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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Never, Probably

Never say never, they say. But the truth is, I'm pretty sure I never want to run a marathon.

London Marathon running superstars

As soon as I finished my first half marathon, there it was. The presumption that, now I'd been there and done that, the next step was to head into the full distance. Perhaps it's because, when something is called 'half' of anything, there's another half that remains unfinished. And it's true! I'm certainly not finished with running – there are many, many more miles I want to run – but I only want to run them 13.1 at a time.

The incredible Mo Farah looking strong in his first marathon
I'd never seriously considered running 26.2 miles until I was asked which marathon I wanted to do. With so many friends running the distance for the first or fiftieth time this year, I've been caught up in daydreams of taking on the beast amongst the past few weeks of marathon madness. Certain I could finish a marathon with proper training, I've found myself crunching numbers trying to work out what my imaginary time would be.

Kiera and Sian with cheering essentials
But, whilst I've proudly (and sometimes tearfully) watched friends wave their hefty medals aloft as entry into a special running club, I've also heard their complaints. It seems marathon training is full of tears, nightmares and boredom. As race day approached, I found it pretty difficult to find any prospective marathoner who still enjoyed running!

For me, running is a way to release stress not create it. I enjoy the freedom of putting one foot in front of the other and seeing where I end up. I also like having a flexible training 'schedule' where I can justify a skateboarding lesson as cross-training. Don't get me wrong, I love a challenge but if that means possibly turning the thing I love into something I loathe, count me out!

There's a surprising number of knicker-less runners out there!

On Sunday, I watched the London Marathon in the flesh for the first time after years of viewing it from my bed. Based just before mile 23 and armed with an amusing sign, we saw a lot of grimaces and hobbles and, very sadly, one collapse out of consciousness. However, we did see some massive smiles. This is partly due to our sign (genius work from Kiera), partly because some people do genuinely love running marathons, especially London where the massive crowds can make any runner feel like a superstar. It was incredible knowing that we could lend a mini boost to someone taking on a massive task as we saw faces of pain crease up into giggles when they heard our cheers and read our request.

London Marathon kit lay out

So for now, certainly for the long foreseeable future, the only thing I'll be doing during a marathon is screaming my head off whilst waving pom pons and a slightly inappropriate sign whilst sneakily eating jelly babies meant to fuel runners.

6 comments:

  1. I saw your sign and had an internal giggle (grimace on the outside) but didn't realise it was you. Jim O'Donovan

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    1. Yes, Jim! I'm so pleased it made you (internally) smile! I did look out for you but completely missed you. Well done on a great race.

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  2. Hahaha! Love your kit layout picture - such a good take on the theme.

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    1. Thanks, Bibi. Every race deserves a kit layout, whether you're running it or not!

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  3. Oh gosh! Spectating was so much fun. I thought I was going to feel sad that I wasn't running but I think I enjoyed cheering just as much :)

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    1. It was my first time spectating and I loved it! I'll be there again next year, screaming my head off and waving my pom poms!

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