What a week it has been: there have been ups and a lot of downs. Where to begin?
Since my last blog entry, I have been recovering from some type of sports injury at the top of my foot, largely due to wearing incorrectly fitted trainers. I spent ages rubbing lotions and potions into it, binding my foot so tightly the Chinese would be impressed. On one hand, I was very excited about the prospect of not having to run, on the other I was extremely frustrated. This is not to say I have found a love of running (yet) but for weeks since I received a comfirmation that I would be running the marathon, my whole existence has been focused on training; blogging; researching - and when you can't do the one thing that connects all these activities - you go a bit stir crazy. I devoured all my boxsets and probably ate my body weight in chocolate and crisps.
When I finally became bored of Sex & The City and Ugly Betty, I attempted to go for a long run. After a week of doing nothing, I was excited to get back in the game. So off I went, new trainers on. My Facebook status read 'off I go to do a 6 mile run'. How naive could one girl be? I trotted around for a while, but for some reason my mind just wasn't in it. I merely did a full length of a path before giving up and going home.This was unbelievably boring. I'd discovered something worse than watching paint dry - watching your left foot come down on the ground, then your right foot come down on the ground, then your left foot come down on the ground, then your right foot come down on the ground.....then... What was wrong with me? My injury was fine now, yet I was finding every excuse under the sun not to run. If this was 'THE WALL' most runners talk about, and I had reached it after 5 metres, then I was in serious trouble. On the way back, I strutted past the people I had passed only a few minutes previously, trying to look as if I had actually done some sort of exercise. Their eyes fixed upon me as if to say 'didn't you just walk past here only ten minutes ago looking so smug?' I held my head in shame. I spent the whole evening wallowing in my own self pity. How am I ever going to do this?
The park where I 'run'
Run 2 was slightly better: I took my mother along for good measure, she pedals behind me on her old pre-war push bike as I run. She reminds me of scenes in Belleville Rendezvous, a French film in which a little old lady paces behind her son's Tour de France training, blowng a whistle. It's quirky. But it works, and having someone there to motivate me does spur me on. However, never ask your mother, "Do I run ok?". In fact, never ask your mother 'Does my bum look big in this?' or anything , if you don't want the frank and brutal truth. Her response was "Yeah.... kinda....well, sort of like a penguin really, if penguins could run". Thanks mum, now I feel great. I continued that run trying to over-compensate by turning my feet inwards which made me look like I had bow legs or like a retarded young Forrest Gump. Great!!
See little old lady blowing whistle, AKA- mum.
For some silly reason, my boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to go on a 5 mile run with me. This was the first big run I had done. Ever. I was apprehensive to say the least. There was me kitted out in all the latest sports gear, new trainers at the ready. I was feeling good, and then there was him who decided to run in the only shoes he had, a pair of £5 white plimsoles. I looked at them blankly, and tutted like a fierce primary school teacher: "You will never do this Matt, you dont have the right shoes, and you have never run before. You seriously want to do this, I mean pffffff, really?"
"Yes, I want to do this, I will be fine" he said, tight-lipped, giving me a blank gaze.
"All right, if you say so", I replied, knowing full well with 100% certainty that he would give up straight away. I'd have bet money on it.
It was a baking hot day, which is unusual in England, especially in summer. We planned to run from one end of the seafront to the other and back, a total of some 5 plus miles. (see picture). I was sweating even walking, but with an assured egotistical attitude I started to run. I had high hopes of showing off about the amazing training I had done, whilst Matt crumbled into a withering mess. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN.
"Can we stop, Matt, can we stop? My side really hurts" (10 mins in) "Can we stop Matt? Seriously, I can't do this. I've got a blister. I mean a blister, a really really real blister" (20 mins in) "Matt!!!!! I'm dying, I'm actually dying, its too hot, I'm dying, I'm going to die at the side of the road" (30 mins in)
This went on for the whole run, whilst he effortlessly strode next to me with an air of superiority on his face.
I had chronic stitch, a humungous blister on the side of my foot, my legs ached, my heart was pounding - I was a mess.
He, on the other hand had not one adumbration of an ache, not one sign of a blister and he looked effortlessy cool. I HATED him.
Although I found my stride after mile 3, it wasn't a pleasant experience. I finished the 5 miles, clutching my side in pain. I was proud that I had done it, but at the same time I felt literally sick at the thought that this was only 5 miles, and to complete a marathon would be an extra 21 miles. I have a long way to go.
I couldn't walk for a whole day after, and will never again be able to look at a pair of white plimsoles without feeling like an idiot.