So. It is 14 weeks to the London Marathon, and the training is in full effect, by which I mean the beautiful multi-coloured plan is on the kitchen wall. Unfortunately the progress I had hoped to make by this point has not happened.
I have not transformed into a lithe-legged, hot-pant wearing fox. I do not gallop the streets with ease, breath coming calm and easy. If I see another runner coming towards me, I do not smile and greet them, but instead tell myself not to collapse until I am past them. I don’t have the breath to say hello. When I get back to the house I do not feel revived and glowing, I feel punctured with a full on sweat-tap beetroot face.
But I do run.
At Christmas the Bank of Husband bought me a running watch to ‘help’ my training. It is certainly helping if the aim was to do weight training while I run. It is massive. It may be all singing and dancing, but its like those watches from the 80’s with a calculator on them. It is the actual size of a calculator sellotaped to your wrist, and the sums it does are how rubbish your speed is divided by how little distance you have covered equals shame and disappointment. Then again, guilt can be a great motivator as centuries of the Catholic Church can attest, and it has made me run further…
So now along with my trusty calculator watch, the new year has seen me embark with renewed vigour on the training malarkey in my usual manner- by having a good read, in this case ‘The Complete Book of Running For Women’ by Claire Kowalchik.
So far I have discovered a wealth of really, really useful information, such as if you lift one foot off the ground before the other foot has landed, then you are a runner. Holy shit, if only I had realised this earlier, I’d be a size 8 and capable of running the 4 minute mile! Claire also suggests that you can run for years and not enjoy it, every time a struggle, which is equally empowering. Also, if going out for a run in the dark after work is not miserable enough, she has a whole section on how not to get attacked by scary rapists by not listening to music, but then goes on to say later that listening to music may improve your running. Tell you what, I’ll keep my Ricky Martin on repeat, as if a scary rapist starts coming after me, I’m sure I will find never before heard of reserves and fly like the wind!
If this is what it takes to write a running book, I might knock one off myself after the marathon, as there is obviously gold in them there hills. At one point I even considered reading World record-breaking triathlete and Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington’s book. Obviously I felt a connection with her as she didn’t go pro until she was thirty (ok, ahem, I’m not thirty, but denial is a joy), but then I read an interview with her in The Guardian at the weekend. While discussing how to remain motivated, she says things such as ‘boredom can set in quickly’ and “You kind of enjoy the pain and discomfort from working hard but it’s not the most interesting,”. Apparently a good skill to develop is to be able to “endure that monotony”. What a wonderful optimistic cheery-bake!
As obviously the literature is not going to inspire me, I think I’ll turn to my old favourite motivator- Field Of Dreams. OK, I’m not a one dimensional actor building a baseball field for ghosts, I’m a short arse running a marathon, but I have the place, and I WILL run it.
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