The year was 2010. This was a big year in my life as it was the year I turned 30, it was also the year that I churned out my next big life plan of things to do before I was 40. Notable inclusions were: Going to America to see WrestleMania, Learn to drive and Run a Marathon.
It was always my opinion that the first two were going to be far easier than the last one. This was also the year that I started subscribing to the likes of Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness and Men’s Running. (The common link in all of them being is that they were for Men.) My training from the run in 2009 had tailed off as the rigours of Winter and longer working hours kicked in and I decided that all training would be resumed in April as I would be entering the Carlisle 10k again that year (Sunday 29th August).
Towards the end of 2009 there was major flooding in the Cockermouth area of Cumbria which claimed the life of PC Bill Barker. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cumbria/8371233.stm
It was decided that in 2010 as a tribute to Bill an event known as The West Cumbrian Run would be held to raise money for The Great North Air Ambulance http://www.westcumbrianrun.co.uk/ the event was to be held on Sunday 18th July 2010. I made the decision that this would now be my primary aim for the year, I’d ran 6 miles the year before so I assumed that I shouldn’t have too much problem stepping up to 10 miles as long as I trained properly and smartly. I worked out that if I started training in the first week of April I would be hitting the race at peak fitness in that I wouldn’t have trained too much or too little (Like the last bowl of porridge that Goldilocks tried it would be just right.)
As I hadn’t trained since November 2009, aside from biking to and from work, my fitness had again dipped and some weight had reappeared so it was a case of starting from scratch and building the fitness back up again. This wasn’t as hard as my previous attempt at building fitness in 2009 as that year I was a complete beginner to running at least in 2010 I had a starting point and I knew where I needed to get to. The training began in earnest in April of that year and by the beginning of May the weight was dropping off again and the fitness was coming back. It was also in May of 2010 that I found a website called Runkeeper http://runkeeper.com/user/SpasticatedFishslice/ this was where I could post all of my running activity and set up some routes that I could use time and again and also gauge accurate mileage. In the first few months of finding the website, I’ll be honest, I did keep forgetting to post my runs. It wasn’t until July that I really started to make an effort of posting all my activities. The race before The West Cumbrian Run I’d posted a run of 7.48 miles, which was a good 2 ½ miles short of where I needed to be to be race ready for the race the next week. Upon arriving at the start in Cockermouth I was a bit trepidatious of the length of the run and whether I would be able to complete it. Within a mile of starting all of my fears were realised when the person running next to me said “It’s all hills this run, good luck.” Hills it was indeed, hill after hill after bloody hill, luckily 30 minutes into the run I managed to zone out any pain as I was listening to my trusty podcast friend http://www.smartwrestlingfan.com/ this achieved two things, it helped me forget about any pain I was in as my focus was listening to what the hosts were saying and it also provided me with a pretty accurate gauge of where I was time wise due to clocking the length of the show beforehand and using the show order as a guidance. 7 miles in I realised that I felt pretty good and that there was no reason why I couldn’t finish this race, the hills were pretty much behind me at this point, of course that’s the point where the torrential rain kicked in. The last 3 miles were a slog as my t-shirt got tighter around my body due to the volume of rain and my trainers started to fill up also. But the finish line was in sight and nothing was going to stop me from finishing the race and finishing it strong. As I crossed the finish line I knew that I was around the 1hour 45min mark but again I’d forgotten to check the time as I crossed the line, I had to wait until the next day when the results were posted:
239 STEVEN CLARINGBOLD 01:37:57 UNATTACHED
I was more than happy with a time of 1hour and 37minutes especially considering it was only my second race and the mileage was ramped up a little more.
So, after that race it was all about keeping the fitness up for the Carlisle 10k which I would be taking part in alone this year. My main goal for this one was to try to come in under the hour which was totally achievable given the right conditions. Going into it I felt stronger than the previous year which I put down mostly to the fact that I’d trained hard for The West Cumbrian Run in July and managed to keep that fitness up coming into the Carlisle 10k. The route itself was exactly the same as the 2009 however the organisation was poorer which is one of the main reasons that this was the last year this event was held. A lot of people came out of the race saying that they wouldn’t be taking part in 2011 and the quality of the medal was very poor. The race itself went well for me, as I crossed the finish line and looked back at the clock I saw that I was around the 1 hour mark when the results were posted the next day I was more than happy to see that I had indeed posted a sub 1 hour time (just):
42 STEVEN CLARINGBOLD 00:59:40 UNATTACHED
All in all 2010 was a good year for me I’d raised £175 for The Great North Air Ambulance, I’d stepped up the training and completed a longer run than I was expecting to do at the start of the year. I’d decided that 2011 was the year I stepped it up again and pushed myself harder than I ever thought I could.