I’ve written and re-written this opening paragraph twice.. With just 6 days to go until the Hull Marathon I feel like there should be so many things I want to say.. To talk about how far I’ve come and how much I’ve learnt along the way.. the only problem being I just don’t know what it is I want to say.. which is a bit of a problem for a blog post right?
Today I completed my final long distance training run. 10 miles in the sunshine through town and along the canal.. (nope.. still no bottle of water from the old fellas on their canal boats)..The next step is event time. 26.2 miles to not just talk about how far I’ve come but to prove it. To show everyone that all that training was worth it. That all those miles were for a reason. I have no doubt that I can complete my first ever marathon.. that’s not the hard part.. the hard part is doing it in a way I can be proud of. To truly feel that I accomplished something. Lets be honest.. I could walk the whole thing, come home and write on here about how I smashed it couldn’t I.. but what kind of sense of achievement would that give me? Not a single bit I’m sure.
With 3 marathons in 14 days shortly commencing am I ready? Like I just mentioned, the hard training miles are out of the way and all that’s left is to rest up, stay loose and get ready to tear it up. But am I ready? Am I focussed? .. I know I’m ready to make everyone proud and finish in a time I’ll be happy with but if I’m being honest.. no I’m not. I feel like I’m in a really weird place where the thought of not having something to aim for or something to train for is almost upon me.. Its mad considering I have a marathon every Sunday for the next 3 weeks and yet I’m already worrying about September 28th. I’ll be sat at home, 3 marathon medals in my hands, ice packs on my legs and a smile on my face. But what will I be thinking about? Over the past 4 months my main thoughts have been, how far am I running tomorrow and will I be able to manage it. That’s the part which worries me.. No doubt I will want to find something to do next but I should also chill out and relax.. That worries me because I’m not very good at it.
I’ve put my family through a lot whilst I’ve trained for all this.. and selfishly put it before the majority of things recently. So it does only seem fair that I should devote some time to the things that truly matter.. but I don’t really know how. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember. I don’t feel like I offer any significance to the world unless I have a reason to get up in the morning and achieve something. Yeah being a good husband and a good father are great reasons in themselves but if I’m being honest, they’re also things I’m not too good at. I think this is why I started these challenges in the first place. So that people would admire me and so that I didn’t really have to talk to anyone about anything other than “Yeah the running’s going well, yeah I did 10 miles yesterday”. I think this has worked out quite well for me so far.. however as I mentioned, what about on 28th September?
When it’s all said and done and the marathon medals are put away and the trainers get some rest what do I do? As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m not built to be running 40/50/60 miles or achieving anything on this level. Yeah I can run.. but I’m not insane. That could be up for debate actually but I don’t think I could put up with just my own mind for company for anything longer than a 4/5 hour period. There’s no playlist in the world that could get me through that.
I guess I’d like to know what you did after you achieved that 26.2 mile target.. what challenge did you set yourself next? I really do want to just relax and enjoy everything that’s happened this year but I know I won’t be able to. I know that I’ll need something else.. and I just don’t know how or what that is. Running for me has been my strongest (and preferred) method of communication. Its meant that I have been able to communicate with friends and family (and anyone else reading this) simply by posting on various social media platforms about how I’m getting on. It’s given me that sense of ‘fitting in’ that I have never felt that I had/have.. and its meant a lot. To have raised a great deal of money at the same time and to have made such great improvements physically has helped me to feel good about myself.. For those that know me.. yeah I can be that jack the lad, cheeky chap who is quick off the mark with a decent joke or a witty comeback but its meaningless to me. It gets a laugh and its done with.
The real meaning comes from the everyday struggles and how you chose to tackle them. On reflection.. after 4 months I’ve come to realise I’ve been running (excuse the pun) away from a lot of my struggles.. but I feel much more equipped to face them moving forward. I guess I’ll find out on the 28th September.
I’d like to take a minute to congratulate my good friend Martin Chandler who successfully completed a 54 mile cycle from London to Brighton today all for the charity ‘Sands’. A top bloke who has been through a lot this year with his wife and it makes me happy to know that the money I’ve also raised for ‘Sands’ for their cause will help other amazing people like the two of them. Hope Nikki has enjoyed applying the sudocream for you this evening!
To read about why Martin (or myself) started these challenges visit either of our just giving pages: