Marathon Cycle

Five years ago today I was the fittest I’ve ever been. Actually, make that five years and one day ago, since today is the fifth anniversary of my first (and only) marathon – and that took something out of me.

There’s no way on this green Earth that I’ll be running another marathon anytime soon. I feel every one of the five years older, and I’m probably a stone heavier than I was in the spring of 2015. But more dissuasive than either of those factors is the persistent knee problem I’ve had for the last few years. I’ve occasionally tested my right knee on short runs and always found it wasn’t keen to take the repeated impacts of running even at a modest pace. It’s a shame, and it feels like a loss, but I try and remain thankful that – to date at least – I’m pain free when going about normal activities.

Still, I wanted to do something to mark the occasion. So I filled every water bottle in the house, put on an audiobook (Donna Tartt reading her own The Secret History), and clipped into my exercise bike.

Five years ago it took me 5 hours and 8 minutes to run 26.2 miles; covering the same distance in the saddle this time took a little over 90 minutes. It also cost me 1,424 kcal, which I intend to offset with an extra rock bun this afternoon.