The one where I think too much
It is only 2 and a half weeks until I run my first marathon. I have both enjoyed and hated the training, races, preparation and effort I have put into this whole thing! Some days I love running, I feel like I can run all day. I enjoy the peace and quiet and the time I get to think about nothing. Other times I want to stop immediately and I hate everything about running … its painful, uncomfortable, cold, wet and lonely!!!!
I’ve been thinking about my running a lot over the last few days, some good, some bad and some just downright daft!
- Self-doubt – I flit between being confident I can get round to thinking there is no way I will ever manage it. I have trained (probably not as much as I should, but it is as much as I can fit in) and pushed myself more than I ever thought possible but reading posts in different Facebook groups and forums freaks me out and makes me doubt my ability to complete one marathon … let alone two! I realise that this is probably normal but I then worry that’s its not and that everyone else is just getting on with it and taking it in their stride. I guess a big part of this is I am worried about making a complete numpty of myself and collapsing after 13 miles in a useless heap! I need to toughen up a bit and think that if I put my mind to it … I can achieve anything!!!
- 0.1 is important! – I recently ran 20.1 miles. The 0.1 was important as I wanted to prove to myself I can run more than 20 miles. Ok, its only 176 yards over 20 miles but its still over!!! I enjoyed my long run. It was the furthest I had ever gone and I managed to cover most of the town I live in. It took me about three and a half hours, including a quick stop at home for a drink at mile 18. I even got a high 5 from another runner at mile 19 and a shout of encouragement. I think she thought I had just set off … and I wanted to shout back ‘I’m on mile 19’, but I didn’t!
- Fretting about everything! – I seem to be worrying about everything from what to wear, did I book the hotel properly, collecting my number, getting to the start – and even did I really get a place in the London Marathon and what if I have forgotten to do something to secure it. I don’t normally worry about things in my everyday life, but marathon running has brought out a side of my personality I didn’t know I had. To get over this I just keep checking things, organising everything way in advance of when I need to … and then checking it all again!
- Just because I am training for a marathon doesn’t mean I can run a 10k race in 45 minutes – On Sunday I took part in a local 10k race. The amount of people who kept saying ‘this should be really easy for you’ or ‘You’re going to be super fast today’ and ‘this will be a piece of cake’. Errr, no. Just because I have been trying to train for a marathon I haven’t suddenly developed the speed of Mo Farrah! Yes, all the training will help me in getting round and given me the fitness to get up the (many) hills … but it doesn’t mean I can suddenly knock another 10 minutes off my PB!
- Its difficult to run and laugh at the same time – To pass the time on long runs I have started listening to podcasts. In one of the many Facebook groups I am in there was lots of talk about one called ‘My dad wrote a porno’!!! It was hilarious. It is basically a guy called Jamie Morton reading out chapters from an erotic book his 60-year old dad has written. Along with two friends they discuss each of the chapters. In the first ten minutes I was laughing so much I started crying … and then got stopped by a man on a bike who asked me if I was OK!!! I smiled nicely and said thank you … I was far to embarrassed to tell him what I was listening to and why I was giggling so much. It wasn’t a particularly fast run (15.01 miles in 2 and three quarter hours) but it felt like the time went very quickly.
- I can plank for 3 minutes – I started the 30 day plank challenge to ‘strengthen my core’. It’s hard and my whole body shakes but I’m up to 3 minutes … and hoping to get to five! This point isn’t that relevant, but I am just so pleased to get to 3 minutes I wanted to record it somewhere!!!
- I have become a running bore – All I seem to talk about is running, but in my defence people ask me about how I’m getting on so I have to reply! But maybe I do go on a bit! Will this stop at the end of April when both marathons are finished … who knows, I guess then I will bore people with the fact I have run a marathon, not just that I am training for one!!
- I have some amazingly supportive people around me – I have friends that offer to put bottles of water on their doorstep for me so I don’t have to carry a drink with me when I’m on a long run, colleagues that ask how far I’ve got and how I’m getting on, family that have to put up with me not eating tea with them as I’m trying to fit a run in. I always new my friends and family were lovely … but this has just confirmed that (most) of them are!
So … all I need to do is pull up my spotty compression socks and carry on running and I am sure with all the support I have, the planning and training I have put in I will get there, even if it means crawling across the finish line!