Billed as the hottest day of the year and we thought we’d gear up and run a marathon.
We followed a “beginners marathon plan” pulled from the internet and set about following it. Split into 26 weeks, with rest days, short miles, fartleck (run/walk) and long miles.
We started from zero miles and the plan peaked to 20 miles!! You need to dig deep, to have that motivation to lace up your running shoes whilst everyone is in bed and it’s pissing down with rain. But the road to getting there by following the plan made it easier, it was bite size chunks. We could visualise what we needed to achieve. It was just a case of actually doing it.
In honesty, we really started the marathon training with 16 weeks to go. After Christmas, the New Years lull and after the Fan Dance, January was when the plan became life.
Early early morning runs and late treadmill runs to achieve this and I’m not going to lie, it was hard. Balancing work and family life was where things became tricky. But the goal never changed, we just needed to adapt to what life threw at us.
Getting up at arse o’clock before work, still pitch black, with a head torch does wonders to your sanity. You know what mileage you need to run, but sometimes it was a constant brick wall putting one foot in front of the other. The constant need for a pee, even though you’ve just done one before you the left the house. Or the constant feeling that you’ve wet yourself as you have no pelvic floor!! All plays tricks on your mind when you’re training.
Getting outside to run was tricky with a little one. With Gandolf and his little merry men keeping you company, a lot of training was done on the treadmill and it was lonely as hell. Running in the evening on the dreadmill whilst your baby sleeps, is a slow burner. Struggling to maintain form so your feet don’t pound too loudly to wake him up. Running with your shoulders back to avoid your back from doubling over. There was a lot to think about. You have to really motivate yourself. Constantly battling with your thoughts of not quitting and just have an early night or just stop there, you’ve run enough miles now.
Following countless physio appointments, you realise that running is brutal. It’s hard on your body. The affects of training and running the actual marathon have reverberated throughout our life. Whilst we can only hope it’s not anything too damaging and can be managed through stretching, rolling and rest days, it does make you wonder, is it all worth it?
The first half of the race was a blur to be honest. But we were hitting good mileage splits. Shit got real when we hit the industrial estate and they had run out of water!! We couldn’t believe it. What do you mean, you have no water?? The hottest day of the year and the organisers didn’t have enough water for their runners. Poor show!!
We couldn’t let that ruffle our feathers, but it was a rude awakening to how dire it was. We shuffled through, ticking up the mileage and headed back onto the promenade. Music on and it was our only escape to desperately get to that the finish line.
We could hear screams and it was our amazing family and friends, we were metres to crossing that finishing line. We embraced and seeing that putting in all that hard work to get there, it was so worth it!! The sacrifices, the tears, the slow snail shuffling, the fuck off I am trying arguments. It was all worth it. It really was.
It was a journey and a challenge that kick started the beginning of more adventures with Team U.K. Rogue