Pride comes before a fall

4 05 2010

I have completed my Madrid challenge in late March and now just need to collect all the remaining sponsorship. I am most grateful to all my sponsors. Thank you so much for your generosity.

When I started the challenge it meant everything to me. It almost felt like a spiritual calling. I had not done anything for charity since my university years. I had just started running and was walking to the front to cool off when the idea came to me to run the Madrid marathon and run the equivalent distance (Parkgate to Madrid) and map it all. I thought of how lucky we were to have our boys and how neighbours had lost a child. I must do it for a kid’s charity.

I thought friends and family would be delighted and supportive. Unfortunately, the wind was taken out of my sails almost from day one. Support came from some, indifference from others. I chose Madrid for a very special reason , my mum. I wanted to run the Madrid marathon whilst she was alive and make her proud. The early entries of my blog show the joy I felt in starting the venture. The joy was taken when my mum died. The challenge lost all its appeal when I found out subsequently she didn’t want me to run in Madrid. It didn’t impress her. She was concerned for my health. Instead of flying I now felt I was dragging a stone. I changed my plans from the Madrid marathon to running the distance to Madrid then the Brighton marathon. I was trying to salvage something but it wasn’t really possible. It was becoming a bit of nonsense !

The irony is that I feel so much stronger this year. I could have done it. I am as certain as I can be. I may well continue running and participating in marathons but I know I can never run the Madrid marathon. The emotion would be too much.

Helen said something interesting this week. She said she had never really seen me give my all in a race. Never seen me struggle over the line. In many ways she is right and had hit the nail on the head and showed an insight into my character that perhaps only she has. Fleetwood (my first marathon) was controlled and cautious. I ran with fear. Fear of failure, fear that there was maybe something wrong with my heart, fear of the wall. I plodded in, gave her a hug and that was that.

The Chester marathon I hope will be different. I have always wanted to run a marathon in under 4 hours. That is my goal. I will give it my all. No complications. No baggage. To run a sub-4 marathon I will have to be at my very best. It is only just achievable based on my half marathon and 20 mile paces.

Training has been going extremely well and I feel much fitter than for my first marathon. I have completed my two 20 mile training runs with no major impact and the maths tells me I could run in close to 4 hour pace. My last 20 miler was done in 9:15 pace. I need to do it in 9:10 pace per mile.

I am going to give it a real go. Not hell for leather, it has to be more measured than that or you will burn out. I believe I can go pretty close. If I fail to reach my target it will be a gallant failure and God willing I will do it next time. If I succeed then it will be one of my greatest achievements. I am unworthy of my dad’s comments on the Fleetwood marathon entry. I feel I could have done so much more for charity and for myself. I just haven’t been strong enough.