Apparently running a marathon is not easy. Apparently running a marathon with only a month of training, while constantly fighting against the rather powerful indulgent side of one’s brain, which is stubbornly refusing to give up the odd glass of wine or rich unhealthy meals to which it has become accustomed….is not easy.
However in little under three weeks there I shall stand, in the streets of Pauillac, readying myself for what Google suggests as shin splints, stress fractures, a complete breakdown of my metabolism due to my body’s reluctance to ‘eat itself’ in order to provide energy, and possible embarrassment at being thoroughly, 100% atrophied roughly 7 miles from the finish line. The idea of collapsing to the ground with muscles no longer willing to participate in life, somewhere between Lynch-Bages and Lafite may seem like an excellent afternoon of inebriation, but in this case it is a frightening possibility that I am totally and utterly unwilling to experience.
Because of this stoic, British unwillingness, three days ago I ventured out for a run in order to prepare. ‘I’ll do five miles, that should be easy enough. Three sets of tennis is about 5 miles, child’s play, surely’……No, not child’s play in the slightest. And no, three sets of tennis is not ‘about 5 miles’.
Having ‘run’ the entire way (definition of run being: Moving at a speed slightly faster than an amble, with arms moving in a pumping motion) I arrived back at my dwelling 45 minutes after setting off, 43 minutes after experiencing a stitch, and 39 minutes after considering packing the whole thing in and going to the pub. Thankfully I am good friends with William Power, aka Will, and I battled on, brushing up against the odd bush in an attempt to transfer some previously fallen rain water onto my skin. Amazingly it got easier and easier. In the last two hundred yards I even managed to throw in a ‘sprint finish’ a la Mo Farah. While no gold medal performance, it was a little victory, and I’m assuming, having never partaken so blindly in such a challenge, that it is the little victories that keep one going.
The whole experience was empowering, it felt good to have circumnavigated the leafy Surrey town of Camberley. If I had done it 5 times I’d have done a marathon……If I’d done it five times in 30 degrees of heat with ‘wine and oysters’ along the way I’d have done the Marathon Du Medoc.
There would appear to be a long way to go in a short space of time…..