This is amazing. The very clever Bohemian Arcade created this tour of the whole marathon course, done with Google Street View.
It’s inspiring and terrifying in equal quantities.
Todays lesson: if you want a quick reality check, and a bit of a kick up the bum, look at London Marathon clips on YouTube. I can’t wait to run tonight, and when I feel tired and my legs are heavy and I want to stop, I’m going to remember that in April I have to keep on going for 26.2 miles, leaden legs and all.
This one isn’t about running. It’s about why we’re running. Three years ago today, Zoe and I lived through the hardest day of our life; our father’s funeral. He was only 55 years old, and looked ten years younger. He was dynamic, funny, stubborn, loyal, kind and thoughtful. He lived in a tiny village in Lincolnshire which he happily referred to as ‘the arsehole of nowhere’, having escaped London ten years before. The last thing he did was typical of him: he’d just taken on some new employees and he took them out for a meal, because he was worried they’d be lonely and bored, having just moved to the area. That night he went home, felt ill, and died of a heart attack before the ambulance arrived.
It was impossible for anyone to believe – my dad was tall, strong, fit enough to beat the younger men at work in their occasional after-work sprint, played the odd game of football, ate a reasonably healthy diet, very rarely drank alcohol and had never smoked in his life. Everyone agreed that yes, he was a couple of stone overweight, but ‘he carried it well’, so it didn’t matter. Only of course, it does matter. His diet wasn’t really perfect (too many stops at service stations for a Ginsters pasty and a Mars bar in lieu of lunch on the way to see his beloved Falkirk FC) and in reality he was probably four stone overweight, but at 6’3″ nobody really noticed.
Heart Research work in the community to encourage lifestyle choices for a healthier heart. In other words, they get out there and tell people what they should and shouldn’t be doing. They help perfectionists like me, who would rather do nothing than not give it 100%, to realise that every positive step helps. Because I’m overweight, because I’m in a high risk category, because of my family history, because my cholesterol levels were raised at my last blood test – their amazing work makes me realise that even my pathetic attempts at training for the marathon are helping to make my heart strong. And when the time comes and I start begging you all for sponsorship (don’t worry, I’m not hinting…yet!) remember it’s not for me, it’s for the amazing work that they do and for the lives they save.
I wasn’t going to run today because I’m tired and I still feel grim. Then I saw a friend running past my house and I remembered that I have a marathon in just over seven months. (Seven months! Argh!)
Those of you allergic to boring details, skip this paragraph. I ran as follows: Run 1m, Walk 1m, Run 2m, Walk 1, Run 1m30s, Walk 1m, Run 1m, Walk 1m, Run 1m, collapse in sweating heap whilst walking for several minutes, Run 1m30s, cool down. For run, read jog at a really pathetic snail’s speed, but I’ve set the treadmill at 1% and I’m planning to put it up to 2% next. The back of my calves was a bit achey, so I’m hoping that was because of the virtually non-existent gradient. I’d like to say how far I ran, but being a bit of an airhead I forgot to check before I turned the treadmill off. It was probably a mile. Only 25.2 more of them, as Zoe likes to tell me on a regular basis. She’s doing really well on her training. I’d like to say that sibling rivalry is spurring me on, but instead I’m wondering if I could wear rollerskates and she could tow me along.
Oh dear. I am a bit of a mid-afternoon slump person, and that combined with being a bit tired from running has left me inarticulate and needing to have a little snooze on the couch. Can you just imagine something entertaining here, whilst I have a little sleep? Zzzzz.