Monday, 19 May 2008

Your blogger is more than a jogger again

Murray the blogger but no longer a jogger - action in the Northern 10 miles yesterday. Photo by Neil Wilson; water from Thomas Melvin.

When I started this blog I was hoping to provide a few stories from behind the scenes at the Parish Walk by telling you what I was doing on the main site, adding a few stats that didn't justify a main story, sharing my memories of Parish Walks of old but always having my own agenda.

I've got several websites to maintain, , , and along with this blog and a number of other websites that really just supplement the above such as adverts which link in to boost the search engine rankings of the above. I try to avoid an agenda which is too fixed and planned because otherwise it is too much like work - this is supposed to be a hobby.

This time last year I was so busy with my day job that I let my running lapse. I decided to seek a new role whereby I can improve my work / life balance (for the xth time!). I started my new job last September and although I have stuck to a pretty modest working week I was spending most of the extra hours I had at home in front of my computer either on my websites, copying videos into digital format (and adding films to YouTube) or on a number of other personal projects which I'll share with you when I get further with them.

What I had failed to do, however, was to improve the quality of overall health and fitness. Although I have always eaten healthy food I have also always had a lot of "comfort" food and drink. My vices begin with AB&C - alcohol, biscuits and crisps.

The winter before last, although I hadn't clicked what it was at the time, I developed exercise induced asthma and during the winter that has just gone this caused havoc with my marathon training, particularly when trying to run hill repetitions. I wrote here in my blog how disappointed I was to have some problems with this in the London Marathon last month. My time was just inside 3 hours 10 minutes even though only 18 months earlier, the day after my 50th birthday, I had run 2.45.01 in the Cardiff Marathon.

I resolved immediately after London that I never wanted to run a marathon and take so little enjoyment from it - the whole thing was unpleasant. Therefore I either had to give up or do something to help myself. I asked myself why I had developed exercise induced asthma. Ok, there are lots of things it could be but was carrying more than a stone over my average weight, eating far too much rubbish and trying to thrash my body two or three times a week when I was not treating it well the rest of the time might be part of the problem.

I decided to go on my ABC diet cutting out the three vices I described above and to start general conditioning by running before work including plenty of hills to develop my breathing.

Its now five months and one day since I ran the London Marathon and within 12 hours of finishing my last alcoholic drink passed my lips. Biscuits and crisps were banned the next day. On the Wednesday after the marathon I hit the road for a 10 minute run at 6.50 am and I have been out every morning since then bar the first Sunday. I lost a stone in weight in about three weeks and started to feel confident about my running again.

Yesterday I raced for the only the fourth time since November and it was the first time that I was really in shape to run. I finished second to Ben Scott in the Northern 10 in 60.24. Three years ago I won it in 57.57 and my best time for 10 miles (53.50) was in a half marathon back in 1981.

So I have a long way to go if I am to achieve my target of getting under 2.45 in the Amsterdam Marathon on 19 October and getting back into the top half dozen in my age group in the country. But with one month out of six gone I am going to give it my best shot.

So its time to do my early morning run and today its (from Brunswick Road in Douglas) down to the promenade along to Little Switzerland then up past the old prison and police station to the Grandstand and back.

Quite how I have motivated myself to do this early morning running I'm not sure - it has been very hard. But yesterday answered my question "Is it worth it".

So if you have noticed that there has been a little less original material on the blog in the past month now you know one of the reasons. There are a few others too which I will share in due course.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done, Murray!