Tomorrow will be 4 weeks until my first marathon. I’ve had an amazing year so far of preparing and training and a big part of what’s helping get to the starting line is the community of runners on twitter. I really enjoy interacting with you all; asking questions, getting advice and giving encouragement.
I realised lately that mostly I talk about running, and occasionally a band or gig I’m going to. So I thought what better way for my running friends to get to know me a little better than to do an AMA style blog post. I got a lot of great questions so I’m going to answer them here. I hope you enjoy the post!
Simple answer; Yes! I have my ups and downs, like we all do, but generally I AM happy. I enjoy life and who I am at the moment. I’m quite content!
I do, yes. And from the littlest things too! I try not to stay discouraged though. I work hard to stay positive and banish the negative thoughts. I don’t always win and it’s an ongoing battle.
Good question! I love shouted encouragement! Even on my training runs I get a ‘well done’ or a thumbs up from a random stranger and it gives me a little boost. I remember one evening I was out for a run and saw a group of guys hanging around outside a shop where I knew I would have to pass by them. I was apprehensive and expecting some abuse but instead they all gave a cheer and one yelled ‘go on ya beauty!’.
Oooh good question! One big thing that keep me motivated is remembering just how far I’ve come in my running. The longer I train for the marathon, the more motivated I am to get to the starting line. It would feel like such a waste if I just gave up now! I think about the first time I went running and how hard it was to get even 120 meters done. To go from that, to being able to run 18 miles in training and to plan to run 26.2, it really makes me want to stick to the plan, get the training in, get to the start line and cross the finish! Also…the bling. The medal this year is gorgeous and I have plans to get a tattoo of it! Favourite tv show….I have many even though I don’t have a tv! Supernatural is a big favourite of mine. I have all the box sets. Of all the shows I’ve binged watched, that would be my favourite.
I can indeed! I remember quite clearly because it was a certain person who inspired me to start running and I remember the exact circumstance and the exact reason why that person got to me. It was the realization that running didn’t have to be a BIG DEAL that got me out the door. Seeing someone who lived a healthy lifestyle without making a big production of it had a profound impact on me. I should clarify that at the time I thought that being fit and healthy would mean living in the gym and spending loads of money on memberships and clothes and things like that. So when that person was so…normal,..about their health, I realised it didn’t have to be this big deal, that I could just put my shoes on and run. That was in July of 2013 and looking back, I have no regrets!
For an overseas race I have dreams of running the Tokyo Marathon. I would love to visit Japan someday and running the marathon there would be fantastic! 3 people, dead or alive to run 10k with. Wow, tough question! I’ll have to think about this….ok…Alive: Paula Radcliffe. Dead: Phidippides and my grandmother.
That’s a very timely question, as it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I struggle with negativity a lot, and it has reared its ugly head during my training runs. For the marathon my plan to remember my mantra (which is tattooed on my arm!) and to use whatever support is out on the streets to get me through. I will be putting my name on my shirt for sure so I can get some personalized cheers. As for hitting the ‘wall’, I experienced that one training run so I know what it feels like. I talked myself through that one, half a mile at a time, until I got to where I wanted to be. So I think taking it in small stages when need be will help. If you have any tips or advice, please let me know!
That’s thought provoking! Good one! I do feel that ‘anybody can run a marathon’ but they have to respect the distance and put the training in. If they don’t, they’re doing themselves a disservice and risking major injury. I do know some ultramarathoners who, because they have serious training behind them, could wake up and decide to run a marathon that day. Personally, it took me months to decide whether or not I would run this marathon, then 7 months getting fit enough to be able to handle the training, then a 30 week training plan to build up the right base and get the right mileage in. The more I train, the more I respect the distance, big time!
Favourite arcade game: Games like Frogger, Sonic the Hedgehog, Donkey Kong! I’ve always been into gaming because my family is a game playing family. Card games, board games, word games, tile games, computer games, console games….when we’re all together in a room give us 10 minutes and someone will be breaking out a game. As a kid we had a Commodore 64 with loads of fun games on it. We had an Atari, and then the original Nintendo and so on. I am also a voracious reader, particularly of fantasy, so when RPG’s came out it was only natural for me to start playing those. Baldur’s Gate, Dragon Age, Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy and now Skyrim; these are my favourite kinds of games. So I can’t say for sure what one game got me into gaming…I would say, my family got me into gaming 😀
Good question. For shorter distances, 10 miles or under, I run. Longer runs I use some time to warm up with a walk and cool down with a walk but the majority of the run is running. The only time I walk is for the really long distances, especially when it’s the first time. Today for example, I ran 18 miles for the first time so I walked half a mile to warm up and walked half a mile to cool down, but during the run I walked a few of 100m stretches. Without counting the warm up/cool down I’d say I walked about a half mile. This was partly to practice taking my gels and, in a race, when I would be walking a water station. I did stop once to stretch too.
Good question! I’ve heard that the weeks after a marathon can be depressing and someone told me I should have a goal for afterwards to help avoid that. Firstly, I’ll be studying part time in college, so that will help keep me occupied. For running, my goal is to improve my 5 and 10k times. I have someone who is helping me with a decent plan to do this, not a coach per se but someone who knows a lot about running. My current 5k race PB is 39:46 and I want to shave that down to 35 then work on getting it to as close to 30 as I can. What are your plans? 😉
Thanks for all the great questions, guys! I had a lot of fun with this post!