So the adventure has really started, going to distances that this LCA has never gone before. That sounded a positive start to today’s blog post and I’m trying not to wallow but so far, I’ve hated every moment beyond that half marathon distance! There, I’ve said it! I’m beginning to think the whole marathon thing was a crazy idea and it definitely won’t be the start of many more that friends tell me it will. I’ll do it, bucket list ticked and hello comfort zone.
Trying to think where to go is a challenge in itself, a circular route unless a lift is available, safe to run alone. I started the push along last week with a 15 miler actually up to Hucknall where my in laws live for Sunday lunch. A win/win I thought, the up side of Italian in laws is you know they’ll be a mahoosive plate of pasta at the end of the run. I had purchased my secret nutritional weapon ( Jaffa cakes) and scoffed a packet , yes the whole packet no sharing, the day before so I was ready.
I know the route well, it’s my daily commute to work. Perhaps that was a bad thing, roads that you blast down every morning seem a lot longer when you run them. Little did I realise that the mental element of distance running cannot be underestimated. I mapped the route before to get the distance right. I knew that the first possible turn off to my in laws house was 10 miles even though I thought it was a lot further. So I knew that I had to loop much further around their house to pull in 15 miles and I planned that extra loop accordingly. That first 10 miles from South of the river to North is hilly. I felt buoyant and ready for anything as I left my house and ran down Melton Road to cross Trent Bridge, that’s the easy bit, I knew that. Then the ‘ups’ through the city centre, up Mansfield Road out of town ,up Hucknall Road, up past the City Hospital, up towards Bulwell Forest Golf Course, trust me, the downs didnt seem to match the ‘ups’ ! The only thing going downhill was my attitude. When I came to the 10 mile turn off, I’d convinced myself it must be further…….I mapped it, so I know it wasn’t but my head said different. I suddenly thought, it’s the Ashby 20 in two weeks and there’s no way I could turn around right here, right now and run home so how the hell is Ashby going to happen. I was a mess at this point, when your head drops its hard to recover, I’m so positive it was a revelation to hit such a bad patch. I had to talk myself round. I needed Ellie as my running bud, I really missed her not joining me to 15 miles which was our original plan.
I battled on around the Hucknall bypass along road stretches that seem so fast when you drive them every morning but are like an eternity on foot. My lower back was starting to ache, core in, pull up I thought, your whole body has dropped with your mind. My legs were tiring, I felt slower and slower. Another low point, Hucknall High Street on a grey Sunday morning! Dog shit to dodge, Saturday night’s vomit at the bus stops and a group of bald blokes outside a pub ( lots of sportswear, not a lot of sport!!…..say no more ). The run from 12.5 miles to 13.1 miles and the significant milestone of passing the half marathon distance seemed to go on like an eternity, maybe I checked my Garmin a tad too frequently, like waiting for a kettle to boil. I’m not sure whether I was happy or distraught to see the 13.1 miles pass. Keep going, loop round more streets, head towards the pasta. As I neared the start of my destination street……15.1 miles, if anybody saw me, I fist pumped.
Of course I felt achievement but I just didn’t enjoy it and I can’t see myself enjoying it. My back, hips and legs felt like they’d solidified it was of course the longest I’ve ever been on my feet ! I must admit though, my mother in law’s reaction was great, in fact she couldn’t actually grasp that I’d ran there from my house.
Listen to the marathon chat and people are on there 17, 18 plus miles runs……they don’t say it isn’t easy, but no one has moaned like this, have a broken an unspoken runners code? I assume they just keep going, but are they enjoying it, is it just me who found the whole thing gruelling ? Will I ever enjoy this kind of distance?
So next I have just a week to go to 17 miles……..woo hoo. I dread it already, I don’t want to do it already, it terrifies me already, I’m not a marathon runner. But I will do it because I am disciplined. Please let it all be over soon!