April 13, 2014
Today I have finally accepted the truth that I am an official, 100% certified Marathon Nut, alongside the millions of other marathon running nutters out there. I was reluctant at first to accept this problem as it is hard to say you are a Marathon Addict after doing just one marathon, but now I have done two I think its an acceptable assessment of my condition.
People often say that once you have done your first marathon you will get the bug, even if you do say “I am NEVER doing THAT again” in the hours immediately after collecting your medal, a few days later though the thoughts of how you could have beaten your time, and feelings of “I’m sure I could do better” start to creep in.
Earlier this week for example I was adament that I would not be running any more marathons, this time round I have found everything just too hard. I guess I feel like I sacraficed such a lot in the lead up to Brighton, all that training, all that time away from the family and although I finished the race I wasn’t exactly happy with my time.
Despite all of that this morning I took myself along to the London Marathon where my running club the mighty East London Runners were helping to man the mile 20 water station alongside the London Fire Brigade. It was lovely catching up with everyone and getting behind the runners out on the course, including Mo Farah who flew past – Top 10 folks, top 10 in his first London Marathon…thats pretty good in my books!!!
I ran London in 2012 and it was an awesome experience finishing in 5.50.39 a PB of course. In Brighton last weekend it took me 5.54.13 at least 20 minutes slower that I should have been able to run it.
Anyway, I was explaining how dissapointed I was with my Marathon time to Grant, who runs the speed session at track each week. He joked that I would just have to train for another one, but I explained that now I am a mum its just too hard. He suggested doing one in October, so as not to have to start all over with my training, but I just said perhaps to celebrate my 40th in a few years I would think about doing another.
All afternoon I have been thinking that dangerous thought
“I wonder if???”
And now I am seriously conscidering signing up for another. Does that make me an absolute freak?? My legs are only just back to normal, I haven’t even been out for a run since Brighton, yet I am thinking about another marathon, and another marathon this year!!
But you know I am so sure that with better speed training, and better control over my diet I could see a significant improvement in my time. I had such a tough time in Brighton last week, I feel like I still have something to prove to that dreaded 26.2 mile distance.
Crazy I know, but what if I could knock half hour of my time? Would I be satisfied then?
Last year I wrote a review of Phil Hewitt’s “Keep on Running – The Highs and Lows of a Marathon Addict” at the time I was subconsciously wondering if I myself would ever run another marathon and this book confirmed my biggest fear – yes I would.
From the very first line I was hooked, as Phil tells us the light-hearted take of how he haphazardly found himself running his first marathon and how he subsequently got the bug, completing more than 20 marathons across the globe.
I have only ever run two – I know that sounds a bit strange “only two”, but amongst other runners I am still a newbie, and its true what they say, as soon as you run your first you do start thinking “hhhmm could I do another?” and another, and another.
Keep on Running is such a fun and easy book to read, with fantastic commentary on Phil’s highs and lows of the various races he competes in, but also great descriptions of the humorous things that happen in the build up to and of course the races themselves that only runners would know about.
His tales of the London marathon were my fondest, and being there today I pray that I will get the chance to run it again just one more time in my life. Or am I being greedy?
I also loved hearing Phil talk about the Paris Marathon, as some friends and I ran the Paris 20K some years back and the cultural differences between the runners and the spectators is crazy. I too remember a little old lady complete with her French bread walking straight out into the path of hundreds of oncoming runners, and the sounds of hundreds of runners shouting “allez, allez” and something else which translated as “We’re not tired” underneath the various underpaths leading up to the Eiffel Tower.
I loved the way Phil describes how disappointing it is when you are not feeling at your best during your race, and how not getting a PB can feel like the most important thing in the world. But equally he explains how he managed to keep his long-suffering wife and kids on board through his antics, by involving them on occasion on his travels, and other times going it alone.
The themes this book explored left me thinking about just what a crazy sport Marathon running is and also how addictive it really is. The training hurts, more that you can ever imagine and no amount of planning can guarantee a good time. You are a hero the first time round but even our own friends and family can tire of your tales.
Just minutes after finishing Brighton on Sunday I phoned home and my other half said “Well done babe” etc etc and then a little while later the bombshell that was “And NO more marathons now OK??” But I guess thousands of people just like Phil (and me I suppose) are crazy enough to keep on doing them despite the protest from our loved ones.
The funniest moment in the book, quite fitting for the thousands of finishers of todays London Marathon and the paragraph that I will remember forever – Phil talks about the amount of pain he is in the day after his first marathon and that he actually considered throwing himself down the stairs as an alternative to walking as he figured it would be less painful.
But no pain to gain right?
I have just signed up to Southend Half Marathon which takes place in June. If I can do that in 2 hours 20 or less I will conscider signing up to an October marathon, to give it one last shot of getting closer to 5 hours and actually enjoying the damn thing. I figure I may be a little smaller by then too as my training for Tough Mudder starts tomorrow too.
Anyone else here think they have the marathon running bug?? Anyone think I am crazy to be conscidering another marathon so soon? Who watched the London Marathon today on TV, ever conscider running it?