24 Aug The Final Curtain Call Of Barbie Runs
I’ve started writing this blog, my final blog, so many times. Each time I’ve found it hard to some up everything and just ended up giving up. Until now I haven’t been ready to remember or to share just how hard it all was, what a personal challenge running a marathon really is and the emotional rollercoaster your taken on.
Running a marathon is one of the hardest things I have ever done and for so many reasons. First there’s the training, my training journey has been well documented thanks to my blog but overall I was training for some sort of long distance run for just over under years. I started training for the Brighton half marathon back in the autumn of 2015 then straight after that training began for the full Paris marathon 2017. That’s two Christmas’s where every waking moment was about fitting in a run, the weather for a run, the food for a run, the cross fit for a run, my life was about that weeks run. Two years of getting so worked up about failing my big run or not being good enough to reach that weeks target that most long runs (all long runs) I started feeling physically sick.
I was pleased that I did all those horrific training runs, that one week I ran 3 20 miles runs purely by mistake, that I ran in the rain until my pony tail was one big dreadlock, that I throw up on mile 12 and kept going for another 4 miles (there is such a thing as too many jelly babies). Because when the day came, it was hard, ducking hard (if you have predictive text you’ll understand), it was HOT, 24 degrees hot and it was tough. My highlight was weeing in a woods, my low point was standing on a corner at mile 20 just crying (from now on known as crying corner). There were other points along the way, seeing a man at the road side have heart compressions was a hard point, running though a fire brigades water cannon to cool down was different. Seeing parts of Paris for the first time and obviously seeing my husband at so many different points was one of the things that kept me going (he had an adventure of his own). But mainly it was hard and hot and some thing I am not looking to ever repeat.
I some times don’t think people will ever understand the amount of pressure you put on yourself when you run a marathon. It is no joke that your life is about running, something I hope my blogging journey can shed some light on. Every day has a running plan in one way or another, even a rest day is about stretching and prepping / recovering from a run.
There are things I miss, being super fit, the kind of fit that you can just run 10 miles for fun and then go to a spin class. The amount of food I could eat was a big plus, followed by the fact I was skinny. I weight 8 stone and was basically pure muscle (too bad it was winter and constantly covered with some sort of granny thermal jumper). The sense of achievement I had on a weekly basis when I finished every single one of my long training runs and never suffered from shin splints or the lose of any toe nails. It was a tough two years but also there were some real once in a life time events, running to Worthing and back is something I will never forget. Running and training for a marathon is a very lonely experience, its just you and when it gets hard its just you to push yourself on and tell yourself that you can do this. I’ve learnt that actually if you train or practise enough you can do anything, it really is putting the time in. Run enough and you will get better, but you always need to believe in yourself, a negative you can be your own worse nightmare.
Two people helped me through and with out them I would have given up the training at mile 12. My husband was constantly understanding and supportive, he would always have a hot bath ready and would be so accommodating to my crazy training schedule, he never complained when I had to go run for 3 hours and always looked after me when I had nothing left when I returned. My mum was an inspiration, I knew I could run a marathon because I knew if she really wanted to (she doesn’t) she could run a marathon, my mum is one of those people that can do anything when she really tries. She was constantly impressed with my training and when she could she would run with me, even waiting around in her running stuff for me to arrive so we could run together. She’ll never know how much those 3 short miles meant to me, a reason to keep running and the motivation to make it home. I would see her happy face and all the stress of the previous 10 miles would fade away and I knew I could run the 10 miles home again.
When I finished the marathon I had one small blister on my little left toe, but that was it, the next day I was up and hitting the shops around Paris. My loving husband bought me a pair of louboutins, a treat for my feet which have since caused my feet more pain then all the runs I’ve done put together, running karma I guess.
I am so pleased I ran in Paris, its a beautiful city that has so many happy memories for me and now so many more. Good luck to everyone running in Brighton, but its not a patch on Paris.
I would like to thank everyone that supported me and I would like to announce I will never be running a marathon again….