Once a year?

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.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. On top of all of that you go to work too!! You do so much I guess it’s natural to suddenly have pangs of exhaustion. Sounds like you and running are soul mates though 🙂

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  2. Oh gosh, just do none…. hahaha! Nah, I know you love it! I always feel like such a lazy mare when I consider all that you fit into your life!

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  3. I get this. I have been able to get out and run over the holidays but it was hot running that heat! I am looking forward and scared by Sunday in equal measures!I wish I had another month to train! Think doing it all in 10 weeks has been brilliant I know how far I have come but I just wish I had started earlier as I know I will struggle the second half!

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  4. Mr B does marathons Mar/Apr and Oct/Nov, and fitting the training in is a commitment any time you plan to run a distance race. What about doing the cross country season Oct – Feb? Runs are generally 6miles, which is a good distance for a leg stretch 🙂

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  5. I am doing my first half in march, have you thought about doing different events, 10k,obstacle runs, duathlon???

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  6. Thanks very much everyone.
    Emma – you have done brilliantly, hope I can catch up with you on Sunday. I’m sure you will be fine?
    Thanks, Lesley – I’d never thought about cross country. Six miles is definitely a good do-able distance. I’m always at that level of fitness so wouldn’t have to wear myself out training.
    Running to 40 – I must say I’ve always seen 10k as a bit of a cop-out because I do half marathons, but it would help me with my too much training dilemma. I’ve never thought about diversifying from just running, but would certainly keep the interest up!

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  7. I don’t know about running but everyone is more tired now. If you didn’t run wouldn’t that make it harder?

    Message me where and when – this Sunday right? x

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  8. LOL to being a mum and having to do everything on top of running/ training etc. And huge respect for even doing one half marathon – I don’t know how you do it?!

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  9. Its hard work racing, I have put in for London again as I want a better time, but if I don’t get in, it may be a good too lol. September sounds good incase we get a bad Winter and you can’t get out much 🙂

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  10. I’m so impressed with runners. I tried. I really did. My body just doesn’t want to do it, doesn’t want to improve and go further. I LOVE trail running and am actually decent at that, but running on cement – I just poop out. I don’t even want to tell you my limit because you would laugh at it! Not being familiar with the weather in your neck of the woods, I would say go with your gut. If you’re feeling September then stick with September. And good luck!!!!! you Rock!

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  11. Thanks very much, everyone!
    I would be more tired in a different way if I didn’t run, Pink Oddy. When I’m running shorter distances I am much more energised. If I wasn’t running at all I would feel lethargic.
    Good luck with getting into London again, Claire! Don’t know if I will ever brave it!
    Thanks very much, Beth. Sounds like if you can do trail running, that sounds good! I think you’re right, I should stick with September!

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