Today is Wednesday, i’m running my first marathon on Sunday. 4 days away. Oh shit!
I have planned every bit and as the old Yiddish proverb goes “man plans, god laughs”. It hasn’t been easy, the plan has been amended multiple times to accommodate unpredictable variables. Last time I wrote, I popped my calf messing about after a huge parkrun PB. Fortunately, it was nothing serious and I was soon back in training.
As my first marathon experience I must say that it has been a roller coaster, obviously I have a life outside of running and that has been a roller coaster too, for a variety of reasons. It would have been so much easier if everything not running related could have been stored in a cupboard until I had time to deal with it. Well, life doesn’t work like that! Who knew?
So, after my silly injury, I got back on the horse. Not literally, horses scare the shit out of me. I resumed running after about 2 weeks off. My first run was pain free so I was quite positive about that. I restarted my marathon training after a bit of tweaking to the plan. It was still doable.
I did a couple more long runs. On one I was joined by a member of Morley Running club. I had never met her before but I’m on their Facebook page because I have filled in as a run leader when needed (once). I arranged to meet her at mile 3 expecting her to do 5-10k with me. 13 miles later she left me, her furthest ever run. This is what happens when you join a running club, you get all these new friends. I have run at least once with 5 different running clubs, most only once. I have people in each club that I count as friends.
Today is World Mental Health Day, all the running clubs that I have been to are having a run and talk event this week. Exercise has been proven to increase feelings of well being, talking is good for mental health, so running (or walking) and chatting in a group has double benefit. I think so, there’s no solid research to back this up, it’s mostly anecdotal but I think that the figures will catch up soon.
As I’m writing this, there are 4 days to go until the marathon. My head is a shed. One minute I’m excited about running the furthest ever and joining the 1% of people who have completed a marathon. The next I’m scared that I won’t be able to do it. The biggest worry is that I have to run for 6!!!!! hours. Will I get bored? Am i really ready? I’ve only run up to 20 miles, all the plans and research recommends this distance in training. What if they’re talking rubbish? How do I know? Maybe they’ve spent years making this shit up just so that I will fail.
My legs hurt, I haven’t done a long run for nearly 2 weeks, I’ve been on holiday, I’ve just drunk a whole bottle of wine. I have been reliably informed that this is maranoa. What if my running mate is lying?
I’m staying in a posh spa hotel for 2 nights before and I’ve arranged to meet a good friend while I’m there. Loads of Lakers are going to be there, both racing and supporting. But what if they get bored of waiting and go home before i finish? What if I wear the wrong clothes and am too hot or too cold? Can I finish? I’ve raised loads of money, I’ve got to finish. Is this maranoa?
Well, the training is done. Everyone (except me) is confident that I will do it. 26.2 miles!!!!! A marathon!!!!!
Awesome Becky. Running is better with friends. Or random people that you have never met before.