At this moment in a week’s time, I’ll be somewhere in Manchester, dragging myself around the streets, trying not to cry or be sick.
That’s right. It’s less than seven days until the Manchester marathon. It’s gone quickly.
Am I ready? Am I bollocks. A combination of Christmas, injury and illness has obliterated my training schedule to the extent that any run I do at the moment is still being classed as a ‘recovery’ run.
It’s almost here…
Good news first. It feels like all injuries, niggling or substantial, have now been and gone. As long as I can stay healthy (and for me, that’s quite the relative term) between now and next Sunday, I reckon I’ll be about okay. If anyone has a cold, flu, TB, bubonic plague or anything else even remotely contagious, feel free to stay the hell away from me for at least another week or so. Strike me down now, and, unlike some people in popular culture, I almost certainly won’t be more powerful than ever.
So that’s the good news.
The bad? Well, it’s all self-inflicted.
I’ve been really struggling recently – not with motivation, but with the literal act of getting my shit together.
Too many mornings I’ve turned off my alarm, more than half asleep, and before I know what’s happened the opportunity to run has gone.
Nutrition wise, I’ve been a nightmare. Each passing day has me swearing that ‘today’s the day’ – no more sandwiches, treats, fizzy drinks and such. Last week I had a dominos pizza, today a creme egg and a can of pop. Chocolate bars, crisps, scotch eggs, milkshakes… I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t know where a Ginsters’ Cornish pastie lays on the lean protein scale, but I imagine it’s somewhere between turkey breast and sea bass. Fuck sake. s soon as I tell myself I’m determined to get my shit together I end up eating anything and everything I can get my hands on. It feels like I’m subconsciously hitting some kind of self-destruct button. Some twisted, dick part of my brain keeps saying ‘you’ll have it sorted by the Belfast marathon – you get yourself that Twix mate’ and I happily listen, squeezing said Twix into my face, if it can get past the crisps that are blocking its route.
So, no more of that please. Tomorrow is another day, and another opportunity to knock silly vices on the head with such little time to go. If you know me and see me in a shop in the sweets aisle, you have my permission to punt me out of the front door. Honest.
Infact, I read a story about a lad who lost a load of weight as his friend text him calling him a fat mess every day for two and a half years. If anyone would like to volunteer for that role with me, that’d be great. All the chocolate recently has left me wondering whether I should be buying a sports bra ahead of Manchester.
Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind donations. I set myself a target of raising £250 for the wonderful people at Clic Sergant and with your wonderful support I’ve reached £300, with another £200 promised if I complete all three marathons. I’m blown away by your kindness – and it will go a long way to helping people who need the kind of support I can only imagine.
Got a few more runs planned before the big day. Nothing too fast or strenuous, would be devastated to get injured at this point, just slow and steady to get the legs up to speed and try to nail my proposed race pace, make sure I know what running at that pace feels like.
I’m pretty confident in my ability to get around the course, despite everything written above, and have decided that I’ll be starting slow. Pretty slow. Slow enough for it to be borderline boring slow. I’d much rather run the last six miles quickly than the first six. Hopefully, as long as I don’t allow myself to get carried away at the start, I’ll be able to retain something in the tank for the end.
No more negativity from here on in. It really serves no purpose. If you know me and we are talking about the marathons, keep it motivational eh? I’ve heard enough of: “oh god it’s such a long way” – “it’s going to hurt so much ” and “you must be mad. It’ll be horrible” for a lifetime. A simple “good luck” would be far more appreciated.
With two of the three race numbers having arrived, everything is getting very real, it’s just up to me now to justify your support, get myself over those finish lines and make the people who matter to me most proud.