As I write this 15,000 people are running the Brighton Marathon, a race that I took part in last year. The sun is shining, just like it was last year, but it is considerably colder. Last year we were running in a bit of heatwave – the temperature was close to 20°c at times.
If you run regularly, I think it’s almost expected that you do a marathon at some point. And it was on my list to be ticked off. But training for 26.2 miles is a bit different to a 5K, 10K or even a half marathon. Those events you can get by with minimal training if you just want to finish and get the medal and goody bag.
But running a marathon and finishing before the roadsweepers come round requires some serious preparation and commitment to significant miles of training before the big day. Sunday becomes “long run” day with an increasing number of hours dedicated to it.
Running in and finishing a marathon feels like a great achievement, something that lots of people will never do (nor want to). I’m glad that I did it and got round in one piece. But will I do another one? I’m not so sure. Whilst I felt pretty good for my first 13 miles, loved the feeling of sheer exhaustion when I finished (and knowing that I could eat anything I wanted for the next hour), I hated my feet hurting, feeling sick, walking when I knew I should be running and getting a time that was slower than I wanted it to be.
That said, I do think that running a marathon is a bit like having a baby (and I’ve had 4 so I do know a bit about that), after a while you start to forget the pain and the pleasure of the experience remains. And one of my favourite phrases is.. never say never.
Good luck today Brighton Marathoners – enjoy your experience!