26.2

Marathon training starts tomorrow and I don’t mind telling you that I’m bricking it. I don’t have a happy marathon history. I’ve only completed two of them, Moray in 2011 and London in 2012. I started Edinburgh in 2012 but DNFed and didn’t even reach the start line of Amsterdam in 2012 due to injury and idiocy. (I continued to run long after I knew I was too broken to run. Idiocy, as I said.) I’m running the Greater Manchester Marathon on 6 April next year as the first step towards qualifying so I can run the Boston Marathon as a 50th birthday present for myself. It’s an odd thing to want to do but there are worse mid-life crises to have.

26 miles, 385 yards is a sod of a long way to run and training for it takes a lot of time. I’ll rack up the best part of 900 miles in the next 18 weeks if I follow the plan fully. I’ll wear out a pair of road shoes just training for the race, or I will if I do all my training on the road. I’ll probably do at least half my long runs off road, round Wimpole or on the Roman Road, Fleam Dyke and the Devil’s Dyke. I should probably get myself a new pair of road shoes and possibly a pair of race shoes. I go very well in my inov-8 Bare-X. I did 5 miles in them last night and it felt easy and light. my 12 miles today were off-road round Wimpole estate for the most part and hard work. I was very tired by the end.

I could be quite pessimistic about my prospects of hitting my targets on the basis of today’s run but that would be daft. I’m at the beginning of the process, not at the end. I’m not marathon fit but I shall be in four months’ time. Manchester or Bust is not the most inspiring of slogans but it’ll have to do for now.

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