Friday, 24 April 2015
..........after what seems like a long hard Winter of rehab and training, London Marathon Weekend has arrived. It's Friday as I write this, and I'll probably keep this short, and leave the full blown version of what this post could be until the job is done.
As last year I'm running for the ABF The Soldiers Charity, I obviously don't need to explain why, it's a charity I'm very proud to support and this year the 'Running Army' has grown and has become an even better group than it was last year. The support within the group has been immense and it's been a real privilege once again to be part of it. I'm very much looking forward to being part of a great occasion with some truly great people. If the Forces mean something to you and you want to have a crack at the Marathon, please pledge your support to them and do something amazing, I promise you, you won't regret it.
I must admit I did wonder at a few points because of my injuries, whether I'd be donning the White and Red vest come this Sunday, my physio worked a small miracle I think and although essentially I've only had 8/9 solid weeks of training, I'm quite happy with what I've achieved in that time. Don't get me wrong on some mornings I wondered why I was putting myself through this again, especially on those long lonely Sundays. I found the longer runs tougher than I did last year, I don't know why, maybe on some level, I possibly expected a bit more of myself and was a bit frustrated at times that I was having to take it easy, to ensure my injuries healed properly, and that I was strengthening the muscles and not weakening them. It was a slog at times, but the moment the negativity crept in, I reminded myself why I was doing it, and although I may have been alone out there, all of sudden I felt like I had a running buddy with me......
.....I think at this point it's worth noting the impact the programme Yolanda set us has had on my 'philosophy' with regards to training. I've already reinforced this to her, but for me, although at times especially in the early weeks, it felt like I wasn't achieving an awful lot, in the last four weeks I can look back and think you know what, that it's come together perfectly.
When you're younger training is simple, sure you're susceptible to injuries just like anyone else, but you're more flexible, everything's easier, life pressures are far less, and demands on your time relatively non-existent. Being 40+ with a wife and son, the game changes and although on the whole I was pleased with the way I trained for last years London Marathon, this year I feel like I'm in a much better place. I haven't run the same 'volume' of miles as I did last year, but I think Yolanda's programme has meant I've trained smarter. I've still got through a lot of miles, but the majority have been good miles, even on the days when you're faced with a head wind for 12 miles of a 17 mile effort (that was originally meant to be 22).
I've still got a few niggles, and maranoia has definitely set in (as I write this), but when I think about what Sunday may bring, I know why I'm doing it, and I know I have the most phenomenal support behind me. Two weeks ago thanks to the generosity of so many wonderful people I'd already hit my fundraising target, so to all of you who continue to give me that incredible support, my friends and family, Sunday is for you all. Whether you've donated, sent messages, you're all amazing and every bit of support no matter how it's given is precious, and means everything to me, and ultimately that money raised goes to help those that really deserve and need it. Big love to you all.
Getting to the start line of any event is always the toughest thing to do, the event if you get there is the easy bit and I don't mean that flippantly (most will know what I mean by that). The weeks and months building up to that day, those weeks and months where you've toiled, given blood, sweat and tears, and given up precious time to be pounding tarmac and not be with the ones you love, are the tough bit. I can't thank my wife enough or love her anymore for the support she gives me, sure she complains that I disturb her sleep as she's snoring away when I slip out of the bedroom at 5 in the morning, but without her, I wouldn't be at the start line. I know come Sunday as I make my way to the finish she'll be there with my beautiful boy and some of the people in my life I hold most dear, along with everyone else I guess out there, so if that's not enough to help you get through the 'easy' bit I don't know what is! Mrs Rushen I can't wait to see your gorgeous face on Birdcage Walk!
Good luck to each and everyone of you running on Sunday, especially my fellow 'Running Army' friends, enjoy the occasion, it is truly magical, embrace the crowds, they will drive you on, when you think you can't. Remember the reasons why you've put yourself through months of graft and picture those that you love being the first to put their arms around you when you've got that medal around your neck and you've got through the finish area. London we salute you!!