When you live with an inner critic hellbent on sabotaging you then it becomes almost impossible to rely on your own judgement. It is unfortunate, inconvenient and downright head screwy. This is the situation I now find myself in about the London Marathon 2019.
I have to run the marathon don’t I? There’s no other option. Well, I could pull out, of course, but that seems a bit dramatic. Although, honestly, I’m not sure if I should pull out.
Is it the nagging voice of self-doubt that says you’re not fit enough? Or, is it actually a fact? I don’t think I am fit enough. My longest run this far was the Settle Half which damn near killed me. Yes it was a hard course, accepted, but I really struggled and could have happily quit at mile 2. I’ve not managed a long run since. I tried 15 miles and had to quit at 6 leaving me devastated enough to inhale two creme eggs after my husband collected me in the car.
The Dr told me that my iron stores are too low. My ferritin level is 31, which is actually normal (normal being 30-100) but the GP said it was too low for marathon training and I’d feel a lot better if we could get it up over 50. I was prescribed the ferrous fumarate tablets and told to come back after 3 months. This wasn’t ideal because when I was anaemic previously the tablets didn’t help and I eventually ended up on the liquid. Also, 3 months is after the marathon whereas I want to get fit for London. Being the proactive soul that I am I decided to try Spatone. I did a lot of googling and, in the end, decided I should speak to a person in the know – a pharmacist. Unfortunately he didn’t have a clue but ultimately said I could use both Spatone and the ferrous fumarate tablets safely. Fine. So that’s what I’m doing – I’m a desperate woman after all. It’s been a week and I still have the athletic ability of a sausage therefore I am now a desperate and dejected (and possibly magnetic?) woman.
So, is it inner critic or is it common sense: You are not fit enough. I don’t know. Am I guilty of the classic BPD black-and-white thinking here? Should I be saying you are not quite fit enough? To me this situation does seem a yes/no kind of situation. I am fit enough or I am not fit enough. End of.
Fortunately I have help on hand in the form of Ben at Full Potential. These guys are running coaches supporting us NSPCC London runners. Ben has asked me to run 6/7 miles and then finish off up to 15 miles on the cross trainer. “Excellent!” I declared enthusiastically, which I actually did mean at the time. However, I’m supposed to do it today but it’s been too busy a family day so it’s pushed back until tomorrow. Half the reason I’m on the laptop right now is to plan the route. Procrastination is alive and well here. What if I can’t do it? What does that mean for London? God, I’m stressed. Anyway, I shall do the run/cross trainer thing and feedback to Ben and then he’ll hopefully tell me what to do so that I am fit enough to get around the London Marathon four weeks today.
Physically being able to get round the 26.2 miles is my main concern but I have others. I don’t know what to wear. My old favourites are too small for me because I’ve gotten fatter. I’m spending money ordering stuff, desperately hoping to find things which fit and give me options for marathon day. After all it could be snowing or it could be a heatwave and I’d like to be prepared. I know I’m supposed to have tried everything before the big day but how can I? I’m not running enough so I’m worried about my gear. That includes my trainers by the way. I won’t even get into that spiel but suffice it to say they’re another worry.
Fundraising is another drain. I’m finding it exceptionally hard being an isolated, unemployed person, and lets not forget the mental health difficulties, to raise £2200. I want to and that’s why it makes me despair. I’m up to about £1400 now and I was feeling really good about that…until I realised that still leaves £800 to be shaken down from the money tree. How am I going to do that? How?! I just don’t feel good enough. I do not feel worthy.That’s the good old Defectiveness Schema right there telling me I’m not good enough but, even putting that aside, how am I going to raise another £800? I’m out. I’m done.
Truthfully I feel ashamed. I should have trained more. I should have worked harder. I should have should have should have… but I didn’t did I?
I feel like I’ve blown it already and we’re still a month away from marathon day. My fear of such a public failure is making me very reluctant to turn up to the start line. At least if I pulled out beforehand then I wouldn’t have to bear the very public embarrassment of being caught out thinking that I, Kate Wozniak, was good enough for this challenge. Ha! The humiliation! What a fool! I’m trying so hard not to just give up but honestly would anyone care? Would anyone be surprised? Probably not.
It’d be awesome if there was some inspirational, meaningful conclusion I could come to from all of this but there isn’t. There is, however, the natural passage of time and, in 4 weeks, it will be done and some, maybe all, of my questions will be answered. Certainly what to wear should have been addressed. I am not running it naked or even just in my underwear so I suppose that’s something.