It’s been a while since my last post, mainly because I’ve not been running as much as I'd like, despite overcoming my recent injuries. For a few weeks I found it very hard to be motivated, particularly with the poor weather.

The first milestone of my marathon training is the Brooks 10K. My preparation for this was haphazard, and I only managed a couple of 6-mile training runs. The last of these was an an epic slog along the railway line near my sister’s house, where I stayed the weekend before. My sister made me take her dog, a podgy Labrador that normally lags behind. This time, Stella managed to keep up all the way. I’m not as fit as I was.

As the Brooks 10K approached it was obvious I wouldn’t achieve anything like last year’s time of 47 minutes. During my final training run, when I wasn’t even sure I could manage the distance, I took 52½ minutes.

The morning of the race the weather was better than I’d expected, with a less ferocious wind. Even so, I found it hard to drag myself out of bed. Half-an-hour before the official start time I’d still not left home and didn’t have any safety pins for my race number. I only made the race in time by running the two miles between my flat and the start. It was probably the worst preparation I’ve ever done for a race.

In the event, things went better than expected. Once the race started I was swept along with the other runners. Being in a race with other 2,000 people is an exhilarating experience. The course goes from Marine Drive to the Marina, then all the way to King Alfred’s, before returning to the start point. This means most competitors pass the front-runners twice, with the leaders being applauded by the other runners as they pass.

While my time of 52 minutes was far slower than last year, I was pleased I actually made it to the start line. But I now realise I have a lot of training to do between now and April’s marathon. I have plenty of time, even allowing for the occasional blip, but I need to take things a little more seriously.