Challenge Accepted!

This week I’ve been feeling pretty tired and I place the blame for this squarely in the court of the approaching winter. It doesn’t help, then, that my marathon training plan demands that I run more miles this week than I have ever done in the space of seven days. The fact that I spent last Sunday morning hammering out 32km on some very hilly trails almost certainly also has something to do with my slump in oomph. Still, I keep pointing the finger of blame primarily at winter and its knack for stealing away a little bit of my precious zest with each passing day, especially when each of these days is a little darker, colder and gloomier than the one before.

For the moment I have decided to simply ignore winter and am keeping my eyes firmly fixed on the 10th of November, when the sound of a gun in Marathon shall unleash me upon my first ever 26.2 mile journey. To keep me entertained in the meantime, my emotions accompanying the event have all gathered at a theme park and are hanging out in the creaking carts of the good old rollercoaster. Whenever I think about the race, any sentiment on the long and colourful spectrum from blissful excitement to sheer terror can temporarily possess my heart. The only thing that remains constant is my stubborn determination to see this journey through.

So far, winter hasn’t stopped me from training, but I admit that this week it has been starting to get a little rough. Yesterday, I willingly sacrificed my lunch break to run ten kilometres around a lake, incorporating a few playful strides into the run, which was all good fun. Today I was supposed to do a tempo run, but when I had finished work and other obligations, it was already dark outside. Damn, how did that happen? Winter 1 – me 0. I decided to hit the dreadmill and faithfully complete my 10 kilometre hill run (yes really, I’m that stubborn). At the moment, I’m calling it a 1-1 draw. Tomorrow I’ll rest; on Friday it’ll be proper speedwork and Sunday calls for another 20 miler. Naturally, the forecast for the rest of the week is solid rain. Excuse me for a moment while I go and contemplate my imaginary emigration to Antigua.

However, in a mere three weeks I’ll hop on a plane to Greece, escape the northern winter entirely and embark on 42.2 km Sunday morning stroll in the footsteps of Pheidippides. Right now, I really can’t wait to do just that!

If all of this sounds like a struggle, just wait until Monday when my taper officially begins. That’s also promising to be jolly good fun, in the nail-biting and hair-tearing-out kind of way.

Bring it on!

gloomy rainy night

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4 thoughts on “Challenge Accepted!

  1. Trails and Ultras says:

    I’ve been really enjoying your posts, the last one with your thoughts at each mile was pretty much how I am on the longer runs! it did make me laugh 🙂 I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award because I like reading about the training you ‘re doing and the build up to your race – you can check out the details of the award via my post http://trailsandultras.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/my-liebster-award-and-11-nominations/

  2. Brandi says:

    It’s funny you mention winter and training because this will be my first winter to train. I started in the spring so my only experience so far is heat and humidity. It will be interesting to see how my running (and my viewpoint on running) changes. Good luck on the marathon!!!! So excited for you!!!!

    • Thank you! I must admit that I struggle during the winters mostly because I’m an outdoorsy runner and there isn’t much daylight to enjoy the trails. The weather itself isn’t the biggest problem – my mother always used to say that there is no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing. 😉 Having said that, winter running can have its charms – I’ve had fantstic runs in the snow before and even today I’ve enjoyed a lovely trail run in the mist. Having said all that, if you’re training for an event, I’d recommend you join a gym over the winter months – there might well be days when you’ll have to face the dreadmill if you want to stick to your training schedule. =(

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