Right. What you are about to experience is going to suck.
But you’re also going to love it.
How do I know? Because this is my third marathon.
Third. THREE. I’ve done this, on Sunday, THREE TIMES.
And I can tell you, you are going to ride one heck of a roller coaster. You will have moments of joy, moments of despair, and moments of crazy… and those moments could all happen all at the same time.
You may at some point be passed by a person dressed as a beer, or pulling a pile of bricks, or dressed as a beer pulling a pile of bricks.
Embrace that because that’s the London Marathon.
Embrace that what you are about to do is completely insane. 100% mental. But comfort yourself in that there will be 35,000 completely insane people doing it with you at the same time. You will be cheered on by hundreds of thousands of people in London and abroad. You’ll all be headed towards the same goal together – to finish the London Marathon which is one of the top marathons in the world.
And when you finish (which you will) you can tell everyone you are a marathoner. No one can take that away from you. Not even the person dressed as a beer.
So count your gels, get all weird about what socks you are going to wear, and get ready to have some sort of crying fit at mile 22 – cause it’s on people.
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Well, I’ve begun.
This of course means I’ve gotten a cold immediately and have had to readjust my schedule.
I’ve always sort of questioned the marathon training season as it falls into “awful winter season” and ends, usually on the day of the marathon, with either the hottest, coldest, or rainiest day on record (take your pick).
“But,” you say, “You’ve willingly taken this sort of thing on more than once, didn’t you know this is what is going to happen?”
Yep. But I can marvel at the madness of it all much like some people marvel at the fact that the sun keeps managing to rise every day… except for those people who live in places where the sun doesn’t at certain points of the year.
So yeah, I’ve adjusted my schedule down slightly but otherwise have stayed on track. As I’m in the “running for running’s sake” portion of the training I’m not too fussed. One of the things I’ve picked up on is that my body, outside of the cold, is pretty cool with running more regularly after the first week. The first week it was like, “&*%*!!!” (exact words) but after that it was fine.
And so I enter into November. For fun I’ve again signed up for Nanowrimo, which means that I will be writing a marathon while training for a marathon. This is because I welcome both mental and physical pain, obviously.
I’ve also managed to get close to halfway for my initial fundraising goal, which is a guilt fuel. (Thank you to those who have already donated – and to the mystery donor who jumped me to my halfway point!) Remember, every pound you donate results in me putting on my shoes and pounding out the miles whether I want to or not.
Until next time!
Tomorrow will mark my third attempt to get into the London Marathon.
Three times, hopefully lucky.
It’s odd as I never really thought (before the age of 30 I should say) that I would ever become dedicated, even attached, to the notion of one day running the London Marathon. Considering that I have run a marathon, and several very large half marathons before, to be fixated on one particular race is a bit awkward for me.
Perhaps it is because it is selective. Take for instance the Boston Marathon, a marathon I will most likely never qualify for. People work years to get into the Boston Marathon, because it is the Boston Marathon. A race that has history, depth, might, glory. London is sort of my Boston, because it has so much around it. I know, when I make it in, there will be thousands of people who run just like me, so I can expect, even practice on the crowded Oxford streets, the heat and pace. I’ve spectated it, so I am familiar with the never-ending crowds and water stations longer than some races are. I am fully and totally aware that I am entering into a complete asinine situation.
And yet, I want this.
I want it because I can say I did it, because I know I will do it, because I know – as a marathoner – that once you finish a marathon no one can ever take it away from you. Thing is, I know I want to run more marathons – many well away from London – but it is the notion, the thought, the idea of London that keeps my applying every year since I moved here.
So, tomorrow I do it again. And if I don’t get in, there will be next year. And the year after that. But one of these times it will be my turn.
And I will finish. And they won’t take it away.
Once more, once more.
Into the breach, once more.
The ballot has opened,
the process begun.
Into the London Virgin Mara..thun.
Will I get in? The world will find out in October. Mark your calendars, say your prayers. This year is a white jacket of rejection – and – considering that the color white and rejection are usually not associated – here is to hoping.