About Me – Marathon Runner To Be?
As I sit and reflect on my chances of pulling this off I have divided my attributes into "Highs" and "Lows" - as that seems to be the way runners express themselves. Ok, so on my "High" list I have - BMI, cholesterol and uric acid. On my "Low" list I have - completion rate (of anything), stomach and chin(s). Hmmm - perhaps I need to work on some different categories?!
After a career as a Management Consultant spanning 20+ years, I left the bright lights of the city and am focusing my attention on Leadership Coaching and Development. In truth, I felt there was more to life than Microsoft PowerPoint and I have always enjoyed people development and while life as a freelancer scares the bejesus out of me – it has given me renewed energy.
At the same time as changing job, I wanted to take the opportunity to get fit again. When I say “fit” I mean properly fit. Not just a couple of weeks of effort followed by months inactivity (other than talking about getting fit and buying loads of gear) until my next ‘fitness fad’ came around!!
So back in October 2014, I decided that enough was enough and I was going try and start running – again! The challenge was that I was over-weight, really lacked any self-belief or had any real idea of where to start next. My state of mind was not helped by the fact I had recently undergone a series of knee operations which had had a slow (and painful) rehabilitation!
Despite all of this negativity, I found myself really wanting to run a marathon. On one hand it felt completely impossible, but on the other if felt like a real tangible goal, which, if I could achieve it would instil real belief and pride that I had achieved something special. I could have chosen the half-marathon – which is also a tough nut to crack – but in my head it had to be the full 26.2 miles. I really wanted to say that I was “a marathon runner”.
Having made this decision, on the upside, I now had a valid reason to spend my whole life surfing the internet for the latest in sports technology. I am now best friends with Brooks, Asics, Adidas, Nike – you name it. Lycra is my new best friend (always was to be honest). The downside was that if I kept this up I will be stoney broke and not a a single bit fitter!
I also divided my attributes into “Highs” and “Lows” – as that seems to be the way runners express themselves. Ok, so on my “High” list I have – BMI, cholesterol and uric acid. On my “Low” list I have – knee strength, completion rate (of anything), stomach and chin(s). Hmmm – perhaps I need to work on some different categories?!
Seriously though, at this point, running continuously for 26.2 miles was simply not an option – not in a million years. My knee could simply not take the battering. However, after some research, I found the run-walk-run programme devised by US Olympian Jeff Galloway – which focused on ‘low-impact’ running. Low-impact to the joints – not to be confused with slow or an easy option. This type of running is also called “shuffling” in the army and is used by elite regiments around the world.
So tentatively I began my journey using this programme. I started running up to one mile in October 2014 (using a process of 10 seconds running followed by 40 seconds walking) and, at the time of writing (15 January 2015) have just completed a 20 mile training run of (using a 10:20 run/walk ratio) in 4.14 hours! I am really chuffed.
In terms of running a marathon goals, I am lucky enough to have been offered a place to run the 2015 London Marathon with the Mental Health Charity – Mind.
The pressure is truly on!