If you believe in something.. you can achieve it. This was the only thing on my mind from midday on Sunday.
To set the scene.. preparation was good.. having spent the early afternoon at the Chinese buffet for my wife’s birthday I resisted all the spicy temptations in front of me.. Opting for a few chips and some rice washed down with some water.. (And some olives weirdly enough)
I was feeling good.. but most importantly I was feeling confident. The evening brought my usual cheese pizza and an early night with the alarm firmly set for 6am. Once that alarm went off I was up and down the stairs preparing the standard long run day breakfast and its routine I have previously discussed.. (don’t worry I wont bore you with it again!).. Fast forward to 9am and I was hitting the start button on mapmyrun (which I highly recommend as an app for any keen runners) and setting off to attempt something Id never done before.. that 20+ run marker.. 22 miles.. i was firmly coming for you.. By now I know your all on the edge of your seat waiting to find out how it went.. well to do things slightly different tonight.. heres the mindset I went through:
Mile 1: I’ve got this.. only another 21 miles to go.. jesus that’s a lot.. i’ve got another 3 and a half hours of this..
Mile 2: It’s really warm today.. should probably be going a bit quicker but really dont want to tire myself out this early.. Why the hell have I got a stitch?
Mile 3: Wonder where this way goes?
Mile 4: Ah yeah.. that old fella is way ahead of me.. bet hes not going as far as me though so it doesn’t matter.
Mile 5: Right Im going to run along this canal for the next 9 miles.. then if I just turn back on I can run 8 and a bit back and then i’ll have a bit of a stretch to walk it off afterwards.
Mile 6: Another 3 hours to go at this pace I reckon..
Mile 7: Almost a 3rd of the way there now.. jesus is that all.
Mile 8. This was a lot easier last weekend..
Mile 9: There are so many canal boats out today.. I cant be bothered to wave at them all so Ill just put my head down and pretend I havent seen you..
Mile 10: Double figures.. we got this.. Nearly half way.
Mile 11: What is with all these canal boats?
Mile 12: Right.. almost time to turn around..
Mile 13: Thats half a marathon done.. on the return leg now.. wonder if ive got enough water to last..
Mile 14: This music is doing my head in..
Mile 15: Why cant I stop staring at the stats on my Adidas Micoach gps watch..(turns it off).
Mile 16: Thats better.. this music is still driving me crazy.. (turns it off)
Mile 17: Feels weird running without music on.. no mate I’m not going to wave at you..
Mile 18: Right.. anything onwards is new territory
Mile 19: Ive ran out of water..
Id just like to say.. at this point I ran past a pub and for the first time ever had decided to run with a little bit of cash in case of an emergency.. altho running by a canal id say the only emergency would have been either falling in or getting beaten up by a goose. So yeah.. I ventured into ‘The Plough’ pub.. full running gear on obviously.. ask for a bottle of water.. and the woman felt the need to ask.. “Still or Sparkling”.. yes love.. definately sparkling.. throw in ice and a slice of lemon whilst were at it yeah? Crazy! Anyway.. must crack on..
Mile 20: This is when I started doubting myself.. and had to literally talk to myself out loud to get through it.. it was difficult but I wasnt going to give up.. the walking became more frequent but no way was I giving up.
Mile 21: Almost there.. another few minutes and its done.
Mile 22: Im done.
I really did give it everything and really surprised myself.. My time wasnt great and was much slower than the minutes per mile I did 18 miles in a few weeks ago but for me it was about completing the distance and putting in the miles on the legs rather than knackering myself out early on and not finishing it..
Im now completely confident I can run 26.2 miles.. and I will..
My legs are still incredibly heavy but tonight (tuesday) I managed the scheduled 6.1 miles and felt pretty good.. happy with that considering I put myself through 4 hours of hell only 24 hours previous.
19 days to go…….
I’ve learnt so much about myself over the past few months and achieved things I didnt think I could. I really hope reading about my journey can inspire you to achieve something yourself.. put down that second iced bun and set yourself some targets.. break them down into something manageable and focus.. Its as simple as that.