The Highs and Lows of Training for a Marathon
I ended 2013 on a very low note; I'd been struggling to get any kind of decent longer runs in (we're talking over 6 miles!) because of the weather and being a bit of a socialite for a few weeks, completely my own fault. But as I realised that time had basically run out I went in to full blown panic mode and had several days of wondering 'why did I think I could do this?' This was made worse by someone, I had considered a friend, saying to me: 'Why are you doing this? You're so stupid, you're only going to end up with awful knees AND it's going to take over your whole life. I can't believe you even think you're capable.' Those kind of words aren't exactly motivating! Now, I know we often joke about how stupid I am for taking this on but I like to think a majority of you believe I will finish this.
How's Training Going?
I managed to get out on Christmas day and powered through a steady 3.5 miles (a run to the pub to pick my car up from the night before!) but aside from that small blast of dedication, I have really been slacking so I believed what I was being told by my negative critics.
Shelley picked me up on New Years Eve and we had a steady 10km run around the Cyclopark in Gravesend, which is the venue of my first race, and I felt a little bit better. I've had a few better runs this week and then managed to get 11 miles under my belt yesterday. I was slightly under fuelled so started to flag towards the last mile but hearing my GPS tell me how far I'd been put a bit of determination back in to me!
The Next Nineteen Days
Next weekend I'm hoping to cover 14-15 miles and then I'm ready to taper (and 100% ready to carb-load). Most runners get pre-race nerves and I'm no exception; I'm hoping I don't suffer nightmares as horrendous as I did before London last April.
If you're expecting to see me in the next three weeks, you won't hear much come out of my mouth aside from 'I'm hungry', 'Is it time to eat yet?' and 'Can you stretch my leg/click my back for me?'. Basically, if I could moan my way around a marathon I would be sub 2:45 runner!
Overcoming the Critics
Whilst on my long run yesterday, feeling strong, running at a good 9min p/mile pace I thought back to what had been said to me in December. I started to really break down why I wanted to take on this challenge.
I split it in to four quarters:
1) For those who inspire me
2) For those who wish they could but physically can't
3) For me
4) For those who said I can't
Upon reflection, I've realised that I'm not the stupid one. I eat and train to suit my body and yes, sometimes I push myself too hard but I'm doing something incredibly positive and rewarding with my time; rather than questioning and doubting the abilities of other people. The saying 'walk a mile in my shoes before you judge me' seems more than apparent.
1) Complete 12 full 26.2 mile marathons in 12 months
2) Complete at least one of the marathons sub 4:30
3) Raise £25,000 for Cancer Research UK and Breast Cancer Care
4) Support the team and see them succeed in personal goals
5) Take more photographs; to capture the laughs, moments of celebration and blisters!
6) Inspire someone, anyone, to do more
On January 25th I take on marathon number ONE of TWELVE.
This ones for you; the people who said I can't.