So here I am – with just over 30 days left until the Marathon starts and training is less than ideal because of this bloody weather. What a pain it has been! I tried my best to be like Rocky Balboa in Rocky 4, when he is training in the Russian snow as he prepares to fight the Apollo Creed killing communist Ivan Drago, with Hearts on Fire playing in the background. However my inner Balboa was stayed in the warm and ran nowhere.
As I said in my last blog, I wanted to be like Mr T with all my medals however sadly both the Warwick Half Marathon AND the Coventry Half Marathon were both cancelled because of this snow. Warwick has been rearranged on the same day as the one in Birmingham in 2 weeks, which sucks. Overall – the prep for the Marathon has been poo. Realistically, I should be knocking out half marathon with consummate ease and prepping really to do 16-18 miles however that hasn’t been happening as much due to the weather (and mental working hours).
They are the negatives, however there are lots of positives too. Like – I haven’t injured myself, which is amazing considering my history (check out blog 2). I am running 8-9 miles with ease, so I definitely know a half marathon will be easy – which is essentially where I was at last October. I know the next two weeks I really need to be tough on myself and make sure I do at least 3 half marathons and then do an 18-19 miler. That’s the big mama. That may have to be next Sunday. The irony that I will be running for 3+ hours on the day of Fools. Either way, I will most likely have to do them in the morning as I am working at night. However slightly lucky for me is the show I am in for the next two weeks straight is ‘The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich’ and to say I am a small part would be an understatement, so its nowhere near as physically demanding as ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ so this is brilliant timing. By the time ‘Malfi’ returns, I will be tapering off the amount of running in prep so that’s a good thing.
I’ve been thinking lots lately (yes, it was painful) about the mental aptitude of the race and finding weird bits of inspiration in weird places. I think of my grandparents a lot because they’re the reason I am doing this. I think about political figures, sports figures, historical figures. I was reading about Joan Littlewood (she is the subject of a new RSC show later this year – google her). She is amazing. There is a gent based in the Midlands, called ‘Dave Heeley’, if you don’t know about him – just google him. He is amazing. He is visually impaired yet that hasn’t stopped him at all. He ran 7 marathons in 7 days in 7 continents. He did the Alcatraz escape. Last year, he ran all of the ‘Great’ runs across the UK and he is 60. The word legend gets banded about too much but he is a legend of epic proportions.
I remember when I did the endurance walk from Walsall to Wembley, by day 4 – it was essentially all mental. When I felt sorry for myself, that’s when my legs started to give out or I would have a cry. The stages are mental, a bit like Dante’s stages of hell. If I remember it rightly I went from . . . Happy/Buzzing/Tired/Annoyed/Really Tired/Emotional/Super Tired/Happy/Ecstatic. I am just typing out loud to try and predict if the same things will happen on April 22nd. I don’t know – ill find out. It’s funny, I went for a sports massage today because my calves & Achilles have become quite tight and my legs generally are tight and solid so I needed some help. The masseur very kindly spoke of me not having ‘the frame’ for endurance running. He is quite right, makes me chuckle how this was such an instinctive decision and dare I say – stupid. At the time, it was definitely the right decision but with hindsight, perhaps it wasn’t. I really really need to learn in life to think more before I make decisions because they can often – be wrong and irreparable (I’m not saying the Marathon is wrong by the way – I am speaking generally). Typing this out and reading this back has made this less amusing and more a little honest and I thought I’d delete it and then thought – ahhh forget it, so I’m leaving it.
I’m going to leave you at this point. I have another big jog tomorrow morning, I am in the middle of technical rehearsals for the new show that opens on Friday so lots to do. Please please do donate and spread the word. I still have over £1000 to raise for the NDCS so I appreciate all the help and support. I will do a few more of these as we keep on, keeping on.