Me. Because I ran 13.3 miles today.
Thank you, Milton Keynes Half Marathon, for telling me that you didn’t want any fat lazy back markers taking up time and road space. I got up today, ate a sample bowl of Kellogg’s Start (the cereal designed to make porridge seem like a pleasant option) downloaded some songs onto my ever-growing and imaginatively-titled ‘running songs’ playlist and hit the road. I decided that I’d run my own half marathon.
After the first 3.7 miles of my figure 8 loop, I stopped in at home to go to the loo. Oh, it was hard going back out again. I seriously thought about just giving up and having a bacon sandwich instead. But I ploughed on, and on, and on. The roads look like this:
and whilst I shouldn’t complain because it was a gorgeous, cold, crispy, sunshiny day, they really don’t vary. Trees, bare hedgerows, road. Road, hedgerows, trees.
I reached 7 miles and sat on a wall. I sent a message to Twitter and drank some Lucozade and had an energy gel. I realised I needed the loo again. I may have availed of a handy hedge. I was actually having quite a nice time, despite being the slowest runwalker in the history of the world. Then this happened:
It’s a song that reminds me of the time just after Dad died and it gets me every time. I sat on the ground and cried. Huge, howling, messy crying. Luckily I was on a road to nowhere so nobody saw me sitting there, and once it was over I could feel my Dad telling me to pull myself together. Stiff upper lip, old girl.
Nobody had stolen my secret stash of Lucozade, so I refilled my lovely new carrying bottle at each rescue stop.
It was really up-and-down, the run. Sometimes I was running and my feet were just boinging along and I didn’t even have to think about it, even on hills. Other times I looked at my Garmin and realised I was running slower than I can walk. I felt a bit sick at one point, which I think was my body trying a new ‘please stop this nonsense’ strategy. I had the usual chorus of grumbles from the body parts who don’t like running, but the amazing ankle support and new socks (actual running socks! who knew?) meant that my feet were floating along. Even when I was walking, and there was a LOT of walking, I was doing it at over 4mph so I can tell I’m getting fitter and better at covering longer distances.
The last mile was amazing – I felt sick, I was exhausted, but I had a sudden burst of energy and was doing much faster jogging with a huge smile on my face.
I walked in to ‘mummycanIhavesomecrisps’ and ‘canweplayoutside’ and ‘wheresmybubblemixture’. Such is the life of a marathonmummy. I escaped upstairs and did my final Paula Radcliffe impression of the day.
Yes, that’s a ice bath. Eddie Izzard swore in his programme the other day that they were the secret to surviving the long runs. He’s made of strong stuff, that man. I got in the bath full of cold water, speaking to Zoe on the phone for a bit of moral support, then poured in the whole bag of ice. There are no words to describe what that felt like, but I’ve given birth four times without pain relief, and I was using every single technique to get me through the first minute of that bath. After that it actually felt quite nice, although nothing compared to the heavenly hot bath with a magazine and delicious bath oil from Maia Skincare. I feel human again now.
At the risk of having a Gwyneth Paltrow moment, I want to say that training for a marathon is incredibly time consuming. There’s an advert which says ‘because we know 26.2 is the easy part’ and it’s so true. I spend so much time blogging, fundraising, running and thinking about running. Meanwhile we still have a house, four children, and a whole menagerie of animals to look after. My lovely husband is doing more than his fair share at the moment, and he deserves a medal. Thank you, K. xxx
PS – results are now in for the Milton Keynes Half Marathon and I’m comforted to see that if I’d entered there would have been 80 people slower than me!