A follow-up blog from guest blogger Donato Esposito – The Journey Continues

2017 had been going so well.

January I won my first ever prize and trophy at the Stratford Athletics Club 12k race, as the fastest male in 55+ age category. February I ran my first half marathon race this year at Hampton Court and came in with a new personal best of 1 hour 25 minutes. All the cold dark morning trainings at 5am were paying off. My consistent training and determination was giving me great results.

MY DAILY STANDARDS were working.

I was feeling very confident and strong and then came my last half marathon race before my marathon race in April in Brighton.

The race was in Reading in March, but I had not been feeling well since the day before and still went ahead with the race. This was a bad idea. All felt good until mile 4, when I suddenly felt a painful twinge in my left leg. I had to slow right down, but still finished the race.

With my optimism, I thought all I need to do is rest a few days and all would be fine. How wrong could I be. After a couple of days rest, I could barely run a few steps without being in a lot of pain. After many weeks of swimming and extensive physio, I hoped I would be ok to run Brighton marathon in a new personal best based on previous races and my fitness level. After just a few steps into the Brighton marathon, I knew no personal records would be set for me. It was so painful I contemplated pulling out of the race many times. The pain at times was incredible, but I made a commitment to finish for Hibbs Lupus Trust so I just kept going. The crowd were amazing and they helped me keep going.

I felt very disappointed after having put in all the training and not being able to perform to my level of fitness. Marathon running can be the same as life. We have set-backs and it is how we deal with these set-backs that will determine if we keep going, or quit. Whilst I was disappointed, I felt a great feeling of achievement completing in a time quicker than last year’s first marathon. I also felt confident with future races. What could I achieve when I am fully fit and well?

The injury meant I was out for 8 to 10 weeks, but now I’m back! I also found out that my time from February’s half marathon makes me the 54th fastest man in the UK for my age group at that distance, which for a novice like myself is apparently an amazing achievement.

My work takes me to many places, but I always make sure I get my training runs in before work, which often means a 5am start.

This is MY DAILY STANDARD.

Journey

By completing my training runs at the start of the day, it puts me in a great state of mind for the whole day. In July I completed 277km training runs that took in Switzerland, Isle of Man and Swindon, Cirencester and Birmingham in the UK. Over the next 3 months I have 3 half marathon races as build up to the BIG one – New York City Marathon on 5th November.

Many lessons have been learnt in the last few months and I am learning new things each week which I have now started sharing on YouTube. Check it out here. It’s mainly a bit of fun for me to have whilst sharing my love of running, but also to try and include some hints and tips.

The biggest lesson for me is to relax and enjoy the journey and I can’t wait to update you on the continued journey!

Donato
The Running Guru

Check back soon for the next part of Donato’s journey!