With just 13 days left until the biggest challenge I'm ever likely to face I have just completed 99% of my training and to be honest with you it has been a bit of a trail that has seen me look in trepidation at the Training Plan but excited at the end result, enjoy my training, challenge myself (15 mile hill run in 3hrs with Dr Lorraine Albon) not complete a race (Worthing 20 mile) hate training and fall out of love for running feeling fat, unfit and unworthy, recover from that to be fit and ready and get my love of running back again all this in less than 4 months. To be able to say to you all I am ready and able to complete on the 22nd April 2012.
The first thing I need to say is that its no fun having a sheet of paper telling you when to run and how far to run no matter what the weather you have to go out and run, I know I have to do it to be able to get myself on the start line and in a position to finish the race. Whilst I am lucky in living on the south coast and not in Scotland like Dawn Walton and all that snow I have still had to get out and run in freezing cold weather as has everyone else training for the marathon. I never realized how much training was required before the marathon and 4 months of mostly cold weather training was an eye opener. Total respect to every person who has ever gone through that hard training and turned up a decent day to run the marathon with people at home saying its a nice day for them and not realize what they have been through the previous 4 months.
In my training I have had 2 spells of not running the 1st was for 5 days when I was ill the break was needed as it allowed my body to recover the 2nd was 9 days when I was at my lowest ebb again the break was needed for my body to recover and get myself mentally back on track to not train for that length of time and not feel guilty about it just shows how far I have come mentally on my journey those 9 days in the past would have been failure and time to give up throw in the towel and say you tried but failed yet again just like you always do. Failure is not an option anymore just like Worthing was not a failure how can you complete 10 miles and be a failure this was my body saying Darin you have done to much I'm slowing you down because I want us to complete the great challenge that is the London Marathon, I am so glad that because of http://www.thinkingslimmer.com/ whilst I am still not good at handling pressure, I am so much more aware of why or what is causing the pressure and asking for and getting help to see me through the tough patch. I need to mention Trevor Silvester and thank him for doing me a pod at short notice whilst getting ready to move house and the pod is the most amazing thing I have ever listened too. Also Sandra who answered her phone on Mothers Day when I had stopped running at Worthing and just needed a kind word to be able to see the wood from the trees two truly amazing wonderful caring people who deserve all the success and good fortune that will come there way.
I also need to mention my two training/running partners Becca Jones and Dawn Walton who without a doubt have kept my on the straight and narrow although we have not trained together Portsmouth London and Scotland made that impossible. Thanks to facebook and twitter we have encouraged pushed helped each other sometimes the girls have done the training first sometimes me but between us we have completed the training with the help of each other. Go Team Thinking Slimmer
I would like to put on record now that this will be my one and only marathon, never will I put this much pressure on myself again not only has it been tough on the training it has also affected my home life which was a rather unpleasant episode that I do not want to go through again. That Hazel and I are still together again shows how far I have come as a human being and a partner and has made us stronger.
Should you ever enter a marathon? I would say yes its hard work very time consuming and training in pretty awful weather at times, but totally worth it.
Do I regret anything since entering the London Marathon? Not on your life I may not want to do it ever again but the chance to be able to say Darin McCloud Marathon Runner well that's pretty special and no one will ever be able to take that away from me. I will still be running my distance of choice will be 5k 10k 10miles and half marathons that is were I am comfortable with the training needed to be able to enjoy my running and still push myself.
I am so looking forward to the tapered training over the next two weeks and to the big day itself my running number is 42021 you can follow me on the Virgin Marathon Website on the day. I also need sponsorship still to reach my target my just giving page is http://www.justgiving.com/Darin-McCloud1 or emailed me for other methods.