I get a monthly subscription to Runner’s World. It comes the old fashioned way, through the post, in a pretty plastic wrapper once a month.
On the cover is usually a person who is running along. Chances are that that person is not actually “running” though I do know first hand that photo shoots can be exhausting nonetheless. The fitness model is usually staring ahead, mid-stride, determination on their face. Their clothing is perfectly coordinated, their hair slicked back as if the wind was hitting it just right. 
To be clear, this is nothing what I look like when I run.
I’ve started week one of sixteen. Most marathon training plans are sixteen or eighteen weeks. Up until now I’ve been just getting back into the swing of things: More time at the gym; Short runs around the the office; Runs to work; More pain on the pole (let me tell you of the hell that is “20s” sometime). But now I have to take things seriously. Commit to mileage. Respond to everyone asking what I’m doing this weekend with the words, “Running.” Download several hundred episodes of Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me.
The funny thing is, even though this is my third time to the marathon rodeo… Even though I’ve trained for (I think) fourteen or so half marathons…. Even though I’ve run countless 5 and 10ks…
It still royally sucks to get going again.
On the first weekend run I couldn’t remember where I put anything, and I still forgot things once I left and was too far gone to turn around and come back. My minutes per mile, which was with a pack, were fine, but it all felt unfamiliar. I also went to my first pilates class ever, which was both awesome and terrible. Awesome because it worked areas that I needed to have worked and terrible because it worked areas that I needed to have worked.
They say that you never forget how to ride a bike once you learn… which is sort of true. I hadn’t ridden a bike in years and when I moved to Oxford I was forced to. I spent the first week crashing a lot but after awhile I got the hang of it. So let’s hope the saying sticks… That once you run a marathon you never forget. Though, to think of it, I must forget something because I have a tendency to keep signing up for these things.
Oh yes, please donate to me so I have no choice but to train.
 You probably think I don’t like Runner’s World. Quite the opposite, in my opinion it is the most complete runner’s magazine out there. I recommend it if you are starting out or want to keep up to date with running. And maybe, one day, I’ll be on the cover… wind in my hair… perfectly coordinated outfit flowing in the breeze…
I think it’s truer to say “the moment you finish a marathon, you instantly forget the pain” . I was telling myself “never again” as I completeled the last 100m of the Brighton marathon last year. Within 24 hours I’d signed up again – What pain??
I like it when I get to the point where half marathons are “quaint.” That’s when I know I have fully crossed to crazy.
This is funny… I’m training for my first marathon now, and looking forward to training for more in the future…. Definitely a lesson in making the commitment and sticking with it.
Do. Your. Training. Even when it stinks. Even when you don’t want to. (Only exceptions – you are sick or injured!) You do that and you will finish… and then likely sign up for another one…