Sunday, 24 February 2013

10 signs Marathon training has taken over your life

The title is quite a giveaway really and it was in fact Item 1) on this list that led to my latest blog:

1)      Googling everything ‘Marathon-training-related’ that I could get my hands on.

Whilst perusing Google for yet more articles on the various facets of Marathon training, I stumbled upon a list of ’10 signs that tell you Marathon training has taken over your life!’ I read it with a chuckle and added it to my favourites section along with ‘26 uses of Vaseline during the Marathon’ and  foam rollers – a Marathon trainers must-have!’…amongst others! Yes, I have started constantly reading anything I can get my hands on to aid me in my training quest. I’ve even stopped reading DailyMail online for the first time in ages (my guilty pleasure) and replaced it with google searches such as: “can you run a Marathon without training?” Answer – apparently YES…Jedward did! Those amazingly irksome Irish X-Factor twins with the quiffed up hair! So, it got me to thinking about what signs there are that perhaps Marathon Training has indeed taken over my life. Here are the remaining 9 for your pleasure J

2)      Reactions to other runners on the streets.

This is quite a mega one for me as Jamie will attest to. I can’t go ANYWHERE now without constant referral to it. If it’s a training night and I spot runners I’ll quip: “that’ll be me later” if it’s a non-training night it’s “that’ll be me tomorrow” and god forbid I am mid-injury of some varying kind …”that should be me…sob…”.  I note the time of day they’re out, what they’re wearing, who they are running with, the route they appear to be taking and so on. I mean I just NEVER noticed these people before unless they were running across the road as I was navigating a corner in the car, and that would be to curse them. Now I’m the person running across the road. I read a really funny quote recently that said.. the difference between a runner and a jogger, is that a jogger waits to cross the road by jumping up and stretching, while a runner waits by standing there, looking annoyed  - well I kind of do both but the fact is I am now that irksome runner!

3)      Baby Talk

I called this Baby Talk simply because when you have a baby you invariably find any way to bring the conversation around to them. You just CANT HELP IT and it’s the same with Marathon Training too.  I just can’t help bringing almost every conversation I have around to it. Someone mentions the weather?  I have to train in that! Someone mention a meal out? I will be filling up on pasta tonight as part of my training regime. Someone going out for a drink? Whoa, I can’t drink I’m Marathon training! Buying new clothes? I’m getting a running belt! I tell you, I can bring any conversation around to my training!  If you want to know how I managed to bring round a conversation about nappy brands recently to Marathon training – just ask me!
4)      Multitask Stretching

I don’t have a lot of time on my hands in the evening in fairness. The kids rightly need every inch of time they can get with Mummy and I have to say they have been amazing to me during these months of nightmare nightime training! I’m also trying to maintain my blog, keep my presence up on social media etc, eat dinner and maybe watch one thing before I fall into bed. Stretching is an evil necessity. I only say evil because it just eats into so much time and I lack time. I have to do it though and religiously….so if I can multitask so be it. So now I find myself standing up to ‘facebook’ whilst trying to maintain ‘lunges’ ‘squats’ and ‘quad stretches’. I join the children on the ‘wobble board’ they got for Christmas so I can carry out important ankle stabilising exercises whilst maintaining some semblance of ‘playing with them’ and if you take phonecalls whilst standing you are apparently more professional. Nobody has to know I’m standing on one leg though!

5)      Music takes on new meaning

I hear songs differently now. I suppose it’s what it’s like for Drivers in a way..there will always be that song that makes you want to accelerate ..not mentioning names ‘cough’ ‘Jamie’ ‘cough’. I feel this way with music currently. It’s motivational at times, comforting at others and overall a really rather necessary distraction as you run.  So I no longer ‘hear’ songs and simply tap away to them with my feet or in my head, I actually visualise runs based on them. I see myself syncing in time to the rhythm and as I don’t like running with’s almost like musical company.  Apple aren’t daft by teaming up with sports company’s – there’s a clear correlation between the two. There are ‘running CD’s’ and even a ‘Now that’s what I call running’ one… but don’t get me started on that playlist as that’s for another blog! For now I shall stick with the old classics like Kate Bush or Bruce Springsteen to name but two! The Proclaimers is mighty good for ‘pace’ running for sure!  Though I can’t help but hear the them from Rocky in my head each time I leave the house to start a session!
6)      Food has become fuel

This is rather depressing for me actually. I love love LOVE my food. I’ve mentioned before how I can be eating one meal and planning the next one at the same time. It’s a bit of a family trait…our day revolving around where, when and what are next meal is. I hate being dictated to though in what I eat, I’ve just never bowed to that kind of pressure, not ever. To dictate to myself is truly a big battle and one of the worst parts of Marathon training for me. I feel like a slave to the training nutrition plan in much the same way someone must feel about varying diet plans. I can’t bear the idea of taking something off of a food shelf and then turning it over to check it’s ingredients or calorific intake before purchasing. Yet here I find myself all of a sudden with a poxy spreadsheet measuring out my week by ‘glycogen windows’ and bypassing the alcohol aisle in the supermarket whilst I head to the energy drinks section. Normally Jamie rings me each day to ask what I want for dinner (yes I know, I’m spoilt!)…but now I find myself answering in relation to my running programme both in terms of what I eat and when I eat it.

7)      Nightmares

Already my recurring marathon dreams have begun. I vaguely remember getting these last time around too. This time they are worse though and perhaps that comes from the knowledge of having gone through a Marathon before. I’ve always suffered from what I describe as ‘Krypton Factor dreams’. For those who used to watch the show I always regularly have to undergo krypton factor style assault courses to get away from people trying to kill me, regularly. My dreams are often exhausting and I’ve suffered with them for years. So now I’m having Marathon-related ones. So far I’ve been on the start line several times with varying end results. I’ve had ones where I ‘try to run’ but I can’t go forwards no matter what I do, I can only run sideways like a crab. Then I’ve had ones where I’m running the Marathon, but the Marathon involves scaling buildings like Spiderman and running through work floors. At other times, the course is going through winding underground tunnels and my colleagues are there running it too and I’m annoyed by this as they keep stopping me at mile 2. Either way, I’ve yet to reach the end of the Marathon in  any one of my dreams.

8)      My life is measured in running cycles

Every Monday now my nice little outlook diary tells me what week of my training plan I am on. My life is now measured out by these ‘weeks’ and what my short runs and long run entails. I already know I am no longer socially available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday  evenings as I’m running. But then again, on Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday evenings I’m exhausted anyway so going nowhere really. Don’t even think about asking me about Sunday as its long-run day and after that I’m not really planning on doing anything at all. I have a constant stream of ‘reminders’ hitting my pc and blackberry and whereas in the past they used to say things like: ‘buy a birthday card for Mum’ ‘pay council tax’ etc…..they now say ’10 min brisk walk, 35 minute easy, 10 min brisk walk, 45 easy’ and so on. Depressing!

9)      Bathroom planning ;o)

No I don’t mean navigating mornings with a house-full of people! I mean planning your running route carefully so as not to be ‘caught short’ when Mother Nature beckons. I used to joke about planning my running routines around pubs last time around but actually it’s not a bad course of action.  This is particularly important on my Sunday long-run. When I propose meeting Jamie several miles down the road at a country pub following one, it’s not because I’m desperate for a glass of wine (much as I’d like to) it’s because by then I probably need the Ladies (and a lift back home!). There’s actually not that many places to take such a pit stop in all honesty and pubs are the best bet. Jamie is very supportive of me in these endeavours, but seems to reach the pub ahead of me far too early for some reason!

10)   Romance has hit rock bottom

And last but not least, in at number 10…. Romance!  When you have been together for 15 years, married for nearly 12 of them….you have a tendency to take each other for granted. So imagine Jamie’s delight when last week after the kids had finally gone to bed  I appeared downstairs with some bottles of massage oil!   The delight was short lived though. I in fact was after a very much needed lower leg massage …it just so happened it was also Valentine’s Day.

Proof after all, that this training has in fact TAKEN OVER MY LIFE!


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