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One Ticked Off The Bucket-List

On Sunday 27th September, I completed this event.

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Whilst I'm obviously pleased that I completed it, the strategy that I took beforehand came straight from the school of "how not to prepare for a marathon". I entered just four weeks beforehand, my training distances went up and up every session and because of the timescales involved I barely had time to plan for nutrition and hydration. It was a risky plan because injury was a very realistic possibility. Luckily, I got away with it. My time won't make Eluid Kipchoge sweat, but my 26.3 miles is just the same as his.

I'm already being egged on by friends to run an ultramarathon, but to be honest I can't think of a more stupid and masochistic idea. The reason I entered this event was that it was a virtual event (so no pressure) and it was so much cheaper than a regular organised race. With no crowds, photographers, or statistics (apart from what I posted to Strava), I could quietly do the event in my own time and pace. And if nothing else, it's proved I can run for quite a long time - even if my feet now feel like they've been hit with hammers.

Aside from that, I just prefer half-marathons. The amount of time a marathon demands is too much. Whilst it's nice to know I can do it, I prefer the 13.1 mile distance, not that there's many events to enter at the moment!

As the weather changes and the running season comes to an end, it's nice to close it with a sense of achievement. I was concerned that the half-marathon I ran back in February was going to be all I'd manage. As we head towards 2021, I wonder if "virtual races" will be the default way we enter events for the next few years, until we're all vaccinated?
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I've started so...

…I’ll finish (13.1 miles). Read More...
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As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve started a running log that details my efforts in getting fit for the Cardiff Half-Marathon. If you’re interested in following the story of a chap who most definitely wasn’t born to run, have a look here.
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Unwind

Just a quick post today to give you an update on my grading, which took place on Saturday.

Saturday was a good day. In the morning I attended our club’s yearly seminar, which I always thoroughly enjoy - not just because we had more time on the mat, but because our awesome Maestro Silvano Rovigatti was there to demonstrate. I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I’ve not taken away some useful tips from his tuition, which was particularly useful because he graded us in the afternoon.

Having had two pre-grading sessions during the week already, the grading itself was relatively short. Nonetheless, I think we did ourselves justice. For me, the regular running has helped my fitness no end. My recovery time is now pretty quick and I didn’t get too puffed at all.

As for the grading, well we weren’t graceful nor was our self-defence pretty, but I feel pleased with what I managed. We all took quite a beating and picked ourselves off the floor each time. Here’s an example vidcap for you - I’m the one who’s mid-air.

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So I’ve come away as a second dan, which as you can imagine I’m pretty chuffed about. However, I don’t want this to be the end. If the last few months have taught me anything, they’ve made me realise that I’m pretty fit now and I could do with another challenge to keep me going. It’s likely to be at least three years before I can grade again - so in the meantime I need something to keep my fitness up and not get complacent. For that reason, I’ve submitted my entry for the Cardiff Half-Marathon in October. It’s about five months away and gives me ample time to train and work on my ability to run past 10K. If I can manage that, who knows what will come next?

Don’t be surprised if you see some sort of runner’s log popping up in the near future as it’ll be interesting (for me, at least) to chart my progress. In the meantime, I’m going to sign off and get some alcohol in me. I feel like I’ve deserved one.
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