With marathon number two on the horizon, there’s always that added pressure of beating your time. So how is Lorna feeling with just two days to go? Let’s just say, she’s pretty emotional!
Goal: To finish better than last year!
Marathon history: One marathon under belt – London 2013. Finished in 4hrs 54 mins
What I learnt this week: I can cry. A LOT.
424km run, 48hours spent strength training, 50 hours of yoga, too-much-to-disclose spent on lycra. That’s it. The training is done for marathon number two.
This past week has been tough. Monday and Tuesday were awful. Just awful. If I had to run on Wednesday I very much doubt I’d have got to the start line. I was crippled with doubt – I convinced myself I hadn’t done enough, I was sure I’d fail at every hurdle. I cried lots. I cried on the train to work, I cried on the way to the office, I cried when anyone asked how I was, I cried when someone wished me luck, I cried… well, you get the picture. These were not happy tears, these were tears of fright. I was actually scared for the week ahead.
The cloud passed on Wednesday, simply because I asked myself why I was scared. I realised I was scared because that’s my default setting. If something challenges me, I am immediately apprehensive of it. The feeling of conquering a fear is my motivation to succeed, and therefore I get scared. I just seem to have got waaaaaaay more scared than I usually do. I was also scared because I know what’s ahead of me and I want to improve. I’ve said it many a time but second marathons are HARD. The thrill of the unknown is taken away from you, yet the memories of the first race are clouded by the amazing achievement that it’s hard to really draw on experience in order to not make the same “mistakes” again. I was scared because I desperately want to have improved in this last year. I was scared because I have been in the destructive habit of looking back. So much has changed this last year for me, and I’ve developed with that, but I’ve also looked back thinking “what if?”. “What if’s” are useless – I know that now, and what will be will be. Yes, my diet has not been as regimented as last year, yes, my strength training programme was erratic, yes I’m heavier, yes real life got in the way so much more during training BUT I am a year older, and this past year has built more confidence, strength and miles in me, so what will be will be.
Thursday I walked through Blackheath. It was quiet, like any other morning and yet the tears started. They rolled down my cheeks again and again but this time there was a smile on my face. There was a smile on my face because I knew I couldn’t wait to be up here on Sunday getting ready to start. I was thinking about starting the race knowing my parents would be just three miles away, eagerly waiting to shout for me and my closest most amazing friends will be dotted around throughout. I can’t wait to make them proud. I cried happy tears knowing that despite any challenge, obstacle or experience (good or bad) I’ve now got to the start line injury free with a somewhat clear head. I cried because I am so happy to have been able to have a second chance at reliving what was the best day of my life. My first Marathon was a challenge, but it was also the most rewarding experience ever. What I’m excited about now is experiencing it all over again but with added support, added excitement and an added challenge to succeed. And I’ve now accepted that I will succeed on race day no matter what my time/splits/blah blah blah, simply because I’ll have made it to the start line, I will cross the finish line and that is all I need to be proud of.
It probably won’t be a surprise to you all, but I’ve cried a little writing this too. I’ll end with a thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you Emma and Charlotte for letting me share my second marathon with you all again and thank you ladies for being two of the most wonderful friends I could ask for. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me, or given me a frank talking to when I’ve been a brat. Thank you to the dearest friends who have come into my life this past year – you know exactly who you are and you need to know that I would not be half the person I am with YOU.
I’ll run each mile grateful for the experience of doing so. I’ll let you know how it goes!