the Robin Hood Half if you possibly can. Nottingham is an absolutely beautiful city to run in. I’ve done it twice!

    • Thanks for your comment. It is lovely, yes.
      I’d run it before too. The full twice, and the half once. It is a good event… BUT I’ll only enter it if I can shift some of the needless excess I’ve been carrying around. Not fair on my aging ankles otherwise. And I really don’t want to enter just to complete it this time. I want a goal.

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