Do you ever get the feeling you’ve bitten off more than you can chew? I know that January is the traditional time for committing to better habits – cutting out the midweek glass of Chianti, laying off the ciggies or instituting an embargo on pies – but I’m not sure if compressing all this do-gooding into the space of a month is always the brightest of notions. Maybe if you’re newly retired or on a sabbatical you might be able to accommodate an hour’s Tai Chi in your daily schedule, but if you’re juggling work and family life while training for a marathon, something’s gotta give.
What on earth was I thinking?
If I said ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’, that’s probably as close as I could get to explaining why I ended up committing to train for the Virgin London Marathon. My chosen charity – The Lord’s Taverners – is undoubtedly a worthy cause and I’m delighted to be able to add some funds to their coffers (if I can stagger to the finish line, that is), but seriously, what was I thinking?
I guess part of my motivation was to see if I actually could take on the challenge to complete such an arduous event. After all, every year thousands of ordinary people with jobs and families do it – some of them dressed as rhinos or fridges – so what’s stopping me?
Taking the strain
I actually thought I had a bit of a jump on the whole training malarkey as I’ve been running regularly for the last twelve months or so. But the increase in mileage necessary to raise my fitness and stamina ahead of the event led to an injury which has slightly stymied my schedule. My long-suffering physio has banned me from running at all until my hamstring recovers from its strain and has ordered me to improve the strength and flexibility of my back muscles in the meantime. The good news is that as a 45-year-old I have the fitness of someone ten or twelve years my junior – the bad news is that my suppleness is firmly in the senior citizen spectrum.
Too much on my plate
I don’t want to whinge too much but the short days and inclement weather of the winter months really do make it so much harder to put in the hours needed to take me confidently to the start line. I find myself spending more time than I’d ideally like in the garage, clocking up miles on the static bike, and I’m constantly toggling between acupuncturist, rowing machine and Pilates class (yes, really, and yes, I’m the only guy) in pursuit of a marathon-ready body.
Naturally, I have to squeeze all this extra-curricular activity in alongside working, eating, sleeping and being a dad. At Tremark, we’re preparing for an ISO 9001 and BSI 102000 audit and are working on the live introduction of a new case management system, so it’s all fun and games here, too.
Perhaps I might have to shelve my sail-a-yacht-round-the-world plan till next year!