I run London, I’m running London

In my last post I hinted at the small epiphany (yes, I’m being melodramatic, running does that to me) I’d had whilst out on my solo LSR last weekend. And now, I’ve sorted the logistics required to be able to say THIS YEAR I WILL BE RUNNING THE LONDON MARATHON.

This wasn’t this year’s race plan. 2015’s spring marathon was supposed to be Barcelona, but after my usual routine of writing out a training plan to the letter, ignoring it for a couple of months and then freaking out, I’ve decided that trying to run 26.2 in what is now nine week’s time is not for me. Yes, running a marathon is all in your head (more on that another time), but my head is not in the game for this one.

As soon as I thought of the idea of switching races around I knew it was the right thing to do. I signed up for Barcelona months ago and always said if I got into London I would defer it. But when I thought about the prospect of using my prized ballot place this year, I got so excited.

My two planned half marathons (Brighton and Berlin) fit in perfectly with training, I’m exactly where I need to be distance-wise to train for a marathon in almost four months and most of all it’s on flippin’ home turf. The route passes by the end of my road… TWICE.

I’m not sure if I mentioned, but I. Am. So. Excited.

Good for her, not for me

Today’s run was a long time coming.

I lolled around all morning, toyed with running and then not running, worried about the back pain, the chesty cold and the shin pain that have graced me with their presence over the last couple of months. I procrastinated, felt sad about boys both past and present and wasted time chain-drinking tea and tweeting about being nervous whilst watching Sunday Brunch.

Then at 1pm, I finally went for a run.

It was a really good run.

And I’m putting it down to Amy Poehler.

I confess I’m not a fan of SNL or Parks and Recreation and I haven’t seen (or just can’t remember her in) any of the films she’s been in. But this morning, after reading this article on the Guardian, I downloaded her audiobook on a whim and hit the Thames path.

Today I spent nearly two hours in the company of Amy, and I love her already. Hadley Freeman’s article is spot on when it describes her as being insecure but having self-respect. It’s a great combination.

In one of the chapters I listened to on today’s run, she speaks about how the phrase ‘Good for her, not for me‘ should be every woman’s mantra. How God damn true. I love being supportive and encouraging and proud of other people’s achievements, but they are not mine and they don’t need to be.

I thought a lot about my current training (or lack thereof) during those eight and a bit miles, along with the pledge I made after my New Year’s Day run TO ALWAYS RUN HAPPY. I haven’t come to any conclusions so far, but I feel like some changes – to goals, priorities, attitudes… I’m not sure yet! – may be afoot.

Running marathon happy

This week has been the first ‘proper’ week of training for marathon number two. Or really, it’s been the first week of trying to get the love for running back.

I’ve really felt the pressure recently and have dreaded running. This is absolutely not the point.

Last marathon training cycle, I was running away from something. I was using the runs and the structure to cope with heartbreak. I really enjoyed the entire four month process, but I also needed it.

This time around, I am happy at the start of it all, rather than hoping to discover happiness along the way.

As an amazing friend keeps reminding me, we run because we love it, because we enjoy it. If it’s not bringing us joy, then something has to change.

I’ve been running a while now and I know what works and what doesn’t work for me.

I don’t like running before work, with a rucksack, or on trails, and I often struggle running with people much faster than I am.

I love running in the evenings, along the Thames, at the track and I know which of my running buddies suit my pace best.

I’m not going to put pressure on myself to train in a way I can’t achieve and I’m going to do lots of the other things I like that aren’t running.

I want to try for a half marathon PB at Brighton the month before the marathon, but other than that, I don’t have a time goal for the race itself. Running 26.2 is enough of an achievement.

If I get to 15th March having had a good time for the past four months, having not got too stressed out and having successfully run my second marathon, I will be proud with what I have accomplished.