I ran with Vanessa yesterday. I’d had another rubbish week (weekend long run cut short to 7 miles, hill runs session cancelled) so we’d agreed to keep the pace easy. It did the trick. My confidence was restored and, more importantly, I enjoyed it.
It was also very cathartic. Vanessa is a brutally honest person and I admire her and am grateful for that.
We talked about the marathon again . I had already begun to think that I might need to change my goals a bit because I haven’t been able to train as I wanted to the last month or so.
Vanessa asked if I should even be doing the marathon at all.
This is what I have decided after talking things through with Vanessa and then with sarah.
1) the marathon has actually already served a purpose. It got me running again. The fear of it got me out of bed on cold, dark winter mornings. So I’m glad I entered it. Whatever happens.
2) I’ve got nothing to prove. I’ve run a marathon before. I’d like to complete this one, too, but not at any cost. Not if the price is too high.
3) even if (when!) I do complete it, it will be slow! I’ve got to put all secret dreams of 4 and a half hours out of my head. Possibly even 5 hours, too. But that is okay. The important thing is that I can continue to run after doing it.
4) I want to still be able to run after I’ve done the marathon. I want to be running in 6months time. I want to be running this time next year. I want to be running in 10 years time. Running is my sanity check, my ticket out of the house. It makes my world a better place.
5) my half marathon tomorrow is just a long run on the way to the marathon. Its not a race. My main aim is to finish it but to finish in a way that won’t harm me. I need to run slowly. I need to swallow my pride and aim to run as easily as possible.
It pains me to say this but I need to aim to take about 2 and a half hours. This feels like a time I’d be ashamed to tell people about, which is a terrible thing to say. But it’s 40 minutes slower yhan my PB.
But I have to think of the bigger picture. Be brave. Think about what’s best for me not what I think other people think.