The thing about training for a marathon is that the hard work starts long, long before you turn up at the start line with butterflies in your stomach. Every article I have read has stressed that there is no getting around the fact that if you want to run 26.2 miles, and still do something resembling walking the next day, you have to put in the miles in training.
Which sounds very simple. And would be in an ideal world.
The reality is that your precious Sunday off work is taken up with a three and a half hour run in the rain and the wind. You get home from work, fit to drop from the most trying of days to be faced, not only by the fact that your family needs feeding, helping with homework, talking to but also the fact that despite the fact that it is raining (again) and starting to get dark, you need to go out and run seven miles. You fret about the one or two training runs you have missed because, having been on your feet until 9.30pm at work, you just could not face going out for a run in the dark and the rain. Convincing yourself that if you blow up at 18 or 20 miles on 'the big day' it will because you were at Open Evening helping year six pupils make squeaky pops! You worry even more when you have 'a bad run!' One of those runs where everything hurts, you can't find a rhythm, you are slower than a snail and infinitely less graceful!
I am sure it will all be worth it when (note the optimisim!) I cross that finish line. I do wish I was totally injury free, and had a chance of getting a decent time. If I was to finish in about 4 hours (which is where I was aiming for before I hurt my foot) I think I might be happy to leave it at that and never run a marathon again. I suspect that, if I get a poor time I will be tempted to prove I can do better. We shall see!
In the meantime I have the Royal Parks Half on Sunday - the morning after a ball the night before! Great planning!! I'll be happy with 2 hours or thereabouts - much slower than last year, but I don't want to do too much damage! If you want to sponsor me, and please please do because I am running for UNICEF, click HERE!!