I ran hard this lunchtime with another training partner: Pete the 3:18 marathon man. Although he was hoping for a 3 hour time at Edinburgh earlier this year that run was still not half bad for a first marathon and his training was hampered by an achiles niggle. He admitted he’d failed to take on a good tip from Barry another runner from our office who said the most important thing to do in training for a marathon is to stay fit. I suppose when I trained for mine I didn’t push my body to its limits as I just wanted to complete it safely (wearing a dress) rather than set an amazing time.
Anyway after Pete completed his marathon he had 3 months off from running and had only done 3 recent lunchtime runs before today. He’s 6’4" and lean and I guessed he’d be quicker than me but we set off at a pace comfortable enough to enable us to talk but not quite chat. My sentances were punctuated by deep breaths and I couldn’t freely waffle as much as I usually do. I noticed that after turning at the far point on the Rochdale canal we both went quiet. There had been some gentle teasing earlier in the day that I was going to leave him behind, which was never going to be true, but on arriving back at Exchange Quay I felt like I’d worked my legs well. Over the last few hundred metres I lengthened my stride to match Pete’s (as I had done with 6’5" James) but as Pete started to accelerate I couldn’t match him and had to break stride to keep up and then I started to struggle. Afterward Pete said that at times he felt that he might have been holding me back but I felt the same way too so it seems we both pushed harder than we might have intended. It will be interesting to see who hurts more in the morning but with the way I feel at the moment I’m sure it will be me that’s worse off.
Tonight an old mate phoned to arrange a swim over at Leigh a week on Monday. He took up swimming again after suffering from back pain and as he doesn’t get sick pay from work, couldn’t afford any more time off through bad health. He joined a swimming club at the start of the year and has trained a couple of times a week ever since. I didn’t realise that he swam for his school as a teenager but thinking back we did go swimming together at Radcliffe baths with a couple of other mates soon after he learned to drive. Andy hasn’t really swum for the best part of 20 years but has appreciated the structured training sessions and has lost about 3 stone in weight and 5 or 6 inches off his waist. This has turned out to be very timely as he has recently found out he needs to have his gall bladder removed and so when he attended his pre-op examination a few weeks ago he was in better shape than he had been for about 15 years. Hopefully his fitness will shorten his recovery time and not leave him as much out of pocket wage-wise.
It will be good to swim for a good length of time in the evening rather than just 20 minutes at lunch. We can compare drills/exercises and he might even be able to teach me to tumble-turn.