.......a couple of years ago I entered the Marathon ballot, knowing that I wanted to run it in April 2012. As soon as I had my acceptance for the 2011 race I knew I could defer and that as they say, would be that. Job done, 2012 here we come. So what did I do? Did I start immediately to get myself fit so that when the day arrived I would be incredibly fit and raring to go??? well no of course not, I deferred my training, by managing to fall over on a rock and bash my knee, which led to a loss of fitness and subsequently no motivation. This is where I have been for some time. It is amazing how the mental aspects can take over and lead the body into self destruction.
The Great South at the end of October was meant to be my kick-start to the training I needed, a good 6 months of building up to the big one would do the trick.
So.....The Great South. Well eventually I got myself out training, because I knew that I needed to have at least covered the distance to give me a fighting chance of getting around in one piece. The race day dawned and I had given myself a healthy slow target to achieve. At the pace I was training and capable of, a very slow 2 hours 15 would do me to prove I still could pace myself. Job done as I arrived at the finish at 2.17.19, legs tired at around 8 miles, so I knew I hadn't done the preparation, but a satisfactory conclusion nonetheless. The most worrying thing was finding myself thinking at around 6 miles "Am I supposed to be enjoying this as much as I actually am" and meaning it. It was great fun, the weather was perfect, a light drizzle and cool, loved every minute.
Next to train hard for my London build up........ but yet no setting foot outside the door took place. So what happened? Having opted to avoid club training sessions for a multitude of reasons, not least that my mind had slipped into beginner mode, something I encounter regularly with others who say "I am not quick enough to run with the club" My response, just get out there and do it, the mind is the problem not necessarily the body.
Anyway my mental state was such that I only managed, 2 runs of around 5 miles each between the Great South and Christmas, not really good preparation, and sees me looking at a very slow 7 hour finish for the marathon. (At which rate I might be able to go up there on the club coach but would definitely need to make my own way home)
So folks, time to up the ante.
Christmas came and went, then 2012 dawned. Ah!!! I am running the marathon in 3 months, let's get cracking....... and mentally something shifted.
A 5k race to "warm me up" around some beautiful grounds of a country house, and I didn't finish last (always healthy that) and I overtook people, and I managed to hold some youngsters off with the sprint finish.
Club training session the same day, 200m reps. I can run 200m eh? I managed 4 of those before my mind said enough (could have done a full 6, but......) walking the next day was tender, but achievable, then 2 days later a 4 mile run/walk with a friend as a build up to our 10k coming up mid January. Again leaving things until the last minute.
A punishing session with my personal trainer Helen followed. I have known her for years and she doesn't so much train me now as bully me incessantly for an hour on an irregular basis, something I know I need but try to resist as often as I can to no avail. (Everyone should have a Helen). So now I am aching from that session and wondering when my next run should be.
Maybe there is an easier way to do this?
Let me know if anyone can run a marathon without actually putting in the hard work for it. I don't believe it can be done, I know I need to get miles under my belt, I need now to believe I can do this, stop clowning around, and get cracking.