With just 2 weeks to the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, the bulk of the training has now been done and it’s time to focus on a few specific things and reduce the mileage. If you’re doing the Half Marathon or Marathon for the first time, it’s perfectly understandable for nerves to be creeping in and wondering why you thought it was a good idea to sign up. It’s ok, even experienced runners get nervous too!
In 2 weeks, I will not only be running the Edinburgh Marathon but also the Half Marathon before it and the 5k and 10k the day before to become the first person to do “The Hairy” twice and in consecutive years. I admit to having some fears but that comes with the roller coaster of emotions everyone gets in the build up to a big event and I suspect these will continue until the weekend itself. My fears aren’t about being able to run the marathon, far from it, but being able to run the Half Marathon in as close to 1hr 30mins as possible so I can get back to Edinburgh in time to run the Marathon.
When I did it last year, I ran 1hr 34mins but then we hit heavy traffic and every traffic light at red on the way back and by the time I got dropped off, I had to sprint up Regents Road as it was nearly 20mins after the start of the marathon and I just crossed the start line before they were about to lift the timing mats. My rib injury earlier in the year has slowed my down a bit and the quickest I’ve run the half marathon distance is 1hr 47mins in the first half of the Paris Marathon. My biggest fear is being late back into Edinburgh and the timing mats already lifted. Not your usual pre-race nerves eh? This is probably the only occasion where knowing what to expect isn’t necessarily a good thing!
Certainly when I look at my performances since Paris – I’ve improved my 5km time by 1min 30secs at Perth Parkrun since I started doing it regularly at the end of March – and I’ve generally been feeling a lot stronger in all the other runs that I’ve done since Paris so technically I won’t be too far away. Last year I ran a Half Marathon to see how close to 1hr 30mins I could get and then to see if I felt able to keep on running but this year, I haven’t done that so I will be going into the Half this year unaware of what I will do. Perhaps, this will work in my favour?
The bottom line for me, and for everyone else about to run their first Half or full Marathon, when you get down to actually running on race day, there’s no way you won’t do it. I recently listened back to the James Cracknell interview on Marathon Talk and also listened to two of my all-time favourite marathon songs, both of which helped me a lot last year and I believe will help me again this year.
My favourite line in the last song is “Here I go, here’s my shot feet fail me not, this may be the only opportunity I got”
There is also the very reason why I am doing all these races again, in memory of my dad who lost his battle with Oesophageal Cancer in 2013 and to help raise over £1000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and enable them to help many more people on their journey with cancer. From providing someone at the other end of the line to talk to, providing practical support to patients and carers to providing nurses to help patients through their treatment. We all know someone who has been affected by this horrible condition so please help me help others. Thank you