Day One Hundred and Seventy Four – You’ve Got To Go There To Come Back

This time tomorrow if all goes to plan, I will have finished my first marathon.

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This week has been by far and away the hardest week in my training. A colleague laughed in my face when I told him this ‘Not running and eating more is harder than getting up at ridiculous o’clock and knocking out a gazillion miles before work’. Yes, I’ll take the miles any day. Instead this week I’ve been left with my mind. I’ve been wide awake at 5am every day this week, thinking things through, wondering if I can do it. I had a good chat with Sarah of the Little Pink Kitchen and very much came to the conclusion that as well as boring everyone stupid with details of every twist and turn of the course, I’ve been over-thinking the race. What tomorrow comes down to is running. I’ll start running, I’ll keep running for 26 miles, and then I’ll stop. Take away the negative splits, the carbo-loading and energy gels. Tomorrow I’m going to go for a run. It’s the longest one I’ll have ever done, but I’ve never been fitter or more ready than this very moment.

Today, my new thing was to take myself to a café and just sit and think. No phones, no books, just me and my head. Thinking about my journey to get to this point. Three things have really helped me along the way

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1) The Couch to 5K podcast. Who would have known that stumbling across a random podcast would have such a dramatic impact upon my life. Non-patronising and massively motivational, I struggled in the first week to jog 60 seconds. Within nine weeks I was running five kilometres. I remember the first time I had to run 20 minutes non stop – it was such a huge deal I wondered if I could do it. Now that seems like a warm up. I just can’t put into words how good this podcast is. If you have any secret ambitions to run, I would strongly encourage you to give it a go.

2) Ben Does Life.

20130420-180301.jpgBen writes an amazing blog about how he’s transformed from a morbidly obese, depressed young man to a multiple marathoner and double Iron Man completer. He made a video which went viral on YouTube and has to be one of the most inspirational things you could ever hope to see. He went on to start the Do Life Movement which has got thousands of people engaged in sport. I sat down a while ago and read his blog from the very start. The way that he stuck his head down and just kept going has been incredible. I had the pleasure of going out to dinner with Ben and his family when they came to London last Spring and took part in one of his ‘Do Life 5Ks’ the next day. Very cool guy

3) Marathon Training Academy.

20130420-180624.jpgAgain, I stumbled upon this podcast on iTunes and fell in love with it. It’s hosted by husband and wife, Angie & Trevor – two normals who find a way to make an hour talking about running the most absorbing thing you could ever hear. Hearing their listeners talk about things like half marathons made me curious to see if I could maybe do one. A few weeks later on a wet and stormy September night, my cursor hovered over ‘Apply’ to the Brighton Half Marathon for a good half hour. Turns out to be probably the best decision I ever made!

So, now I’m trying to stay as calm as possible. I’ve got Rocky and Chariots of Fire lined up to watch tonight. I’ve said this before – I couldn’t be more excited if I tried – wish me luck!

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