So after way too much inactivity, the blog is back, and the above title says it all. Yes, indeed, I’ve decided that I need to do the Big One. And not just any Big One, but New York. Go big or go home, as they say!
Why, I hear you say? Why, at my very (and some would say over!) ripe old age, do I decide to suddenly do a marathon when one has never been contemplated (or thought possible, especially by me!) before? Good questions!
The answer is twofold. One, in short, is that I really, really, badly want to. I have for a couple of years in fact, but I didn’t think I was physiologically capable, and now I do. Secondly, someone (and you know who you are 🙂 ) has inspired me into it. And that’s actually the best reason of all. I’ll cover that latter point in a subsequent blog post.
But before I get too carried away, I need to ground myself. 26.219 miles is going to be hard. Ridiculously hard in fact. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, is that if you put enough, and the right, training in, you can get there. So that’s exactly what I’ll do.
I’m lucky in one respect, in that because I’m so anal about these things, then if I have a training plan to follow, I’ll follow it to the letter. It’s how I’m wired, and also that attitude allows for the fact that I have a fear of failure. And I thus have a training plan, or three in fact, and they have been scrutinised intimately for variations, difficulties, and the like. They are hard yes, but not daunting at all. The reverse in fact is true.
These things (by which I mean running full stop!) do not come naturally to me. I couldn’t run any distance at all over about 400m when I was young, my asthmatic physiology just didn’t allow it. But over recent years, despite a bit of a major mishap with two broken heels a few years ago when overtraining for the Great North Run :O, I’ve steadily built myself up to being able to do distance ok. I have a best (this year, in the Vitality London Big Half) of 1:48:58 at the half marathon, and have run 14 and a half miles as my longest run. I’m therefore never going to be great, or quick, but that’s not the point. I can keep going, and have enough determination, I hope!
In short, if something is good (by which I mean exciting) enough, and you want it enough, I do it. And I throw myself into it, and that’s what I’m doing here.
The marathon is to me the ultimate test of endurance, and also the most inspirational thing to so many people, even those who (very much like me until this year) thought they would never even think about doing one.
I also realise before I even embark on this that marathons take over your life. This one already has my attention for about 23 hours and 57 and a half minutes of my day for example, and I haven’t even signed up for it yet! But I do know from speaking to others who have been through it, that your eating, drinking, weekends, emotions, relationships and so much more will all be affected by it. But they are all containable, and they will all be dictated to by the extent of your determination. And I can honestly say that I have never (at least at this moment in time) been more determined to do anything, ever.
And mentioning emotions – I’ll talk about that in future posts, but it’s something I know I will have to control, especially in New York, the biggest of them all. When I did the Great North Run last time, I got such an overwhelming head rush of emotions after about a mile I thought it was going to completely consume me. My heart was beating so fast that I had to just slow down and think of anything but what I was doing to contain it all.
And the reason in the here and now as to why New York? Well that’s because at the moment of writing (early May 2019) it is the only one of the Big Six that I can get into. I’ve entered the ballot for London next year too, but that’s a lifetime away, and also around half a million other people have as well. My chances of getting therefore are a bit slim at best. And, being the impetuous sort, when I decide to do something I do it!
And of course New York is a city I love. And it’s an adventure. It’s hilly. It finishes in Central Park. It’s the biggest marathon in the world in terms of people and crowds (and I love that). It’s the City that Never Sleeps. It’s probably the most famous city in the world in fact. It’s HAPPENING, in every single aspect of the word 😀
So this is the start. I have a training plan, I have the desire (in absolute abundance). I have a travel company who can get me into the event and the whole shebang. I’ve even, for goodness sake, resurrected my blog after three years of inactivity – now that’s a sign if ever there is one! All I need now is someone to do it with………………………..as this has to be shared. And so, watch this space, because that’s the gating factor right now. More to follow (I hope and trust) very soon 🙂