Oh Shit, I’m Running A Marathon: Week One

Have I made a terrible mistake? Don't sugar-coat it – just tell me, yeah?

Soooo, looks like I’m running a marathon. Shit.

I’ve been running for just over 10 years now, two or three times a week – barring December, when cold, Christmas and Cava inevitably gets in the way.

And I’ve been happy enough, rollin’ along, entering a 10k here, a half marathon there… Until recently, when a dark thought began circling my mind like a hungry vulture.

“You’re never going to run a marathon, are you?” went this thought. “You’re 38. Time’s ticking on. And you’re chicken-shitting out of the most famous distance of them all, aren’t you? Looo. Zerrr. ”

As I lay there awake at 5am, mocked by my own snide internal monologue, I realised two things: A) I was going to have to run a marathon in 2015, and B) I should probs seek out some kind of medication for these intense auditory hallucinations.

I’ve got 16 weeks to go from ‘yeah not bad’ to ‘able to run 26.2 miles without pooing self in a weeping heap’

So in a fit of pique I signed up for the inaugural Bristol + Bath Marathon, happening 25 October. I’ve got 16 weeks to go from ‘yeah not bad’ to ‘able to run 26.2 miles without pooing self in a weeping heap’.

I’m going to document my training via weekly posts on Unbound, and it’s going to be a magical, awe-inspiring journey and you’ll all be standing on your desks applauding while hot tears of pride run down your cheeks.

Or, it’s going to be a f—ing slapstick Greek tragedy and I’ll be a laughing stock. One of the two. Join me!

My daughter Myla, modelling and obsessively coveting my water-bottle belt, like a weirdo

Obviously, if I just fart on like “Blah blah training runs blah blah” every week this column is going to get very old, very quick. So, I’ll be taking on a different ‘theme’ every time. These themes may include (but shall not be limited to):

  • Strength training (I have the upper-body strength of an elderly child)
  • Nutrition (i.e. can I still eat Sausage McMuffins on massive hangovers?)
  • “Oh Christ why did I sign up for a marathon FFS?” (This may come up more than once)
  • Training on holiday (i.e. can I keep it up through two weeks boozing on the Costa Brava in August?)
  • Successful fundraising (I’m running for War Child, after one of their ads made me a bit weepy a few weeks back – it’d been a long day, alright?)
  • Tips/mockery from mates who’ve run a marathon
  • “Seriously, why did I go and sign up for a titting marathon?”

Week One: The Mighty Trials Begin

HIGH POINT OF THE WEEK: Not gonna lie, my first training run was an absolute triumph. A breeze. Stormed it. High-five me. High-five me, bro! Yeeeah, bro!

Saying that, it was only 25 minutes at an “easy” pace, so I tried not to get too chest-beaty and air-punchy about it. My mum could probably run for 20 minutes at an easy pace, and she lives on Superkings and sausages.

The haunted, sweaty look of a man whose run just went awry

LOW POINT OF THE WEEK: My first Sunday long-run – 60 minutes – did not pan out. I mistimed it and left a cavernous four-hour gap between eating my lunch and heading out – ten minutes into my run and I was feeling shaky-legged and half-insane with hanger.

Plus it was hot. I’d totally forgotten how immediately knackering running in anything in excess of 20°C is. I returned home looking like I’d been mugged and then had some kind of terrible emotional epiphany.

Still: next week is a new week. Onwards. Upwards!

Training tune of the week: The Pharcyde – ‘Ya Mama’

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