Ladies and gentlemen, we are no longer in pre-training. As of today, marathon coach informs me, I am now in the training plan properly. At half nine on Monday night struggling up Chinaman's hill at the end of a 10k in the cold and rain I'd have argued the notion of it being "pre" anything, but there it is. I'm into it properly now.
97.56km covered (though apparently my Garmin is rather conservative- about .25k for every 10k covered but I'll stick with it)
Weeks to marathon: 18
Weeks spent training: 7
Fastest 5k: 33 minutes
Fastest 10k: 78 minutes (adjusted final time)
Current weight: 80kg (85 on the 7th May)
Part of me is quite chuffed I've made it this far, really. The desire to complete and do well is still really strong, I'm working my arse and making nearly every run on my plan. I had a setback last week when, post 10k race I partially dislocated my kneecap at skating. The physio is keeping a close eye on it but it still feels weird and gross if any lateral or shearing forces are applied to it (normal walking, running etc. is fine). So I find myself in the bizarre situation of being able to run 10k but not skate (skiing's out too), and until earlier this week I had to get into my car bum-first so I didn't twist my knee.
I feel like I'm a battle against my body, injury and all the stuff I want to do. It feels like there's a constant stream of little niggles, annoyances and "WTF"s that are conspiring to stop me actually getting anywhere. This month alone it's been ankle and knee pain (the other knee!) from a skate pile-up, a stomach bug that left me unable to leave the house for a couple of days, and a kneecap that wouldn't do as it was told. I'm taking a month off skating (holiday to the motherland to see my family, then starting a new job) so I can see how that affects my accident rate. I was also told to try cold/ice baths after hard runs to help with muscle and joint problems, which I have to say seems to help but is gross in the extreme. After an hour or so pounding the streets in the dark, coming home usually warrants a hot shower and a huge dressing gown, not sitting in a bath of near-freezing water trying not to drop my book from shivering. Still, if it means I can keep going it'll be worth it.
I'm still in love with this. There's no drama. If I don't do a run, the only person I have to answer to is me. There's no fundraising, no wondering about the team or drafts or coaching rosters. The hour or so I spend out there on rainy evenings is all me, all mine. I'm finding that I have more determination than I knew. Some people seem to need motivation to get out for a run, I find myself able to come home, chill out, eat some dinner and STILL get off the couch and get out there without the need for a lot of self-talk and promises of cookies.
18 weeks to go, and I am on my way to being ready.