I ran 21 miles last Saturday. Elated is the only word to describe it. I honestly still can’t believe that I ran an entire 21 miles - roughly the distance from Tralee to Killarney - without stopping.
Last November, that milestone seemed so far away, but now I’m here. I was on such a high on Saturday, anyone would think that I’d run the marathon itself. But apparently, the big event on March 16th will be just a lap of honour, now that we have all the hard work done.
Congratulations to all the ‘Born to Run’ members who completed the 21 miles last Saturday. We all deserve to be proud of ourselves. They say self praise is no praise - but someone has to pat us on the back!
I went around telling everyone on Saturday about my achievement. I was on such a buzz that I thought the whole world should know about it! I’m afraid most didn’t really share the feeling, or even really understand what it means to have reached that barrier. But it is just a fantastic feeling.
So for anyone who is thinking about training for their first marathon, get out and do it. The high from having managed to reach this far is worth all the ups and downs - and they’re soon forgotten anyway.
I know I still have to run the actual 26.2 miles, but after Saturday I’m pretty confident. Well, here’s hoping anyway - maybe I should err on the side of caution just in case.
It was tough going though, and there’s no doubt about that. You really have to push yourself when you get tired, physically and mentally, but you just have to keep reminding yourself that you can do it.
Don’t focus on how tired you are, or how sore your legs are, or the pains. Just focus on something else and you will keep going. Anything will do - I planned my whole outfit for St Patrick’s Day in my head to keep my mind off being tired. It seemed to work!
Company is also the key, so thanks again to the ‘Born to Run’ members who provided the chat along the route.
I was told not to reveal anything we spoke about, so scouts honor and all that, but believe me, all topics were thrown in. After all we were running for more than four hours.
Thanks is also due to the huge support from the public and in particular Sheila Kelly who supplied us with jelly beans and Jaffa cakes, both of which definitely kept me going.
I haven’t stopped talking about Jaffa cakes since. They’re my new secret weapon for the big day. I think I ate a box of them on Saturday, so that might explain why I’m not losing weight.
So anyone who is free on March 16th - line up along the way with Jaffa cakes to keep us all going.
I am actually kind of sad that Saturday was our final long training run. I think I’m already getting the post-marathon blues, as there are less than three weeks to go to the actual event.
It is sad that it is all over. I have focused on the marathon since last November and I’ve rarely missed training, so it has become a huge part of my life.
I’m sure my friends and work colleagues will be happy it’s done with, as it’s all I talk about these days. Yes, I have turned into a marathon bore, inside and outside the pub!
Just four months ago I was more likely to be going home from a Friday out at 5.30am than getting up to go running. Imagine I got up at that time to go running. I must be mad!
However I must admit despite my upbeat mood, I am physically wrecked from it all. I may be the healthiest, fittest, most rested person ever, as I don’t go out, I eat well (except for the chocolate, which I deserve anyway), and I sleep like a log - but I’m still tired.
Your body does get exhausted from such intense training, but I’m told as we reduce our long runs, I will be fine.
So now for the taper down. Just my short runs during the week and only a 12 miler and 8 miler to get through and I use the world ‘only’ as they are genuinely short now, relative to last Saturday and what we’ll do on March 16th.Once upon a time, even those short runs would have been considered a challenge but nowadays they come easy. Cocky I know, but so true!