So that’s me into the second week of my PUMA PB Challenge now. Today was a scheduled rest day with the option of some light cross training. However, after last nights evil intervals session, I opted to make the most of the recovery day.
In all the time that I have been running, I have only ever taken part in 8 1/2 marathons, with times ranging from my 1:51:05 PB back at the 2008 Moray 1/2 marathon, through to 2:02:24 at the Fraserburgh 2009 1/2 marathon.
|30/09/07||Great North Run||1:59:27|
|19/10/08||Aviemore Highland Half Marathon||1:54:34|
|16/11/08||Fraserburgh Half Marathon||1:54:46|
|08/03/09||Inverness Half Marathon||2:00:00|
|18/10/09||Aviemore Half Marathon||2:00:44|
|15/11/09||Fraserburgh Half Marathon||2:02:24|
|04/07/10||Stonehaven Half Marathon||1:57:45|
A quick glance at the above should demonstrate that my 1:51:05 actually appears to have been a ‘bit’ of an exception and, certainly at this moment in time, just coming back to running after the birth of my son, any attempt at a 1/2 marathon would likely see me add a time to the above list somewhere close to my slowest times. I have a long way to go before I am anywhere near to being able to better my 1:51:05 time. However, I like a challenge and this surely fits the bill.
Some of you may already be familiar with my ultra exploits outlined in my ‘Aim high, anything is possible!’ blog on The Running Bug. For those that don’t, here’s a quick overview:
- Pre 2005: unathletic child; heavy smoker from teens through to 30s; overweight; despised running (with a passion!)
- 2005: 1st 10k; occasional bouts of running, nothing that could be construed as ‘training’
- 2009: 1st marathon; First heard about UTMB and ultramarathons whilst on holiday in Chamonix
- 2010: 1st ultra, the 33 mile D33; Followed by my 1 DNF (Did Not Finish) at the 53 mile Highland Fling; Completed Speyside Way Ultra in August
- 2011: Completed 6 ultramarathons, from 33 miles to 55 miles in length
- 2012: Completed the same 6 ultramarathons plus the 95 mile West Highland Way Race
- 2013: Birth of my son Harris; Completed D33 ultramarathon despite total lack of training
Despite all the miles covered in training and events, I remain overweight, something which no doubt hinders improvement in my running pace. With training not exactly going to plan after the birth of Harris, and, often, not happening at all, the weight issue has worsened.
The final straw came on the weekend of 22nd-23rd June, when the 95 mile West Highland Way Race took place, an event that I should have been running but, in light of my training (or lack of it), pulled out of in advance. Determined to return to fitness, I sought a goal that was attainable without spending too much time away from family.
I decided to try and beat my 1/2 marathon PB, admittedly without actually checking to see what it was and giving due consideration to how this compared to my current running level – doh!
Coincidentally, the PUMA PB Challenge caught my eye and I applied. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would actually be selected to participate. I first heard that I had been selected back on 5th July but was sworn to secrecy until the event actually launched. I am delighted to have been given this opportunity and welcome the assistance that PUMA and The Running Bug are providing to help me try and beat my PB. I am sure that there were others that could have been chosen, quite possibly people who would have been a safer bet to beat their PBs, so thanks to PUMA and The Running Bug for taking a chance on me. I will do my best to top that 1:51:05.
So far, I have had the benefit of a running schedule tailored to my specific needs by Hayley Munn. It’s great to get some assistance and direction in this area. I have to admit to being a bit of a single speed runner in all my years of running to date and it is only recently, over the past couple of months, that I have appreciated the need for a varied training programme to buck me out of this rut.
I have had some assistance with the implementation of my training from ‘Coach Carly’, a fellow new parent who I first met at an ante natal class and, thanks to our sons, have become friends with. Carly, an accomplished track athlete, put me through some speed sessions in the weeks before I became a PUMA PB Challenge Ambassador and is kindly assisting with the implementation of Hayley’s training plan. I doubt that I would have pushed quite so hard at last nights intervals session, for example, had Carly not been there to ensure that I did not slacken off the pace when the going got tough.
On the nutrition front, I will soon have a consultation and plan in place thanks to Mac Nutrition (http://www.mac-nutrition.com/) The ‘UK’s Leading Consultancy For Nutrition Advice’. In the past, my dietary efforts have not produced the desired results and, if anything, I have found myself lacking in terms of fuelling my training and events. I am already looking forward to seeing what they have in store for me and, with a bit of luck, this will result in weight loss, which in turn will impact on my running pace.
Finally, I am off to Northampton, via London, on Sunday night, for a physio appointment and to meet the other PUMA PB Challenge Ambassadors (5k, 10k, Marathon).
So, that’s an introduction to me, and where I am at in terms of my PUMA PB Challenge. My challenge race is the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow on 6th October, a mere 74 days away but hopefully long enough for the physio, nutrition and training assistance to take effect.
As of 24th July, there are 135 fellow Bugs taking up the PUMA PB Challenge for the 1/2 marathon distance which is brilliant. Thanks for all the comments and support on my logged training sessions over on Bugmiles and, also, over on the forums.
Happy Running :o)