October 2012. I’m confused. In fact I’m delirious. I’ve spent the last few slow and painful miles fighting off the urge to cry. About what? I have no idea. All sense has left me and despite the pain I attempt to sprint for the line. Let’s be honest, speeding up from my snails pace isn’t hard but it sends my brain into meltdown. Things blur as I’m shepherded through a marquee to receive my medal. I’m handed a much needed drink and a goody bag then I limp back out into the sun. I’m standing in a field (well a racecourse) surrounded by proud and happy looking people but I only feel confused and alone. Why did I do that to myself? Why don’t I recognise anyone? Relief. Steve, Mum and Alice. Despite being covered in sweat (and the salt left over from the sweat that evaporated 4 hours ago) Alice hugs me and all I can say is “Never let me do that again”.
Over a year on and I’m lying in bed feeling ill and sorry for myself. It’s one of those irritating illnesses, I’m not really ill, I just have a sore throat and no energy. Not bad enough to be off work, but bad enough to stop me doing any exercise. So I’ve done what any sane person does in this circumstance. I cracked out some paracetamol, a pack of brownies and entered a marathon.
That is what everyone else does when they’re ill isn’t it?
I managed a year without another marathon but even a few hours after telling myself I wouldn’t do one again I knew I’d want to. It must have been hard for my teachers at school, I don’t even listen to myself never mind anyone else. Telling myself no had just made it the forbidden fruit. But most of all the challenge of it has some weird and inexplicable appeal to me. It was so hard that I have to do it again. But this time I’ve got to do it better, I’ve got to be quicker. Somewhere deep down where my common sense can’t reach I must be a little self-sadistic.
I might regret it 20 miles in but at least I’ve got my challenge sorted. June is looking a busy month for me. My last warm up event is the Ramathon half marathon on the 8th. The following Sunday (15th) sees the start of my challenge with a 2 mile swim in lake Windemere. Then on Sunday the 22nd I’m cycling 100 miles from Liverpool to Chester, round Cheshire and back. And now my final Sunday will see me drag myself round the Coombe Abbey marathon (thought I should probably mention which one I entered at some point). At least for the final leg I can blame Alice. I asked her never to let me enter a marathon again. Instead she fell asleep next to me whilst I signed up. Cheers for the support.
So June is going to be a tough month and I’m going to need all the help I can get. Yet here I am lying in bed feeling too ill to train. Not a good start. At least I found a pair of pants from the other christmas saying I’m a marathon man, even if I’ve not got the body to prove it just yet.