It’s only 10 weeks away for a start. And I definitely do not feel like a marathon runner at the moment. I know there’s another 10 weeks of training to go – and I do feel much fitter now than I did 10 weeks ago – but I just can’t imagine feeling marathon ready in such a short time. I think part of the problem is that I’ve been expecting to feel almost like a different person when I reach that start line – marathon runners are a different breed, right? And training turns you into that person? Apparently not. The realisation that I’ll still be the same old me, albeit with more miles in my legs, was a little disappointing, to tell you the truth. Hopefully when I look back I’ll realise that marathon training has changed me more than I thought though – hindsight and perspective are wonderful things after all.
Fuel. This is a big one. I’ve been really struggling with fuelling my long runs – although I have recently discovered that jelly babies are popular with runners for a reason – they really work! They’re still not quite enough though, and I struggle during the last quarter of most long runs. Hopefully I can find another ‘real food’ option to use alongside the jelly babies, but time is running out and I’m definitely worried about hitting the dreaded ‘wall’ through lack of fuel on the big day.
It’s really bloody long way. This is really silly. Of course 26.2 miles is a long way. It’s 26.2 miles for goodness sake. That’s a whole other town away. I’m up to 14 miles in training at the moment and the thought of adding another 12.2 (no, I won’t be letting anybody forget the .2) on top feels a little soul-destroying at times. That said, I know how much I thrive on race days (thanks for reminding me of this during our parkrun chat Adam ) and how much a race day situation with the crowds, the adrenaline and the competitive spirit makes the miles seem easier. If I compare running a half marathon in training to racing one, they’re incomparable. The race is the victory lap, and slogging my way through the miles in training means I’ll have bloody well earned it.
Crying. I’m pretty sure I’ll cry at the finish line. And quite possibly before that point too. What on earth is that going to do to my make-up? Waterproof mascara irritates my eyes, so I have some serious decisions to make here. Ditto hair. Ponytail? Plaits? And what nail colour will compliment my RSPCA blue running vest? These are my biggest concerns, if I’m honest.
What next? Marathon training is a weird sort of safety net. Something to get me out of bed in the morning. Something to aim for. A solid point in time. A goal. A bloody great big pay off at the end of all of this. I can only imagine that the usual post-race blues are going to be magnified a hundred-fold after London. I have vague ideas about working on my 5k and 10k times this summer (seriously, why haven’t I run a sub-50 10k yet? It’s getting ridiculous). There’s a summer 5k series local to me which I’ll definitely take part in, but I think perhaps I need another solid training plan to get my teeth into. Whaddya reckon coach?
As you know, I’m running the London Marathon in aid of the RSPCA. I would hugely appreciate any support you could give – it really would make all of these miles worth it. My Justgiving page is here if you do feel you can help.