Sisyphus, the hill runner

I have maintained two blogs previously, each covering the time when I was training, running and recovering from two marathon races: Rome (2013) and Athens (2014). Such event-specific blogs are by their very nature limited in scope and duration, but in the process I discovered that I quite liked this whole writing malarkey and that – wonder of wonders! – there existed people who actually enjoyed reading them!

So at the end of 2015 I decided to create this third blog, which will broadly be about my running adventures with deviations through other themes, as the journey takes me. Now, by “running adventures”, please do not expect descriptions of mythical ultra runs across mountain ranges, deserts or frozen tundra; gripping tales of races in exotic places under extreme conditions; or how I overcame adversity to win a race at any level! In fact I am a very average club runner, or at least I was, when I was still running with my club. But life has since intervened; and in my struggles with adversity a draw has come to be quite a good result. 2015 in particular was a tale of my Sisyphean attempts to roll my fitness and performance levels up the proverbial cliff and achieve my modest running ambitions, only to see them tumble down again, through a combination of outside influences and my own failings.

All downhill from here? Minutes before Coniston Marathon 2012.

But I persist, for I am a stubborn so-and-so. And every time the rock comes tumbling down, I at least try to learn something from it: I get an insight in an as-yet-overlooked area of race preparation; I learn something about the limits of my body and what I need to do to coax it, creaking and groaning through a training regime and race; and how to start manipulating the outside influences to my own benefit.

I have been making (by and large) some uphill progress in the past months, so it feels like a good time to start writing again. I expect this blog to turn up like my Saturday muddy runs: it will probably not be pretty, it certainly won’t be slick, but hopefully it will be good childish fun!

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