Love Run 10k + marathon training update

Damien Clarkson after the Love Run 10k  (picture by Ivo Gormley)

Damien Clarkson after the Love Run 10k (picture by Ivo Gormley)

Whisper it quietly but I think the pissing wind that has plagued runners for months might have disappeared. Bring on the Spring! Or at the very least some cold and dry weather.

In just 13 weeks and 2 days I will have completed my first marathon. Currently I feel the Edinburgh marathon is looming above my head like a giant zeppelin about to drop a bombardment of ruined feet, shattered hamstrings and chaffed legs.

You would think that following a 16 week plan would leave me brimming with confidence. But boy would you be wrong. I have realised marathon training is hardcore, the sheer amount of miles, the tight muscles, the lack of sleep and destruction of your social life. These are all key elements of marathon training. And I have just taken a work contract at Government Digital Services. And although this is a superbly flexible forward thinking workplace, I am going to be spending more of my time tied to a desk not able to just drop my work and go running when the mood takes me. Scary!

So you would be right in thinking that I am struggling to hit my target miles at the moment. Last week I completed just 16 miles but this did include recording a new PB in the Finsbury Park Love Run 10k. Powered by a 8 banana smoothie, I kept my record of recording a PB in every race since I started writing this blog back in September. I recorded a chip time of 46:13 coming in 53rd out of 293 runners.

Damien Clarkson running the Love Run 10k  (picture by Ivo Gormley)

If you went out running last Saturday you will know how crazy the wind was. Everyone who took part in that race last Saturday or just went for a run anywhere deserves huge credit. It was literally insane, so much so that I got blown to a literal stop running for the finish line.

I was running with team GoodGym last Saturday. Everyone of us put in a wholehearted performance and super speedy Shaun Dixon won the race at a canter. GoodGym Founder, Ivo Gormley took some wonderful pictures I have shamefully borrowed for the site (thanks Ivo) and in other exciting news GoodGym is now an affiliated UK athletics running club. As if you needed another reason to come along and take a look if you live in London. I am already dreaming of the wicking t-shirt I am going to be able to buy with my cumulative £2 pound race entry savings.

I also made a video of the race below. Please give it a watch and perhaps give it a like and subscribe.


What else happened in the last 2 weeks. Well my Garmin 210 decided to stop working, meaning I lost 3 very average miles on Strava. Luckily I was able to exchange it for a new watch today, hopefully this Garmin lasts more than 4 months.

I am also just about the enter the Hackney Half Marathon at the end of June. I am so excited about running the streets of the area I have lived in for the past 4 years. I would love it if you came and ran this race with me.

Screenshot 2014-02-21 19.20.25

If you are training for a marathon how is it going? How do you squeeze the miles in? Also does anyone have an April half marathon they would recommend?

Tomorrow I will be running for 1:20 hr taking my weekly mileage up to around 18 miles. 13 weeks to go, I am nervous but still just about optimistic.

Damien

The Runners

Matan Rochlitz and Ivo Gormley on their filming equipment

Matan Rochlitz and Ivo Gormley on their filming equipment

What do you think about whilst you are running?

I am sure many of you reading this are honestly not sure. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be invited to a screening of a new short film called ‘The Runners‘. The film is made by social entrepreneur and GoodGym founder Ivo Gormley who I have been lucky to get to know this year and his friend Matan.

To create the film over the course of a year they cycled around Victoria Park in London dragging a trailer with a camera and one of them onboard. They proceeded to ask runners a whole variety of questions about their lives, why they run and what they are thinking about?

Many of us do the majority of our running on our own, once you start cranking up the milage that makes for a lot of time spent in our heads. For me I often think about the people I haven’t spoken to in a long while and start making lists in my head about what I need to do. Sometimes I just get lost in the beauty of my surroundings and I honestly don’t think about anything else. Sometimes I play out my problems in my head and when I get home I just know what I need to do. For me running is an insight into an area of my subconscious otherwise inaccessible for me. All the noise stops, whether the wind is blowing or the rain is pouring it doesn’t matter, I can just chill.

The film really made for a revealing insight into the minds of runners. Afterwards the 150 strong were treated to q&a with Greg one of the runners in the film Martin Yelling former triathlete and Marathon Talk podcast host and ‘Run Like a Girl’ author Alexandra Heminsley and the filmmakers Ivo and Matan.

The film is only 10 minutes long and free to watch. It features today on the Guardian’s running blog. Watch it I promise you will enjoy it. And perhaps the next time you lace up you will think a little bit more about what is going on in your head.