On November 2, I will be on the start line of the New York Marathon, joining the sharp-elbowed elite gazelles of Kenya and Ethiopia in a two-hour glide around the pointy sky-high city. OK, I won’t be alongside the record-breakers, and I may fail to break the two-hour mark, but nonetheless. NYC Marathon in November: I’ve signed up. I’m doing it.
In truth, I’m petrified. I’ll be starting, with any luck, in the four-hour wave among the hockey moms. But, at this point, I’ll be lucky if the runners around me don’t disappear over the Brooklyn bridge, leaving me and the street cleaners sweeping up the rear.
I’m an idiot for signing up: I’ve already got a niggly knee and during yesterday’s five-mile training run I had to stop because I was out of breath. I told myself that one-mile-in is a good point to stretch.
I ran a marathon last May, so you would think I’d be in OK shape. However, suffering as I do from being a normal human being, after I reached the finish line, I stopped running for a week. That turned into a fortnight in which I rediscovered the joys of eating and drinking everything I had denied myself over the preceding months.
This slip in discipline was compounded, ironically enough, by a trip to New York. It was only for a long weekend, but I ate my weight in junk food: a year’s worth of calories in four days. Then there was a summer of barbecues, the gourmet burger trend, the gourmet pizza trend, cronuts, my discovery of gelato’s surprising variety, then Christmas… I’d put on a quarter of my weight in eight months and another couple of kilos for good measure.
This is where I plan to blog my journey to the start line, describing what I’d love to be full of carefree flights through parks and PBs. I’d love to give you a quick motivational story to encourage you to lace-up and hit the pavement.
But this is a good point to be open about things. The only reason I’m running is because if I don’t I’m in danger. Not of getting fat; I’m there already. I am prone to the blues and I need to run to keep my head above water, plain and simple. And even though I can’t run, I need the endorphins. I have no choice.