Welcome to my London 2012 training blog. Sounds impressive huh? Well London Marathon 2012 and not Olympics but we don't need to tell anyone that do we?
I first entered the London Marathon in 2006, so I am not exactly a novice to the training etc. But what has happened over the past 4 years since is that I seem to have gained a serious amount of weight and lost completely every ounce of fitness I gained during that training.
A little background then?
I joined the local running club in October 2004 in their beginner group. Could only make one session a week so didn't improve greatly, but ended up running the target race at the end of the 6 months and finishing in the penultimate position beating only an 80 year old man and the ambulance to the finish. From here the only way was faster, so I started training more regularly and at the time happened to start working for a local charity. When the chance to run the London Marathon in 2006 with a charity place came up I was unsure of my fitness, but decided to go for it.
Training was tough, no-one ran at my speed (very slow) so I ended up doing most of my training on my own and that believe me requires some serious mental strength.
But, I achieved my goal and completed the Marathon in 5.44.24 (important to have the seconds)
After that I seemed to get better and better, my race times improved, my stamina increased, I was entering races most weekends and achieving PBs all the time, then the inevitable happened. Injury struck, followed by lethargy and weight gain and more injury with lack of recovery and finally a reluctance to both train and race.
For some strange reason I still kept entering for the Marathon ballot and every year heaved a sigh of relief when the rejection slip arrived. The rule was 5 rejections in a row and you had a place as of right, well why not go for it then.
I kept turning up for training and found myself struggling with every step, but still went and tried, week in week out, sometimes demoralised and sometimes spurred on by others trying to keep my spirits high and praising me for the persistence. I started helping out with beginners, where I felt most comfortable, after all I might actually be faster than some of them. I started building myself back up, only to head off on holiday for a couple of weeks and return once again as a beginner (So how does that work then exactly?)
3 years of beginner groups later and motivation for others pouring out of me at every turn, I continued to put my entry in for each London Marathon ballot.
Suddenly the rules are changing, the 5 year rule is being taken away (too many people being rejected could mean a collosal race in one year with no real entrants other than all the rejected particpants - I personally don't see the problem, but I guess it does not lend itself to goodwill for the race)
Anyhoooooo, I received an email to say I had a priority entry available to get into the 2011 ballot. Oooer I thought, this means I don't have to sit at the computer all day when the public ballot opens, trying hard to get into the ballot proper (a ballot before the ballot) so now my dilemma starts. Decisions need to be made, or rather training plans need to be written and adhered to. As a result of the priority entry I shall be running the marathon at some point in the future, and I have decided that 2012 sounds good to me, gives me 2 years to prepare.
How do I know it will be 2012?
If I get rejected in the 2011 ballot, I then have 5 rejections, so 2012 will be my "in as of right" race. If I get accepted to the 2011 ballot, then I need to assess my training, but can at least then defer the place to 2012. So hence I am running the 2012 London marathon.
Phew all that to explain.
So anyway I am at least 3 stone over the weight I'd like to be to run, I am also currently struggling to string 2 minutes running together at a time, so the game is on.
First planning is a combination of health and fitness targets and goals. I need to get SMART and I need to start now, after all 2 years is not a long time in the grand scheme of things.
Join me as I progress along the way.