Spotting wolves in Sheep’s clothing, Fruit bats and Rays…

 When I initially started writing this blog I did so with the sole intention of updating every week but recently I’ve found I’ve become more sporadic in my posting. As I’ve previously mentioned I wanted to use this platform to help me in some ways compartmentalise my runs and thoughts. As someone who suffers from over thinking, not just with running but in life as a whole, I find this medium helps me. If through writing this blog it helps others get new ideas, see that they aren’t the only ones suffering with certain aspects of runs or they generally enjoy just reading the ramblings of a 37 year old trying not to grow up, I’m content with that. 

I used social media whilst training for my first marathon to my advantage. I shared runs, I shared my thoughts and even if people asked i’d share tips! What I was doing was working for me and people were taking notice. This however has it’s draw backs as you find in all successes small or large there will always be a few people who can not handle someone achieving. There’s always people who want to compete however we are now in 2016 and a quick Google search can generally find things, so even if the garmin photo tells people one thing, the race result doesn’t lie…. Competition it’s not a bad thing but ultimately my race, my battle is with me. I want to beat my own PBs, segment times on Strava etc others don’t enter the equation however I do pay attention to those who don’t clap when I win,  I am always aware of the wolf in sheep’s clothes. That negativity is quickly banished from my life as I need people around me who are genuinely pleased for me others can ‘Jog On’ pardon the pun 😃

I am now into week seven of my training and this is suggested I take an easier week. This has been a god send in all honesty we are coming to the conclusion of our holiday and it has been the hottest weather I’ve ever experienced. The heat and humidity has made every step difficult and I have also had to adapt some runs but ultimately I’m happy I’ve ran out here. 

 Two of the my last 4 runs have been inside on a treadmill, not ideal but needs must, this is the sensible option.  On Saturday I was due to do a ten mile run 1:20:00 and decided this was going to be inside so I went early to turn the air conditioning on in the gym. This I thought would keep the room cooler so I’d be able to reach the 10 miles however even after a couple of hours of air conditioning the heat was intolerable. I actually managed 5 miles went through a 1.5 litre bottle of water and I was slightly disappointed however it’s five miles I hadn’t done the day before. From this run I reaffirmed with myself that I genuinely hate treadmills!! 

With the last statement in mind I had to apprehensively head back to the gym as I’m struggling to find hills to do some reps on here on the island!!! I wasn’t looking forward to this run and planned out 10 minutes easy, 25 minutes hill work, 10 minutes easy. Increasing the gradient of the hill 2% every 2 minutes. This worked well and before I knew it I had reached 4 miles in 35 minutes out of a gradual hill climb. I pressed cool down, walked the last ten minutes triumphant for one reason and one reason only…no more treadmill! 

Tuesday I headed out for 35 minutes easy around the island not really thinking and instantly regretting the decision running at 11:45 am!!! Possibly the worst time to run as the sun was virtually at its peak and unforgiving. 3 laps of the island complete with water stops every lap I could think of no better way to cool off than straight into the sea. Lesson learnt but I’m not sure I will experience the heat I have here back in Bolton, even if it is the same sun!! 

I decided Wednesday would be the last run of the holiday and I’d agreed to head out early one morning before the heat well and truly hit on a jog round the island with my wife. We’d heard reports of Rays, sharks and turtles out before the sun rises. I was determined to enjoy this last run even if I’d over indulged the night before (this will be cut out completely on our return to the UK, no beer!!) As we headed past the water bungalows Mrs Marthonman9 was excited!! The heat was tolerable and the sun was just thinking about making an appearance. I was enjoying it even more so as it was a run with the wife. She can always now answer the Maldieves when someone asks her the most exotic place she’s ran!! 

We headed down onto the jetty as part of our 1.5 mile loop of the island we were greeted by not one but two rather large rays enjoying the peace and quiet, that was until we arrived. With my heavy feet and the wife excited chatter, I could see what they were thinking…Bloody Brits abroad!! I must admit it was an awesome sight and not something I usually see running round the streets of home. 

As the Rays went on their way so did we and round the island we kept our eyes out for sharks patrolling the water edge or a fruit bat flying between the palm trees. One bat and a fully risen sun to finish we managed 2 laps of the island in 30 minutes which works out around 3 miles. The wife was chuffed, I was too, however it was tinged with slight sadness that my next run would be on the Tarmac roads of Merseyside and not the perfect white sands of a Maldivian island.

I will take a lot from this experience and I feel privileged to have been able to run in such a beautiful place. It has been paradise and I am ready to head back to running in the uk in my running tights, base layers, bobble hat and gloves!!! Running creates some memories and feelings that last for a lifetime and this last 10 days has given me them in abundance. The serious mileage hike starts next week and I turn my focus to clean living, shedding some weight and getting up to racing speed with an eye on the great North western half marathon in Blackpool at the end of February. I’m after a PB there!! 



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