Reading and weeping and fearing the DNF

I’ve been a massive pansy this week.

Following my elation at another 10 mile run in the bag, despite utterly shite weather (I’ve had drier baths…) my shin-issues (I’ve fondly dubbed them shissues) reared their ugly and frankly unwelcome heads and kept me awake and in tears most of Monday night. I rested last night and will be seeing my doctor tomorrow so she can have a good prod and hopefully diagnose something easy to fix and not detrimental to the rest of my training.

The thing is, I am DESPERATE to enjoy this chapter in my life. I’ve always been one for having a good time and took on this challenge (understatement) to test myself not just physically, but mentally too. So keep those fingers crossed that I’m not whisked off for immediate amputation.

As research, I figured I’d start reading blogs by others who have run marathons as beginners and as seasoned pros.

There have been tears.

Mostly because it’s beginning to dawn on me just how huge this is. I knew it would be hell and that finishing a marathon is a massive achievement. But I’m actually excited. Excited to excel at training and enjoy the experience of running a marathon. So please let my leg get better.

Here are a couple that I read and enjoyed:

This week I learned that on May 25th I will be put in a pen. I had about 6 emails from EMF asking for me to confirm my predicted finishing time. (I’ve gone for a realistic first time marathon runner, former fat-arse pace of 5 hours). I will be released, presumably with a few hundred similarly paced others, like cattle at a bull-run.


I also learnt about the entirely horrifying Sweeper Bus. This sounds like something from a Philip K Dick novel and I will be doing everything possible to stay ahead of its tentacles. I don’t want to be popped into its belly and driven at a 6.5 hr pace through the crowds.

I read an account of a seasoned and accomplished runner who, after FINALLY qualifying for the VLM, crashed out with a high temperature at mile 19 on race day and ended up with the dreaded DNF. (

Worst. Nightmare.

Let’s all think positively and get my leg better so I can get back out there and stop sitting on my arse eating Jaffa cakes.


3 thoughts on “Reading and weeping and fearing the DNF

  1. As someone who is trying tread the same treacherous blob-to-athlete path I totally share your pain, in more ways than one!

    I have every confidence you’ll get there. Look after your legs, keep properly hydrated, don’t skimp on the stretches and gradually increase your distance.

    A bit of shin pain is normal and you’d have to be very unlucky to have done any real damage. You’ll be fine.

    Best of luck with the training. Best of luck with the marathon. Most of all I hope you enjoy the whole experience and get as much pleasure out of it as I have.

    PS. My legs fucking kill x

  2. Thanks for the link to my blog, though I feel very guilty to have stressed you out with my mournful DNF story. Most of my marathons have been much more successful! Congrats on your training and racing success and thanks for sharing it – inspiring stuff.

    All the best


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