Its good to have something to focus on post Outlaw and that's why I signed up for Bournemouth Marathon. My last non tri marathon was VLM 12 with a poor 5hr 30 odd min finish although I was morphed up. Prior to that I had prepared badly and suffered a 5hr 12 mins Liverpool Marathon 2011. My other marathon was Edinburgh 2011 which was my first with a still personal best time of 4 hrs 42 mins. My thinking for Bournemouth was to stay fit and aim for a definite PB, a minimum 4hr 20 mins and a hopeful sub 4 hours.
Whilst I have maintained 3 or 4 sessions of training per week since Outlaw and it's almost exclusively running, I have only gone over 6 miles once (16 miles in about 2hr 30 mins) about 5 weeks ago. My speed is still there with a 22:30 5k Parkrun recently but is the stamina? I will find out the hard way in 3 wks and 2 days time when I anticipate that my legs will really hate me as I think I will still be chasing something near 4 hrs no matter what.
Better than any time I might do is the amazing team that has cropped up to support Poppyfields. As you know Poppyfields was set up by the parents of my niece Poppy to raise money for Birmingham Childrens Hospital. BCH have looked after Poppy since she was 14 months old and diagnosed with a brain tumour. 4 operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy over 9 years and Poppy is looking forward to her 11th birthday in January!
The team is 14 strong, includes 11 doing the marathon, 1 doing the half, 1 doing the 10k, 1 doing the Equinox 24hr run & The Brutal DOUBLE Ironman and 1 doing GNR too. Many of us have yet to meet so Bournemouth will be brilliant on all fronts and we will hopefully smash our modest £2000 target.
Its easy to sponsor us. Just text POPP51 £5 to 70070 or visit www.justgiving.com/top-poppyfielding
Other than Bournemouth nothing has been arranged for the future. Nothing concrete for 2014. The urge is still there to kick on, to try something else, to push myself further, to try and raise a few more quid. I am definitely leaving Iron distance triathlon alone for 2014 (an agreement reached under duress during the last mile of Outlaw) despite the massive urge to sign up for Outlaw and IM Wales in the past few weeks. I am thinking of running.......a lot. I definitely want a pop at a solo TR24 effort and I would love to Morph VLM again. The now common 201? miles in 201? (insert mileage/year of choice) is tempting but so many people do it that it may fail to spark peoples attention. Having said that it is a massive accomplishment to run 2014 miles in a year especially for a not too good runner like myself. Its a high daily rate of miles however you look at it and so in that respect it's a great challenge. A marathon a month could be included in that although they may have to be self mapped marathons as 12 x £50 + TR24 + Trainers + Kit soon gets unaffordable!
What of the Morph? I think it will make an appearance at TR24 and VLM but it is definitely triathlon retired. Anyways I think it has had it's moment in the sun (quite literally!) at Outlaw.
If anyone is keeping up with the cash then sit back in glory that YOU have helped raise over £11k for BCH and the figure keeps rising. If you have read this, sponsored, tweeted, encouraged, supported or shared then YOU have helped tremendously. Thank you for that.
I think 2014 can be mapped out after Bournemouth. I will keep you posted.
PS I was on the TV so thank you to Outlaw for letting me Ironmorph and including the footage!