Nope. Not me… No siree. I am still somewhat in denial about The Berlin Marathon and being a paid up and accepted competitor and all that… I know I have a place but it seems like a very long way off and I haven’t really admitted to myself that in 6 months time I now plan to do something that I never intended to attempt and run 26.2 miles.
However, there has been a little nagging internal voice that had piped up around the time I finished the Marlow Duathlon a couple of weeks back. “You always run the same route.” it whined, “Always 10-11k. I bet you can’t even run any further you’ve run it so often” it sneered. That coupled with myself and Hauling My Carcass discussing Marathon training plans had given me a bit of a kick up the behind but I definitely wasn’t “training” yet… just attempting a few “longer runs”.
So last Sunday, with the sun shining, I set off on a “longer run” which felt surprisingly good. 18.5kms in a big arcing loop taking in some horrible hills and leaving me weary for the rest of the day. Then, a day working from home mid-week afforded me the opportunity to get out for a lunchtime 10k on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far. It was horrible as I had taken nothing to drink and by about the 5k mark, I felt like my mouth had dried up and my throat was lined solely with dust and pollen.
The weather forecast for this Sunday said that it would be sunny but only 11 degrees… perfect for another long run. But this time, I was not going to be caught out and took with me a bottle of Lucozade Sport. When I set off, I wondered if my optimistic choice of t-shirt and shorts was perhaps a little, erm, sparse for 11 degrees but I soon warmed up, the feeling in my freezing cold hands returned and I hunkered down and enjoyed the relaxed pace of the run. I sort of fancied about 20k, but as I neared 18km, I still felt relatively fresh and thought that it would be a shame to miss out on running a half marathon distance so amended my mental route map to incorporate a couple of loops and turns to bring the final distance to exactly 21.1kms. At 2 hours and 5 minutes, it was never going to set the world alight but has given me a little confidence boost as it proved that 1) I can still run a half marathon on no real training, 2) taking something to drink is probably a good idea on long and/or hot runs and 3) I didn’t feel wretched at the end of it so I may have a little more to give beyond the 13 mile mark. Admittedly, at the end of my run, I didn’t feel like doing another 13 mile lap but that’s what the training is for. And I haven’t started that yet.
Soundtrack to this post: Aswad – Dub Fire