First up I have struggled with the will to write blogs and whilst feeling guilty about not doing so the over riding reason for not writing blogs has been the enormous pressure I put myself under to take put in the Great South Run, the long term hip injury that nearly made that impossible and sad to say the depression that I fell into whilst trying to come to terms with cancelling races I had entered not being able to run, putting on a little weight as I did not/would not adjust my eating because I always thought I will be able to run next week when clearly that was not going to happen. I also had major problems at work that to me bordered on bulling and I did not want to write blogs that could have been very negative poisonous. The good news is these problems whilst taking time have become a lot better I longer hate going to work and I am getting back into a proper training routine and getting back to being the old new Darin.
The Great South Run, the major achievement was making the start line, not making the start line would no doubt have affected me badly mentally this is THE race its the first ever race I have entered in its my home city Portsmouth and I am so proud to be born and live in this great city, I have also made my long term goal to run this race every year for the rest of my life. So not making year 2 was something akin to failure to me (stupid i know but...)
My training was pretty much non existent having not being able to run as my hip was being treated I got the go ahead to run for 2 miles and then increase the mileage by 1 mile a week if I have no problems with my hip flaring up. I had hope but as always when returning from injury things don't always go to plan, My hip on the whole was good with the runs but my calves had different ideas and this nearly caused me to miss the race. My longest run was GSR Training Run 2 weeks before race day this run and only at this point did I know I would make the race and be able to relax for the first time in months.
Now making the start line, having no real training and running 10 miles having calf problems during the run up to race day does mean you have to be sensible about what you want or can get out of the race. So running 10 miles to start with is unlikely to happen to run faster than last year is just fantasy and to not finish the race is something that could happen (not because I would give up but that my body would not be able to cope).
Lorraine Albon my Diabetic Doctor was unable to run this year due to work commitments and Becca Jones was full steam ahead with her training to smash her P/B from last year, with Lorraine having to pull out my thoughts turned to how I wanted to plan my race and support Becca as you all know we have run all our big races together so this was very important to me that I was to Becca achieve her goal as well as me achieve mine. Based on my run above I knew that if I can get to 5/6 miles injury free I would get to finish the race come what may if I could that at a decent pace I would set Becca up to give her the best chance to achieve her goal.
Race day approaches Becca and I have talked and agreed our race plan I will run with Becca I will try and keep going for as long as I can when I cannot keep up Becca will carry on I will fall back and see where my race takes me. Everyone has a race plan there is no guilt no regrets we have been dealt our hands and are ready to go.
We start the race in white wave one group up from last year the whole experience is completely surreal this is the first time we have started a race for the second time there are no fears no worries we know the whole process we know the course this race is about enjoying the whole experience and enjoy it we did. This year the race goes so quickly the one thing I feel this year is the fear of the unknown is gone I am looking forward to every single step.
The first 5 miles goes so well we pass it in 55 minutes great pace for me and on track for Becca soon after this point I start to feel the pace (lack of training) I have a chat with Becca to let her know that I am starting to struggle with the pace that I will soon start to drop my pace, so that Becca does not drop her pace because I start to slow down. Shortly after that chat I slow down Becca is starting to pull away and my only thought is that the wind along the seafront miles 8-10 are kind and Becca nails the race and gets the time she so wants and deserves.
For me its about getting to the the finish line nice and steady and injury free sadly it was not to be and my calves went this time both of them and again like the marathon unable to run again (clearly races and training are totally different) as with training I can still run and walk all be it slowly. I have 4 miles to finish line so I say to myself lets dig in walk as fast as I can focus and make the finish line failure is not an option if I look after myself I will make it. I had no regrets no sorrow no self pity this was always going to happen it has happened so deal with it and make yourself proud, make the past 3-4 months worth it, be a winner.
As most of you know setting time targets is something I try to avoid as it adds pressure or disappointment if i don't reach it especially when carrying an injury. But I set myself a goal that if I ran with Becca at speed that if I got home in under 2:30:00 that would be great and I would be happy that the injury the lack of training would make that a good goal. Great South Run 2012 To get home in that time blew my mind away that is 2 minutes 20 seconds slowly than last years time. Bloody hell even I never believed that I would do that time whilst walking the last 4 miles. Becca smashed her P/B for the race, the Southsea Sloggers as we called ourselves from last years local training all got P/B's mine was a slower time but let me tell you that was as good as any P/B I will ever get in the future.
My aim is to get my body fit to run to run the GSR in 2013 with Becca as she smashes her P/B again and I do for the first time. My GSR journey for this year was everything I could do it was a perfect day with perfect results for the people I know who run this year what more can you ask for out of a race day. Below is a link to my training page so you can see how my training went and the problems that occurred along the way some very dark days in them but I have the strength and character to get through even if at the time I felt like a total failure who would never run again. Training Logs