Time to get used to the #bigmarathonchallenge hashtag, as you’re going to be seeing it a lot from me over the next few months (and is why I have set up a dedicated facebook page to avoid deluging my regular facebook profile and annoying all of my non-running friends and no doubt some of the running ones too).
What’s it all about? Well, you might remember that I ran my first marathon last year during my 365 challenge. It went surprisingly well (apart from feeling like I was going to throw up every step in the last three miles) and qualified me for a good-for-age place at London in 2017. So far, so (relatively) standard.
I’m a subscriber to Women’s Running magazine. Have been for years, ran their 10k races at Blaise Castle in 2013 and 2014, and always enjoyed their articles (and their goody bags, I even bought last year’s goody bag though I couldn’t make the race). For the last few years they have followed runners on their BigMarathonChallenge (initially called Project 26.2, iirc). This challenge is always personal to the runner (though running a marathon is quite enough of a challenge in itself, in my opinion). It might be in memory of a loved one, to fundraise, to run multiples, etc.
A couple of months ago they announced that they were taking applications for the next BigMarathonChallenge and I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring. There will be a piece about why I applied and more about what my challenge is in the magazine (though I can’t remember much of what I said in the interview, I only hope Liz can cobble something together from my ramblings, however coherent they were). The bottom line is: I want to go fast. I want to go 3:30.
Now this isn’t fast to a lot of people (certainly not to a lot of my club mates who are awesome and speedy and skew my perception of what fast is), but it’s where I think I should/could be based on my previous marathon best (though also my only ‘real’ marathon, you can’t really count the 401 marathon where we stopped for lunch for 90 minutes), and on my recent PBs over shorter distances.
So, follow me down the rabbit hole. My original Hanson-based plan has been thrown out of the window. My coach for this challenge has other ideas and he’s the boss for this one (I’m not going to waste the opportunity of a personalised marathon plan through pig-headedness, though I have already asked for tweaks to this week’s plan).
Let’d get this party started!