Even if the Mayans get it wrong about the world ending today, I can confidently predict that my work is over for 2012. Yesterday was my last day at Virgin Money until January 2013 (if there’s going to be a January 2013) and I’m going to relax by cleaning the car, wrapping presents, walking the dog, mending laptops and running.
Ah, running – my new best friend. My last run was on Tuesday when I ran my fastest six miles ever (59.08 minutes). I’m really enjoying running at the moment, as I’m completely injury free and I’m not running slowly to appease my aches and pains as I was towards the end of my half marathon training. After running once a week since the half marathon, this week I’ve started running twice a week in preparation for my London Marathon training which begins in the new year.
Whatever you’re planning for 2013, may I wish you all the very best in getting there. And in the meantime, have yourselves a very Mayan, er, Merry Christmas!
Following the Larking and Gowen City of Norwich half marathon, I took a ‘polite’ break from running. Since then, I’ve completed two five mile runs in (unbelievably) my fastest pace ever. The first with an average pace of 9.17 minutes per mile and the second with an average pace of 9.07 minutes per mile. I’m really pleased about this as my fastest pace before was 9.28 minutes per mile.
I had been running slower deliberately for a while as I kept getting injured and I thought running a gentler pace (around 10 minutes per mile) would not aggravate my legs and help me to complete my half marathon training. And apart from my penultimate training run, it worked. This was also the reason I kept at that pace on the half marathon itself, as my ambition was to get around the whole course without stopping or walking and an injury mid-run would have put the kibosh on that.
I’m fully aware that I’m not turning into Mo Farah, but it’s great to see another example of how running has made me fitter and stronger. Here’s to my next weekend run!
I never thought that when I made my first blog entry for 2012 back in January, that my next post would be in December. This is partly due to one of my new year’s resolutions being to take my foot off the digital pedal and spend more time with my family. Unfortunately, this became more important than I ever would have imagined, due to the sudden and tragic loss of my mother-in-law, Pat, who died from a brain tumour in the summer which turned our whole world upside down.
Three months before Pat died, I’d began running, spurred on by my colleagues in the Virgin Money Studio who kept suggesting that I run the Virgin London Marathon (several of them have run it every year since Virgin Money began it’s sponsorship in 2010). Running was hard at first, not surprisingly, as I’d not run since completing the ‘Run The World’ 10k race in Hyde Park back in 1986. I wasn’t sure if I could run a marathon, and even entering the ballot made me nervous. So it was with mixed emotions that I learnt that I’d failed to secure a place in the 2013 London Marathon – but my terrible luck this year reversed as a few weeks later I successfully won a marathon place via the random ballot at work.
Apart from a break in August, I have been running regularly every week, charting my progress on the Nike+ website. My first big test came at the end of November, when I completed the Larking and Gowen City of Norwich half marathon – my time was rubbish (2:28) but I didn’t stop or walk, and even now I can’t quite believe I did it. Not bad for a 52-year-old unathletic couch potato.
So, next stop marathon. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that I’ll be running to raise funds for Cancer Research UK in memory of Pat. And I’m also going to be raising money for Asthma UK, in memory of my own Mum, who lost her life-long battle with asthma 25 years ago. If you’d care to sponsor me, that’d be great. Visit my Virgin Money Giving page and please donate whatever you can.
I’ll be posting regular updates about my marathon training and my fundraising efforts, so stay tuned.