Forgive me for sounding just a little negative amongst all the excitement but I just want to bring up a rarely spoken about topic. Something that might be unexpected and out of character and could catch you unawares. If you’ve had a little warning you can stop this pesky thing in its tracks so let’s just take a bit of time to discuss it, after all being forewarned is being forearmed.
So, the enormity of my double marathon challenge is starting to hit home. As I was struggling for energy in the latter stages of the 261 Women’s Marathon in Mallorca I was searching for positive thoughts to banish all the negative ones that kept popping into my head. At one point I was thinking, “Keep going, you never have to do this again”, that seemed to help until it dawned on me that I would in fact be repeating the ordeal in 7 weeks time.
I couldn’t wait to blog about my magical weekend in Mallorca. It wasn’t just the fact that I ran a personal best time in the marathon I competed in; it was so much more than that.
I recently posted a silly photo of me on Twitter wearing a surgical mask and bubble wrap as protection against germs and knocks during the week before my marathon. I won’t actually be sporting that outfit (!) but I will be taking some extra care of myself. You spend weeks religiously following a training programme, pushing yourself, making sacrifices and it’s a real shame if it all goes wrong at the final hurdle. I always say the hardest part of running a marathon is getting to the start line healthy, uninjured and ready to run. Here’s my advice for what to do in those last few days.
When I became a runner I found my eyes drawn to people’s feet to check out their trainers. A similar thing happened when I was shopping for my first pushchair. Suddenly they’re everywhere and you become acutely aware of the diversity; the colours, the models and the matching accessories. The choice can feel overwhelming.
I lined up for my first marathon in London in 2013, nervous but excited. I was well prepared and I was confident I could finish. I was very well aware however that my journey to the start line did not begin at week 1 on my training plan 16 weeks previously. No, it began in 1967 when a lady called Kathrine Switzer shivered on the start line in Boston in her baggy grey tracksuit.