26 miles, 385 yards.
It’s something I’d often thought about doing as I mingled with the crowds in the mid-April sun, eagerly waiting for a glimpse of friends and family. Every year I thought, “that’ll be me next time.” But for one reason or another it wasn’t. Until now. One week today I’ll embark on my first marathon.
Up until now, my blogs have been on the comical side. I love writing them as it’s in my nature to take a whimsical spin on things. Plus it helps raise my spirits. Today, however, I thought I’d change tact.
It’s only once you start tapering that there’s time to reflect on the scale of exactly what you’ve taken on. Running in the wind. Running in the rain. Running in the sun. Running in London. Running in Aberdeen. Running wherever and whenever I can. Running up that hill. Running out of steam. Keep on running. I want to run away. Wondering if it’s all worth it. I must be mad. Other people tell you you’re mad.
26 miles, 385 yards.
Is it even possible? The cold that sets you back two weeks. The day nothing is right. The injuries that leave you lying in bed at night praying by the time you get up it will be better.
Ibuprofen and ankle supports. Deep Heat, energy gels, energy drinks. Bottles scattered around. The constant whirr of the washing machine. The ice bath (eek), the physio appointments, the specialist magazines.
There’s the highs. And what highs they have been. Crying with joy and relief as I rounded the corner towards my flat, knowing I’d run 20 miles. The way running makes me feel, the snapshots of daily life all around you that might otherwise go unnoticed. The changing of the seasons, the time to think through problems and worries. Just me and the road. The support from other runners. The wonderfully generous donations and messages of goodwill.
Sunday is daunting for me, as I’m sure it is for others. I’m a natural worrier and already have butterflies. But I’m determined to enjoy it too. I know it’s going to be an experience I’ll never forget, and I’ll give it my best shot. All 26 miles and 385 yards of it.
* I’m running the London Marathon for Prostate Cancer UK, in memory of my grandfather, Jim Hosie. All donations are very much appreciated. My sponsorship page is: http://www.justgiving.com/Louise-runs-London Or text OVGF67 & amount (£1, £5 etc) to 70070. Thank you so much.