My grail.

My grail.

06

Did I say Tsegaye  Mekonnen? I meant Wilson Kipsang…ahem.

Still 5th place wasn’t bad in a tiny event like the London marathon. Unlike the glory which is attached to crossing the line in 50th position at the Inishowen half marathon! Yeah baby! How d’ya like those apples, Mekonnen!

I enjoyed my own race on Sunday. That’s a bad sign. Races aren’t there to be enjoyed, soldier!

It’s a couple of years since my last half marathon. I ran 86 mins back then. On Sunday I ran 95 mins. That may not seem like a big drop to a non-runner, but believe me it is. It’s a lot slower.

But…at least I am running daily again so things can only improve.

There was a WordPress prompt a couple of days ago asking about obsessions. I had something of an obsession for a while. It was to run a marathon in less than three hours.

The idea that I would be capable of running a sub three (that’s runner speak) had never entered my head until our local club coach suggested that I had the potential if I “played my cards right.”  I had just finished a 3hrs 15mins marathon when he made the suggestion.

Sometimes I wish he had never hinted at it at all. Because in my head it had become a prophecy rather than encouragement. I trained like a Kenyan all through 2011 for the Dublin marathon. On race day I pulled a small calf muscle at mile 6 and only bothered to finish the thing because I had been doing it for a neighbour’s charity. I hobbled around in 5hrs, I think.

The next attempt at a sub three came last October. It was an incredibly windy day and by mile 13 my goose was cooked. I knew that I was going to miss my target by about 3 mins. Three measly minutes. I didn’t have a plan B. I wanted a sub three. I had trained for sub three. But like an idiot, instead of setting a new goal mid-race, I just jogged around to finish in 3hrs 27mins. I threw away my chance to finish it in maybe 3hrs 3 mins. That was probably the silliest thing I have ever done. Months and months of training thrown away over three measly minutes.

Chasing my grail and failing didn’t destroy my love of running. Even those races which didn’t go to plan didn’t stop me from smiling as I crossed the finish line.

Have I given up on a sub three? No way. Having a goal keeps it interesting.

I feel I am so lucky being able to run at all. I do appreciate this gift.

A tough little ten miler over hills on Saturday, I might enter that and try for 70 mins.

I will let you know how it goes.

Thank you for reading

Frankie. (1533 in the pic, the good looking one)

 

In response to http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cant-get-it-out-of-my-head/