Mid life marathon training tales – with bonus horoscope feature !

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It turns out that those of us with star sign Capricorn are sure-footed late developers. I am definitely given to a bit of pondering and weighing up of options on significant decisions before jumping right in – but whether this is written in the stars or just how I am depends on how much store you may put on astrology and other unscientific interpretations of life.

Astrology aside, in a rare impulsive moment ( following a year-long debate with myself), I signed up for a marathon. I don’t want to fully admit to going through a bit of a mid-life wobble – but how else to explain why I voluntarily forked out £ 55 to let me run for many hours covering a distance of 26.2 miles on my own 2 feet ?

I have no idea !!!

Having running as my hobby of choice for 8 years, I have often thought that a marathon was maybe something I should really do at some point – a natural progression as it were. But when discussing the marathon experience with fellow runners – I can’t say it got a ringing endorsement !

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And unfortunately as a moderately experienced runner and reluctant competitor – when it comes to thinking what taking part in a marathon might entail – I do not have the benefit of blissful ignorance. Not for me that unfettered happiness, or joyful optimism of just setting out to ‘do a marathon’ with no insight as to how shit I might feel before the end.

I have run a few half  marathons – and I know and remember how tough it can be to keep running for a long time in a race and just how much you have to dig deep to find mind tricks to help you cover the distance. Maybe if you are a proper runner who runs a 10 miler daily as a small ‘amuse bouche’ of your running diet , or you are a dedicated competitor who loves winning above pain – then this overrides any negative self talk.

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But as I am neither of these, each time I have completed a half marathon – at around mile 10 or 11- I think ‘I am not doing this EVER again’ followed quickly by the recognition that of course to get to the end  I just need to keep going for about 25 or more minutes or the equivalent of just one ‘December run’ or I try to break it down to how many songs in 3 miles  – 7, 8 ?

Then of course as I cross the finish line, I experience  a level of euphoria that is hard to convey – but never at that point have I had a desire to just loop back and do it all again.

But as the most excellent Erica Jong said – Feel the Fear and do it anyway, and so I am 🙂

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Notes

I am signed up for the inaugural Stirling marathon on May 21st – if I finish it I am guaranteed a PB and if I get the marathon bug ( unlikely ) I could be one of those folk who do it every year until I crumble into a crinkly heap.

To help me make this big leap – I am working with Sally at fitnaturally who is providing a training plan and to be honest she has helped me have the confidence to even contemplate this big challenge.  I will  be writing about my ventures into this new territory.

 

 

 

7 thoughts

  1. I am also a 1 marathon runner ( though I will do another one sometime). I started running at 55 and only run for my own enjoyment, not interested in speed, and enter races only if they are likely to be enjoyable. I ran my only marathon by accident (see my blog for details) and discovered that the bits of my body which hurt and the HM point didn’t hurt any worse after that, it was just a question of keeping going. I am nothing if not stubborn! Enjoy the process as much as the event itself.

  2. I thin, and hope, you’ll found out new reasons for why you’re choosing to do this and why you run and what you get out of both. That’s what Sally helps to give people, which is obviously more than just the brilliant individual training plan she’s writing. It’s hard to explain, but I think it’s to do with the way she motivates you by asking certain questions, not so much about you but of you. Any way, it’s hard to explain, but I know you’re in very good hands and I’m excited for you as well as for myself, as it sounds like there will be more blogs to read 🙂 Happy running! Khara

    1. Hi Khara
      I know what you mean and yes – Sally has a gift of helping you find your own motivation. I feel very lucky to have met her and all the fab fitnat community, it gives me an extra strength somehow. Thank you for your very kind comments about my blog – am hoping that marathon training will also help me restart that somewhat intermittent habit 🙂

  3. You’ve got this! You’re going in with a decent base and a realistic sense of what you’ll need to do. Just remember to pat yourself on the back along the way — don’t wait until you’ve crossed the finish line for that. In my experience (which only includes one marathon), there are many mini-accomplishments, marathons of their own, along the way, and those deserve to be celebrated as well.

    1. Thank you – and good advice to enjoy the mini successes along the way- as one week into training, I am already learning new things around different ways of running. And of course following a structured plan !

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