The road to London, this year, is seemingly much longer than last year! As mentioned, I've had troubles locating my mojo, leaving it somewhere amongst the memory of last years marathon and a summer off running with back issues. The last few weeks, training has been sporadic to say the least. I've moved house, and generally been incredibly busy, it's very hard to fit in training for a marathon amongst all of that. (I know, it's all about time management!) Longest run to date before today? 14.67 miles, about 3 weeks ago. Since then, a 10 and a 12, and not much in between.. However, I am the eternal optimist and am sure I'll still win the London marathon even on such minimal training lol. Last week, I scored myself a last minute injury induced entry to ashby 20! Unprepared but thinking that psychologically, if I get through it, I'll be fine for London in 5 weeks. 5 weeks??!!! Where did that go?! So today, I lined up, in the cloudy and chilly morning with my fellow scamperers and we embark upon what I'm assured is an "undulating course." If I hear that word once more. I may hurt someone. Undulating, to me basically means, hilly as feck. Today, was no exception to that rule. In fact, this was the very embodiment of the word hilly. However; it's done. 3:30 and a 10:28 average pace (started off 9:45 Average, last 6 miles was walk/run/curse hills write off). My calves were on fire and I'd gladly have taken a lift any time during that last stint. Smugly I finished, in by that time what was glorious sunshine, and grabbed my long awaited and highly publicized by previous ashby runner friends, cheese cob. To be honest, I'd have eaten a toe nail cob by that point. No matter how many miles you run when training for a marathon; you are still flummoxed as to how in gods earth you will ever manage another step. That concern is still at large in my brain. But one thing is for sure, you can't knock a badger down that easily. 26.2 miles will be trotted. Money will be raised for an amazing charity. My runner friends and I will eat and drink and be merry when it's all over and the bag of swag (inclusive of medal, which was disguised as hoody today, initially I felt cheated, now I feel snuggly). My runner friends, who by the way, I am eternally proud of and grateful for. Through chats about sudocrem vs Vaseline; what on earth happened to white dog poo, water fights on course and beers at the pub afterward, they are the ones who make the miles go faster and the hurt seem less painful. I consider myself incredibly lucky to share this journey with them and my always amazing family and friends who are there with pride and smiles for me along the way. Including today my beautiful girlfriend, who gave me the strength I needed in the last two miles knowing she was waiting for me.
Running, for me, is about strength, friendship, joy, pain, laughter, tears, and finding that something within yourself that you never thought was there. But it always was. You just have to look hard enough to find it.
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