Monday, April 23, 2007

Issue 414 - 5:45

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I hope Monday finds you well.

No sudden movements from me today, as I did my marathon yesterday.
Last Monday Suni Williams did the Boston Marathon while she was strapped to a treadmill aboard the International Space Station.
She clocked a time of 4 hours 23, very impressive.
I set off yesterday at 9am in the more mundane gravity of Earth.

The London Marathon, which I hadn't got a place in, started at the same time, all 36,000 of them.
It was extremely hot, one of the hottest days for the race, not ideal for running by a long shot!
In fact last week the Rotterdam Marathon was cancelled due to heat concerns.

I started at my target 5 miles per hour pace, and got all the way to 18 miles in 3 hours 36 with really no problems at all.
It was more comfortable than training runs, because when it starts to hurt during the training, you know it's just that, training, with nothing at the end.
At least this time I knew it was the real thing.

Then at 18 miles my dubious groin made an appearance.
I carried on and got to 20 miles in 4 hours 2, just a gnat's knacker outside my target.
However, something you get from a year's training is knowledge about what happens when things go wrong as well as right, and I knew that my groin couldn't take another 6 miles like that without risk of a serious twang.

So I slowed my pace, because I *knew* I would get to the finish, and wanted to get there as best I could.
Also, with the heat, the fact that I had no medical support was not something to ignore.

I crossed the line after 26.2 miles in 5 hours 45 minutes.
My target time had been around 5 hours 30, so I can't complain at that.

I had taken extra water supplies, meaning that when I passed my car at the side of the road every 3 miles, I could grab a new bottle, and the extra supplies meant I didn't have to make it last, so when I came round to my car again, I could use any excess in the bottle to pour over myself.

I've got aching muscles today, no surprise there, but the only real adverse effect is ferocious sunburn.
I had laughed loudly to myself as I passed 3 local women with their pushchairs, as they were all bright pink.
However, it suddenly dawned on me that I was in the same sun...

I now have a huge vest mark in pink and white - still cheaper than a tattoo I guess.

So will I do a marathon again?
Well I can definitely say it would have to be in the race proper if I did.

I'm not one of life's endurance athletes, after all my 5 hours 45 is a little way off the freak show world record of 2 hours 4.

No, I did it as a challenge to myself.
I set it to mark me hitting the Big 4-0, to remind myself that I could achieve huge things if I set out to do them.
The marathon is a classic in the world of achievement, so I can now tick it off my list.
I'm not the first or last person to do it, after all, there have so far been well over 35,000 finishers from yesterday alone!

It was hard though, hard enough for me to want to stop on many occasions - after all, it wouldn't matter if I didn't achieve it, would it?
Well it would matter to me, and part of the formula for being a goal achiever is to constantly remind yourself, *in the real world*, that you can and do achieve goals you set yourself.
They may be small goals, it doesn't have to be a marathon, but you do need to get into the habit of setting and then going about achieving goals.

There was lots of free information online about how a first timer should train for a marathon, right down to the details of what to eat and drink and when in the 3 hours before the race.

If you have a goal, don't tell yourself you haven't done it because it's hard.
Don't tell yourself you haven't done it because you don't know how.

The information is out there, the support is out there.
Tell yourself that you will get it done!

I'm feeling chuffed with myself today I must admit.
It was a big achievement for me, and as I said a reminder to myself of what I can achieve when I decide to!

Hopefully you can take some inspiration from it, and apply it to something in your life, that has maybe been simmering in the back of your mind?

Also, if anyone has any ideas about what challenge I should take up next, feel free to let me hear them!

Ok, that's it for this week - do you have a goal equivalent to a marathon in your life?

'Til next time,
Health and Happiness,
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