‘I’m never, ever doing that again!’ I said cheerily as I finished the Yorkshire Marathon in 2013 (it’s worth adding that the ‘cheer’ was in fact forced/fake and was simply there to mask the pain/anguish/horror). However, early 2015 saw the overdue re-appearance of ol’ ‘U-Turn Taylorson’ and his skewed logic that decrees ‘never say never, merely give it a couple of years to forget how brutal the experience was, only recalling the very few enjoyable bits’. In short, I signed up for another marathon. Well, the same marathon. Well, not exactly the same marathon, as I don’t have a time machine. Yet. Hoho, but there’s a film plot – man invents time machine and uses it to enter the same marathon multiple times so eventually, through sheer weight of numbers, he wins. I bet the IAAF don’t have that one covered in their bylaws. Idiots. Anyway, I signed up to run the Yorkshire Marathon again like some sort of apparent masochist. And as summer gave way to autumn, it loomed on the horizon like a massive…loom. Hmm, I’ve just tried to find some information on the ‘world’s biggest loom’ and failed owing to being unable to filter out records about stupid loom bands. You’ll just have to do your own research. I can’t be expected to do everything for you. Jesus…
The month began with a 10k in my own backyard. Well, almost. I wonder how many times I’d literally have to run around my own back garden to knock out a total of 10 kilometres? At least 400 I reckon. It would get quite boring. Plus I’d wear the grass down and get told off by my wife. Luckily, however, the Ben’s Boring Back-Garden 10k wasn’t on the calendar, but the Middlesbrough 10k was. And it served as a warm up (literally, ‘cause it was hot as balls) for The Great North Run a week later. Fun was had dressed as Superman, running with Batman. Not the Batman, mind. That would just be stupid. ‘That’s enough running for one month’ is what other, more sensible people might declare having just belted out 13.1 miles dressed in a crotch-hugging superhero outfit. But no. There was the small matter of two more half marathons to finish. Not one. But two. Firstly, The Scottish Half Marathon and associated amusement, then the Redcar Half Marathon. By the end of the month you could hear the clank of my finishers medals from space. I would imagine.
Urgh, God. This was it. No escape. Well, unless I said ‘you know what, I’m not going to do this stupid effing marathon because I don’t want to and no one can make me’. But I didn’t do that. After all, I’d trained for it. Kind of. And besides, I was going to bag a sub-4-hour time. Surely. And I did. Just. And I can look back now and laugh at the point around 22 miles where I legitimately thought I might die. Because I didn’t die. And I’m never doing a marathon ever again. And I DO MEAN IT, THIS TIME. Amazingly, however, I didn’t just park ‘this running crap’ for the rest of the month/year despite the urge to do just that. I was out for 4.1 mile trot only 3 days after the end of the ol’ 26.2. And I kept on running after that, too. Not constantly, you understand. Like some sort of mental world record seeker. ‘Man runs continuously for 27 years’.
The last race on the calendar for 2015 was the Newcastle Mo Run 10k moustache dash thing. I wasn’t really in the mood. It was almost like I’d done a ridiculous amount of running already this year and the body was rebelling. Still, I finished it for the love of the moustache-shaped medal. The month started with unseasonably high temperatures, but it wasn’t long before lashing rain and howling winds started to affect my willingness to head out of the front door with the Lycra on.
Well, I made it to the 15th of December before my white flag went up and the formal and somewhat inevitable declaration of ‘that’s enough of this running tosh for one year’ was made. Now I occupy myself eating Toblerones and Chocolate Oranges (‘one of my five a day, surely’) and the like. And not running. Until the 1st of January. That’s the deal I’ve made. With myself. Because I can’t just make decisions. Oh no. It has to be a guilt-ridden bargain struck with the inner monologue. A pledge to return to the streets with the trainers on after I’ve enjoyed a mere 16 days of chocolate-based indulgence. Fine. You win, me. Stupid inner conflict ruining everything *grumbles*
Right, well, that’s enough blogging for one year as well. Thanks, as ever, for reading this nonsense. See you next year.