A marathon, again?

Two years ago I ran my first marathon and it was awful. I’d signed up for the London Marathon ballot after the 2013 edition and didn’t expect to get a place on my first attempt. When the ballot places were announced later that year, my pack didn’t arrive as I hadn’t updated my address, so a couple of weeks after everyone else I finally found out over the phone that I had a place. It felt a bit weird and anticlimactic, which set the tone for training and the race itself.

The race itself I wrote about here. Looking back at my training log, in the 12 weeks running up to the big day I ran an average of 33km a week. I did one 30km run, one 27km run and nothing else over 24km. I generally ran three times a week and these runs were pretty much all at the same speed, although the long run was usually slower. I felt like I was running a lot, but I’ve done the same average distance each week this year, and it’s not felt like loads.

When I crossed the line outside Buckingham Palace I felt pleased, but I distinctly remember going along the Embankment feeling really pissed off. I didn’t enjoy how busy the race was but I was also really annoyed at myself for running such a poor race. I decided that maybe marathons weren’t for me. I decided that it was too hard, too far, too much training.

People say that you should respect the marathon distance, but not fear it. I was absolutely terrified of it.

Already this year I’ve completed a 31 day runstreak and feel a lot more confident about my running. I got some great advice on my technique last year (arms down! knees up!) and feel like I’m running a lot better. I’ve got two half marathons booked for the early part of this year and ran across a Greek island at the very end of last year.

So for some reason I decided to enter a marathon again!

I wanted something small and low key (unlike London!) and easy to get to (not abroad, however tempting). I remembered a friend telling me about a marathon he’d done where you ran along country lanes, passing through small villages every couple of miles. That sounded perfect – the occasional cheer but lots of solitude. I decided to sign up for the same one.

It’s Halstead & Essex Marathon, on the 8th May. The course is “undulating” (ie. will kick my arse on the hills) but scenic, and there are around 500 runners.

I’m genuinely excited.

One thought on “A marathon, again?

  1. Pingback: 2016 in review | Lamb on a bike!

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