I’m probably the slowest of all the BBC runners. Last year I managed to do the marathon in five hours 12 minutes and my objective was simply to finish. Second time round, I want something with a four – even if it’s 4 hours 58 minutes, or 4 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds, I’ll be happy. And then I’m not going to do it again.
Now, I realise that doing it two years in a row is a bit crazy. It’s not running the 26.2 miles on 21 April that’s hard; it’s fitting in the training. I talk to people who have stuck to their schedules religiously, but mine is full of gaps and crossings-out. I find it quite stressful when you haven’t done what your schedule says you need to do. This year the weather has made it much tougher because you have to really motivate yourself to get out the door when it’s so cold – and I’ve struggled. Then I feel guilty and grumpy because I’ve missed runs.
I’d like to be able to say that I get runner’s bliss and that it’s wonderful. Sadly I can’t. Sometimes I’ll be out there thinking, “What on earth am I doing?” The only good feeling I get from running is when I’ve finished: “Oh, it’s over, thank goodness for that.”