The emptiness of the non-long distance runner

So that’s that then. Summer 2011 has been and gone; a blur of grey, humid, miserable sweaty evenings, spent trudging round and round South Manchester getting myself as prepared as I possibly could to attempt, and I’m glad to say complete, my first ever marathon. And apart from falling on my arse, I think it all went rather well. I got round it for a start. I came higher up the field than I thought I would, even if I did miss my target time. I’ve raised more money than I ever dreamt possible. And this week, I discovered that I had followed up my RunKeeper victory in the Mersey Tunnel 10k with first place in the Liverpool Marathon as well.

I’m unbelievably happy with that, beating a few Liverpudlians in their own back yard and stuffing “Jonny” by over 20 minutes. He came all the way over from Kansas for that! In your face, Jonny.

It all came at a price though. Throughout Sunday I became increasingly creaky from the waist down, and after barely sleeping that night because of the pain, I spent all day Monday hobbling around my office like a disabled baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time, much to everyone’s amusement. I’d not had pain in my legs like that at any point during my training, that extra 6 miles (and the two massive hills) obviously made all the difference. My hip and knees were agony for a good couple of days, I felt like a pensioner even though I’m only just coming up to my 30th birthday.

Nearly a fortnight after the run though and I’m all recovered. It feels strange though not having to base my entire life around running anymore though. Getting home from work and not fearing a 13 mile run in the rain. Being able to have a few pints on a Friday or Saturday without worrying about the devastating effect on the run the next morning. And back to having to eat normal sized meals after months of stuffing my face with practically as much of pretty much anything I want. It feels like a huge part of my life has been suddenly removed, and I’m not entirely sure that I don’t miss it all, if that makes sense. So many occasions while out training I wondered why the fuck I was putting myself through it all, and couldn’t wait to get the damn thing over with. But now I have, I feel a little bit empty inside and I don’t quite know what to do with myself. I’ve been out for a couple of runs this week but it didn’t feel the same. I didn’t feel as motivated and I actually stopped the first one after four miles; unthinkable barely two weeks ago. I’ve spent so long focussing so hard on October 9th that now it’s been and gone I’m struggling to focus on anything else. Strange.

So what’s next then? Well, this for one thing. I obviously cannot get enough of running around Liverpool so I’m going back for a bit more and doing it in a silly costume for charity, and trying to break a record for the biggest Santa Dash in the process. And then into next year and beyond, who knows? I got rejected by the London Marathon, again, so should I want to put myself through it all again then I will probably be looking at Berlin in September. A nice flat course, no hills, hopefully no falling over and then a holiday at the end of it to recover. I have also entered the Silverstone Half Marathon for March so that I can run around the track pretending I am in a Formula One car. But none of these really compare to what I achieved on October 9th: my first ever marathon. That will always be special to me and whatever I go on to do in future, nothing will be as big a deal as the very first one.

And I suppose, to close, I should say a few thanks. All you who have donated are amazing for a start – to think I am close to hitting £2,000 is incredible really. There’s still time as well if you haven’t already – go here. Thanks to all my friends, family and my wonderful ladyfriend for putting up with me over the past few weeks. All I seem to have talked about is bloody running. I’ve hardly been out at all, and when I have I’ve not been drinking and I’ve usually left early after boring everyone senseless talking about, you guessed it, running. I don’t know what I’m going to do with this place – I’ll obviously keep it, but whether I’ll update it or not, I don’t know. I’ve achieved what I set out to now; I’ve run a marathon (that still sounds amazing to be able to say that) and I’ve raised a fair few quid for a fantastic charity. Thanks to all who have spent their time reading, I’ve certainly enjoyed writing it and I like the fact that I now have a record of what has felt like the longest summer of my entire life. The results of Seeph vs Marathon are now officially in though, and wasn’t me on the losing side.

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