I recently ran Cheltenham half marathon for the eighth time. It was the 22nd half marathon I’d run in total, going all the way back to 1995.
I haven’t had my best year of running. Manchester marathon was tough. In retrospect, it was probably too much to run it so soon after Newport marathon in 2021. It meant that, between July 2021 and April 2022, I’d spent seven months out of nine training for a marathon. I know there are people who run marathon after marathon and are fine with it. But that can take its toll on your body.
Manchester marathon left me a bit broken, then Covid broke me a bit further. I was starting to wonder whether I needed to ease off the half marathons a bit. They’d lost their appeal and the buzz I got from them back in 2019.
But this year’s Cheltenham half marathon went better than expected and I got my mojo back. I thought about all the half marathons I’d run over the years. They hadn’t all been easy.
Since 2017, I’ve barely had to train for a half marathon, as I’m always more or less ready for one. I usually run five times a week, including a six mile run and a 10 mile run. I’m generally pretty fit and always have a lot of miles in my legs.
But it wasn’t always like that. Going back to between 2011 and 2016, I was just a mum who ran a bit and pushed herself once or twice a year to run a half marathon. I’ve never had any coaching or been part of a club and I worked my training out for myself. I didn’t do it particularly well.
Having younger kids meant I had less time on my hands and I couldn’t leave them for too long while I trained. So I would just train for a half marathon by doing two long runs a week. It’s not surprising that I spent most of 2015 and 2016 injured.
Life is easier now. I work for myself at home and I run before I start work. I don’t have to worry about looking after the kids. So I have the time I need to train properly.
I’ve blogged about all but three of my half marathons over time. You can read about my half marathon journey in these posts:
- 1995 – Nottingham
- 1996 – Nottingham
- 2011 – Bath and Bristol
- 2012 – Bristol
- 2013 – Forest of Dean and Cheltenham
- 2014 – Cheltenham
- 2016 – Cheltenham
- 2017 – Cheltenham and Stroud
- 2018 – Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Stroud
- 2019 – Warwick, Tewkesbury, Cheltenham Challenge, Cheltenham and Stroud
- 2021 – Cheltenham
- 2022 – Tewkesbury and Cheltenham
After a tough year of running, I wasn’t sure whether I would do one of my favourite half marathons this year – Stroud. But Cheltenham 2022 went better than expected and I’m up for running Stroud.
Here’s to a good year of running in 2023! I want to get back to my best before I turn 50.