At the end of a busy term, I look back over the past couple of months and wonder how I’ve managed to keep this running lark up. But then again, I’ve had a plan all along – to tell people I’m running a marathon, then they keep asking me how it’s going, so I have to do some running to have something to update them on. And its worked (so far) – win! My pride would not allow me to back out now. It’s all or nothing.
I was doing a little bit of research recently about the marathon and looked up how many ballot applications there were this year, and found this out… 125,000 applications for the ballot were made in less than 12 hours! I have to say, I was not expecting that! I was clearly not the only one who set a reminder on my phone to apply as soon as it opened. I clearly didn’t think through the fact that as soon as I clicked ‘apply’, it did in fact give me the tiniest chance of getting a place. And that tiny chance could actually become a reality. I will keep reminding myself of this when I want to give up…124,999 other people wanted this place, but I got it. Don’t stop.
As some of you know (I keep raving about it) I’ve been reading Marathon Running for Mortals. There are some great words of wisdom in it, and anyone planning on or in the process of training for a marathon MUST read it! I am not an avid reader by any stretch of the imagination, but I have loved reading this brilliant mix of invaluable advice, personal anecdotes and good humour.
For those of you who don’t have time/patience/energy to read it, here are a few quotes that I enjoy…
- If you’ve got this far [starting the race], if you are standing in the pack at the start of your goal race, you have already accomplished more than most. Take the time right there and then to congratulate yourself. For you, and the for the hundreds or thousands of other participants, the party is just about to begin.
(NB. I might wear a party hat at the start of the marathon, you never know…)
- Don’t try anything new on race day. Don’t try anything new on race day. Whatever you are feeling during race week, it’s normal. Don’t try anything new on race day.
- When you get to the race site, immediately get into the portable-toilet queue. I’m not joking. Do not stop to talk. Do not look around for friends. Make a bee-line for the portable toilets. I don’t care how often you go to the toilet before you leave the hotel; you are going to need to go again before the race starts. Don’t take any chances. Get in the queue. When you’ve got to the front of the queue, then got in and out of the portable toilet, get back in the queue again. Trust me on this one. Stay in the portable toilet queue until you have to line up for the race.
- Mile 20 is ‘the wall’. For many runner and walkers, this is where the marathon starts. As a friend of mine used to say, the marathon is 20 miles of hope followed by 6 miles of truth.
- What you decide to do with that medal is up to you. We recommend that you wear it until you have annoyed everyone in your life. Wear it to work. Wear it to college. Wear it to bed. Wear it everywhere. Show it to everyone. Tell everyone how you earned it. And don’t take it off until someone pries it from your fingers.
(NB. YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WARNED)
- The gift of finishing is available to everyone standing at the start line. It’s available to everyone who is willing to accept who they are at that moment – not who they want to be or wanted to be, but who they are.
- And finally – The Penguin Marathon Strategy: