After a very successful 2009, I suppose it was inevitable that something was eventually going to go wrong and slipping over on the icy roads while out training just before Xmas was just that. I didn't know it at the time, but I sustained a hip injury that ultimately cost me nearly 2 months of very little or no running. This came as a real blow as it threatened to put my 500th marathon plans in jeopardy.
However, on Jan 3rd I managed to struggle round the 100 club annual marathon at Bromley in 3:26:29 while I still had a degree of fitness left from last year, it wasn't exactly pretty, a bitterly cold day and painful from start to finish, I couldn't wait for it to end. In hindsight perhaps not the best thing to have done and I may have exacerbated the injury but I'm sure a lot of other runners have been there before now. The only good thing was that it was another marathon ticked off towards both of my remaining goals.
Then after many frustrating weeks of resting, retrying and resting again (and driving Teresa mad!), eventually in late February I was able to put together 3 weeks of uninterrupted training mileage albeit with more rest days than normal and therefore decided to travel to Cornwall for the 34th Duchy Marathon on Sunday March 7th held at Redruth. Confidence is everything in running and I needed this to get my head right again, my plan was to stick on 8min miling from start to finish, no more, no less and hope for a sub 3:30 to not only get me another one nearer to the Fastest 500 marathons target but also maintain my 500 sub 3:30s challenge for 2012.
Duchy isn't the easiest of courses, 2 laps with 2 hills on each lap, so not particularly hilly but there is always a cold headwind to contend with for several miles on each lap and yet again, this year was no exception. Coming down with a cold the day before didn't help either and the paranoia kicked in again, somebody up there is really testing me! However, the race went pretty much to plan and I crossed the line in 3:28:41 to finish 43rd out of a 200+ field. Steve was wearing race number 32 and racing for Bourton Roadrunners. So no prizes this time, but the satisfaction of just being able to complete another sub 3:30 marathon towards the 2012 goal and have hopefully got myself back on track for the 'fastest 500 marathons by an individual athlete' which if all goes to plan will be very soon.Watch this space! Now just got to keep my fingers crossed that it will be okay from here on in.
Source: Steve Edwards