When I got back from summiting Kilimanjaro mum said to me ‘Wow, now you have conquered that mountain, you must feel like you can achieve anything you set your mind to’.
I hadn’t stopped to think about it like that, I was still so exhilarated from making it and chuffed I had achieved a goal I had set way too casually over a conversation with friends. For a while after that I did try to apply it to my life, when things were hard I thought, I climbed that bloody mountain – I can do this. Then, as the memory of the hurt and the pain of the climb faded, it seems so did my strong belief in myself to achieve anything I decided to do.
Last week was a tough week, a very tough one. I wrote about it here and illustrated it as below.
I wrote about the cancelled flight – but right there lurking between the two travel emails was another message, a scary one.
The New York Road Runners looms large, they are the ones who kindly send regular emails with all kinds of information about the run, training and race day tips as well as important to know logistical information such as the number of port-a-loos that there will be at the starting point. 1700 is the number if you are interested, should you choose not to use these when the call of nature arises you will be disqualified from the race, a by-law that may have been implemented post the 2005 London Marathon.
Last week not only my flight was cancelled, training was cancelled (one run for the week doesn’t really count), eating wasn’t cancelled – on reflection it may have been better if those two were reversed. It was meant to be the big week, most miles, longest long run big strain before the tapering weeks. Didn’t happen.
My brother – on the phone in between medical and logistical conversations – told me he had sought advice on my behalf from someone who had done a couple of Hawaiian Ironman events and just done the Coolangatta Gold on the Gold Coast. He told Ironman he was worried his sister ‘didn’t have the miles in her legs’ and what should she be doing at this stage?
Let me be clear, although its kind of him to worry, I am worrying plenty enough for everyone that I don’t have the miles in my legs. The answer from Ironman was beyond terrifying – I should be fine if I was clocking over 100km’s a week and doing 35km each long run. After I put my hands over my ears and sang ‘la la la’ I explained to my brother that as he knows, I am a 42 year old amateur just trying to get through one marathon after which there is a big chance I shall announce my retirement from the sport.
Last week I didn’t feel like I could do anything, I wanted the world to stop, I had moments minutes and stretches of hours where I forgot about the marathon altogether.
Then I thought about what mum had said to me, I thought about why I decided to run this marathon which I wrote about here and how so much of that has changed. The underlying reason is still the same – bowel cancer sucks, big style.
I feel pretty useless sitting around at home with a sore throat, I want to keep busy and do stuff. That will include a run tomorrow after bus drop off in the increasingly chilly no longer Hotlanta mornings, it will be my second this week, back on track for now.
I am still working on my target of 42 kilometres, 42 sponsors and 42 screening tests.
I’ve only got 12 more days to make it happen.
If you’d like to commit to screening yourself for bowel cancer before the end of 2012, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to the tally.
If you’d like to sponsor me and pick your favourite number between 1-42 (that is still available) click here.
PROJECTED WEATHER UPDATE for Sunday November 4th
Looks like it might be a little bit cooler than previously predicted
Lows 38 F / 3 C
Highs 48 F / 8 C
Increasing cloud – Garbage bags optional