I’ll tell you something for nothing: running is hard.
Really, really hard. Give me a 100 mile cycle any day of the week. I’d even take a 100 mile cycle with a headwind over running 10 miles.
I’m currently in training for the London Marathon, and have been steadily building up my runs since December. In the beginning, I could barely run for the bus, but now the last five runs I’ve done have all been over 13 miles.
I had the Big One this weekend. My first ever 20 miler. I’d ran 18 miles the weekend before, but in my head 20 miles seems so much more. This is possibly because this is a real milestone in training – I’m just over a month away and I’m unlikely to run much further before the big day. I’ve got a 22 miler planned for this weekend, but once that’s done I’ll start to taper.
It’s also a bloody long way. A really bloody long way. I’ve been really slow and steady during my training, averaging 12 minute miles – I’m not going for speed; simply crossing the line will be glory enough for me.
Spending upwards of four hours on my feet is a daunting prospect.
So, Sunday ticked round and after a healthy dose of procrastination, I set off to conquer 20 miles. Almost instantly, I developed a nasty headache. This was within the first two miles – and for a time I wasn’t sure if I should turn back. The pain was over my left eye and starting to spread down my left shoulder, which is a sure sign that a migraine is on the way. After a frantic text conversation with my best mate, I decided to pop into Sainsbury’s to pick up some extra strength pain killers and a lucasade. A winning combination if I do say so myself.
Now, this is where I’m about to reveal my true nature. The pain killers got me comfortably round to the ten mile mark, at which point I could have had
the option to turn round and get on the over ground home. But no. My stupid brain started to whisper ‘It’s only three miles back to Mile End. You could get on the tube there…’. Once at mile end, it was only another three miles to Angel, and once at Angel, well, it was only another three miles… you get the picture.
So, rather than listen to my body, I listened to my idiotic, competitive brain. I ignored my ten years of migraine experience, and pushed through the pain to run 19.2 miles (I’m rounding up to 20 as DID YOU SEE HOW WINDY IT WAS THIS WEEKEND).
And somehow I’ve managed to get off scot-free! Apart from a niggle in my lower back and left shoulder – I’m feeling utterly fantastic! And I feel on top of the world that I’ve hit such a milestone. So for once, and this is not something I would recommend AT ALL, pure stubbornness and stupidity has won.
Got some pennies to spare? I’d really appreciate a sponsor, no matter what size.
Oh, and if you’re wondering – I’m ‘Boobies’ in the group chat…..