Wowee, its been 3 years since I left this blog on a cliff hanger! I bet you all thought I'd died or something? I didn't needless to say, I lived to tell the tale and am back here again after a big old break.
The Brighton Marathon seems like several lifetimes ago now, a different era of a younger, fitter and much slimmer me I all but dont recognise any more. The marathon experience was amazing; I completed (and exceeded) the mini goals I set myself:
1. To come in under 5 hours - I just sneaked in at 4:53 but its respectable enough to count!
2. To run all the way round without stopping - I did and found it remarkably easy to do so, in fact I struggled to stop at the end my legs were so used to the same repetitive movement for so long.
Did I have a sense of euphoria? Im not sure, from what I recall I think I thought, "Well thats done now". Bit of a pants reaction and one that just sums me up all over... and has found me in the situation I am in now, having not run, up until 6 days ago, for 2 whole years. I did briefly toy with the idea of doing an Ultra Marathon (mainly because an Ultra is defined as anything over 26.2 miles so I thought I could probably manage 30 miles and it would still count!), but this quickly evaporated as the rigur mortis set into my muscles and bones, which not even a qualified sports masseur could touch. I slept incredibly badly for several days after the marathon. I imagined I'd collapse in a satisfied heap on the bed and sleep heavily and soundly for a good 12 hours, but alas the pain in my muscles was uncomfortable enough to keep me from enjoying my slumber and just made me ratty and horrible to live with. I'm painting a terrible picture arent I? I still find it hard to believe that I actually did it, I'm still not convinced I didn't actually make it all up now.
So what happened to stop me running? I think I came out of the marathon with the wrong attitude and without another goal to focus on, although I still can't imagine what that might have been other than to push myself to complete a further distance. I first became complacent with running, afterall I'd run a marathon so I didnt really need to try, if I wanted to run a couple of miles I could probably do it in my stilettos right? Wrong. I quickly lost the level of fitness I was used to from running 20-30 or so miles a week so it became harder and harder to just slip into an easy run and I did my usual, beating myself up over the failure to complete even the smallest run of a couple of miles or not meeting my split time. Every run became a fail for me and I'm not the sort of person who will allow herself to keep failing at something, so I eventually stopped, my last run taking place on 6th January 2013.
Here I am on 11th January 2015, having completed my first 3 runs this week in exactly 2 years and im starting over. Im 3 years older (and much closer to 40!), I'm 2 stone and a bit heavier (I don't wear it well) and my mental health has seen better days and Im starting my running journey again, for all the reasons I started doing it now 5 years ago, because some things never change. The thing that has to change is my attitude to failure which stopped me from continuing running after the marathon.
I have a couple of mini goals to kick start me; weight loss is a major contributing factor but I'm going to trick myself in to losing weight by focussing on reaching my 1000th Runkeeper mile by the end of 2015. Im at 837 miles which gives me a very doable target of 173 before the year is out (that is, my friends, about 14 miles a month, 3 miles a week). I can do this, and hopefully shed a few unwanted pounds in the process.
I also vow not to leave you on a cliff hanger like that again...