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A little run

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I’ll try and keep this short. Since leaving University 13 years a go I’ve been getting fatter. And generally not very healthy. It would be fair to say I started running to reduce the beer belly.

Getting the runkeeper app was a key development; my endeavours went from occasionally trotting aimlessly for a little while (then feeling very smug for the next month or so before doing it again) – to actually trying to improve times, distance and improve on routes taken. Stats and Maps. Pure crack.

I did a couple of runs (10k) in 2011, and a half marathon in early 2012. This felt good, and it followed my simple logic that the further I run the more beer belly is burnt off. The day after the 2012 Brighton Marathon I signed up for 2013. Stupid Boy.

It turns out a Marathon is more than just two half marathons. Once you’ve got used the to distance of a half marathon, you can pretty much do it as required.

Marathons are different. Unless you are a freak (or ‘athlete’ as some people call them) your body can not store enough energy (carbs, glycogen) for a whole marathon, even with carb loading before hand. This is what they call hitting the wall. Walking or resting will make no difference, like a battery, if you are out of energy your stuffed.

As I’ve trained for the marathon, I’ve noticed this a lot, things get tougher soon after 14 or 15 miles. Every step is painful, a slight change is step (a curb, twisting your head to see if it is clear to cross a road) is painful. Stopping is painful. Starting again is almost impossible.

With the bad weather this year I’ve done a number of long runs in the dark, cold, rain and – above all – wind. It’s oddly lonely, you can start running in rush hour and finish when people are going to bed. A number of times I’ve not reached my planned distance.

Most training plans suggest doing a few runs of about 20 miles up until two/three weeks before the marathon. This I have done, the last and furthest in particular was hard, I hit 20 miles some way from home but had to instantly stop, and then take tiny slow steps back to my flat (it was very cold, very wet, very windy, woe is me). How could I do 26 more?

Tomorrow I find out. I haven’t been perfect, I haven’t been out 6 times a week like many training plans suggest, and haven’t worked out the exact amount of carbs I should be eating each day or anything like that. And I’m afraid right up until the last week I was eating and (plenty) drinking.

I want to finish this. I have no idea how i will do. If I can do 4hour 40 mins I will be happy (for reference I can do a half marathon in under 2 hours). These last two weeks have been odd, I feel like I’ve lost all I could do two weeks a go, I’m pretty sure tomorrow I will run a few miles and then want to stop with a stitch.

If you fancy it, and only if you do, no pressure  please do sponsor me a small amount, everything if very much appreciated and I’ve found it very touching to see all the people who have done so so far.