In news that will come as no surprise to anyone, I seem to have accidentally signed up for a trail marathon in October.
Bear with me.
The plan has always been to build towards a third London marathon in April. I'm currently half marathon fit, and I was planning on holding that to the end of the year (with a couple of halves and with the Thunder Run 24 hour relay along the way), building up to around 16 miles on my long run by the end of the year and then marathon training proper from January.
I've been feeling okay: I did eight miles with C. on a rainy Monday morning and then backed it up with another four-or-so miles that afternoon. Neither run was very fast, but speed isn't really the objective here as I was thinking about the 4 or 5 10km laps that I'm likely to have to do across 24 hours at Thunder Run towards the end of July.
So what happened?
Well, it was World MS Day on Wednesday and I was chatting with some friends about how MS is such an uncertain condition that affects sufferers in different ways. It took me four years to get a diagnosis, and I had no way of knowing that I would then use that diagnosis as a spur to start running marathons.
"Well how about a trail marathon, then? To really stick two fingers up at MS?"
Super Kev is a machine and an inspiration: he's a fantastic runner who is quick over pretty much any distance from 1 mile to 100 miles. He's also an incredibly generous man who is happy to give up his time to help other runners. I've been going out running the trails with him every Thursday night over the last few weeks, and he's been kind enough to run at my pace. It turns out that he's always wanted to have a go at the Spires & Steeples challenge: a trail marathon from Lincoln to Sleaford on 15th October.
Abigail, another wonderfully generous, community-spirited runner was quick to get involved. "That sounds brilliant. I'm in. Tim?"
...and so I heard myself agreeing to get involved too.
I haven't formally entered yet, but I'm actually warming to the idea. Trail marathons are apparently a completely different kettle of fish to a road race, with a gentler pace and cake. Throw some good friends into the mix, and I guess that means marathon training is going to start a little earlier than planned.
Hey ho. Take that, MS.
4 days ago