Technically this week has been the last week of base training before marathon training for the Greater Manchester Marathon starts. But today’s long run felt like the first proper run of this marathon training cycle. And since it felt like the first proper run of the training cycle why not start where I finished off in the last training cycle – with a fall!

Redway Runners club run, that's me on the right in my InknBurn Run or Die vest.
Redway Runners club run, that’s me on the right in my INKnBURN Union Jack Run or Die vest.

Those of you who have read my Chester Marathon review will know that during the marathon I went splat at 17.5 miles. Well on today’s run I did exactly the same.

It was everything a first run should be: cold (below freezing), icy and foggy. Exactly the kind of weather that makes it difficult to get out of bed and out the door. Some of the Redways weren’t just icy they were treacherous in places but the stupid thing is I fell over because I went over on my ankle, not because of the ice.

I have some grazing on my hand, elbow and shin, a sore swollen ankle and I’m rather sore on my hip and shoulder. But I think a rest day or two and I’ll be fine. It was nice to be complimented on the quality of my fall roll ;-).

Over the next few months my blog posts will focus on the journey to the start line of the Greater London Marathon. The aim is to keep me honest about my marathon training and to stop me getting complacent. Expect smiles, tears and excitement – not all in equal measures.

There’s something about starting a journey. There’s a sense of excitement, a sense of hope and a happy anticipation of good things. It’s a process in motion, when you’re on a journey – even if it’s not a running/training one – you’re never standing still. I know at times this journey will be painful and there will be disappointments, such as runs that don’t go to plan, but that’s part of the journey and part of the learning experience.

The goal for Manchester is sub-3:49:59 which will be a London Good For Age (GFA) time. And there is a plan to get me there, it’s just I don’t know it in its entirety yet. Coach Emily has it all mapped out but I’m only getting it a couple of weeks at a time so she can adapt and change it based on how things are going.

I’ve also signed up to Jantastic to keep me motivated. If you haven’t heard about it then it’s a free New Year’s fitness challenge to keep you motivated to achieve your personal health and fitness goals through winter and spring. I’m part of the Conkers parkrun girls team captained by Captain Roger, there’s nothing like the amazing support you get from the Conkers parkrun team: quite simply it’s an awesome group of wonderful people most of whom seem to share a love of purple, as do I.

It’s good to have a goal but it is the journey towards that goal that matters. Anyway, no journey can begin until we decide to take the very first step, so let’s go!

Until next time…

Kassia Gardner




P.S. Because at least six people asked about my Run or Die running vest that I wore on today’s club run (before I lost count) here’s the details: it’s from INKnBURN and this is the link for the ladies version and this is the link for the men’s version. I’m not on commission or anything but I do love their running kit. It really makes you stand out from the crowd.