Fitting It All In

How I am preparing for this years London Marathon

To answer the continuous flow of “what time are you aiming for this weekend”, the answer is, “I really don’t know”. I’ve completed my sub 3 hour 30 minute marathon time, so the pressure is off, BUT the competitive side of me will always be hunting for a PB, and when I’m not, it will be time to change the goal posts, ie, distance.

(I should also add that I'm nursing a long term injury this year so this Sunday, a PB at the London Marathon will be a miracle.)

I have had a love of running all my life. I ran the 1500 race in primary school and increased the distance as the years went by. I used to think that  the marathon distance was an amazing target until fellow runners completed one ultra after the next, I went on to tick this box but in an unremarkable time. - Turns out that running in the fells for 15 plus hours in the wind and rain, doesn’t bring out the best in me!

I’m often asked how I fit it all in, I have a full time job, a horse that I compete with, three kids that play an endless amount of competitive sport, an anaesthetist husband and two dogs. The answer is I’m not entirely sure.  

My days are crammed full of activity. I often run before work and drink a pre-made smoothie after, which I’ll have on the go. When running after work, I make lunch in advance, that can be eaten quickly and use my drive home from work as digestion time, so once I’m home I can be ready to run - often a loop which ends at the school gate ready to collect the kids, sweaty, red faced and often covered in mud (after falling lover). Food and nutrition is especially important to me, so this is planned and prepped far in advance which is a huge time saving effort, left overs are used for daily lunches, again saving lots of time and washing up.

Accountability has been huge, and for the the last two years or so Rich has been programming for me, he doesn’t study Strava or hound me, but I know he has spent time writing my plans so my part is to work my way through the spreadsheet and take joy in ticking off some hideous but strangely satisfying weeks of running. I very much doubt I would have been able to carry on hitting the PB’s without this accountability and support.

It’s very easy to talk myself out of running, sentences like “it’s too hot”, “it’s too cold'', “it’s too icy”, often run through my head. But at the ripe old age of 41, I know all too well the disappointment in myself for not going on my run will be harder to stomach than tackling the elements.

Lastly, I have a very understanding husband, who seems to get onboard with my many crazy challenges with limited rolls of the eyes, my recent idea of completing the Iron Man has been the first challenge which has been met with an absolute “NO WAY”, not just from him, but notable others too (leave that one with me…). We juggle the load well between us. I am always keen for him to enter races/challenges, and go out and socialise as I know that as long as we both feel like we are supported in the things we want to do there will never be any resentment. I hope that my kids see my endless activity as inspiring and find a love of sport that will keep them active into adulthood - their activities do always come first which means evening runs or rides are just not possible.

I will always push to be the best I can be and to fulfil my potential. This drive is what keeps me motivated and gets me out of bed at 5am to put the groundwork in, to make it all roll along smoothly - most of the time!


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