Running is only fun when it's over

12 marathons. 12 months.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I had such good intentions when I set this ‘challenge’ for myself, that I would somehow become a ‘proper’ runner, who could say the word ‘fartlek’ without sniggering to himself. But this hasn’t happened yet, and is unlikely to anytime soon. Instead I’ve got creaky joints, aching legs, my feet are a cause for concern and ‘the fear’ has returned with a vengeance.

It hasn’t been helped by finding out more about the event I’m doing on Saturday.  There aren’t a huge number of marathons staged in January (can’t understand why?), and at one point I thought I would have to go to Marrakesh, but instead I’ve settled on Telford!  For some reason I was under the impression that it was an ‘off-road’ event, but the joining instructions I received a couple of days ago have confirmed that it is ‘on road’ and consists of “a 0.84 mile loop”.  That’s over 31 laps of hell, with nowhere to lapse into a sneaky walk when no one can see me.  Oh crap.

I imagine this must be how it feels to give birth the second time around. The memory of the seemingly unending agony has receded and all you’re left with are the warm fuzzy feelings of euphoria and achievement. Then, when you’re way too far down the line to think about backing out, the barrier that had been protecting you comes crashing down and in one split second it all comes flooding back. The pain, the exhaustion, the ‘oh my god when will it end’ feeling.

Before I get lynched by mothers everywhere, I’m not suggesting that running a marathon is as hard as giving birth. Certainly not. It’s much harder than that. 🙂

But the bottom line is, I cannot imagine anything as hard as watching your child’s health slowly deteriorate and being powerless to prevent it. The more I hear about the struggles that Tom’s family face every day, on a physical and mental level, the more I am in awe of their courage and strength.

I know I’m going to be suffering on Saturday (and Sunday, and probably the rest of the following week).  Luckily for me, my pain will be temporary.

Please take two minutes to watch this, and please give what you can.

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