Two words I seem to have heard a lot over the last year or so. And lately, as the days have been growing shorter and the weather more Scottish, I’ve suddenly found myself asking it too.
The biggest #butwhy moment since Marathon came on Tuesday evening, after swimming, head full of chlorine and swim-buzz, as I set my alarm for 05.30 the next morning. To go for a run. Hilarious. What in the name of fuck has happened to me.
So. Why 5.30am, you ask? Good bloody question…
Because, basically, I have a full time job, and if I want to be serious about this Triathlon lark, come January, I’ll have to double up on at least 2 days a week to get the miles in the bank. So it’s better to get used to it now than have to face that prospect for the first time on a freezing cold morning midway through a Scottish winter.
I’m often asked why I bother with all of this. I’m asked by people who want to do it, and people who absolutely definitely hella-no don’t. When I talk to anyone about Marathon training, it’s like I drift up and out of my body, listen to my chatter about ruined hip-flexors, lateral tendon damage, thickened connective tissue, posterior tibialis pain, 4 hour runs at 7am on a Sunday, exhaustion, 2 week throat infections, lethargy, corns, back pain and migraines and think…. YOU FUCKING WEIRDO, THAT SOUNDS SHIT.
You are correct if you think that.
But…… Then I remember how it felt to cross the line. And how it will feel next time I run a marathon knowing that all the little niggles are normal and not scary and it’s just me getting stronger and then I get a medal and free stuff and beer. I also have the pleasure of knowing that I am awesome. (And so modest) I raised £1300 in the end for Maggie’s Centres which is phenomenal (Again, THANK YOU!). I ran 26.2 miles (I did have to limp a few though of those, granted). I pushed through that pain and fucking DID IT.
So. You can do it to, you know. It’s not easy, I promise you, but it’s worth putting on your to do list if you can commit the time and balls. (not just determination. Actual balls of steel. It’s a sodding long way to run.)
To the people who might want to do it but are not sure if they can… I trained myself to complete a marathon. It took me fucking ages to finish it, but I finished it and didn’t come last and I got a medal and an ice cream and the knowledge that I CAN push myself to achieve things which previously I thought impossible. And if a 12 stone TV addict with a penchant for mini cheddars can do it, YOU can too.
For those who absolutely do NOT get it and don’t ever want to run a marathon: I used to say that I’d never challenge my body. But I weighed 12 stone 4lbs. I wore size 16 jeans and I thought walking to Sainsbury’s for more Cookie Dough Ben&Jerry’s counted as cardiovascular exercise. Now I look in the mirror after my shower and see the beginnings of abs. I can run for an hour without needing a nap. I can run for an hour and keep going if my hips and knees allow it. I can cycle at fairly high intensity for an hour and a half. Without falling off (mostly). I can swim a mile quite comfortably in one go, and quickly (for a girl). I can do all of those things because I’ve pushed myself just a bit (apart from at 5.30am on a Wednesday. I have to push hard then) but I’ve got off my ass and done it. Now I’m a size 10/12. I weight a smidge over 10st. I no longer hate my reflection. It IS achievable. If running a marathon or doing a triathlon is totally off limits, then why not set another goal? The possibilities are literally endless.
How do I find time around work, travel and life?
I *made* time. You have to. I’m fortunate enough to have evenings and weekends and no kids so my time is my own. But you’d be surprised how much time lying on a sofa and watching Sex and the City (again) took up. I see this as investment in my own self-worth and my future. I don’t want to be 30 and unhappy with my body. Or 50 and unwell because I didn’t look after myself. I want to be proud of me. And I will be!
Thinking about it yourself?
So. Why? Just because I could.
Don’t think. Do. Trainers on. Out the door. Go.