I know, I know! After the monumentous running failure of my last half marathon (OK, so not a complete and utter fail…I did finish it after all!) after which I declared I would never, ever, EVER run a half marathon again, I suddenly find myself having…signed up to another.
So what on earth has possessed me to put myself through the hideous pain and torture all over again?
If You Fall Off A Horse Get Right Back On
There’s that saying isn’t there that if you fall off a horse, the only way you’re gonna get back on it is if you do it straight away, and well I can’t help but think that this is true of me. I hated that half marathon, literally detested it, but if I don’t give it another shot then I’ll never know. Maybe I was just having an off day…? Maybe it’s because it was a ‘race’…? Or maybe, and most likely, it was because I’d already decided in my head that it was going to be horrible…? Whatever the reason, I need to dust myself down, swallow my pride and ‘wo’man up.
The Big 4-0
So this year it’s my big birthday, the big 4-0, and rather than celebrate with a party I decided I wanted to do something with a bit of a challenge, conquer something if you like. Now, I know you could argue that if it’s something I’ve done already then it’s hardly a challenge, surely I should be signing up for a marathon…But here’s the thing, conquering that half marathon IS a challenge for me, certainly a mental one and if I’m gonna have a mid-life crisis in public (‘cos I’m starting to think that’s what this might be 😉 ) then I want to at least have it during something I think is vaguely achievable.
Are You Taking The Mickey?
Which leads me on to Disney…yep ‘cos signing up to just any old half marathon seemed at bit dull really, so myself and a friend (who’s also turning 40 this year) have signed up to the Disneyland Paris half marathon in September. I mean already it’s something to get excited about right? Three days at Disneyland – ALL the fun, ALL the rides, girly break…and yeah there just happens to be a long run at the end of it…what of it!?! My theory is, that if I don’t enjoy a race that involves stopping for selfies with Disney characters then hey a half marathon just ain’t for me, and I’ll lay my running gauntlet down and admit defeat there and then.
The thing that let me down most the last time was without doubt my inner chimp – he was horrible to me, telling me I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t make it to the finish, I was holding people up, I was too slow…blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But I tell you what, I’ve come a long way since then and this girl does NOT get beaten by some manky old monkey! No siree, I’ve learnt a few techniques that have helped me show that chimp who’s boss and yes he does occasionally start rattling the bars of his cage to be let out, and yes sometimes he does manage to escape, but thanks to my stronger mind frame now, trust me he isn’t out for long. As crazy as it sounds, if I hear those chimpy taunts starting up in my head I start to visualise my monkey running around me, hanging down from the trees, popping his head out of drains. Then, just like some 90s video game, I start taking him out with banana boomerangs, until he retreats across the fields…defeated. If nothing else it kills a bit of time, during which I’ve run a bit further, but mostly it’s about me being in control. It’s about me recognising when my moments of weakness are and battling on through it like the strong runner I am. See! Look how far I’ve come…I called myself a strong runner. I am READY!
It’s all well and good being mentally prepared, but what about the physical element of it? Well, I’ve only gone and cracked that too! Over the past couple of weeks I’ve opted for the longer runs in the run group that I am part of, which has seen me go from 6 miles, to 10 miles, then 12 miles, before reaching a staggering 15 miles…that’s 2 miles more than half marathon distance. And OK it’s not until September, and I’m going to have to make sure I do this kind of distance in training nearer the time, but having got a couple of distance runs under my belt it’s given me the confidence to realise that my body can do this, my legs are more than capable, I am strong enough.
Because I CAN!
No more words needed 🙂