Proper Marathon Jitters

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.

3 thoughts on “Proper Marathon Jitters

  1. I second Britsrundisney. Sounds like a case of taper or pre-taper jitters. I wanted to also send you some of the magical, if not pixie dust, feelings that I have for London which is, for me, a place far, far away. About 20 years ago I was sent on a business trip to a town outside London. I was able to take two weekend days off on my own to walk around London. It was magical. I walked the stairs to the top of St. Paul’s, I walked across Tower Bridge and saw the Tower of London, I bought books at Charing Cross and heard science fiction authors speak at the Charing Cross library, I watched people paint with chalk on the sidewalks, I saw many beautiful places, met wonderful people, and had a great time. I am sending an American’s sense of wonder about London, a place that has so much history, to you to provide extra energy for your second marathon. I believe that when that day arrives that you will enjoy the London Marathon and have fun.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sounds like you have a definite case of maranoia! I know my words won’t take away the jittery feeling, but you really ARE a runner and you really CAN do it- heck you already have!!! Deep deep deep down I know you know that too! It’s ok to let yourself have this nervous, jittery moment- because you know thats all it is- nerves! Physically and mentally you are capable- you have done the training and you are ready! We all have nerves, and I think given that it’s a marathon which is a pretty big deal, your entitled to some pretty big nerves! But you’ll overcome them because you’ve got this!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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