On 14th January 2023 I ran my first marathon of the year. When Phoenix Running events put on an event with the promise of as many doughnuts as you can it, it is hard to miss. In all seriousness I am looking to get back into shape this year, which I let slip throughout last year. I find it hard to be motivated to run distance on my own, so I plan to run more marathons with Phoenix Running events in 2023. The Doughnut Dash is the first of 2023.
I always set out for a sub 4, even on my training runs, however I have felt really tired and struggled over the last couple of months. After a bumper Autumn with so many events, I think it has caught up with me. Then I haven’t trained, and drank far to much over the winter. 2.5 weeks ago I ran my last Marathon of 2022. I felt awful (unwell), I was struggling, and I fell over. This resulted on a 5:30 finish. So this time I structured my expectations.
I set off at sub 4 pace which I maintained until 14 miles. I needed the toilet so I stopped and also had a wonderful doughnut 🍩. From this point onwards I gradually slowed. I could blame the rain, the wond, the cold, as it was not the most pleasant conditions. But in truth, if I was feeling it, this would not have mattered. I had no interest in pushing to hard, as this is a training run, to try and help get me back in the shape I want to be in. It’s very different to race day. Don’t get me wrong, if I was in a road race I am confident I can go and pace sub 4 tomorrow. But I’m no where near the sub 3 I want to be at. These long easier paced runs are an important part of the training, and pushing myself just isn’t what I need.
It was great to share a couple of laps with some other runners. 8 laps out and back can get pretty boring, but there is always someone to share a lap with if you are happy to adjust your pace.
It was great to finally be on my last lap, to grab a doughnut and be done. First half I ran in about 1:59 and second half in about 2:30, for a finish of 4:31:46.
As often happens, I didn’t feel great at the end. I went to get changed in the pub, and remained cold for a while. A nice pint of Aspall and triple cooked chips made me feel better though.
So that’s number 1 of the year done. And I thinking of my challenge for 2023, and 26 marathons in 52 weeks is something I’m thinking about. I’ve never ran that many marathons consistently through the year, which is an average of 1 marathon every 2 weeks for a year. What are your plans?