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!