A while ago, I thought it would be a good challenge to try to run ten marathons in ten days during the summer holidays so I signed up and scarily it’s come round quicker than I thought! I’ve never attempted 10 in 10 before so was a bit nervous at the time but it seemed like a good idea as I’ve done 7 in 7 before so it seemed like a logical step. Which it would be if I was in the same mindset and physical condition as I was when I did the 7 in 7 a few years ago; unfortunately I’m really not at the moment which is adding an extra challenge on top of the actual running.
I haven’t been feeling great recently and have spent most of the summer holidays from school either lying on my bed feeling rubbish, trying to motivate to do something productive (and usually failing), watching Bad Girls on repeat or walking up and down the canal for hours just to get out the house so the idea of running a marathon every day for ten days seemed a bit overwhelming but I’m looking at it one day at a time and just focussing on getting through that. Really is a big challenge and I really want to complete it- my running’s been rubbish recently and hadn’t managed a full marathon in over a month, and I want to prove to myself that I can still do it. The other bonus is that the runs are in Kent which means being away for ten days- I’ve had to move back in with my parents for the moment which isn’t the best situation but not been feeling v safe on my own, and ten days away is definitely needed!!
Anyway, back to the running! The whole event is really well organised- it’s eight laps of a cyclopark (so you can’t get lost) and starts at 9am every morning. I was really nervous when I got there, partly because of the running but also v tired because I hadn’t had much sleep (staying in a v noisy B+B and it was freezing last night- had to double over the duvet to make it extra thick and wore running clothes under my pyjamas so didn’t really sleep much even with Zopiclone and piriton) but it was so nice to see and catch up with running friends before the start. Then the run started and everyone ran at their own pace- I’m mega slow atm so was running on my own for most of it.
It was HARD. The first couple of laps especially- I felt really stiff and heavy, like I was forcing my body to move and the heat didn’t help. I don’t usually sweat but was literally dripping and must have been really dehydrated because I didn’t need to use the toilet all day (it’s nearly 8pm now and still haven’t needed it) even though I was drinking half a litre of water every lap and have had soup and two bottles of diet Coke since I finished. No idea what was going on and really didn’t like it! I realised quite quickly that lack of food wasn’t helping either- my diet’s been rubbish over the last few weeks, lots of bingeing (on fruit) but been feeling v nauseous and shaky most of the time so haven’t actually ‘eaten’ much outside of bingeing which seems to be impacting on running. So I had a cereal bar after two laps which helped a bit, and managed to pick up enough speed to count as maybe jogging rather than semi-crawling round.
During lap three, a friend I’ve run with a few times before caught up with me and made me run a bit quicker which definitely helped the overall time- thank you!! Had two laps of semi-running with him before he went off ahead, which meant I was closer to the cut off time although still pushing it. Energy levels were dropping again so I had another cereal bar after four laps, and another at six. Trying to justify it by the fact that my watch was telling me I burned 3000 calories during the run so an extra 100 every other lap shouldn’t make too much difference but I’m still feeling really guilty about it and like I should have just got on with it. But it’s a really hard balance I really do want to finish the runs and need the energy to do it but I’m terrified of gaining even more weight by being greedy and eating if I don’t need it- so bloody complicated!! Have written about this before (Running your way to body tolerance… and Thoughts about ED recovery) and it still messes with my mind. Sometimes I wish I was still a lazy teenager who only exercised in order to burn calories instead of wanting the actual exercise part!
The last few laps were horrible- still really hot and genuinely seemed to have run out of energy. I only just made the cut off time for the marathon which was a relief to make it but bloody scary considering it’s only day one and have got nine more attempts to go! Really need to get into the right mindset and focus no idea how though. I think actually getting there every day and taking part is as much of a challenge as the runs themselves atm- I’m literally having to force myself to move and actually do something but it’s definitely better than being at home feeling even more rubbish which is my main motivation. Even if I don’t manage marathons every day, it’s still a positive just to run for six hours and more than I thought I’d be able to. Wish the bloody endorphins would kick in though! Sorry to anyone who had to deal with me today and thank you to everyone who was so encouraging- promise I’ll try to be less negative for the rest of the week. You know you must look like shit when three separate people ask if you’re on the right combination of medications…!
Back at the B+B now, have had soup and going to try to have some porridge before I go to bed so I’ve *hopefully* got a bit more energy for the morning. Still feeling shit about the cereal bars though so will see how it goes a couple of people commented today that I need to eat to fuel the marathons and I’m trying to see it in the context of other people- lots of people running were eating sweets or crisps every lap and they didn’t look any different afterwards (and still looked way thinner than I do atm!), and they needed it for the fuel. Will definitely have porridge tomorrow morning and see if it makes any difference. Bought some earplugs after the run and really hoping for a better night’s sleep tonight! Fingers crossed tomorrow will be a bit easier…