My count down to New Year started early on the tow path at Walton-on-Thames. On the 30th December 2022 I decided there was room for one more marathon. I needed to get my counting practice and the 8 laps certainly helped. I started the year having completed 97 marathons or more. With this final marathon, this year has seen me complete 13 x marathons, 1 x 50k, 1 x double marathon, 1 x 100k, 1 x 100 miler and 1 x Ironman, so I finish with 115 marathons (according to 100 marathon club).
With all the over indulgence (which frankly had been longer than the Christmas period), there was no time to delay, and I felt like I need to get out. I was feeling really ill over Christmas so wasn’t sure I would make it, and with a chesty cough, it was never going to be easy. So I set out with a relaxed target of sub 4, with appreciation that I may have to slow down. For me this was a training run, and I love coming to Phoenix running events to complete long training runs, giving me the motivation to get out there.
I got there early and like the new flexible start set up which is a “turn up and run” event, so you all have individual times based on your start and finish, but no mass start. This meant I could have an early start, and I set off at target pace nicely. To be honest at the start I felt bloated and heavy, and it did not take long until the pace got tough and I was struggling to breathe. I know I’m not feeling great, but I’ve got a lot to improve to get back in the shape I want to be, and I’m determined to work on this.
Although I was struggling, I was still on pace on my way back on lap 4, around 11.5 miles in. Out of nowhere I fell. I’m not really sure how, one minute I was running, the next I was on the ground. I guess I must have clipped a rock or something, but either way it hurt. I walked for a bit then made my way to the checkpoint. There I went to the toilet to wash off and clean my wound, and used the opportunity to use the toilet. The wound will leave a scar (basically next to the same place I hurt myself at the Thames Meander earlier this year), but it looks superficial. I never fall over usually and I’ve fallen twice badly in the last 4 months.
When I got started again my pace was naturally slower, but frankly any desire I had to maintain a pace was gone. I just kept going to complete the distance getting progressively slower. I stopped for the toilet again and walked occasionally. My knee hurt but I can’t really blame it, I just had no energy and just couldn’t get going again. It was wet, cold and the laps were not fun today.
But I still got it done. Another marathon, followed by a lovely meal with my family. Not my best and not the best way to end the year, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. I still had a good time and I’m so glad I got out and made a start to build my fitness again after a year full of ups and downs. How has your year been, have you hit your goals, have you ended on a high, and have you been ill this Christmas?
4 thoughts on “Zico-thon Marathon”
Well done Paul for getting the job done and completing another marathon – can’t have been easy to carry on after your fall ,
I’m looking forward to seeing what I can achieve in 2023 , my goal is to get back to the times I was achieving 10 or so years ago!!
Best wishes to you and your family for the new year and hope you can achieve your particular goals 👍🏻
Thank you so much Chris
Yes, that’s a great goal and you can do it. It was in 2021 I finally got a marathon PB that was last broken in 2013.
You will find the longer distance might be easiest initially. I want to speed up again, but I’m further away from the short distance but we can both get there
Thanks Paul – gonna give it a real good go this year.
Funnily enough , the half is the one I want – stuck around 2 hours / 2 hours 10 now and would love to get around
Good luck with your targets and goals for this year but also enjoy it too.
I look forward to hearing how you smash your goals this year ✨️