Hope

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So it’s been a week since my last post. That’s a pretty long time in Internetland, so I feel guilty! The reason for my online silence? I now spend my days in a permanent state of alarm, due to reality having set in. The reality that I’m running a marathon in less than a fortnight. I could literally spend hours staring into space, thinking of everything and nothing; preferring to obsess over how little time I have left to go, rather than use that time constructively and do something that will actually help. This is my thing you see. I am a champion procrastinator. Here are a few examples of the bullshit promises I have made to myself, and the tasks I have told myself I’ll complete in the last year:

“Strengthening my core muscles will help me run better. I’m totally going to do 20 sit ups in the morning and before bed.”

“If I do Red Days for a fortnight, I’ll get below twelve stone and then I can just go back to Extra Easy and maintain”

“I’m going to make sure I can run 30 miles, that way I’ll know I can definitely run 26.2”

All of these make me LOL as, although achievable, they are fairly unrealistic goals. Especially as I am a lazy idiot who can’t concentrate on one thing for any more than twenty minutes. The will is there, but I never seem to find the way. Needless to say, I haven’t completed any of these tasks! It’s like when I was doing my A-Levels, I churned out the most elaborate and comprehensive study plans, but did little to no actual study. That’s why I got mediocre results. I don’t want mediocre results in New York. In my quiet moments of rational thinking, I say to myself, “Look at what you have achieved so far. Who gives a shit if it takes you five, six, or seven hours? You lined up! You’re taking part!” But it isn’t enough to take part, I want to excel. But what is excellent for me, is not necessarily excellent for others…. I feel like a fraud when I talk to other runners! They assume I have big miles under my belt, and that I’m loving it. That I am ‘a runner’. Little do they know how I secretly squirm as I recall my lamentable pace, and the fact that my longest run to date is only 18 miles. Not the thirty I told myself I would do. Sigh.

So, with 12 days left to go, how do things stand? I have no idea! I have tried my best to stick to my training plan, and I did it well for the first seven weeks, but then the aches and pains and niggles and bla bla bla started. Sometimes I’d have to cut a run short, sometimes I’d miss a run. Then I’d feel guilty, try to catch up, and end up getting frustrated and tired. Then I’d think, are these injuries even real? Or am I ‘thinking myself injured’? Are they just aches and pains that I can run through and ignore? Am I a giant drama queen? I swear, if marathon training was measured in thinking time and brain space being taken up, I would kick ALL the asses! I am just about reaching the point of “Fuck it. I don’t care anymore.” I know I can finish the race, that’s not my fear. I have read that at six and a half hours, a bus thingy goes around the course and offers a lift to the stragglers. My image is of one of those council street sweeper vehicles with the rotating brushes underneath it, clearing the streets of unsightly debris – plastic cups, gel wrappers, portly non-athletes etc. I can’t stress how much this freaks me out. So my current strategy is – try to minimise pains, whilst keeping active. Also, to try and drop as much weight as possible before the big day. Another two tall orders that will no doubt remain unfulfilled.

The content of this post isn’t really in keeping with the title is it? Not so. The Other Half pointed out to me that we will be in the US for Election Day (barely). It doesn’t seem like four years since Mr Obama was elected. It also doesn’t feel like four years since I went to New York for the first time. On the flight over, I struggled to fasten my seatbelt, I dropped my iPod shuffle on the floor before take off and was too fat to bend out of my seat and pick it up, and I spent the whole flight in various states of discomfort. Mostly due to the fact I didn’t want to use the toilet because I feared I wouldn’t fit in it! I’m not even lying! It also doesn’t seem like four years since this t shirt fitted me….

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There is hope for us all.

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5 thoughts on “Hope

  1. I haven’t a clue about training for marathons but from all the blogs I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot when I should be out running myself) there are a gazillion more people running a marathon with 18 miles as their longest run than there are 30 milers! And running round New York in the Fall (as they would say themselves) is bound to be a hell of a lot more distracting than a training run round Newry.

    And, hasn’t it been almost no time since you didn’t do any running at all, ever? And now you can run for 18 miles. 18 miles! That’s outstanding progress. As the keeper of a three hour half marathon time I say get round in the most fun (ha!) way possible and then you’ll have a time you can try to beat next year 🙂

    • You’re right! I know all this deep down, but it’s easy to let the irrational teenager in me take over. Think I’m going to go for the ‘annoying photo taker’ throughout the course! You’re right about the training runs round Newry, it does get a wee bit ‘samey’, but when the sun shines it is beautiful in its own backward and insular way :0)

      P.S. That is a QUARE marathon time!

      Sent from my iPhone

    • FUCK! FUCK! I thought your comment said ‘marathon time’! My mate just pointed it out to me, she thought I was being a smartarse! Sorry! I hope you didn’t think the same. Genuine speed-read fail.

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Sooo true, it must be procrastinator awarness week as I outed myself as one this week. If it makes you feel any better, I ran VLM this year weighing in at 16st 5lbs having done 18 miles as my longest run and finished in 5hr 47m (officially 6h02m but i spent 15 mins in a loo q…). Good luck for NY..

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