Oh Shit, I’m Running A Marathon: Tapering + Abject Terror

Week 14 of first-time marathoner Joe's training, and he's starting to get The Fear

Well, my last long run is done, and the training plan is ordering me to ‘taper’ my runs down in the lead-up to my first-ever marathon, Bristol + Bath Marathon on 25 October. My last run was a whopping 3hrs 25mins long; my final run, on the Friday before the marathon, will be just 10mins long.

With the bulk of the training out of the way, I’ve had some time to focus on how the day is going to unfold, and investigate what the route itself is going to be like. And to be honest, I almost wish I hadn’t bothered.

I sort of already knew this from the terrifying elevation chart that’s on the marathon’s official website, but the route is hilly to the point of horrifying:

This was confirmed to me, like long-suspected bad news delivered by a grave-faced GP, via visits to a number of runner’s forums, wherein users were describing the prospective route as “mentally challenging” and “seems very hilly”. One runner described how he once ran the mega-hill at mile 14 and “it almost killed me, and that was only as part of a ten-mile run!”


So right now, I’m feeling three major emotions in the run-up to race day. They are, in no particular order:

1. Creeping dread

2. Panicky apprehension

3. Outright raging f—ing terror

Yaaaay. Can’t waaaait.

High point of the week: I ran for 3hrs 25mins and didn’t die. Unless I did die, and this is the afterlife, in which case, it’s a bit of a dull let-down.

Low point of the week: The Fear.

Training tune of the week: Rufige Kru – Shutting You Down

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