Let me take a few seconds…

First, and most importantly, I made it around the course.  Here’s a photo of me in quasi-delirious state (with wild hair pointing out of hat to accentuate the point):

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I even managed, through my mystery angel fabulous donors, to once again break my fundraising goal.

Honestly, I am sitting here a bit stunned that I actually did it.  I’ve completed three marathons.  Me, the girl who once finished a 12 mile race, crawled to her car, crawled into her home and thought, “I’m never going to finish the half marathon.”  Me, the girl who cried the entire last mile of her first half marathon.  I’m now a three-time marathoner.

Some important race things things – I did not have an emotional hiccup on the course!  Those who have read my tales know that it is pretty standard that at some point I cry, but I didn’t.  I worked very hard on my mental state this race.  I also worked on rhythmic breathing, which I literally discovered the night before and so want to work more on because when I got it going I felt like I could go and go!  I spent so much time focused on the breath I frankly didn’t have a moment to think of anything else… so it was like I was marathoning in active meditation mode.   My knee started acting up at mile 23, which meant the last 5k was walking, but I decided to spend it singing so in the end I was probably quite an entertaining thing to witness.

Some important other things – The marathon expo was way improved over 2013 – it felt like a celebration of running and fundraising, which was so much fun.  I scored an extra £5 donation for dancing around like a silly person, but I will not speak of my bowling skills.  Also, the support – wow.  I don’t remember so many water stations, gel stations, paramedics there to assist if you needed them (I didn’t, whew!).  It felt like London showed up in full force to make sure everyone had the best race possible.

And some super important things:

To my friends and family (especially the hubby and the kiddo) – thank you for putting up with me.  I was either out running, talking about running, or doing some form of other training to help my running.

To the National Autistic Society, wow, what can I say?  I felt like I had a whole extended family this time around the course!

And finally, I wish to officially announce I have retired from London… but not marathoning.  I know that people have gone years upon years wanting to run those 26.2 miles and as I have been blessed to experience this twice it is time for me to step aside and let someone else slot in.  As it appears I like to do this every 3 years shall we say Disney 2019?

I think by then I’ll just about have recovered.

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Marathon Training Review, October 2015

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.

I digress.

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!

Running the Numbers

So… I started my marathon training this week.  Tomorrow is my last day of my first week.  I’ve calculated that the training plan and it’s calculated at 28 weeks. This translates into 110 runs of various distances + 28 gym sessions + 28 pole fitness sessions.  If I can swing it right I’m going to attempt my long runs to the gym where, depending on timing, I can possibly hit up 28 yoga sessions over the 28 weeks.

Now, you ask yourself, how was this first week of training?  Was it inspirational?  Joyous? A breeze?

No, not really.

First, I can’t believe how hard running 4 miles is at the moment.  My stomach and legs really aren’t pleased with the whole idea and were really annoyed to find out that I decided to do this run not once, but twice this week.  You should’ve heard them yelling in protest this morning as I commuted into work.

(Well, it was me yelling in protest, but let me tell you: Absolutely no walkers got in my way.  TRAINING TIP: Try screaming, babbling incoherently, or carrying on conversations with your imaginary running friends as you run.  It can really clear the path in busy city centres.)

My legs and stomach are likely going to really freak out with the 2 miles I have planned for tomorrow as well.  But before you go off on one about how I’ll injure myself I am currently “just moving.”  Translate into: Not worried about being fast at the moment. Well, trying not to be.  My little running tracker tells me that I’m currently not only struggling to make 4 miles but I’m also slightly faster than a sloth.

(Hey, did you know I’m fundraising for sloths?  And pandas?  And panthers?  I’m also fundraising for the humans as well.  Check it out!  Give me a fiver!  Guilt me into continuing this madness!)

Thing is, I’m not letting this get me down.  If I were a few days from the marathon and only up to 4 miles, then I would be down.  I started all this super early because the first thing I want to do is build up the ability to endure.  The majority of doing the training is just building up the tolerance so that you can, come marathon day, willingly endure.

But until then I’ll enjoy the funeral marches being played on the Spotify running app, which is supposed to match your tempo to the music.  All being well in a few months time I’ll be up death metal… and lapping that sloth.