AFTER months of training in the cold and dark winter months, spring could finally have arrived.
The sun is shining, the sky a brilliant blue, and although there is still a chill in the air it is much warmer than it has been.
My run today was an off-road 12 miler in the Yorkshire countryside. Most of my winter training is done in the dark, which means I stay on the road. It was fantastic to be out running in daylight and off-road. For me, this really does mark the end of winter and the start of spring.
This is one of my favourite times of year. The extra daylight makes so much difference to training, to everything really. I always feel more positive in spring. I get a feeling that anything is possible. I really got that feeling today. In fact, a few miles into the run when I was relaxing and letting my mind drift, well, I started thinking about marathons.
This rarely happens. I’m not a marathon runner. This is what I tell myself. This is what I tell other people. Say NO to marathons should be my mantra.
I’ve done two marathons in my life. One in 2006. One in 2009. I survived both, but it was messy, very messy. The training was all wrong. I didn’t really know what I was doing. The first one took six hours (45 minutes queuing for the loo), the second five hours 19 minutes.
Since then, I’ve focused on getting faster, and decided to avoid marathons. When anyone mentions the M word, the barrier goes up. Say No to marathons. It’s a long way. It involves doing a lot of long runs, and long runs aren’t really my thing.
But today, as I was running through the woods and enjoying myself in the sunshine, I actually thought that maybe I could run another marathon, and run it well. Anything’s possible.
I could learn to love my long run. I could get into the right mindset. I might even enjoy it. If I did an autumn marathon it would be lovely to train through the summer months.
‘When’s the New York marathon?’ I asked Chris.
‘It’s late on. November. It’s always cold.’
I pictured myself running through Manhattan, over the bridges, through Central Park. If someone had given me an entry form today, I would have signed up, no messing.
But could I run a marathon?
‘You could do it.’ It was as though Chris was reading my mind. ‘You could.’
He’s right. I could. With spring here, and a long summer to come, maybe it’s time to put the doubts to one side, to believe in myself.
‘Do you want to run a marathon?’ Chris asked.
‘I’ll think about it.’
I took this photo late afternoon, when it was just starting to cloud over and get dark.