I’m talking running here, just to clarify in case you were thinking about anything else. And I’m not sure what that would be.
I did two half marathons in 2011 and that was the plan for 2012, but then I got injured, so I only did one. I’m just about to do my second half marathon this year. And I’m TIRED.
A few days ago, I promised myself I would just do one half marathon next year. Just like I promised in March that I would only do one this year. But here I am, about to do my second.
I love running. I love the feeling of running a race. I even love the feeling of training. But, you won’t be surprised to know, that it is physically (and sometimes even mentally) exhausting. My legs hurt surprisingly little, considering what I put them through. I think this is because I build up gradually and run each distance for a few weeks, so I really get the hang of it. But it still really takes it out of me.
After a run, I don’t rest. I carry on as normal. I pick the kids up from school, I get the washing in and put it away, I cook meals and clear up the kitchen and I help the kids with their homework. It’s probably because of this that I feel so drained.
I get hit with sudden and insatiable hunger and thirst. I eat Snickers as if my life depended on it. I sneak off and buy slices of fresh cooked pizza, then hide the evidence. I fixate on Tropicana orange juice and will go to the ends of the earth to get one. God help my family if that feeling hits after 4pm on a Sunday when the shops are closed.
I don’t like feeling like this. I want do all those household jobs without feeling drained and hungry and ridiculously thirsty.
So I need to just run one half marathon a year.
But which one?
Half marathons are generally run in March or September, when they can’t be (in theory) adversely affected by either sort of weather. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Training for March means you can normally get a good start over the Christmas period when you don’t have to fit it in around work. But you can’t train in snow or ice. Not if you want four fully functioning limbs for the foreseeable future.
Training for September means the school holidays. Which is bad news for me. I generally train twice a week for a half marathon. Ideally I’d like to do more, but I have to fit it around work and school. If the kids are off school, when am I supposed to train? I can sometimes persuade my husband to go into work a bit late on a Thursday or Friday morning so I can run, but it isn’t always possible. So I don’t run enough. Then there’s the heat. Nobody wants to be running when it’s 27 degrees. (Not that that has ever been a problem before this year.)
So my head is saying doing a half marathon in March, but my heart is saying do September. I like the Bristol half marathon which I’ve run twice before. And this year there’s a new half marathon locally – Cheltenham. Both of these are in September. In March I’ve run Bath and the Forest of Dean half marathon which I enjoyed less.
So my plan for next year is do a half marathon in September. Only. Do not do a half marathon in March.
Yet you know as well as I do that, come November or December, I’ll be missing those long runs and I’ll go and sign up for another one.