As I write this post, on Wednesday 15th June, I am reminded of two very important things.
- Today is my 10th wedding anniversary (don’t worry, I remembered and got both a card and a present).
- It is precisely 108 days until the London Marathon. Or if you prefer, 15 weeks and 3 days.
Most marathon training plans are 16 weeks long (or at least the ones I write are), so you will be pleased to hear that I have been out running and the training is precisely on track. To be fair, after just 4 days you would expect it to be going fairly well, so I am not that sure this is something to shout about, but I will take any win where I can get it.
It is around this time, when marathon runners start their training “for real”, that people’s minds can drift to the big day.
For many, especially first time marathon runners, the event itself can seem very daunting. Thoughts such as “I struggle to run 5 miles, how am I ever going to be able to run 26?”, or “I don’t look like a runner. I don’t feel like a runner. What am I doing?” may start to sneak into a runners mind.
For me, I am no different to the rest. Yes I have completed a few marathons in my time, but the training and the event is equally as daunting no matter how many you have run before. But I do have one advantage. I can start to dream!
I can visualise what it might be like out there on the course. Imagine the supporters cheering me over Tower Bridge. Imagine passing all the landmarks, like the Cutty Sark, Big Ben and Parliament, the O2, Canary Wharf, The Tower of London and many more. I can wonder about what the weather will be like. Whether I will be injury free (fingers crossed) on the day. I can imagine a world of possibilities.
The dream, for me, is very real. I have always wanted to run London Marathon. It is virtually impossible to get a place via the ballot these days. I think the odds are around 40/1. This is why my charity place through Daisy’s Dream is so important to me. Such a wonderful charity, giving me the opportunity to run the race I have watched so many times on TV, and dreamt of running since I first took running up in my mid 30’s.
But sadly, you cannot dream your way round a marathon course. There is a LOT of work to be done before the big day. Lots of miles to run. Lots of preparation. I need to be both mentally and physically ready. This is where having marathon experience does come in handy. I know roughly how to train. I understand how much I can put my body through without getting injured. On the mental side of things, I am in the fortunate position of being 100% confident. This comes with experience, and willpower. My determination (others may call this stubbornness) means that if I start the race, I will finish it. After all, I managed to run almost 40 miles with 3 broken ribs (I’ll tell you that story another day), so if I can do that, I can do anything!
So as you read this, and I sit here gazing out my window at home, wondering just how hot it is today and convincing myself that running in this heat at lunchtime is madness (don’t worry, I will go anyway), please spare a thought for all us runners.
1000’s of us have just started our London Marathon training plans. We are excited and terrified in equal measure. There are so many things that can go wrong, but also so many things that can go right. This is the way of the runner. Whether we are fast or slow, old or young, skinny or not so skinny (like me), we all share the same dream. To cross that finish line in London on the 2nd October and in my case, and likely most others, to raise plenty of money for our chosen charities.
If you feel inspired, there are some exciting opportunities for you to get involved in raising some money for Daisy’s Dream, with places in both the Virtual London Marathon and the Big Half up for grabs. Follow the links below for more information.
The Big Half – https://www.daisysdream.org.uk/event/the-big-half-2022
Virtual London Marathon – https://www.daisysdream.org.uk/event/tcs-virtual-london-marathon-2022
Will be updating twice a week for a while, moving onto three times a week in the run into the marathon. So if you like my posts, please use the link at the top right hand side of this blog post to subscribe to my mailing list, so you don’t miss any updates.
Speak soon all, and for my fellow runners, good luck for your training. Remember, the event itself is just a 26 mile run. All the hard work is done in training, so make sure to enjoy as much of it as you can. The training lasts a lot longer than the event itself! A LOT longer!!!!!