I should really train for New York
I suppose I’d better start training for the New York Marathon. I mean, it is only five weeks away. And I’ve done nothing, running wise (If I’m being absolutely honest, I did a 10k a couple of weeks ago and have had some slow plods and kept doing spin classes and weight sessions and maybe a few treadmill 5ks and that sort of thing). And that’s not an exaggeration (it is!). I really haven’t done any training for it at all (apart from the treadmills, the spin sessions, the weights, the steady jogs and things like that). Here’s the thing, though… I’m not (very) worried. And that’s blasé and big headed and will make some people totally dislike me (not because of the running brags but because I can be a bit of a dick, to be honest), but I’m not worried by the impending doom of 26.2 miles (apart from that tiny bit of worry and self-doubt in my mind). I could go out tomorrow and run a marathon if I like (I won’t. Definitely won’t) – I’ve been there, done that (and it was horrible and boring. Have you seen Worthing in the rain? No thanks). If you haven’t read my blogs before (I don’t blame you), let me give you a very potted history (brag) of my running:
2008 – Ran first marathon. London. Swore I’d never run one, but I did. (I cried a lot)
2009 – Ran second and third marathons. (Because I thought I could go faster. I didn’t)
2010 – Ran three marathons in three days. (I wee’d myself and didn’t even notice until it was too late)
2011 – Ran a marathon every week for a whole year. (Stupid. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it. Honest)
2012 – ran 164 miles from Paris to London. (in 4 days. Really long way. Dieppe is horrid)
2013, 14, 15, 16 chased and chased and chased a sub-3 hour marathon. Have never done it. (Have cried a lot about this
As you can see, running became a huge part of me:
You see, having run that many marathons, I have residual endurance (varicose veins) in my legs. I know exactly what is coming in each of the miles (pain but also some fun) and whilst they might (will) hurt like hell, I know it’s just running. It’s just moving forwards (and sideways when you want to overtake) and it’s just telling myself repeatedly that I’m getting closer to the finish line (not verbally – other runners would think I’m nuts). It’s not rocket science (it can’t be – have you seen how thick some runners are?) or super human to complete a marathon. It’s just a case of focusing your mind, getting the correct goals in place and moving. Sure, training is brilliant preparation. Training (allegedly) makes the marathon easier (where’s the proof, eh?) – whether you’re a pro runner or a total beginner. I’d go so far as to say it’s (allegedly) ALMOST essential for all runners. Not just to prepare your body, but to prepare your mind and make you understand what’s out on the course (pain, agony, self-doubt and people with those shit signs that are meant to inspire you. Oh, and morons who shout ‘not far to go’ at mile 20. Actually, MATE, there’s 6.2 miles to go and it’s a fucking long way)!
Perhaps the most important point from that last paragraph is ‘getting the correct goals in place’ (it’s not. The most important point is the one about morons shouting moronic things at you). You see, at New York, I don’t intend to pull myself inside out and there’s no way I would get anywhere close to the dream sub-3 hour marathon (I’ll end up trying, and ruining the experience). My goal is smiling, moving and looking up. Focusing on the people (morons, as above), the buildings (counting the Starbucks), my smile (I won’t buy any pictures because I can’t afford to remortgage my house). I have the luxury of being healthy and strong willed. I haven’t run with purpose for ages and ages but I still train, eat fairly healthily (I eat twice as many half-fat products) and keep in my mind that I’ve got myself into this mess – New York will hurt. But it’ll hurt good and I’m looking forward to that (because, y’know, masochist)!
An issue I struggle with perennially is the ‘grass is always greener’ outlook in my training. I’m Jekyll and Hyde. From November to April I run. From May to October I lift. From November to April, I want to lift. From May to October, I want to run. Basically I want to be a very fast runner with a six pack and pecs and big oafing legs that make all the girls and boys swoon to be wedged between them.
My fastest ever marathon was 3.02 and I weighed 71kg (11stone 2lbs for old people) and after this summer’s ego lifting, I weigh 82kg (12stone 9lbs). 11kg is a lot. According to this incredible website, 11kg is equivalent to:
31 masks and snorkels
a dining chair (probably no this actual chair)
A pug dog
A car tire
A flat screen TV
So… it makes sense that my heart and lungs (which are getting old), which are essentially the same size as they were before (not big enough), can’t carry that much more weight around in a really fast(ish but not that fast to be fair) time. That’s fine (it’s not – it upsets me). But if someone could please let me body know that I’m tired of muscles now (I’m not at all, I just want to pretend they don’t matter that much), that’d be great. The muscles are going but the weight isn’t. And that’s upsetting me. So much so that I’ve been cheering myself up with cheese sandwiches (and cheese on toast and cheese strings and cheese and beans and blocks of cheese and I also have those pre-grated bags of cheese and use them instead of crisps as a snack). And because I can’t run very fast, I haven’t been going out to run (it’s actually laziness, not because I can’t run fast). I mean come on; it’s upsetting that I’m not as fast as I used to be (this bit is true. But not so much that it makes me train). And bigger muscles ain’t all that (who am I kidding. You don’t see a runner on Instagram with his shirt off getting 20k likes, do you?). Top tip for people who want to look bigger – buy smaller tee shirts and suck your tummy in. Job done. You’re welcome.
Anyway, it’s dinner time. I’m off for a sandwich. Bye for now.
Just to be a little bit serious for a minute – I’m putting on a bloody brilliant virtual run in December for the incredible, wonderful, important and unfortunately needed-to-much mental health charity, Mind. Please take a look, enter and help us to make a difference. It’s called The Run Up to Christmas.
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