Saturday, 21 January 2012

Marathon Countdown - Week 13

It is not yet 6am on a Saturday morning in January and the wind is whipping outside, bending trees and howling around houses. It is contrastingly calm and cwtchily warm in my flat, in my bed. But there is nowhere I’d rather be in this moment than in my trainers, rain in face, running against said whipping wind. I wake up thinking about running. My legs tell me to move. Is that addiction? You might suggest love. Either way, that was yesterday morning, and that's what I talk about when I talk about running.

In past weeks and months I’ve talked about running in very different ways. Prior to Cardiff’s October half marathon I suddenly became terrified of running. An activity I had always undertaken alone would need to be carried out amongst crowds of thousands. That scared me. I thought these things:

  1. I’ll come last
  2. I’ll fall over
  3. I’ll come last and fall over and everyone will laugh.
Inner Running by Donald Porter calmed me, a book I am becoming evangelical about. Donald Porter, if you start a religion, I will become an Inner Running nun. I did not come last, I did not fall over, if anyone laughed at me I did not see them. I loved taking part in the half marathon. I ran fear-free again, albeit with a post-race limp.

Then December arrived. I had a bit of chiropractic treatment, my injuries healed and running felt good. It was, however, the month of a thousand Christmas parties and an assignment deadline so I didn’t get to run as much as I’d have liked. Still, the runs I did complete were great, particularly the early Christmas morning one when the streets were silent and still, full of expectation for the day ahead. And running over Christmas massively alleviates the usual exploding-with-chocolate feeling.

The prettiest picture I have of Bute Park. Not on a Park Run day admittedly.
And now it’s January. I’ve started attending Cardiff’s Park Run. It’s a weekly event which is part of a national not for profit organisation that does what it says on the website. You go to a park (Bute in my case) and run a timed 5k. I experienced the coming-last-and/or-falling-over nerves before my first, but once again my paranoid premonitions weren’t realised and I now love it. Lots of friends old and new attend, and it’s a wonderful way to wake up to the weekend, if a little finger-freezing at the moment!

So, today (Sunday January 22nd) marks thirteen weeks until THE BIG DAY when I’ll be running the London Marathon. INSERT FILTHY SWEAR WORDS OF PANIC HERE

Just joking, I'm calm.

I’ve had the last week off running due to being ill. I have Old?! Crohn’s Disease which flares up now and again, and I’d have made things worse by running this week. Instead I rested and my trainers are still waiting faithfully by the front door. I feel loads better and can’t wait to start ‘proper’ training. From here on in I’m aiming for five times a week with a mix of long runs, sprints, hills and slow jogs. I’ll also mix in some swimming, maybe a bit of yoga, lots of healthy foods and big sleeps. There’s also the small matter of fundraising and completing another masters module during the thirteen weeks ahead. But I have strategies in place, friends, family and the folks in Tenovus supporting so I know I’ll get there. And compared to the situations faced by the people I'm raising funds for, what I'll go through in the coming months will be a breeze.

I’ll be blogging at least once a week during my marathon countdown. If you’re following my stories and thoughts – thank you! I've gotten a bit behind in my running log this month, but will resume asap. If you’d like to donate as part of my fundraising campaign you can do so 

Bring. It. On.


  1. Brilliant blog Lisa. Really looking forward to reading your updates and we're really grateful that you are running for Tenovus!


  2. Thanks very much for reading and for your feedback Jo. Tenovus is a great charity to raise money for and I'm really grateful for the opportunity. I can't wait for the big day!