Be careful what you wish for…
Since I was a kid, I’ve had a fascination with long distance running. In middle school I was on the cross-country team, and Sally Gunnel was my hero. I’ve never felt competitive about it, which is handy, because I’m also fairly bad at it. But I’ve always felt that humans were born to run, and long distance running is our jam – no, really. We’re the best at it in the animal kindgom. Humans can’t compete with animals in any other physical feat apart from this one, and even though I, personally, have an embarrassing deficiency when it comes to skill in this regard, I feel, in a weird way, like I’m embracing some kind of universal truth about the story of mankind when I run. It’s immediate, it’s hard work, it’s simple – it’s a mind game, it’s a mental struggle and a physical one, and it’s a sport that anyone can do. I love it, and I hate it.
This compulsion to run comes upon me from time to time, and I’ve entered the ballot for the London Marathon every year for years. I can’t hear Ron Goodwin’s The Trap without getting genuinely emotional. This year, on my birthday, I got the acceptance form in the post, and it honestly couldn’t have come at a worst, or best time. I’ve been feeling very down, directionless, self-destructive and hopeless about my health for a while. I weigh more than I ever have and I truly am starting to avoid social events just because of how bad I feel about myself. Based on the sheer physics of carrying all that extra weight over 26.2 miles, I’m in the worst possible place to start training for a marathon.
However, I thrive when given a clear goal. I like to have something to aim for. I like projects. I trained for and completed a half marathon and I’m confident that I can do the same for a full marathon. I’m excited and scared, because I’ve just been given an opportunity for self-improvement, and to achieve a dream I’ve had since I was a girl. I don’t want to blow it.
Better get my trainers on.