Marathon Training – Chapter 2

It’s eighty four days until race day.

I’m not shitting myself as much as I was last week but I’m still worried how the hell I will run 42.2km without fainting/vomiting/lying in the gutter and crying/dying.

I’m running over 40km each week now and over half of that is in one go on my long run Sundays. My weekends are pretty crap these days as I go to bed early on saturday night and am up early to beat Sydney’s horrendous heat before I set out for my two and a half hour run which is increasing each week by several kilometres.

Then I spend the whole of sunday afternoon on the sofa, doing the bare minimum in terms of parenting because I can hardly move.

My poor husband is doing it tough too as my running is taking up all our time and his weekends are equally shit.

Which makes me wonder why I am doing this to myself. What drives me? I still don’t really understand how I tick, despite the hundreds of hours of therapy I’ve had in my life – I just kind of go with what my head does and I steer clear of the things I know that aren’t good for me (things I have learnt to avoid the hard way).

At the moment my head wants to run, so I run. I have never had a passion for something like I do with my running. It’s not a love like that I have for my family, it’s a passion (for want of a better word).

My long runs give me lots of time to think. It’s a very weird head space to be in when you’re putting your body through something like that. A lot of the time I don’t really feel like I’m running at all. My body just does it and I can natter out stuff in my head or things that are going on in my life and as I get fitter it’s only the last few km’s where I really need to concentrate on physically getting to the end.

I still can’t believe that I am a runner.

I know people don’t believe me, but I have never been an exerciser until I took up running less than a couple of years ago. I mean, no exercise, not even walking. I was very overweight, very unfit, very unhealthy, very unhappy and pretty fucked up if I’m honest.

My solution to it all was to stick my head in the sand during the day when I was busy with the kids and at night I just drank lots of wine.

Nothing changed.

I wanted it to change. I wanted to lose weight as I could see triple digits in my near future. I wanted to stop feeling like I was going to faint when I walked up hills. I wanted to be able to look at photos of my younger self and not feel that stab of self loathing that I’d let myself get this unhealthy. I wanted to be able to buy clothes without having to go to certain stores that stocked my size.

I wanted to like myself again.

But I wasn’t prepared to change. I didn’t know how to. I was comfortable in my sick world. I wanted all the things I hated about myself to change but I wanted the comfort as well.

Isn’t that just the most ridiculous thing?

I knew where I had to start but I couldn’t imagine my life without it. It terrified me because it was then I knew I was dependent on it.

So I gave up drinking.

It wasn’t easy, it took me a long time to do it, I didn’t do it on my own, but I did it.

That was two years ago and I have never been back. Never will.

Fast forward to now and I think that is what drives me to run. I wouldn’t have my running if I hadn’t stopped drinking. I’d still be in my little world of delusion and self hate, wondering how I was ever going to get out of it.

Change doesn’t happen without change.

Those five words are the best advice I could ever offer anyone who thinks they sound like the person I used to be.

Keep running. If you don’t already, start .. If I can, you can.





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