Well hello there! Remember me? Slightly overdramatic running type with a flair for longer than average blog posts?
What a five months it’s been. Lemme do a quick(ish) recap for you as to how I’ve got to actually looking like I might be running the London Marathon in less than 4 weeks (gulp) and why I’ve once again been MIA from this blog.
- Enters London Marathon ballot in October 2020.
- Actually gets a place to run in 2021. Panics slightly.
- Defers to 2022 thanks to plantar fasciitis. Feels a little relieved.
- 2022 comes at me full pelt. Suddenly sh*t gets real and I feel like I might actually be running London this year.
- One of my best friends, Pete, gets a charity place to run so that he can be with me on the day as he knows how much marathons scare me. I both love and hate him for this. I have even more reason to do it now.
- On very first interval training session for the marathon, something goes very wrong in my calf. I literally can’t run on it.
- I cry. A lot. I can’t even think about running let alone write about it.
- After 6 weeks of intense physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture and an unhealthy attachment to my massage gun (don’t come at me if you don’t believe in this stuff. I do.) I’m able to run again, but I have a LOT of ground to cover. Literally. I need to get from 0 to marathon in just 10 weeks.
- 6 weeks into training I finally accept I’m running London. Feel sick with nerves and excitement practically every hour.
So there we have it. I’m actually running the London Marathon in less than four weeks and I currently feel like I’m in a cheese dream. I’m scared of marathons. Like properly sweaty palms as I’m typing, stomach-churningly scared. I’m a decent, experienced runner, but there is something about the longer stuff that I have always struggled with mentally. I just don’t believe that my 5k ability is going to translate to marathons and my brain likes to interrupt me at random, regular intervals across the day to scream “ARE YOU MAD? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TRYING TO RUN A MARATHON?” before doing a fun little visual montage of chubby younger me coming 2nd to last in the 1500m at school and more recent me sitting down in a grassy field dotted with rabbit poop and bawling my eyes out after a particularly difficult 5k.
(And don’t even get me started on the IBS.)
I feel a bit silly feeling like this. I’m in a running club full of people who run marathons. Some have done loads, some only one. Some get GFA times, some take their time on trail marathons. Some have only been running for a year or two before taking on this monumental challenge. And I am in AWE of every single one of them. Marathon training is really not for wussies, and to all of you who ever done one, I take my hat off to you. It is a HELL of a challenge.
I think ultimately, I’m scared of messing it up in some way. I’m still worried that my leg will give up on me in the next 4 weeks. I’m worried that I’ll get the fuelling wrong on the day. I’m worried I’ll hate the experience and that my only ever marathon will be a negative memory.
I’m worried about letting Pete down.
I’m worried about letting myself down.
But a teeny, tiny part of me is starting to believe that I can do this.
I’m writing this the day after doing my second 20 mile run of my training programme (huge thanks to Charlotte for writing it for me – I just wish I could have followed it to the letter and done it justice) and I’m now entering into tapering whilst trying not to eat everything I can get my greedy mitts on. I have literally done my longest EVER run (20.05 miles to be precise) and I’m about to experience something that many people would love to get the chance to do, and I get to do it one of my best friends, someone who knows exactly what to say and how to distract me when the going gets tough (Quigley Down Under for the win Pete)! Plus I have had the most amazing support from my running buddies, especially those who have joined me on long runs when Pete has had to travel for work. Thanks Justin and Rob – I genuinely could not have done those without you.
This makes me extremely fortunate. And the best part of all? Pete and I are going to have a bloody good laugh, because we’ve decided we’re doing it in costume to raise money for Blood Cancer UK and to celebrate the lives of two people who meant the world to us and who we miss terribly – Pete’s mum Diane and my father-in-law Tommy. Crikey it’s going to be an emotional day in so many ways. Not least because of my decidedly dodgy interpretation of Rogue from X-Men in costume form. And yes, I will be dying my ACTUAL hair.
So whilst normally I would have blogged my way through training, this is a whistle-stop tour of my London Marathon journey so far. It has been far from conventional, but I guess the destination is the thing that really matters. Past me would not have believed I would end up doing this. Not for even a second. But what’s life without challenges that take us out of our comfort zone?
If you’ve ever enjoyed reading this blog, and have even £1 spare, please do think about giving us a donation. I know these are difficult times for us all but they’re even more difficult for those currently undergoing treatment for cancer. If you don’t have a £1 spare, do please just send me your encouraging words. They will mean the world to me.
And did I mention that I will be dying my ACTUAL hair? You can see a photorealistic image of how Peter and I will look on the day below. You’re welcome.