On Sunday, I ran outside for the first time in a long time. I felt great after the run so told my best friend that I was toying with the idea of entering a half marathon. That might sound crazy off the back of one run which was seven miles in length – it probably is but when I get an itch I don’t rest until I scratch it!
No sooner had I talked about the idea, I started wondering how soon I could make it a reality. I decided to run Blackpool Half Marathon four months before I took to the start line but my baseline fitness is higher this time around. Blackpool was flat, pancake flat and that made it a good first half marathon to run. The very end of the run was up from beach level to the promenade via a set of steps which caused numerous groans but apart from that I suppose you could consider it ‘easy’. It was one less thing to think about as the main focus that time was making sure I had enough in the tank to complete 13.1 miles in a respectable time. I enjoyed the route because there was plenty to look at but the route itself wasn’t the challenge.
Second time around I’m looking for something more challenging, I’m targeting a new PB, I want to be at least one minute quicker than my first half marathon. It was great to finish in under two hours the first time around but I’ve changed physically since, I have put a lot of work into my physique and I want to improve accordingly. As a result, running another flat half marathon is something I consider to be cheating, I’ve improved my fitness, I know I can run on the flat, what’s the point of doing something I already know that I am more than capable of!
And so the search will continue, I’m in no mad rush to get out there and complete the distance although I am determined to do it by the end of the year. Whilst you can run 13.1 miles down any stretch of road and say that you have completed a half marathon distance, I want to run somewhere memorable so that I can recall it in years to come.
This summer should provide me with plenty of opportunities to get outside and run to build up my stamina again. The added incentive of training with someone spurs me on somewhat and I have had several people come up to me and ask whether they can train with me. The answer is a certain yes, although I’ve been so focused on working out in the gym recently that I’ve hardly been running myself. I know that has to change.
The world is huge yet there is so much unexplored beauty on our doorsteps that we often overlook it. Whilst training, I am going to take the opportunity to run in places I never have before. It is both a chance to train for a half marathon but also to see parts of the world which are so close to home I have never considered visiting.
Sometimes, the most beautiful things in life are right under our noses… if only we’d care to look!