Completely forgot to post this earlier in the week – my mind has been all over the place with work events and eating like it’s going out of fashion. Post! And one to come before Sunday. Hopefully. Dear lord it’s so close!
I arrived at choir last week clutching a large glass of red – sorry Lent, we’re very much over now – and a friend said hello.
“I read your blog,” she said. “It was really funny! And the McDonald’s. But I can’t believe you actually admitted that in public.”
I said something blasé about my terrible diet at the moment, and eating everything, but it stuck with me. My eating has been appalling for the last few weeks. At the same time, I have entirely failed to get the hang of tapering, and my running has crashed to a halt of a Sunday long run, and that’s it. I saw some pictures from the Richmond half and I look even more like the tragic jelly shoved into a sock and violently beaten that I was at Marrowthon.
Reader: this is not good.
Googling followed. While plenty of websites could tell me that I was overeating, none of them could tell me why I was craving 100% purest trash. That sort of food is my comfort zone for times of mild peril, winter moodswings, or PMS. So why was I eating so much crap? My increasingly squidgy body certainly didn’t need the energy.
The googling led me back to that brilliant running cartoon by Matthew Inman, aka The Oatmeal, and The Blerch: that little voice that tells you to have the lie in – “You deserve it, somehow!” – to eat that entire cake, to empty the fridge instead of going outdoors. (Incidentally, that cartoon was such a hit that Inman now has a Beat The Blerch 10k, half and full marathon this September – all sold-out).
The Blerch struck such a mega chord with me. Now, more than ever, I am finding it hard to get out of bed and run. To do anything and run. To do anything other than comfort myself by doing everything very slowly and eating a tonne of food.
Basically, I am fucking terrified of doing this marathon. On the one hand, I am thrilled to be doing it for a charity I really respect, and to be supported by so many of my friends and family. On the other, roughly every hour or so I feel the dull ache of The Blerch going “You’re far too fat to be doing this sort of thing now, ducky – off you pop to Waitrose and get a biscuit for the way home. And let’s stop off at McDonald’s on the way.”
I am a truly appalling comfort eater, and the combination of that and being too petrified to go running at all – and I have no idea why that is. I don’t deserve it? So useless! – is not leading to a great start for April.
At the back of my mind I envisaged being some sort of golden god merrily sprinting down the Mall. I thought that running this sort of distance would lead me to some magical nirvana where I become a noble unicorn who can go “Oh this? It’s nothing really” before cantering off to do another half-marathon.
It doesn’t work like that. I am still the same person I was last year when I started running. I still have the same doubts, the same comfort-eating cravings for sweet, salty child foods, the same old habits of just standing rabbit-in-the-headlights still and not going anywhere.
But that is the point. Marathon training isn’t easy. Just because it’s proving difficult in a way I hadn’t foreseen doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
And amazing timing from this post on my running group:
Pre race panic! It seems most of us are getting it Yesterday I had a scratchy throat so I was “obviously” going to get a cold. Which “obviously” would turn into flu. Which “obviously” would scupper London and in turn “obviously” ruin my life! Today I woke up fine. My inner drama queen is not so inner at the moment. Does anyone else have any pre race head drama to share? It might help to make us all (or at least me!) feel like less of an idiot. Or at least let me feel like an idiot in good company
Funnily enough, there turned out to be a LOT of pre-race head drama to share! Who’d have thought it eh?