Seeing as my last-but-one post was about entering the Edinburgh Marathon, it’s good timing to say that I just entered my second marathon in Reykjavik, Iceland. Yes, it was so much fun the first time around I couldn’t wait to do it again. Let me rephrase: it was so much fun BUT I needed to recover for about 8 months before I could even consider signing up for another one.
It helped that Edinburgh went really well. I made a time that I really wasn’t expecting for my first marathon – 3hrs 49mins – and I didn’t get injured during training. I also had a lot of support from colleagues and friends both during training and financially. Even better, I ran the race with my brother for the British Heart Foundation, and he ran it with a PACEMAKER. Not one of those people who keep the pace. I mean a battery-powered heart. My brother is in his twenties now; he was 12 when he had the pacemaker fitted, so this was a major achievement by anyone’s standards, and he even completed in the absurdly fast time of 3hrs 22mins.
My favourite bit of the marathon (apart from the end, of course)? There’s a bit when the course double backs and the outgoing runners (me) overlap with the returning runners (everyone faster than me) and literally just at that moment, my brother and I saw each other and gave each other a massive high-five. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to see him, all the endorphins came together at once to give me a crazy high.
I was so excited I signed up immediately for the Oxford half marathon in October: easy, I thought. But this was not so. Work and life conspired against me, and I just kept putting things in my diary in place of running, so I pulled out (annoying: no refund, and no deferral to the following year). Since then I’ve been ticking over with short runs here and there, but it’s been known that whole weeks have gone by without me getting my trainers off the shelf and onto the pavements.
2016 marks a big birthday for me, and in order to help celebrate, I hatched this crazy plan to run the Berlin Marathon, which falls directly on the day. What luck, I thought! But a politely-worded German email received back in October informed me that I didn’t make the ballot. Seeing as I suck at asking people for money when it comes to personal things, I didn’t want to enter as a charity runner, and the hotel-affiliated options were just on the other side of comfortable in terms of my comprehension. Do they guarantee entry or not? WHY DOES IT NOT SAY THIS CLEARLY ANYWHERE? (Can anyone help me out here?)
So after scouring Europe for marathons on 25th September (Moscow marathon anyone?), I decided that more than running on my actual birthday, I wanted to do a lovely race and have some friends come and cheer me on. And then I realised I wanted to go back to Iceland, maybe walk the Laugavegur trail again, and (best of all) soak my aching legs and back in the amaaaaazing hot springs. So I entered the Reykjavik marathon this week and I am excited.
[Update: actually, just discovered the Loch Ness Marathon. Affordable, reasonably close, beautiful, on my birthday… Wonders – could I seriously manage two marathons this year with a gap of five weeks? Hmmm.]