You know when I said I was fine? I’m not. I’m really not. I am at marathon panic stations, wtf am I doing kind of not fine. The thing is until this morning I was fine. I was worrying about logistics and things but worrying in a sort of ‘right, what needs doing, what maps do I need to print, have I got all my tickets and confirmations’ way. Now I’m in marathon meltdown. I haven’t even been thinking about it much today. I was happily editing (well re-writing) a very very long overdue chapter and actually making progress to the point where I might actually finish this thing (that would be a miracle) and then it suddenly hit me – in 12 days time I am supposed to be running the London Marathon.
Well that’s just silly isn’t it. I can’t do that. I don’t run. I’m really not a runner, at all, ever. I don’t do things like that. I sit on the sofa and watch others do that. I listen to the stories others tell of their sporting heroics and smile, knowing I will never do that, I will never have those stories to tell. I can’t run a marathon. No way. So that’s where my brain is at the moment. That’s how I feel. Logically of course that doesn’t make sense. I have completed 26.2 miles before – just a few months ago in fact and I did so after having run the 3 consecutive days before. I did Dopey, didn’t I? It doesn’t feel real. Just because I have done a marathon before doesn’t mean that I think I can.
Dopey doesn’t feel real, it doesn’t feel like it was me that did that. It just doesn’t seem possible. I know that I know far more about running than I used to, I know what a sensible training plan is, I have learned loads about eating and fuelling and the importance of good underwear but I don’t actually feel that I can run. I don’t know I can run, what I know is that I can’t run because that’s the way it has always been. Today I am very much the fat kid at the back of the PE class. I see the evidence of my running achievements and of how much I have improved everywhere – the medals, the notes on the training plan, the garmin and yet I don’t believe the evidence. I am not a runner and only runners do marathons. So part of me just wants to hide and just not do it. I’m not going to be able to do it anyway so why bother trying. I don’t do things I’m not good at and I am certainly not good at running. Let’s just forget about this. Plead temporary insanity, put it all down to an early midlife crisis and retreat back to the safety of a chocolate biscuits and maybe a nice walk….
But I did do Dopey. That was me. I can feel the weight of the medal as a pick it up and look at it in disbelief. I remember the joy of running the 5k, the warm rain of the 10k, the community feel of the half marathon and the humidity, pain, dispair and extacy of the marathon. I remember knowing I couldn’t do that but I did. I remember thinking 26.2 would never come, but it did. I am scared, more scared than before Dopey, partly because I know what is coming and partly because Dopey was far far away in a magical place where pixie dust is real and this is London. You know, the London Marathon, the thing we watch on TV, the thing that proper runners do, not fat girls with stupid goals trying to prove that fat girls can and do run. I know I can’t do this but I also know I will.