Firstly, thanks for the super positive response to my International Women's Day blog http://runningthestage.weebly.com/blog/running-like-a-girl. It seems that honesty is the best policy. And it makes for a more interesting read.
With that in mind I have a confession to make.
I'm running my first ULTRA MARATHON this weekend and I'm scared.
Running away from a knife wielding serial killer in a horror movie level of terrified.
With any luck I'll reassure myself in the process.
My initial running experience had me quaking in my trainers from day 1. Like the terror I felt reading scary books as an 11 year old. Not sure if I was brave enough to open the cover again.
I'd recently embarked on a weight loss and exercise programme and a fantastic friend enthused about the couch to 5k programme and told me I simply MUST try it. (She has an amazing theatrical blog if that's your thing. Check it out http://justagirlinthedark.blogspot.co.uk/)
I dutifully tried it out and the first week didn't kill me. But every night I tortured myself by looking at the future weeks and thinking that it would be absolutely impossible to run so far, so soon.
How would I possibly run for 3 whole minutes without stopping? Or 10 minutes twice. Or the insanely impossible 20 minutes.
Yet when I tried I found that I could. Yes it was hard. So hard. Lungs burning, legs shaking, brain screaming for me to stop. But every week I found it was possible. I could do it. I did do it. It certainly didn't kill me.
(I used this app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.active.aps.c25k&hl=en_GB I love that it has a choice of trainers with different ways of spurring you on)
I also have flat feet, weak glutes and a swivelly hip (just the one, thus making me wonky. Let's just assume it gives me character)
While running has made me stronger and my knees happier, my brain, like my body, fought me along the way.
All these new aches and pains made my heart race, especially when I turned to the Internet to diagnose myself.
Until I found running magazines and forums full of runners. Then I discovered my niggles were normal, simple, all part of the process.
Yes it was still scary when I had to take 2 weeks out of half marathon training with I.T.B syndrome. Forced to stop running by new, searing pain every time I tried. But it turns out that a good sports massage and torturing yourself with a foam roller (This one is the meanest so apparently the best)
If you need any help calming the anxiety bunnies that pop up with every new twinge, just find the runners online. Or ask me, always happy to pass on my limited wisdom.
What's the point? They're all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door.
Training for a marathon felt like this. Like I was being chased by an impossible monster, who would surely slay me.
That I knew where the door was to get out of this house of horror and back to safety.
Yet I kept on running up the stairs (well hills at 5.30am before work)
But as time went on I realised that I wasn't SPOILER ALERT Drew Barrymore who gets slain in the opening scene. I was Neve Campbell who survives the whole movie, despite running up the stairs and makes it through 3 sequels with vicious sarcasm and a little help from her friends
Yes she repeatedly ends up bashed and bloodied, but hell, it makes her stronger.
Plus her retorts get so much sassier.
Marathons are just like that.
So this brings me back to the ULTRA MARATHON
The unknown masked figure stalking me.
It chases me on training runs. It haunts my dreams with worries about hydration and nutrition and race day strategy.
But I've run enough races and watched enough horror movies to know how this ends. Once you look the monster straight in the face he's simply not scary any more.
So here we go. Deeside Way Ultra http://deesidewayultra.webnode.com/ 33 miles. I see you. Stretching ahead of me. And I can take you on and run away at the end, sassier than when I started.
And maybe even ready for a sequel...
Run Cat Girl Run x x x