Securing ‘Sovereignty’ – Entry#54

It’s been a while in adding a new missive, over 12 months in fact. Thinking I’d written all there was to write about the training experience, was, with hindsight, a mistake.

Still learning this one.

Still learning enough to scrape together a 54th entry to this long running blog.

It’s worth revisiting some of the other entries on this blog. I surprised myself with some of the things I’ve highlighted over those 53 other entries, some of it might be helpful. Though in spite of the lovely comments I’ve had back, it still feels like I’m shouting out into the ether.

A few I’ll highlight again below, but why not have a dig around and see what you can find, the archives, just down there, to the right…

When I first started this blog it was as part of an agreement I had with my running club, Synergy, as a thank you for my 2013 place in the London Marathon. Somehow, like the marathon training/running it’s carried on. It’s got a little bigger this year as well, with two marathons scheduled for this year – Manchester (5th April) and Bolton (17th May) – seven weeks apart.

My wife (editor in chief) is truly ecstatic about this break from the usual one spring marathon a year, the kids, as is the want of teenagers, startingly uninterested. It’s just something Daddy does, apparently.

As for my wife, it’s something that ratchets up her worry about my welfare come race day especially as my age (49, thanks for wondering), means I’m in that sweet spot (for her) of impending devastation as I join the ranks of the ‘blokes who’ve done a few marathons, think they can run much faster than they really should, overdo it, have some terrible cardiac trauma, bringing a very final end to an ultimately uninspiring running career’.

‘If you do that, then I will chase you so hard you won’t be able to rest in peace’ she says.

‘Nope, not me, I train properly’ I say.

‘And with all this racing I should be able to stay ahead anyway’ I swiftly regret saying.

Manchester is a return to a personal triumph in 2018 when I ran a PB, beautifully celebrated by my sister with a framed route and time picture recently received for my birthday.

‘Bit of an issue if you get another PB’ she says.

‘Yes’ I say. ‘More picture hanging’ I think, hopefully.

Bolton has a special place for me (these Northerners know how to organize a good event in North England (sic see Twitter for a picture of Javid, Truss and Raab on-route to this geographical anomaly).

Bolton’s an ace place, my wife is a Boltonian, and the route goes very close to my in-laws’ home. As an attempt to ensure supporters come race day it seems an extreme way to do that, but it’s the first running of the event in 20+ years so could be really interesting. The event organisers promise the famous Bolton welcome, not the one I mentioned in this entry from 2016, though the forecourt in question was in Bolton. Rather the ‘all reet’ welcome to our place one I’ve always had, despite being one of them southerners. I’m really looking forward to it, the hills not so much, but it’s shaping up to be a great event. An event with places still – enter here if you fancy it.

‘So, what’s that learning you were talking about at the beginning?’ you ask. Well I suppose some form of narrative thread is needed when writing this stuff so I’ll get back to that learning. One of the big things I’ve realized over the last few weeks is that it is very easy to forget some of the stuff you’ve learnt previously. For me it was the fact that I hadn’t had a reassessment of my running gait or training approach for a number of months. I assumed I had achieved my own ‘sovereignty’. I understood how to do this ‘thing’ but clearly not. A recent reassessment highlighted something new about my gait that was probably contributing to a little niggle, just nagging away at me.

Away I came, with some new stretches and strengthening exercises and after a few further weeks the niggle is off and away.

The lesson, think through how you are feeling about your running, your body, your fitness and anything that might be nagging away at you get some advice on it.

Review your long run training and perhaps read this or try this one, or this?

Have a look at your race day preparations so you can practice them during your long runs. There’s lots to be ready for come race day and getting all the kit and other accoutrements is best done many weeks before rather than trying to rush those key preparations.

Also, a big part of this running lark, indeed any physical exercise, or even life is this:

Image may contain: one or more people and ocean, possible text that says '"IT's VERY HARO IN THE BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE WHOLE IDEA IS NOT TO BEAT THE OTHER RUNNERS. EVENTUALLY YOU LEARN THAT THE COMPETITION 15 AGAINST THE LITTLE VOICE INSIDE YOU THAT WANTS YOU TO TO QUIT."'

Looking back, this is probably the area I have written the most about from one of my earliest entries, to this, and a more recent one with insight from the great Kipchoge.

It is also the one area that you do need to focus continually on because that ‘little voice’ seems to find ever more ingenious ways of getting through to you.

So seek that insight, enter this new ‘era’, ‘unleash your potential’ (dear reader, please note the irony here…), and realise, quickly, that smell?

That smell?

Yep, that’s your hat…!

Run strong, enjoy, play, have fun.

About Simon Tanner

Nine time marathon runner, having run Brighton x6, London x2, and Manchester x1, finally got a London ballot place after 7 consecutive attempts. I try to write about things I'm going through / have gone through in training to help others attain their running goals, whatever the distance.
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