|Yes Hillary, this Marcothon business is serious stuff|
We had no heating for a month. So if running the Marcothon in temperatures of -5 wasn’t enough, I’ve also been living in a flat where none of my running kit will dry. To add to my hardcore-ness my running tights also have holes in them. Now you’ve probably got a picture of me as a heroic runner, pounding the icy pavements whilst wearing a cape and spreading the love of running and Christmas joy to all. And obviously, that’s totally what I looked like (just don’t ask Scott). So if anyone saw a big-haired lycra-clad ninja tearing through shoppers on Princes Street, that was me. The key is quick side-steps, dropping the shoulder for the duck and dive between shoppers, and plenty of ‘oops, sorry’. I also find that making zooming noises as I run is a good way to lighten people’s moods. It doesn’t make you look nuts at all, especially when you’ve got bottles clanging and bells chiming in your backpack from the Christmas shopping.
I like a routine and I feel that’s what I’ve got going so far with the Marcothon. Eating dinner at 10pm probably isn’t the healthiest routine but it’s nice to feel like I’ve deserved that Innis and Gunn with my meal. There was a day where meals couldn’t quite fit in due to other priorities; sleep, work, another shift at work, run, pub. But I feel that’s also the Marcothon spirit. Making the running shoes and lycra a priority for a month. And don’t worry about my lack of meals, I made up for them by eating more than my fair share of hazelnut whip and dairy milk chocolates from the Roses tin at work.
There’s also a bit of sadness involved in the Marcothon for me. At the beginning of the month I could run around the local park on a week night and a man with a clipboard would call a split for me. Not because I was interval training (I’ve never interval trained in my life) but because I was so speedy he thought I was part of the interval trainers. That was the highlight of my week. One day a friend of the clipboard man even clapped and said I was going well. I really felt included in their special community. In the last week I haven’t had a single split called. Never mind that the splits were never relevant, I want them to think that I’m going fast enough to be included. And I know that they are still there. I see their skinny legs and hi-vis jackets huddling together by the playground laughing between intervals. Laughing at me; the excluded one. Just wait until we’re halfway through January though as my legs will be fresh and I’ll be back with a vengeance.
Kiwi’s Bambi on Ice
Pre-Sunday’s Seven Hills run I did warn the other runners that I’m useless in the current weather conditions of Scotland. Somehow I was still invited. And to be fair, it wasn’t very icy. Coming off Carlton Hill had a few icy patches which I dramatized so much that I ended up walking down the pavement / trying to run in the garden and lagging well behind. I get a holler from Keith who’s at the bottom of the hill. Turns out there’s no ice. Adrian and Caroline are halfway up Arthur’s Seat by now chatting. They know people. They know races. I know I’m currently a pretty sad excuse for a runner. So my quads power me up Arthur’s Seat, we enjoy the view at the top and then I get a muddy bottom on the way down. I personally felt that there was one incident of cliff-hanging involved but I played it pretty cool.
|Next hill, that way|
And then there were some more hills. Braids, Black-something and Craig-something. Probably not in that order. I even run up some hills. There’s some brilliant chat about the 24-hour race in Barcelona. Adrian has word that Matt Moroz reached 200km in 20 hours!! No wonder I am running up the hills, that’s some motivation. Keith’s got a craving for some coke so we make a stop at a service station. Being ahead of us, Adrian and Caroline manage to run there quite civilized. Keith and I make a wrong turn and are met with a stone wall standing between us and the service station. At first I don’t realise that I am expected to climb the wall also. I’m really uncoordinated. I’m also short. And lacking in overall body strength. But when a fellow runner needs coke, I’ll put my body on the line. So after several attempts I am sprawled on top of the wall. Thankfully Keith is already over and doesn’t stop to take a photo of me doing a very awkward-looking plank. I’d love to say that I gracefully climbed off the wall to join the well-composed duo of Adrian and Caroline. Unfortunately, I clumsily fell off and walked over to the others wondering why I always manage to be such a twit. Keith is sculling a combination of coke and milk.
Near the end of the run we get results through that Matt’s run 234km. GB QUALIFICATION. I’m so excited that I run home along the canal gibbering away to a stranger about Christmas dinners. I only get the six hills in, missing out Corstorphine because I’ve got work in the afternoon. Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about how far that is. Matt was a super-star for me during my 24-hour race and it appears I severely held him back! Or was it the four-day race he’d won the weekend before… And then I was wondering that since I was still awake whether I should go to the gym and do an all-nighter on the treadmill. Marcothon spirit and all. I didn’t, because working with an Autistic child after running all night is not an appealing idea.
And so the Marcothon continues. We’re now halfway. There will be no early celebration though, there’s still 15 days to go. Although as we’re over the halfway mark, does it mean the rest of the runs are downhill?