Marathon, Marathon, Marathon!
That’s kind of what the final days leading up to my fourth Marathon have been like. It’s the only thing going through my mind a lot of the time, the only thing that I can occupy my mind with. I’ll play through the last four months of my life in my mind over and over again. I’ve done all the normal things you know, ran quite a few times a week, gradually increased the distance and pace then eased myself off towards the end of training yet for some reason this whole process has felt a bit foreign.
My body has changed, I’ve lost my Christmas weight (1 stone) and got a fitter . I have changed, I’m a different person now than when I started training. This has been the first time that running has felt like a burden for me.
I’ve always enjoyed it before but these last few months I haven’t looked forward to many of my training runs. I’ve just wanted to get them out of the way. Maybe I cut too many things out this time. Each time I run a Marathon I cut out some sort of food that I like while I train. For Brighton I gave up Alcohol, Biscuits, Cakes, Chocolate and Ketchup (I normally have all of these things in great excess, trust me!) and it’s drove me slightly insane. At first I coped without Alcohol by having a lot of soft drinks and then I got out of control and would regularly have about three a day. No cakes? I’ll just get a Croissant then…I started having those twice a day. There’s a pattern here. Lent came around and the only natural thing to do was give up these things that I’m having too much off, out with the soft drinks and pastry then.
That’s not it though. I’m a 23 year old man, I can deal with eating a certain way. Why was running a burden?
I got two jobs at the end of January working with Trim and Fivefootsix respectively. Suddenly I went from moping around the house that I have lived in my whole life to hardly being there and being out working, contributing to society for the first time in two months. Suddenly I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands and that’s what changed this time around. I’m out of the house from 9am to about 9:30pm which doesn’t leave much time to run, thus making it a burden. It’s a pretty crappy situation when you have the whole day to think about a run that you feel is getting in the way of things. Maybe that’s why I like to run in the morning on the weekends, I’m running before my mind and body even know what’s going on, negative thoughts don’t have the time to gather together in the corner of my head and grow themselves into a problem.
I’ve never wanted to stop running though, it may seem like a huge 10 mile burden in my day sometimes but deep down I know two things. Running makes me happy and I love it.
And you know what? We do crazy things for what we love.