I like to think I run better than I blog, but only just! Although my new year’s resolutions didn’t include any item on being a better blogger, I do feel it incumbent on me to make more of an effort to at least increase the frequency of my running blog entries, whatever about the quality… (apologies for both in advance)Since the Dublin Marathon I have been dying to get back into running properly. It’s unusual for me to run through the winter months as I usually take a break after the marathon and then start up again in February, the idea being to give my body, and my mind, a proper rest before entering into another long phase of running. This year was different for me after the marathon. Having not ran as well as I had hoped, I felt this overwhelming and unexpected desire to immediately avenge my race. But I also knew that I should reign in any such thoughts and be disciplined in terms of allowing plenty of proper recovery before starting back into running at all, never mind running up the mileage involved in a pre-marathon training phase.
I took it easy through November and kept the mileage generally low and did easy runs only, nothing speedy building up to a 16 mile run on Christmas day, which was my Christmas day treat to keep me sane before all the madness started up! And what a perfect run it was. I was up before the sun had come up and it was the most perfect of winter mornings – cold, dry, clear and crisp and not a soul around. I watched the sun come up while I vowed to make this an annual occurrence.
I tried to keep the running going over the holidays but it was tricky at times to force myself away from the tin of biscuits and venture out into the cold. Over the last two weeks I’ve got back into a proper routine of regular, if short, runs and am now starting to plan ahead for the year. My usual running plan is to start up in February at very low mileage and gradually build it up with the first serious race of the season being the women’s mini-marathon on the June bank holiday. After that it’s a summer of half-marathons, 10 milers, 10kms, shorter races, duathlons and a few triathlons before focusing all running towards the Dublin Marathon at the end of October. This year, I thought I might shake it up a bit. Reading other people’s blogs (thanks all, especially http://runandjumpblog.wordpress.com !) has inspired me to consider alternatives and I have been playing around in my head with the idea of doing a second marathon during the year, in or around May (Limerick/ Belfast, Howth…) This would mean starting a proper marathon training plan now and while I’m not signed up to anything yet, my plan would be to start following a training plan and make a decision about whether to sign up to a race nearer to the time.
On foot of this funky idea, I’ve also been hearing a lot about the Pfitzinger and Douglas training plans for marathoners so I think I’m going to give it a go. I’ve just taken the plunge and ordered the book online and it’s set to arrive in the next 4-6 days. Excited about it’s arrival but also a little nervous, the kind of feeling you get when you know a 26.2 miler is imminent…