It’s been fair to say that I experienced something close to the full spectrum of human emotions during training for my first marathon. I reached mammoth highs and crushing lows- it seems like such a cliché, but it’s true. I had moments when I felt like I was soaring, and others where I was a crumpled heap on the ground.
And so, for myself as much as anyone else, here are my training high points.
Getting the ok from my physio
To be completely honest, this was one of the biggest moments- getting the OK to even train. It didn’t really feel like it at the time though- I had to rush off from the physio to the office, and it was only later on that it really occurred to me that I was going to run a marathon- and that wasn’t a pleasant thought by any stretch of the imagination. But having some resolve, after months of uncertainty and injury, was priceless, and gave me the confidence to push ahead during my training.
Completing my first proper tempo run
The first time I did a scheduled, it’s-in-the-plan tempo run was a Tuesday evening, with my running club. We’d agreed to meet early, and head out for 6 miles, 5 of which would be tempo. I was just nervous all day, freaking out at the pace and completely convinced I wouldn’t be able to sustain it, not for 5 miles. But lo and behold, I did! And that feeling of accomplishment- of having done something you thought you couldn’t- was just great.
Winning a race
Or at least, taking first female. At a real life, legit race! Whilst the performance wasn’t anything superhuman, and the race was tough, it was definitely a plus to see my parents get super excited as I took first place female. Winning!
Feeling like a superhero after running 20 miles
Getting back from my 20-miler, and chatting on the phone to my mum, was one of the best feelings. The stars had aligned that day and I had something close to the perfect run. I was achey, exhausted, and a little discombobulated, but I was proud of my achievement.
The perfect birthday dinner
The day after my 20-miler it was the birthday of a really close friend, and we had a dinner party at his house. Knowing that the lion’s share of training was over, and that all I had to do now was taper- well, that just meant I could enjoy some food and wine, and stay out far too late with some of the people closest to me. The food, by the way, was amazing- smokey tuna steak cooked rare, with sweet potato fries and veggies. And then a freakin’ cheese course, which I obviously demolished along with my large glass of wine. I got an Uber home that evening because #iran20milesyesterday. No shame.
Getting a free coffee and a my favourite sandwich
I ran 6 miles at tempo (actually, way over tempo) one lunchtime in February, when the sun was just starting to come back out again, and it felt as though the winter months were a thing of the past. I kinda killed myself in order to make sure I didn’t go over my allotted 1-hour lunch break (changing and showering included), and so when I rocked up at Benugo, my favourite coffee place, for a congratulatory sandwich, the manager looked rather shocked at the state of me. I was red, sweaty, and barely breathing. He insisted I take a coffee and a moment to sit down- and so I did! One iced coffee later and I was good to go- and that coffee tasted fantastic. Something about having earned it!
Getting the feels over Beyoncé in Hyde Park
I headed out for a 13-mile run after work one evening. In the midst of training; I was tired, and it was raining. But I’d recently updated my Spotify playlist, and just as I was headed into Hyde Park, in the dark and the rain, the very stripped-down version of Crazy in Love came on. It’s so haunting and so atmospheric, and it just creschendoed perfectly with my run and the weather. One of those moments of transcendence.
What are the highs of your training season, or running career? Share some inspiration with me!
Lots of love,