Every time I run a half marathon, there’s a voice inside of me that wonders about a few important questions. Some common ones include “why did I add this song in my running playlist?”, “did I really think eating half a chocolate torte the night before the race was a good idea?” and, more importantly, “why am I not in bed like normal people?”
A few minutes after each half marathon, however, I wonder about different things. Lately, I’ve been finding myself questioning whether, with a little more training, I could push it further and keep going for a little while longer.
So it’s time to go a little further. More specifically, twice as far. Less than four months from now, I will be at the start line of my very first full marathon. It was all Stacey’s idea (and I’m putting this in writing here especially in case it all turns to custard). Yes, the same Stacey that had the 35k trail run idea. We had been talking about how exciting it’d be to enter a marathon in an exotic location in some faraway land. After one glass of wine too many, I even emailed the NZ-based travel agent responsible for getting kiwi runners into the Great Wall Marathon.
A couple of days later, Stacey emailed me saying she had found the marathon for us and added a link to the Mountain to Surf Marathon, in New Plymouth. Okay, so not really what I had in mind when we talked about exotic faraway locations (unless, of course, you’re outside New Zealand). But:
1. It’s not in Auckland. One of the things we had discussed was how hard it would be to run a full marathon along a place we know too well. We need the excitement that comes with running in a new location.
2. It involves a road trip. Or a flight. Whichever is the cheapest. Either way, exciting travel-related arrangements to be made.
3. It’s mostly downhill and flat. This could also very well turn out to be a bad thing, since downhills are so tough on the knees, but I definitely prefer them to steep uphills.
4. It starts in Mount Taranaki and ends right on the edge of the island by the Tasman Sea. So, beautiful scenery guaranteed.
5. Registration was only $70. Sadly though, there doesn’t seem to be a finisher’s medal. I might just have to add “marathoner” to my email signature and take that as my badge of honour since kiwis are clearly not into the whole medal deal. If they ask for my bib back at the end of the race, though, as it has happened before, I’ll lose my shit.
We agreed to sign up for it on pay day but I didn’t trust myself not to chicken out before then and so went ahead and signed up straight away. From now on, the clock is ticking and it’s time to get training. According to the marathon training programme I downloaded from the event’s website, I’m already behind. Training will, of course, be an essential part of my life in the next four months. I’ll probably talk about it
a bit all the freaking time so, dear friends, if there’s a holiday you’ve been meaning to take or any plans that involve not having contact with me, now is the time to put those into action.
It’s good to be back in training mode with a major goal in mind. Not to dismiss half marathons in the least (they’re still a challenge), but it was time to move on from those into something more, especially since I can’t bring myself to worry about speed so training to get faster never ends up happening.
To prove I’m taking marathon training seriously, the day after signing up I headed to the newly opened Moustache Milk & Cookies bar in Auckland to inaugurate marathon training season with a cookie.
Just kidding. I started marathon training the day I signed up. With a chocolate doughnut. So you know I mean business.