The email popped up in my inbox. To do it or not? On the one hand it would be an amazing experience, raising money for a great charity, something to tick off the old ‘life list’. On the other hand though it would be some tough training both physically and mentally, taking over my life for the next 6 months.
“Come join the Brighton Marathon, there are still charity places available”
I toyed with the idea for a couple of hours before I made my decision…Ah sod it! You only live once and this was one thing I’d love to say that I’ve done. Luckily I managed to persuade my older brother to join me in this crazy task. We both thought it would be great to follow in our Dad’s footsteps. He ran 5 London marathons in his life, the fastest being 2hours 57mins. Isn’t that just mental!!! Ok so we’re not likely going to be finishing in that time but this will be a nice way to honour his memory and make him proud.
So with the money paid and charities assigned to us, we were approaching mid Winter and the training was beginning.
Initiate Stage 1 of training: relaxed/denial attitude training.
Now I can’t be the only one who doesn’t take training all too seriously for the first month or two? You have 6-7 months ahead of you, a whole half a year to get yourself physically and mentally ready for the gruelling task. Plenty of time right?, soooo if I don’t give up all the booze and miss the odd training session here or there because of plans with friends, or having to work late, it’s not that much of a big deal right?! WRONG!
Stage 2 of Training: Panic training!
Suddenly, whilst reading a magazine (instead of running) I heard the familiar song come on the tv. No it can’t be, they must have got it wrong. It was the fricking CocaCola advert declaring to the world that “the holidays are coming”. Christmas was once again upon me. At that instance I ran upstairs, got changed, threw my trainers on and ran out the door for a 45minute run.
After a week of indulging in chocolates, crisps, mounds of turkey and Christmas pudding the New Year suddenly snuck up on me. A night of boozing with my friends, seeing in the brand spanking new year. Oh crap…if it’s the New Year that means only one thing…I would be running a marathon this year and not only this year, in exactly 96 days! It dawned on me that even though I had been running, I still hadn’t even got to the 13 miler mark yet. My brother, who is a personal trainer and my coach through this, assured me I was on schedule, but I couldn’t help but panic slightly and wish I’d treated my body more like a temple than a brewery.
My fella will be running the London marathon a week after my race. It has been nice to share the experience of after work runs and early morning runs every Sunday. The trouble we both found was juggling training with our jobs. We both work for a large Visual Effects house in London producing various fx for films. Even though we are contracted to work 9-6 in Foggy London town, you seem to be stared at with disbelief and slight confusion when you turn your monitors off and pick up your bag at 6. It’s like an unwritten rule for fx artists to work all the hours under the sun in order to meet crazily short deadlines. Now I was working on a show that had the finishing deadline of end of March and I was working with new, unreliable software. This resulted in many working days staying until 11-12 at night. Having to miss runs or run around the streets at 6pm in the dark and then come back to work. The training, the job as well as other sad matters I was having to deal with were wearing me down and I wondered whether I would have to drop out. How could I keep going when my head wasn’t in it and I was struggling to stay awake at my desk.
“Everybody loves a montage!”
Sadly I didn’t document my training progress. However, I feel every running blog needs a montage, so here, have this, it’s just as good:
Stage 3 of training: Constant and ever changing injury training
I never really thought about the amount of injuries you would come across whilst training. I thought as long as you followed your plan and stretched a lot you would be fine. The trouble with training in London, you don’t have a lot of access to off road areas, which results in a lot of pressure hitting your legs from all the road running. I think I have had 5 different injuries since I started in October, as soon as one went, another started. But that was partially my fault, sometimes I would rush my stretching, forget to ice and I put off buying new running trainers for too long. My original ones had completely lost their support and caused me terrible pains in my foot. Can’t recommend enough getting yourself a decent pair of trainers. Even if you aren’t training for a race but just going to the gym, decent support on the old footies will be so beneficial to the rest of your body and your workouts.
Stage 4, the final stage, of Training: Wishing you had done things differently training.
So as I type this I only have 2 days to go until the big day. I trained up to 20 miles so I’m feeling confident…ok sometimes I feel confident. My niggling shin splint that I’ve had for about a month now isn’t going away any time soon so that worries me slightly. I start to think of how I would have done things differently if I was to go back in time to October.
1. Improved my diet. Just because I ran 10 miles doesn’t mean I can then have 3 slices of Nutella on toast for breakfast as well as biscuits after my dinner. Healthy fuel for a healthy body.
2. Wish I’d taken Stage 1 of training a bit more seriously.
3. Army crawled my way out of work at 6 during deadline time and hoped they wouldn’t notice me running out the door.
4 . Bought new trainers earlier.
But I can’t think like that now, I’ve done my training, I did my best as a first time potential marathon runner and all I have left to do now is…actually do the race!
I know once I get past that 20 mile mark a little voice will call to me
“Steeepphh you’ve never done this far before. PANIC!”
But I can’t cave into this voice, I must stay calm, stay in the zone and think about why I have chosen to do this crazy crazy race. Just push through to the end where I hope there will be cake!
So I shall leave you at that. Bit of a hefty blog post for my first one. I’ll let you know how it goes, well unless the worst happens and I don’t finish then I shall change my name, reinvent myself and pretend this never happened…just kidding.
Not all my posts will be based around running, just thought I’d go right in the deep end with this one as running has been my life lately.
Welcome to the wonderfully weird world of Moo
xx MooFace xx