28 Mar Its My Marathon and I’ll Cry If I Want Too
Its 12 days to go, 12 days till the BIG day.
I started my training in November, I wanted plenty of time to train for my first marathon, I was going for the slow and steady approach. Three running sessions a week, one long run, one sprint session and one other run depending on the weather (hills if it was windy, a nice fast paced 5 miles on the seafront if it was sunny) one or two strength sessions, maybe a spin class if I was feeling zesty. It was an excellent plan, I wasn’t overloading myself and I was being realistic about what I could achieve. I was starting at about 10 miles for a long run, getting up to 15 at Christmas and moving into the 20’s in February, it was all good.
As the training went on my heart started to leave, with every extra mile my heart would care a little less. It was hard but that wasn’t it, with hard comes a sense of success but that didn’t seem to help. With my training last year there was this moment that it felt like I could run forever with ease, nothing would stop me, 10 miles was my friend, I would run 10 miles just for fun on a Friday night. This never happened with 20 miles, it never felt easy, it never felt like I could run forever, I never enjoyed a long run and I certainly wasn’t choosing to run for fun on a Friday night. There was more pressure with this training, more to gain and a lot more to loose. The half marathon last year was basically next to where I live, if it all went horribly wrong I could limp home, there was still pressure but it was less. Running a marathon has been my dream since I started running nearly 10 years ago, running a marathon in Paris has been my dream for 18 months, that’s a long run up, that’s a big dream. This is the first time I’m going away to run, there is a whole trip about my running, plans have been made around my run, how I’ll be feeling after my run, its a lot of pressure for one 4 hour run. With my training there were defiantly more downs then ups, I was sick on runs, I cried on runs, I was dreading runs, the only ups were finishing, but these were quickly followed by a down that I had to do more next week.
A person is not meant to run 26 miles, and its something I probably wont choose to do again. The patience and understanding of family can only be pushed so far once, you might run alone but your training takes up the time of everyone who loves you. They have to make plans around it and have to be understanding when it comes to your plans and free time, and their the ones to pick up the pieces when it goes wrong, sometimes it will go wrong.
I’ve now come to the end of my training plan, and although there have been more lows then highs I feel ready. Its the lows that make you ready, throwing up at mile 12 and still running another 6 miles makes you ready. If I made myself do that, I can make myself run 26 miles.
The longest distance I’ve run is 20 miles, I’ve done three 20 mile runs and feel confident. I know its 6 miles less then a marathon but god damn if I can keep going along Worthing seafront alone with no music (my headphones broke on a recent run) then I’m pretty sure I can keep going in Paris when it comes to running past the Eiffel Tower. On my last long run I actually had to stop and call for a lift, I hurt my right knee. Once in the car I cried that I didn’t finish my run, actually cried, like a child. This was my last run and I wasn’t going to finish, I’ve never not finished a run, ever… until now. But had I not had a marathon in 12 days I probably would of pushed myself though the pain to finish, and its this thought that let me phone for a lift. I knew deep down I was ready and only running 17 miles out of 20 wasn’t going to change that, but being injured might. I have two physio sessions booked before Paris so I’m confident I’ll be back to top from on the day and thankful that I did let myself recover. When it gets tough I’ll remember crying in the car that I didn’t finish a run that didn’t matter, there is no way I’m not finishing a marathon that I have planned the last 6 months around, this is the run that matters.
I have run in the rain, the wind, the dark and the freezing cold for this run, I have got up at 6:30 and to train before work, got home at 8pm so I could train after work for this run. I am going to enjoy every moment of this run, the good moments and the bad moments, because I am never doing this again!