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I've been running on/off since 2008 (mostly off) but have never really committed to a sustained, consistent effort. Started off in good health but pretty unfit. Completed a 10k (55min) then a few half marathons (PB 2:00:33), and the 2010 Brighton Marathon (5:08:22) on very little training, hence the poor times, and in the 4 years since starting running I've had spells of 6 months of not running at all.
In the run up to the Brighton Marathon I wasn't really focused (had some pretty major distractions, not making excuses, I just wasn't committed), but was pleased to get round. Now I feel that I want to commit to becoming a genuine, bona fide runner. I've entered the ballot for London 2013 marathon and decided if I don't get in then i'll do another spring marathon. 2 months ago I started running again and have slowly built up to 20mi a week, and plan on continuing to build up to about 30 before starting an 18 week plan in Dec. Any minor aerobic fitness I had built during previous bouts of running had been lost in the intervening running drought, so feel like I'm starting from scratch. But, enjoying getting back into it, and feeling like it's progressing steadily.
My soft target for next spring is to just beat my previous marathon PB. A slightly harder target, and more long term is to beat the PB a good friend of mine (3:57) who has run a dozen or so marathons, and routinely does little to no training for them, besides one weekly long run of about 11-12 miles. He smokes and drinks pretty heavily, and could be a good runner if he put his mind to it, so I hope to show him what less talent but more hard work can achieve. I don't expect to race sub 4hr next April, but I think somewhere under 4:30 should be possible with a sustained effort.
I intend to keep a kind of log of my experience on this thread, more of a way to keep myself motivated, by including some of you. Wish me luck.