Saturday, January 21, 2006

Inspiration or Insanity

If there's one thing about the internet, it can really inspire you to fulfil your dreams. I'm currently trying to work out whether I'm insane, but there might just be a hint of sense in this idea. Somewhere.

It started with this thread. You will see that I replied...

I always used to watch the London Marathon on tv and wish that one day I would be able to run it. Dreams were the only way I could even consider me being that person, but I did dream, I dreamed of getting myself to a place where I could one day achieve more than I ever thought possible, and I dreamed of being able to say, for the rest of my life, that I did a marathon.

I didn't do much about it though, for a long time.

But, even before I started trying to get fit in earnest I used to go through phases where I'd think I'd start to run. I never did it properly, and the pattern was to think about it for a few weeks, one day summon up the courage to put a tracksuit on when no-one I knew was likely to be around, leave the house, run 50 metres, collapse panting in a bush, and put the dreams on hold again.

Funny then, that when I first joined the gym the one thing I didn't do for a long time was attempt to run. I guess I forgot my dreams for a while, and just concentrated on getting fit in any way I could rather than trying to run.

But once I started to run, I got hooked. I've blogged this time and time again, but I run because I like to run, not because I want to lose weight, although I know it will help. If I had the choice between running a good time in Blackpool and being 160lb on the day but being really slow, I'd take the first option.

I've been trying not to get too carried away with myself. At first I thought that I'd concentrate on 10ks this year and not get too intoxicated with the thought of being able to run further. I'd do half marathons next year, and only then consider anything longer than that.

But, inevitably, I cracked. And from my original thought of doing a half marathon in May or June I realised that the dates didn't really work with other stuff I have planned, so it came forward to February. So much for next year. I've got a plan for running up until about June, with a 10k in April and a 10k in June, with shorter races in March (5 mile) and May (5k) to build up to them. And then I wondered what I'd move on to after that.

And reading about other people who have lost tons of weight and run marathons got me thinking.

The marathon I would love to do is, of course, London, but with ballot entry even if I enter for next year, who knows how long it would take me to get a place. I'm quite tempted by the idea of leaving it to fate, assuming that I'd get a place "when I'm ready". But, reading other people's stories, I realised that I don't want to leave this to fate. I want to do it. I've realised that at some point I will run a marathon. That dream is too persistent to be ignored indefinitely, and I now know that I can run, and I can do it.

But when? Leaving it to fate is one option, but surely there are others. So I was fiddling around, and for some reason was drawn to the idea of Berlin. It's in September, and I could get a flight out there for about £40. There's no ballot to enter, and it would give me something to train for.

Part of me says just go for it, I'm sure I could train enough between now and then to at least get round, even if I don't break any records (except of course my so far unset personal best!). But I really don't want to do this too fast. I've got the rest of my life, and there's no hurry. If I run a marathon too soon will I feel like I've achieved everything I want in running and give up? Will I ever be inspired to carry on and do it again?

The sensible part of me says just enter the London ballot next year, and wait and see. But the impulsive part of me is jumping up and down saying "DO IT, DO IT, DO IT".

I don't want to rush into a decision. Ideally I'd run Blackpool first before deciding. But those flights might get more expensive before then...

(the 10pm edit - it's been on my mind all day. I need to check a couple of things with the dates, like if I can get time off work. I also need to wait til pay day before I can even think about spending money on flights. But if I can still get cheap flights once I get paid, and I can get the time off work, I think I'm going to do it. It will be hard, and it will be challenging. But I just imagine waking up on the morning of 25th September knowing that I've run a marathon. And that thought is selling it to me, and being persistently persuasive. I know that there's a marathon in my future. I've dreamed about it for too long. The question is when, so why not live for the moment and just do it?)


Blogger Vicky said...

Do it, sign up for it! What's the reason for not signing up? I bet you struggle to come up with any valid reasons! Even if you don't do as well in Blackpool as you hope it's no reason not to sign up. Septembers a long way off in training terms. Even if you were a beginner it's more than enough time to train!

2:15 PM  
Blogger Shauna said...

ooohhhh! definitely inspirational and not insanity. why not enter? even if you change your mind later, you could still go and watch because berlin is an AMAZING city and worth a good visit anyway! but i bet you could do it :) :) :

12:57 AM  
Blogger kathrynoh said...

Go for it!

1:23 AM  

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