I've done it. I have. I've signed up for Paris Marathon. April 8th 2018, I'm coming for you, and I'm bringing Ed along for the ride... Thinking about the idea of running another marathon makes me wince and jiggle with excitement at the same time. I can’t really decide if I’m really looking forward to it or totally bricking it, to be honest. That's the thing about marathons though, they’re FULL of emotion. The training, the anticipation, the race itself, the finish line…they're a massive emotional rollercoasters that pick you up, throw you around, and spit you out the other side feeling slightly worse for wear but with the greatest sense achievement and a lifelong tale to tell. They’re nothing short of a feat. One where you’ll struggle, you’ll smile, you’ll probably cry, and your friends will tell your mental, but it’s your battle, your journey, and your strength and determination that gets you through.
London Marathon 2017 was my first marathon and I loved it. The crowd, the buzz, the adrenaline was all there. I took on Copenhagen Marathon with Ed 3 weeks later and it was so much harder. My legs were weak and I was so much more there mentally, with less of a crowd to drag me along. A few pints afterwards and I forgot the struggle and quickly let myself think it wasn’t so bad. (That’s the other thing with marathons, you forget the low bits pretty fast…!) I never said I wouldn’t do another one, and in my head, even waking up the day afterwards, I think I always new I’d do another one in 2018.
Truth is, I love having a focus. I’m not a fast runner and I’m not gunning for a great time. It’s more about the process, the training and the mindset for me. I like having something to work for. Something I know I need to get out the door on a Sunday morning for. Something that forces me to run home on a cold February night and makes that glass of wine taste so much better. Training and building on my distance week on week makes me feel invincible, conquering hurdles and giant milestones that only I need to know about — and that’s something that should resonate with anyone training for any length of race: it’s about you, it’s your race, they’re your milestones. It helps too that marathons tend to fall around April/ May, so that your longest training runs give purpose to those cold, miserable winter weekends, and that by the time summer hits, you’re still buzzing with pride.
So whilst right now, before the training schedule really hits, I’m kind of tingling with nerves and my stomach flips if I think too hard, I know that I’ve got all the real feels still to come. Paris. Marathon. Let’s do this.