In the first of the EOTN Ambassador blogs, we catch up with Gary who’s changed his training, done a bit of parkrun tourism and given up sweets for Lent!
GARY’S BLOG: 22nd February 2018
“January and February have been canny. Well, apart from it being windy every day, Cold and most of my running being in the dark… Apart from that it’s been great!
I have been really lucky to be picked as an Ambassador for the Sunderland 10K and Half Marathon. I’ve always enjoyed events put on by Events of the North. Also, anything that inspires people to exercise gets the thumbs up from me, so I’m proud to be involved. The Marathon of the North was a real turning point for me as a runner. I now love the marathon, but before the Marathon of the North I had no intention of ever running 26.2 miles. I’ve ran 81 marathons now. To say it’s had anything other than a massive positive impact on me would be an understatement. As an ambassador I only have to run 13.1 miles, but a shorter distance usually involves running faster. Fast or slow it’ll be great fun. I should try and work things out so Kielder Marathon is my 100.
Another bit of good news is I had a couple of moles checked out and everything came back okay. It’s so important to keep an eye on these things. I’m not going to lie I left it too long before I saw the doctor. That was stupid of me. I have a young family to think about and if the results came back positive that time wasted could have made a massive difference to my chances. Anyway, luckily everything is okay. I’m not sure if I was just being stupid, but I assumed that because both moles had never been exposed to sunlight that they could not be cancerous. Well, it turns out this isn’t true!
I have become addicted to an American running podcast called Rogue Running. It’s very America-centric and at times a bit “woo woo” with some of the stuff they say, but the two presenters are so enthusiastic and knowledgeable I can’t stop listening. I even enjoy out of date episodes on American track and field!! The stuff I really connect with is about being the version of yourself you think you want to be. Also, being in control of yourself and not blaming anything else if you come up short. There is nothing wrong with not achieving your goals, but if it doesn’t happen then it’s all on me. Yeah, I have a busy life, but so do thousands of others who get out there day after day putting in the graft to give themselves the best chance possible.
I won’t blame the weather, work, family commitments or anything else. If I don’t work hard then I won’t achieve the things I want to achieve. If I chose not to train then that’s fine, but I mustn’t have wanted to achieve my goals enough.
The podcast has inspired me to change my training. I normally roll from marathon training plan to marathon training plan. I do speed work, but it’s very marathon orientated so I never go really fast. I’ve decided to ditch going for a time at London and put all my efforts into Amsterdam. One big performance!! However, the first part of the year will be spent training for the 2018 Blaydon Race and The Sunderland Half. I know it’s a bit messed up, but I won’t be the only runner to toe the line at both great local events.
I had a busy weekend visiting my wife’s family so I ran Harlow parkrun. If you don’t know about parkrun then you really should check them out. It’s 100% a good thing. Also, I ran the Valentines 10K on the Sunday. I had a great time. Lots of Sedgefield Harriers had entered too!
Another busy, but fun weekend ahead. Sedgefield Harriers are off to Wooler for a long training weekend. It’s always great fun. I have entered the Trail Outlaw Wooler Marathon at the end of the year so a great excuse for a recce! I’m sure lots of food and beer will be consumed. No sweet treats though… I have given them up for Lent. So far it’s going well, but a long way to go. If I’m honest I know I won’t be 100% successful, but if I have 35 good days and 5 not so good days then I’ll be happy. I have a couple of Birthdays soon and I’m 100% having cake!”