Pauls truthful review of the Cheltenham Half and the preparation!
Having had a desk job for 18 years now, I’ve found it harder and harder to keep/get fit. Things got much worse (in that respect, anyway) when we had our children, and free time all but disappeared.
Whilst I had previously done a fair amount of sport, I’ve never been much of a runner (I tell myself I don’t have the right build), and nor have I been much good at training (I am quite good at making excuses, though). Running does seem to be the easiest way to burn off the extra calories that I intend to continue consuming, though. So, over the years, I have had on-off periods of trying to run to get fitter – with mixed success. Even in periods when I had been doing more running, I’d never been able to go faster than 10-minute miles if running more than a couple of miles, and I thought that was really my limit.
Now with two small children, my getting fit attempts are pretty much limited to lunchtimes during work. However, I had started supplementing regular sessions with Kirsty with some lunchtime runs when the Cheltenham Half Marathon was announced. With the aim of getting into shape in time for an impending significant birthday (and some “gentle” persuasion from Kirsty), I decided to enter to give myself more of a target.
I was running one or two lunchtimes per week (work permitting), and, as well as getting fitter, I was surprised to find I was getting noticeably faster. I think this is all down to Kirsty’s patient work with me, getting the right muscles in my legs to work properly; suddenly I was running 9-minute miles reasonably comfortably. I had to find other times to run, so that I could go for longer. The easiest time to fit in was usually a Sunday evening, after the children had gone to sleep. This had the disadvantage of meaning I’d probably had a large roast dinner with a couple of glasses of wine beforehand, but I like to think that would only make it easier to run after more appropriate preparation (though I have not yet found opportunity to test that theory).
It wasn’t always easy to follow Kirsty’s very good advice, and the preparation leading up to the race was not really ideal – largely due to a number of sleepless nights caused by children who (at 3 years old and 17 months old) are really old enough to know better. Nonetheless, I got round the course in a reasonable (for me) time, really enjoyed it and have now (four days later) stopped hurting