Friday, 30 August 2013

You can't have another first!

I’m actually jealous - that’s a terrible thing to say - but all the newcomers will this year get to run their first-ever marathon, and I can’t ever have a first again. 
I remember someone telling me last year to enjoy every minute of your first marathon because you can never have it again.
It’s the one piece of advice I’d pass on to anyone thinking of the Kerry’s Eye Tralee International Marathon next March. 
I didn't listen at the time but I wish I had because honestly the lead-up to the marathon is as good as the day itself and over the next few months your life will change. Yeah, I bet your are laughing, but it is true. 
It may not seem like it now, but if you’ve signed up the next few months will be like nothing you have ever experienced, as you face some of the toughest challenges you’ll ever have. 
Of course not all of it will be a high but the highs far outweigh the downs and even if not the more difficult it is is the more of an achievement it is. If it was easy it wouldn't be an achievement.
And believe me it is all worth it!
When you cross the line on March 16th, the sense of achievement will be overwhelming.
I met many of the new runners last week, some who were even afraid to come out of their cars, others who said they wouldn’t be able for it, more who are unsure if they can run or if they are fit enough.  
Well, forget all your doubts -just do the training and the Born to Run Club will get you across that line.
You may crawl, you may walk - you’ll probably run, but it doesn’t matter. You’ll finish the marathon.
I know anyone who’s only beginning training, and has never run before, will find that hard to imagine. 
But it’s true. The one thing I learned along the way as I trained last year, is that the only thing stopping you is yourself. You must never give up that's the secret. Keep training no matter what and if you have a bad run put it behind you and keep going. 
The fitness and the running will come with training, so don’t worry about that. But you have to convince yourself that you can do it - and believe me, you can.  
So enjoy your training for the next few months as a new chapter in your life. This time next year, you’ll be a marathon runner encouraging others to take their first steps too.  
Some-one told me that when you look back on your life, running a marathon will be among the best memories you will have and it will be. 
Signing up to do my first ever marathon really did change my life. 2013 was the year of first's for me and not just my first marathon. Doing a marathon gave me the confidence to do other things I never thought I would do. I did my first Ring of Kerry for example. I never even thought I would cycle not to mind do the Ring of Kerry and I managed to cycle 180km in one day. It was a wonderful achievement and I am delighted but it didn't beat the marathon - that still stands out in my mind. 
I actually am looking forward to my next marathon and getting back to training for the big day. It may be my second but it is still going to be a great journey. And first-timers enjoy it. I mean it, I wish it was me!