On Saturday morning I got out of bed and ran 26.2 miles around a lake in the pouring rain. In fact, it had rained so hard overnight that in many areas of the course you found yourself slipping sideways down the banks of the lake towards the water. At mile 2 I felt a slight ache in my ankle which I knew it was going to get worse – and it did. As I spent the next four hours negotiating various waves of pain, I would like to tell you that I spent a bit of that time wondering why I put myself through that kind of discomfort each year. But I didn’t. I just kept on putting one foot in front of the other, kept my head up, spoke to other people, made sure I was taking in the fluids and gels at the right time, examining the ground to stop myself tripping over, adjusting the layers I was carrying, breathing correctly, keeping my hat on to prevent sunburn, taking it off when I got too hot, putting it back on…
The point of me telling you this, I guess, is that, after something like 10 marathons, I think the key of having a really good run, is probably not to think too much about it when you’re doing it. It’s a very odd experience but you have to stop you’re mind from wandering otherwise, when you focus again, you can get quite overwhelmed by it all. How bonkers is that?
Another interesting thing I learnt this weekend is just how powerful your mind can be when you set yourself a clear goal. I met another runner who had a serious leg operation a year ago and was going to run the Boston Marathon in a few months. When I asked him a bit more about it, he said he’d already run 460 marathons and wanted to get to 500.
When I got back to my car with my recently-won medal it all seemed to pale into insignificance. What an incredible achievement. I wonder if I could ever get to 50 marathons. Now, there’s a thought…
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