Although I have on occasion tried running, a lap around the park or maybe a quick jog up the road, I had never considered that I would one day begin training to run a marathon. Even 1 mile seemed too far in my mind, let alone over 26! But just a short while ago I stood on a station platform, my train delayed, and I was distracted by a new advertisement – the Chelmsford Marathon 2015. I don’t live in Chelmsford. I don’t play sports. Running? Blurgh.
The idea planted itself firmly in my thoughts. For the entire train journey, throughout my jobs of the day, and when I returned home much later, I wondered. The date of the marathon would mark a year on from when I had been very ill in hospital. I realised then how health, indeed life, should not be taken for granted. They can both so easily be shattered without warning, reason or fairness. I had thought these things before but I hadn’t really known the feeling. That was when I decided to go for it. The marathon would be a strange anniversary of an epiphany.
I downloaded the training plan they sent for beginners and started with the first run. The personal trainer’s online advice was to be able to run for 30 continuous minutes, rather than focus on any distance. I’m quite competitive with myself and decided I would push myself as far as I could go, which turned out to be 4.4miles in 40 minutes.
It may not sound much, but it was VERY difficult. My side was in a stitch for most of the run and my lungs felt like they were bleeding. The hardest part wasn’t the physical challenge, but the psychological walls I had to break down. Or at least, start to break down some of them.
After my first real run today, I feel tired and just a little bit proud. I am ready for the challenge.