London Marathon and being sensible

So, Sod has been at work implementing her laws again. Yep, I got a place in the London Marathon. Back in May I entered the ballot having got caught up in the excitement and just wanting to be part of the whole London Marathon cycle. Goodness knows why. I am actually far from convinced that I want to run another marathon. So of course I got a place. Sod’s law. If I actually really really wanted a place I’d never get one! We’re still waiting for Kath to get her notification.

I giggled and swore at the same time when I opened my magazine. A wave of excitement washed over me quickly followed by the terror inducing realisation of what ‘You’re in’ actually means. I wanted to do it. Or rather I wanted to be able to do it. I really did. Kath’s immediate reaction was: Defer. I think I shot her a look. ‘Don’t wanna!’ was my (silent) reaction to that. I have a place, I bloody well want to run in 2018. It would just be awesome… ….. …. …. …. (no it wouldn’t)

Through the rest of the afternoon little doubts crept in:

  •  April 2018 isn’t that far off. 7 months to get from where I am to marathon level. Hm, tough.
  • Winter  marathon training – urgh. I’ve already committed to doing this 2018/19, do I really want to add another winter of long miles?
  • I have a plan, one that challenges me but one that I am comfortable with, one that’s doable. I’d have to re-think all of that and add a considerable amount of training
  • I don’t want to just drag my butt round. I’ve done that. I want to give it a really positive go. I know a marathon for me is always going to be on the limit and there will be pain and it will be awful and almost impossible in places but I’d like fewer of those places and for the pain to set in a little later
  • I struggle with the pressure of training and having to do something. I can do this but I think I need a more gentle run in and more time to get my head into this – this is mental more than it is physical
  • I have a few little niggles that pop up when I increase distance or intensity and they need sorting (it’s a fairly easy case of doing the strength exercises – easy but also easy to ‘forget’ or not bother) – working on that would massively help
  • If I can get fitter and a little faster over the next year marathon training won’t be quite as hard because I won’t be out for quite as long on long run days
  • I run because I want to and because I want to enjoy it – getting ready for London 2018 doesn’t sound like fun, it sounds like pressure. Getting ready for 2019 sounds like fun (and not just because it is a long way away but because I can see a training schedule that starts now, with my current plan, and builds, with plenty of downtime, recovery and rest to a positive 26.2).
  • And here’s the clincher. I honestly honestly do not know if I have another 2 marathons in me. It’s hard to explain what they take out of me. It’s an emotional roller coaster, it’s lost weekends, it’s discipline and digging deep and facing every bloody fear over and over again and dealing with every emotion. It’s battling being the fat kid always picked last in PE, always coming last on the school track, never making it to the end of the cross country run… every single run becomes that battle, the battle to prove that I can do it while not really believing that I can. I have crossed two marathon finish lines but I don’t believe I can do it. Asking myself to do this two more times is a lot to ask of myself. I really want to do Dopey 2019. That’s the goal, the main aim, my ‘must do’ event. I don’t really see that as ‘a marathon’, I see it as the whole thing and somehow that’s different but it does of course mean doing a marathon. I am scared that doing London 2018 would break me (mentally more than physically) and that I wouldn’t be able to get back in the game for Dopey. If I can do Dopey in January 2019, I can recover fully and then build again for London. I can see how that would work and if it turns out that Dopey is the last marathon I have in me, then so be it. That one means more to me than London.

So, there you are. I’ll withdraw from London 2018 and take my place at the start line in 2019. I’m quite settled in that decision now and I’ve had a couple of little run outs to think about it. In fact I’ve run/walked a total of 17.68 miles in the first 3 days of October – that’s more than in all of February. I’m sure come  next April I will feel a few pangs of disappointment that I’m not there. A few ‘what ifs’ will go through my head, particularly if my training has gone to plan but I know it’s the right call. Just waiting for Kath’s Yes or more likely No now!

7 thoughts on “London Marathon and being sensible

  1. I’m still waiting for my magazine to arrive. Despite not having done any ‘proper’ running in months I now really want it to be a yes, and coming home to no post for the last two days has been super frustrating! The suspense is killing me lol!

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  2. Interesting blog. Of course I don’t know you at all but reading your post I can see just as many reasons to run it this year as to defer. It seems like you have as many reasons for and against but have put more emphasis on the reasons against. Perhaps write a list of all the reasons for running next year and try to impartially view the pros and cons. I’d also consider whether the reasons for not entering this year will be there next year and cause you to defer or cancel in 2019? Just my thoughts on reading your post 👍🏻

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    • Thanks. Yes I do have lots of reasons to run it in 2018 but none of them are sensible reasons. I’ve been on the marathon journey. I know what it does to me mentally and I have unfinished business on that course. I’m not ready for 2018. I need to be mentally and physically fitter than I currently am. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t withdrawn yet, I get little twinges of excitement when I flick through the magazine but I also know that if I try for 2018, I won’t grow as a runner. I’ll be the same old dragging her butt round and just about making it me. I want something different from this one. As for the same reasons being there next year – well if they are and I don’t run it I lose my place – can’t defer twice. However, I’m pretty good at focusing on something even from a very long way out so in some ways my training for 2019 starts now. I’m pretty determined (stubborn?), I won’t pull out (unless actually injured of course). Thanks for commenting though, I’ll ponder a little longer.

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