After my damaging fall last year that scuppered my chances of testing any kind of marathon skills on the hills and trails of Dunstable I am again a few days away from again - running my first marathon.
Not only that but for some reason I've gone marathon mad this year!!
Milton Keynes Marathon - Monday 06.05.2013 - http://mkmarathon.com/
Trail Marathon Wales - Saturday 22.06.2013 - http://www.trailmarathonwales.com/
Enigma Summer Marathon - Saturday 06.07.2013 - http://www.enigmarunning.co.uk/
Enigma Gold Marathon Saturday 17.08.2013 - http://www.enigmarunning.co.uk/
Dunstable Marathon (unfinished business) - Sunday 08.09.2013 - http://www.dunstableroadrunners.org/13_Challenge/20_mile_challenge.htm
Beauty and the Beast Marathon - Saturday 21.09.2013 - http://hellyhansenbeautyandthebeast.co.uk/
Snowdonia Marathon - Sunday 26.10.2013 - http://www.snowdoniamarathon.co.uk/
Enigma Firework Marathon 1&2 Sat 09.11.2013 & Sun 10.11.2013 - http://www.enigmarunning.co.uk/
I may have to blame it all on nerves and a deep desire to conquer this unfinished business I have with long distance running. Since I started running again in 2009 I've overcome numerous niggles, pains and set backs due to one injury or another and 2013 has begun with some very serious distance training runs. Not only have they impressed me greatly that I have that kind of mileage in me but instead of being terrified of this distance I am seeing the marathon distance in the same light as my first 5k that I ran in 2009.
When I first started, the thought of running for more than 10 minutes was a challenge in itself. Then came the 20 minute barrier. The pain in those unused and untrained muscles, screaming at me to stop doing this insanity. The feel good factor of reaching one goal after another beat those untrained muscles into submission. It was tough running my first 5k but I did it and that first medal got me hooked. Hooked!!
Then it was 10k. How could I run twice the distance. That's insane. You're all bonkers. Again, I did it and collected more medals. Yep, you guessed it, I run for medals as well as fun!
Then a half marathon. I hadn't trained properly, my body was not used to the distance and parts of me were deffinitely not happy with the healthier me. My first major set back. I ran my first half marathon and felt great that I'd managed to run that distance at all. I'd only been running for 7 months by then. My recovery afterwards was terrible. I couldnt run for 10 minutes let alone 2 hours for the next 4 months.
Various niggles and illnesses later and I was back into training. Right back to the beginning building up to 5k then 10k and last year half marathons. Whatever happened in 2009/2010 to knock me down so thoroughly was quite terrifying. It hasnt stopped me from being careless with training, it's made me train harder for events than I should do.
So am I ready for 26.2 miles on Monday 6th May 2013? NO! I'm terrified that I'll knock myself down all over again and it will take me another year to get back to my current healthy self. But this time I'm not going to give into my fear of failure. I'm going to run this marathon and own it and be proud that I've conquered yet another distance.
BRING IT ON!!!!