Four Decades of Running in Review
Only a couple of weeks ago I realised it was the end of the decade and thought it is a good time to do a review of my four decades of running.
I started calling myself a runner in 1984 where my existence was about running and life – running and triathlons dominated all aspects of my life. It would be fair to say I was obsessed.
I spent the first four years at university and the remainder in Bowral.
The 1980s was dominated by triathlons, canoeing, my first marathon and half marathon running at the end of the decade. I was also 5 years into a 20 years of Nepean triathlons. I thought about an Ironman but was too scared of the training.
The 1990s was the decade of deferred personal goals, we move back to Sydney, Nick and Ali were born, and I started at a new school.
I was transitioning to a life with some running. I started a streak of 10 SMH Half Marathons, finished 10 Nepean triathlons and had a break for 10 years.
In 1986, after my first marathon, I set a goal to run a marathon in each of the following decade.
I ran my second marathon in Canberra, 1998.
I thought I would never do an ironman and discovered Cool Running – my interest laid dormant till 2004.
The 2000s started with me training for 4 months and running the Host City Olympic course marathon in April. I was chuffed because I had ticked off the marathon for that decade. The first three marathons are still are my three fastest times. I spent the next four years in runners depression, struggling with slowing down only running in the SMH Half and Westleigh Half marathon on no training till early 2004 when I became more involved in the Online Cool Running Community.
Cool Running redirected my running to the more social community side which changed my focus to marathons ultramarathons, starting the next ten years of Nepean Triathlons. All told I completed 11 plus marathon distance events, including the PMC run from Gosford to the Opera House. I tried to qualify for an Ironman and failed.
Now for this decade. I have run 28 marathon plus distance events, finished 20 Nepean triathlons, had a streak of 5 Centennial Park 50 km races, several 12 hour races, including the 12 hour wimps version fall three Canberra 48 hour races, and completed my 30 year goal of an Ironman at the age of 54 in 2014.
In relation to injuries, the hip issues I had in the late 2000s gradually got better with rest and the reduction of training runs of no longer than 6km. I ended up with severe metatarsal issue after the Narrabeen 12 hour race in 2011 which resulted in more rest, orthotics and much less running at pace and nursed myself to the start of the Ironman.
By now I have learnt to run 6km and walk to an hour in training and cemented my understanding of making running just part of life.
I am not sure what the this decade will involve but while on long service leave in 2020 I plan to run/walk one peak of 42 peaks in the Bob Graham in Keswick to Skiddaw, will continue my run around Sydney with each run at least 42 km and will be investigating the concept of fast packing.
I am very much looking forward to my 5th decade of running.