Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sinking In

Because of my unexpected day in, I've finally got round to watching my recording of the BBC's coverage of New York. They don't mention us, but I've still found myself getting quite emotional watching it. Remembering the various spots round the course where things happened (where the batteries were changed, where we overtook Larry the Lighthouse for the third time), remembering the crowds, hearing the commentators say what a huge event it is, it's finally started to sink in what a fantastic thing it was to do. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was a wonderful thing at the time, but it's one of those things that doesn't diminish when you re-live it two weeks later.

I do feel hugely privileged to have had the opportunity to do this. It's something that I could never have imagined when I started trying to run. I had vague ideas back then that running would be a good thing, but I didn't have any idea what sort of running that might be. From my house to the next lamppost felt like a long way, and even walking 26.2 miles would have been very, very daunting.

And now, I don't just run marathons, I help other people run marathons, and I run tolerably fast marathons. I've got to the stage where I've had to separate out my medals. Call me sad, but I hang all my medals over a corner of the mirror in my bedroom. The mirror was tilting slightly, so I ended up putting marathon medals on one side and anything less on the other, which balances it out a bit. I never thought that the marathon side of the mirror would exist, let alone have four medals draped proudly over it.

As far as I can tell, I've not got a place in FLM through the ballot. Or at least my cheque hadn't been cashed last time I looked, and it would have been by now by the time I got in. But I do think I have a good chance of a club place. The way the rules work, you have the best chance in your first or second full year of membership (ie where I am now). If you haven't been a member for long enough you don't qualify, but equally once you've run FLM you drop down the pecking order. This year I meet all three of the main criteria, and last year everyone who fell into that category got a place, with the ballot only being needed to decide who from the next group down (who met two criteria) would be reserve. This year it's slightly different in that there are only two places decided like that, and one at the discretion of the committee, but even so, if I was on the committee I would say that I'm deserving of a place. Maybe I'm biased, but I do deserve it, I do.

I do have back up plans though, if I don't get a FLM place I'll do Blackpool which is a couple of weeks later and means I don't need to worry about accommodation, or transport, or food, or even support from my family for the first time in a marathon. That leaves Stockholm. I'm still tempted, but not sure. I quite like the idea of a birthday mara, but if I do Blackpool there's not much time to recover (it's not so bad if I do FLM as I have those extra two weeks). If I run with Matt and the NY gang that's fine, because I'll run at their pace, but if they're not doing it, should I still do it or should I go with my original plan, which was to find an activity holiday where I'd be thrown in with a group and would hopefully make more new friends. Decisions, decisions.

This is a bit of a stream of consciousness, sorry. Red wine is involved.


Blogger old_black said...

Being a distant observer (Australia), I had no idea it was so hard to enter the London Marathon! It sounds like you've got to be really seriously good, or really lucky. I would find that very annoying if I were in your position (of wanting to run marathons).

Actually, I would like to run one myself before I die, but I think I've left it too late. At my age (mid-50s) I find that the propensity to get injured whenever I increase my running distances would be a major obstacle. Did you find that injuries slowed down your progress towards successful-marathon-runner status?

6:56 PM  
Blogger Zandile said...

Hi, I just read your most recent post today, just about 30 minutes after registering for the ING Georgia Half Marathon in March. I'm SO excited to get a medal! I just ran my FIRST 5K on October 13 (have run 3 total since then) so I'm a total novice and I can't believe that I now think that 13.1 miles is an acheivable goal! Thanks for helping me imagine a time when I might need to organize my medals!

5:41 PM  

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