One of my oldest and dearest friends and I are doing a run in March. We did our first one when we were 7, our legs were tied together and I think, because it was her birthday party, we were allowed to win the 3 legged race. We did another in 2009, but not much running, instead 100kms of walking over 30 tough hours. Our next event is called Motatapu It's a 42km Off Road Marathon from Wanaka to Arrowtown in the gorgeous mountains of New Zealand. I'm already relishing the thought of the day after where with tired legs we can soak up some Queenstown before we hop on planes back home.
My personal challenge is getting to the start line.
Somehow I have to get myself fit enough to not completely disgrace myself. I'm a comfortable 8 - 10km runner. In fact I'm not even comfortable at that. I'm not built like a runner, I'm a classic mesamorph body shape, muscular and tendency to chunk up. I should be doing a body sculpting challenge. I'm pigeon toed. I avoid looking at my reflection as I approach bus shelters and see my awkward gait. I have a dicky knee. I can't walk down stairs in high heels without clutching the bannister, often with both hands.
But I am loving having a focus. Even though I dread the thoughts of my long runs, I love the feeling afterwards
I need to get up to 32kms in a single run. This brings tears into my eyes. Sometimes on my long runs I get a little weepy when I think about how far I've got to go, or if I've got myself a little lost and I need to retrace my steps. I did a little weeping during my Oxfam 100km Trailwalker event. I think I'm a serial weeper when it comes to tough physical stuff.
Sometimes I'm nearing the end of a run and I'm hobbling, and some fresh runner screams past me. I want to call after them "but I've come from miles away, I've been running for hours", but quietly tuck that knowledge away to spur me on for the last km or two.
So that's my world and my single minded focus until mid March.
I don't think this will be the last you hear of it somehow.