I’m six weeks into my London Marathon training and it’s safe to say it’s been a mixed bag so far. I started out well enough at the start of January, coming off the back of some good training over Christmas which culminated in a nine mile trail run on New Year’s Eve. The first two weeks went well enough – I started running with a faster group at my running club sessions, my first long run went like a dream and I was generally feeling pretty good.
Then I had possibly the worst run I’ve ever had in the whole two years I’ve been running. It was 14 miles of pure awfulness from start to finish and nothing but sheer willpower kept me going. I’ve never experienced anything like it, every single step was hard and I felt utterly defeated once it was over.
The next two weeks were overshadowed by that experience. I hadn’t stretched properly once I got home so I spent the next few days in agony and just found every single run I did incredibly difficult. I did however manage to grind my way up to a massive 17 mile long run by the end of January which, whilst tough, put me pretty much right on track with where I wanted to be.
In total I ran 105 miles in my first four weeks of training and even managed to get in some cross-training, primarily through the Yoga with Adriene Yoga Revolution programme which is amazing!
The first two weeks of February have been somewhat less successful – to say the least! Last week coincided with my first big deadline in my new job which meant later nights than usual and less time for running. Last Saturday evening I fell down some stairs – an unfortunate combination of socks and wooden floors – which has resulted in a week with no running at all until today. I’m pretty confident I’m not suffering any permanent damage but I’m seeing a physio on Tuesday to get the all clear before I ramp up my training again.
What’s struck me most is how much harder it is to train for a marathon than I was expecting. The training I did for the half marathon I ran last year was (mostly) enjoyable and I assumed training for a marathon would be much the same. It hasn’t been so far – although it doesn’t help that at the moment the weather is pretty much permanently cold, wet, dark or icy which does rather suck the joy out of running around outside for hours on end.
I honestly think I might have just given up if I wasn’t running for something other than personal satisfaction. Running for three hours might be hard but it’s nothing compared to having to learn to walk again after having a hip replacement – which is what my mum has spent the past four months doing. Given the current state of NHS funding I’m also keen to do what I can to ensure that other people have access to the incredible world-class expertise and care offered by the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopedic Hospital.
If you can spare any money to contribute to my fundraising efforts and help me make it through the next ten weeks of training then please donate via my JustGiving page or by texting RJAH 77 and the amount you’d like to donate (£5, £10 etc) to 70070.