So it all begins here, Day 1 of training. Some may think I'm starting far too early, but given my previous confession it's safe to say I'm not in the best possible shape, and want to give my body as much time to get used to the idea that I wasn't joking when I pressed 'send' for my Golden Bond place.(I think its still in shock)
Training Day 1: I awoke, refreshed, alive confident. So far, so good
Ok, so now to get my gear on. I was sporting a grey tracksuit bottom and top, (bought pre-New Year when I had high hopes to hit the gym and get fit. That went well)
I can honestly say at that very moment, without any shame, I felt like Rocky, the theme tune circulating through my brain: ‘Dun, dun dun dun...dun, dun....duuuuuuuuunn’
Its almost as if I had completely forgotten that a couple of weeks ago before all this marathon palaver started, I had taken part, on a whim, in ‘Race for Life’ for Cancer Research. A 5k dash in my local park, without any training, none, nada. What’s the worst that could happen?. It rendered me nearly dead. The finish line picture, wherever it is, probably has me pushing the vomit back into my mouth. Lovely thought. I was walking like John Wayne for 3 days. Why on earth had I then considered running a marathon? I have no idea. After the pain had passed, and the feelings of nausea had faded, something inside me thought: ‘Hey you just did 5k, now time for 26 miles'.
So, time to dig out those trainers. Now where had I left them? I rummaged around my closet, trying to find even what resembled a running shoe, tossing out stilettos, purses and sandals in the process.
Bingo! From the bottom of my closet, right at the bottom, where light rarely ventured, right where I had hidden them, soooo far down after my 5k attempt, in the hope I would never have to see them again, I pulled out my pristine Lacoste Tennis shoes, - Not ideal, but, well its a start.
I stepped out of my house, stood on the porch, preparing myself for a one hour sprint along the seafront. Stretches, knee up on wall, looking good, looking good.
I began to run, I felt free, exhilarated, I was a running goddess, I was one of those people I hate, one of those joggers that look effortlessly cool: look at me go. I was going to run a marathon, nothing could stop me, I was Rocky, I was unstoppable....oh wait: stitch.
Training Day 1- take two.
Nothing to be too alarmed about. Just a minor set back, but that wasn’t going to faze me. When my delusions of grandeur faded and I realised I was, in fact, the girl that vomited at the end of a 5k, I realised I might have to take a more realistic approach, taking it slow at first then building up momentum. So I was no Usain Bolt, so what, get real Rowen.
I logged on to the official London Marathon website: http://www.virginlondonmarathon.com/,
and had a look at their training plans.
'Rate your ability'. My mouse hovered over the options...
The mouse went back and forth over the two,
Suddenly an image of the morning’s Rocky-esque antics appeared in my head. I held my side firmly.
...’Beginner’ - click. ‘Definitely beginner’.
The plan consists of 24 weeks, 10 min jogs each day of the week, followed by a long run at the weekend, building up by 10 mins each week, that didn’t seem so bad. That could be done, no problem.
So, with a deep sigh, this evening I stepped off my porch for the second time, and lightly jogged at a snail's pace for just under 10 minutes, I still felt like I was going to die. This was just the beginning; how was I ever going to manage 26.2 miles - 4 plus hours of solid running - if I couldn’t even run for 10 minutes?
I passed other runners on the street.
They must have got quite freaked out at this out of breath, sweaty, mad woman jogging past, holding my side, with a look of utter contempt on my face.
‘Evening’, one lady runner said timidly, a look of concern on her face, a weak smile, and quickly sprinted away.
I have decided.
I either need a jogging partner (to keep pace with) or to join a running club, because otherwise I’m slightly afraid I will get jogger's rage and kill someone.That would make an interesting piece on the 6 o’clock news, wouldn’t it?
I will keep you posted.
And for your entertainment......