19 weeks out!! The count down begun over two years ago, we were counting in years, seasons or months but now… now I can feel comfortable counting down in WEEKS.
19 weeks, that’s nothing, 19 weeks is an average marathon plan. Before I started training for the Athens marathon in 2016 I remember my coach telling me we would start the program 19 weeks out from race day. At the time I thought that was ages, then as race day approached I realised 19 weeks was nothing. Could I really get my body and mind ready to run 42km, in a matter of only 19 weeks? I was so focused leading up to the Athens marathon, I followed the program as best I could, I suffered a few minor niggles and a bit of a knee injury but my coach assured me I was good and ready and would do well… and I did just that. I smashed it. I loved every moment of running the Athens marathon. I was on such a high. The marathon was awesome! The day after I was feeling great, we climbed the Acropolis and visited the sights of the city, everything was perfect. Even better to share the experience with my brother. We both ran Athens, the first marathon, for our first marathon and we did better than we had expected. I ticked the marathon off my bucket list, I had finally done it and I was so proud, but at 4hours and 7mins I did wonder if I could have run a better time…
During the summer of 2016 when I was spending our family holiday marathon training on the beach or when the girls returned to school in the Autumn, trip planning and preparation was slow going. Perhaps the marathon training was partly it, I was, after all preparing for my first and only marathon, I wanted to do my best, I wanted it to be great, but perhaps that was being selfish. I knew I needed to shift my focus back to the trip planning. After the Athens marathon was done I really put more time and effort into planning our gap year, but I wasn’t getting the balance right. I was getting distracted and I would feel over whelmed at times… something was missing. I would go for a run to clear my head, but even that didn’t feel great, my runs didn’t have a purpose any more.
I needed a new challenge, not something all consuming, like running my first marathon, but something I could look forward to, train for, feel good about and something which could take me away from the trip planning when it all became too much.
…I needed my second marathon! I looked at marathons across America, but I couldn’t find the right one which would fit into our travel dates.
After a merry night at the pub when my brother, Andrew was visiting, I announced I would run the Geneva marathon in May 2017. Andrew was keen to join me, our running buddy Sam also said he would sign up and feeling the pressure, Iain said he would join us in running it too -his first marathon! I got in touch with my coach, this was happening. Subsequently Andrew and Sam have had to pull out unfortunately but Iain and I are still committed.
I have had a few people tell me it’s nuts, why sign up to run another marathon when I have so much on my plate already?
Those people are so right, I have a little too much on my plate right now, but in a strange way, running gives me some balance in my life. Last year we had an au pair here helping us with the girls, we don’t have the luxury this year so I really need to plan when I am going to run, usually it has to be first thing in the morning when the family are still sleeping. It is so hard dragging myself out of bed and into the cold dark morning to go for a run. I check on the others all snug into their comfy beds and I tip toe out of the house. I often feel sluggish and tired as I head out, but it doesn’t take long to wake up, to get into the grove of running and what a bonus it is to witness the sun rising over the alps as the village comes to life. It is also nice to arrive home again after my run as the family are waking up. Their sleepy little heads happy to see me walk through the door as they are starting their day. It’s a great feeling to know I have already accomplished something while they were still in the land of nod, I have ticked one thing off my list of things to do today and I can feel great about approaching the next thing on my list. Running is also a great time to get things straight and organised in my head.
I first started running when Chloe was a tiny baby. I was struggling with the new addition and my emotions were getting the better of me. I needed to run away. Against doctors orders I put on my trainers and ran out of the house, leaving the children with Iain. My wounded uterus didn’t fall out and I didn’t get mastitis. I felt amazing. Running was my therapy. Just a slow 2km every now and again was enough to get my emotions back in check and help me feel positive and appreciate where I was. After Gemma was born I did the same and I kept it up, I ran my first half marathon when baby Gemma was only 4 months old. It was awesome. I was hooked.
Running isn’t for everyone, but for me it is what I need to keep on top of other things in my life. After a run I always feel great, even a crappy or difficult run. I’m yet to regret a run, but there have been plenty of times I have regretted not running. So now we are 19 weeks out from departure day. We still have so much to do and it can be overwhelming but I appreciate getting out into the fields of Founex and figuring everything out in my head, putting things in order and planning my day, while I am ticking one thing off the list *RUN*!
The Geneva marathon is 6 weeks away. I am slightly stressed about it, but enormously thankful to have the opportunity to run it. It will be another achievement. I appreciate where we are, I appreciate every run I manage to do. I am happy and healthy and I can approach our planning with a clear head and a sense of accomplishment. I am a runner and it feels great!