Marathon number two complete!! Honestly didn’t think I was going to manage even one so I still can’t quite believe I’ve run two so far, and even if I don’t manage another full one all week I’m mega happy with two! Today was SO MUCH better than yesterday 🙂 I’d slept properly last night which really made a difference (ear plugs were definitely a good idea) and had porridge before the run, and I think the combination really, really helped both with how I was feeling in general and with the running itself.
I was a bit nervous about running again so I decided to wear my Hope24 T-shirt for good luck and to try to channel positive Hope vibes (Hope24 is my favourite ever race and have written blog posts about it before- Hope24: a 24 hour run in Newnham Park, Devon and Hope24 2017). It kind of worked and was feeling a lot more positive than I have done recently which must have showed because several people commented that I seemed better than yesterday. I’m focusing on one day at a time so just wanted to get through today, and I was really nervous about not making the cut off time for a marathon but once you’re at the start line and people are so lovely, it definitely helps you to feel less nervous. I’m really lucky to know so many awesome running friends who are amazingly encouraging and supportive which really, really helped- you know who you are and THANK YOU!!
The first lap felt OK; I wasn’t running particularly fast but I was running which was a definite improvement on yesterday, and my body didn’t feel as much like lead as it had done. It started off warm and sunny which was nice, not as oppressively hot as yesterday and there was a bit of a breeze then it started to cloud over. I caught up with the friend who’d forced me to run a bit faster yesterday and he was amazing at motivating me and getting me to actually stick with the running which was definitely needed. Anyone who knows Nick will know that he’s a pretty good person to run with when you’re really not feeling it- he doesn’t hold back and is v direct when you’re not trying hard enough or getting too distracted, and he’s definitely experienced enough at marathons to know what he’s talking about (he’s the current world record holder for most amount of marathons in a year and runs them pretty much every day; often more than one in a day- check out his Facebook page Chasing World Records) and he basically dragged me round the first four laps which meant I had enough time left to “fuck around” (Nick’s words) for the last few laps which was a relief because I was completely exhausted by that point. But thanks to him, I stuck to the path instead of veering off to the sides, didn’t get *too* distracted by a cat wandering across the path and actually made up some time so thanks Nick!
Laps three and four weren’t a lot of fun the clouds turned to rain and got absolutely soaked. I’d left my waterproof in the car which wasn’t brilliantly organised of me and had to keep running just to stay warm. The not-helpful part of my brain kept reminding me that you burn more calories when you’re trying to stay warm so it wasn’t a bad thing; Nick also reminded me that if you’re burning more calories then you need to consume more to finish the race and my brain went into a bit of a tailspin at that point! But he was right- you can’t run ten marathons in ten days while not eating enough even if you’re not exercising, and I stuck to the same ‘cereal bar every two laps’ strategy that I’d used yesterday. At the time, it was easier because I was flagging energy-wise and I knew I needed some fuel but finding it harder to justify now especially thinking of all the extra calories I’m going to have eaten by the time I finish the runs. Found it hard to eat tea tonight- most places are closed on Sundays so I went to Subway and got a chicken salad but it was MASSIVE and felt a bit nauseous eating it. I didn’t manage the porridge last night but I’ve got some soya milk which I’m going to try to drink before going to bed so I’ve got a bit more fuel for tomorrow. Marathons are so much harder to fuel than ultras!
The rain eased off during lap five which was a relief and it was nice to start to dry off a bit. I’d had some caffeine (via paracetamol) after lap four which really helped too and I slowed down a bit, and started to relax into the run a bit more. I was listening to David Bowie’s Lazarus album which I love (the cast recording so it’s like a story) and the scenery was really nice in the sun. Then about halfway round the lap, something amazing happened and I started to feel like I was actually real and with it for the first time in ages! No idea why or what caused it but it was a massive relief- I’ve felt like an emotionally dead zombie pretty much constantly for the last few weeks and even though I still feel rubbish, I’m definitely feeling a lot less dissociated than I have been which is a big shift. Really hoping it wasn’t just a one-off!
During lap six, I started running with a lovely woman who I hadn’t met before and we spent the last couple of laps running/walking and chatting which was really nice. Finished well within the cut off time which was a big relief and was great to see more running friends at the end. Definitely a better day than yesterday and so happy to have run another marathon! Shower and bed time now ready for another go tomorrow, fingers crossed it’ll be another positive one…