Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Life Lately

Life has been good lately. Since the marathon I've had an almost overwhelming amount of free time. It's amazing how much time you have when you're not spending a dozen hours a week running, or preparing to run, or recovering from running. I've actually had time to relax. Or at least try to. I have a difficult relationship with free time, and find relaxing makes me feel very guilty. So I've done my kind of relaxing. Baking. Making plans. Reading. Organising. And even watching some TV.

I've been able to have weekends away without worrying about missing runs. I've been able to make plans midweek and have plans for Sundays instead of spending them in a daze. I've been able to work away without worrying about missing my run because of a 7am train.

That's not to say I'm glad that marathon is over. I've well and truly got the bug. I've applied for a London Marathon place for 2017 and if I don't get one I'm considering the new Birmingham marathon next year. I'm already signed up for another half marathon later this year, and plan at least a couple more next year. I missing training more than I could ever have expected, but I am enjoying having time to enjoy other pursuits.

Slipping into the new routine that a new job brings has been surprisingly easy. I thought I would resent my near-hour commute after being able to walk to work for the last year, but I enjoy my alone time to read on my bus journey. I'm still in the early stages of figuring out my job, but for the first time I feel like I actually know stuff and I actually have expertise and knowledge that other people don't. It's terrifying and exciting and strange and I'm excited to have projects to really get my teeth into soon.

I've been travelling a lot lately. Some trips for business. Some for pleasure. We had two days away in Liverpool last Bank Holiday weekend where we stayed with Phil's grandparents in the Wirral. We spent hours chatting with them, went for dinner with friends, went to the Beatles Museum in the torrential rain and two hours later went on a bus tour and ate ice cream in the sun. It was wonderful. This weekend I'm planning for us to do a "tourist" day in Manchester - a walking tour, a museum, lunch somewhere new. I love this city more than I could ever explain and I'm excited to do some of the things I've been meaning to do for years.

I've also been away for work a lot. Newcastle twice, Yorkshire, London and three days away in Canterbury. I'm in Statford next month. I've never travelled for work before! It's exciting to be away for a few days and see a new place. I went for a run both days I was in Canterbury, (and got spectacularly lost) but it definitely meant I saw a bit more of the city than I would have seen just sat in meetings.

I've still been running. Last week I got a parkrun PB (25:36) and this weekend I ran my third Great Manchester Run. As you might know, I went to see my friend run GMR three years ago and decided the next day to sign up. And that was how I started my amazing running journey. It's always had a special place in my heart. I've been struggling to recovery fully from injuries I picked up before and during the marathon, but I've finally felt fit again, and was over the moon to finish the race in 54:47 - a 4.5 minute PB and my first 10K in under 55 minutes. It was only a year ago I ran my first 10K in under an hour at last year's GMR. I was absolutely thrilled.
My Mum the Great Manchester Run too! I'm very proud of her running her first 10K.

On Tuesday Phil and I started Insanity Max 30. We don't have enough room in our flat so we have to tag team. I do it first and then when I'm done I go get Phil for his workout. The plan is Insanity Max 30 three days midweek then running at the weekend. I'm excited! I've missed Shaun T.

We've been to the theatre (An Inspector Calls at the Lowry), to the football (England v Turkey at the Ethiad on Sunday), to the grilled cheese sandwich place in the Northern Quarter I've wanted to go to for ages. 

Life lately has been good.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

What I wear for work

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my new job means I'm back in workwear. Jeans are reserved for the weekends, and I'm back in white shirts and blazers and ballet flats.
I really thought it would bother me - I can admit that over the last, well, maybe even the last year of my old job, my outfits were usually whatever I could grab at 7.55am before leaving the house, which meant I wore jeans at least 80% of the time. I was worried about how much I would need to spend to restock a working wardrobe, and whether I could get away with wearing ballet flats with pencil skirts due to my short legs.

I have to be a bit more organised, but as you probably know by now, I love being organised. I plan my outfits at the start of the week in my phone, which means in the morning (or the night before) I just have to put everything together. As I've found with the 30 for 30 challenges I've done, having limited options makes it so much less overwhelming and I've finding I'm being way more creative with the items I have.

That's not to say I've been in any way limited. I wore workwear for over a year at my first job out of uni, and have dozens of outfit photos through this blog from that time. I also have a huge collection of blazers, shirts, pencil skirts and trousers from those days that have been left forlorn for the last couple of years.

So in fact, I've actually loved wearing workwear again. I've been trying to snap photos of my outfits as much as possible before leaving the house and I've been really enjoying the challenge. Here's what I've been wearing:

jumper - Zara, trousers - Marks and Spencer, flats - Dorothy Perkins

jacket - Next, shirt - Miss Selfridge, trousers - New Look

shirt - Warehouse, skirt - Warehouse

jumper - Zara, trousers - Marks and Spencer

dress - Clothing at Tesco, shirt - Miss Selfridge

shirt - Boohoo, trousers - Marks and Spencer, shoes - New Look

shirt - Glamorous, trousers - Topshop, blazer - Zara

dress - Next, blazer - Zara

shirt - Glamorous, blazer - Zara, trousers - New Look

shirt - Warehouse, trousers - ASOS, shoes - New Look

shirt - Boohoo, blazer - New Look, trousers - New Look, flats - New Look

shirt - Very, skirt - Warehouse, coat - Zara

jumper - Topshop, trousers - Marks and Spencer

I'm sure I'll do another one of these posts in a few weeks with more work outfits - unless I just cycle back through this selection again!

Here's hoping I continue to enjoy wearing workwear!

Charlotte x

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Cookbook review: Keep it Vegan

We all have our vices.
For some it's drink or drugs or food, or handbags or shoes or dresses.
For me, it's recipe books.
I love them.

For Christmas last year I got 6 new ones. For my birthday I got 5.
I have 4 pre-ordered and one hanging out in my Amazon basket, waiting for me to cave.

It's not just about cooking from them, although that is obviously a huge part.
I read them like novels, flicking through them, reading the steps. 
I trawl the internet for reviews on blogs and on forums. Trying to decide which recipes to try next.

It's a real love, and one I have no intention of giving up.

I've talked before about how I've tried to manage this addiction, and between January and April I didn't buy any new recipe books, and I blogged the recipes I'd made from my current books. But when I'm looking to buy a new recipe book (or justify a recent purchase!) I tend to look to forums and blogs for real reviews.

One of my favourite blogs is Cookbook a Month, where three friends work through the same cookbook over the space of a month and blog about it. I considered doing something like this for my blog, but I decided I didn't want to feel so restricted.

So instead what I am going to do is review my existing recipe books, based on the recipes I've tried. If I love reading about other people's experiences with recipe books, maybe someone else will enjoy this too!

When it comes to reviewing recipe books, here are the things I care about:

  • How easy are the ingredients to get hold of?
  • How much implied cooking knowledge is there?
  • How cheap are the ingredients?
  • How easy at the recipes to cook?
  • How time consuming are the recipes?
Also, I'm going to apologise now for photos. Photos will undoubtedly have been taken right before eating, when I'm tired and hungry and just want to take a photo taken before Phil starts asking, "can we start yet?". So I'm not going to win any food photography awards in these reviews..

For my first book, I'm going to be reviewing Aine Carline's Keep it Vegan.

Keep it Vegan

You probably already know this, but I am not vegan (I am pescatarian though). However, I really love buying vegan recipe books purely because they give me new ideas and because they are often much more creative with the things I love - vegetables and beans and lentils.
I asked for this book for my birthday after reading some really great reviews, and when it arrived I spent my birthday evening flicking through and writing a list of the recipes I wanted to make on a post it note to stick in the front of the book (I do this with all my recipe books, and yes for me that's my dream way to spend my birthday evening!). This is also the way I judge a new recipe book - the more recipes I'm excited about, the better the book.
I had a good list of recipes from this book, and after doing some sleuthing online (Twitter is a great place to search for recipe book reviews), I added a few more to the list.

Here's what I've made so far...

Holy mole black bean chilli
I love a good chilli, and although I already have a favourite (Cookie and Kate's sweet potato chilli), I am always on the quest for the best vegetarian chilli. This took a while to make for midweek, and was tasty, but, in the words of my notes "not life changing." I'd probably make it again, purely because I rarely make chilli midweek, and this involved mostly storecupboard ingredients. 
If you fancy giving this a go, the recipe is available on the Telegraph website.

Pea and Lemon risotto
So, context. I don't really love rice, I'd never made risotto before (and never order it in restaurants) and I only made this because a few people on Twitter said it was amazing. And oh my god was it amazing. There were a few fiddly steps (like boiling water in a pan - I used a kettle), and I hate it when recipes say "heat the oil" and give no indication of the temperature, but it came together relatively simply, and like Aine, I do enjoy the stirring of a risotto. I was really impressed with this, particularly with no cheese. I did agree with another reviewer (Epicurean Vegan) who said the "mint oil" was nowhere near thin enough to pour, so like her, I just spooned mine on top.
It said it served 2-4. We got 2 portions for dinner and one portion for leftovers. Which I think was about right.
So this was a huge hit. Something I would never have considered making, but would even make for a dinner party. Although I will remember to add the lemon juice next time...

Smoky moroccan chickpea stew with saffron-infused cous cous
Tagine is one of my favourite foods, and I already have a few go-to recipes, but like chilli, I'm always keen to find something as good as in a restaurant. I had a few small issues with this dish - it asks you to simmer when there is no liquid, there's no guidance on temperatures, I had to add a mug of water (however I did used tinned tomatoes so that could have made a difference) and I thought some of the ingredients here were a bit expensive (I used regular dates instead of expensive medjool dates, and while I did have saffron, I think it's a bit indulgent and could easily have been optional). I also reduced the amount of cous cous (the recipe suggests 250g for 4 people, but my packet suggested 36g per person) and thought 3 tablespoons of oil in the cous cous was a bit much. I wasn't actually going to bother with the cous cous, but I'm so glad I did because it really made the dish. We got three portions, and it's officially up there with my favourite tagines. I'll definitely be making this again.

Chana masala
We eat quite a lot of chana masala at home because it's quite an easy dish and this was no different. It was easy and quick and not much different from my usual chana masalas. I did serve it with cauliflower rice and spinach and tomatoes from Veganomicon, which made it a really lovely meal. Oh and lots of mango chutney!

Tortilla pizzas
I really wasn't sure about this. I really know how I felt about serving my meat-eating boyfriend baked tortillas with houmous on top and declaring it pizza. But this was amazing. Aine advises using two tortillas as the base, and the tomato sauce is a mix of tomato puree and garlic puree. But the real star is the houmous topping. I thought houmous thinned with lemon juice would be too tart to be edible, and a base of tomato puree would be dry and tangy. But together it totally worked. While there were quite a few steps, these pizzas were quick and easy to make (although I did have to make them one at a time) and I loved using tortillas as a base.

Macaro-no cheese with crispy kale
I've had little success in the past with vegan mac and cheese, and inevitably end up adding dairy milk or grated cheese in order to make it edible, but I've always been waiting to find a vegan version for when I want something a little bit healthier. I'm not the biggest fan of pasta in the world (which is challenging when you don't eat meat!), but every now and again I do love to make mac and cheese (Nigella's sweet potato mac and cheese is my favourite). I liked that this recipe uses roasted butternut squash and coconut milk instead of relying on cashews. I was very sceptical of whether it would really taste like cheese, especially without the addition of nutritional yeast, which seems to be prevalent in most vegan mac and cheese dishes. It was definitely a Sunday afternoon dinner, with the butternut squash needing an hour in the oven, and as we like our mac and cheese baked, I had to allow for 15 minutes baking time too. The verdict? It was tasty, although I have to admit it didn't really taste of cheese and didn't go crispy in the way we like it. I'll definitely make this again as an alternative to Nigella's, which really has to be a treat, however, I'd be curious to try to next time with some nutritional yeast. Oh but we both loved the crispy kale - yum!

Overall, I really love this book. I have at least another dozen recipes earmarked to try, and everything I've made so far has been a success. I would recommend this book to vegans and non-vegans alike, and there's a good mix of traditional vegan recipes (mac and cheese, chana masala), and more innovative dishes (Indian tacos, Swedish meatballs) that I can't wait to try. There didn't seem to be too many difficult-to-obtain ingredients, and with the exception of the mac and cheese, most of the recipes came together easily enough on a weeknight. I would have liked there to have been an indication at the start of each recipe of how long each recipe would take to cook, though. In terms of ease-of-use, there was some implied cooking knowledge, but not enough to deter a newbie. 

I'll definitely be cooking from this book again, and the tortilla pizza, chickpea stew and mint risotto will undoubtedly become regular dinners in our house.

Charlotte x

Saturday, 7 May 2016

My marathon recovery

When you're training for a marathon you're not thinking about what comes after.
You're not thinking about the pressure you're putting on your body. The stresses. The aches. The pains. The damage.
You're thinking about that day. That morning. Those hours.
All you care about is getting through those 26 miles.
And when it's done, you don't know what happens next.
You don't know that you won't be able to walk for 3 days.
That you'll try to run and get 0.2 miles before you have to turn around.
That the ache in your hip your ran through for 26.2 miles will start to be pain. Burning constantly.
You don't know that the 10K you signed up for, that seemed like nothing, would start to feel impossible.
You don't imagine going weeks without running, after running for hours nearly every day.
You don't imagine the guilt, the shame, the longing.
You don't imagine how much you'll miss running after being so sick and tired of it for months.
You don't imagine how slowly it will take you to be able to do something you could do so easily before.
You don't imagine how angry you'll get when you read training guides that suggest trying running again 4 days after the race.
Because running a marathon is hard.
And recovering from a marathon is hard too. 
You won't know how to rest. You won't know how to sleep through those 6am alarms. 
But at the same time, you'll be so tired, so sore.
You'll worry constantly about fitness and stretching and what could make you feel better or worse.
Returning to running is slow and painful and then more slow and more painful.
Times that we were once so easy are now elusive.
You start to think of running in terms of as pre and post marathon.
It's like being reborn.
I'm back to being a beginner. Panting through a mile.
Shouting to the world, I ran a marathon you know. I ran so much further than this.
Wearing your marathon tshirt on every run to justify your struggle.
Every run is preceded with that caveat.
You yearn to regain that fitness you had and curse those 26 miles of robbing you of that.
You take one run at a time. And each time you get a closer. But you know you're not there yet. 
Goals start to change. 
A 10K which was once a walk in the park is now something to genuinely worry about.
It becomes a success to run 4 miles, when once that was half a distance you ran before 7am.
There are no regrets. There can't be. What you did was worth all the pain and the aches and the struggles to breathe and the slow pace.
But recovery from a marathon is not easy. 
And we need to talk about it.
Because it's been 4 weeks and I'm still not quite there.
And when you see training plans that advise a gentle 4 miles two days after a race you can't help but laugh.
Or cry.
You couldn't even walk down stairs about 2 days. You'd done enough running for a lifetime.
None runners will tell you how much damage a marathon will do to your body, and they are right.
It's hard on everything. And your brain too.
So you have to give yourself time to recover.
But you will curse other runners. You'll hate those who could so easily slip back into their training plan.
Those that don't know the pain of a marathon
They say it takes a day for every mile you've run to recover from a race.
They say it takes 26 days to recover from a marathon.
It can be hard to remember that.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Back in workwear

So it's been a while since I posted workwear on the blog. A while as in... nearly 2 years. But as you might know if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, I have a new job! So I'm back commuting and I'm back to workwear!
Today was my first day so I snapped these photos before rushing out the door for the bus. The bus because... my new job is digital content co-ordinator for Stagecoach! It's back home in Stockport so my commute is a little longer than the five minute walk to work I've enjoyed the last year or so, but I'm really excited to get started in my new role! Plus it will be ideal for Phil and I next year when we buy a house as we're looking to move back to Stockport.
shirt - Miss Selfridge
trousers - Marks and Spencers
blazer - New Look
flats - New Look

I'm a little bit in love with this outfit. I spied these trousers online a few weeks ago in M&S and dragged my Mum in so I could have a look at them over the weekend (how things have changed - me dragging her into M&S!). I loved them - and the identical brown and black pair - instantly and had to buy both pairs. As I said before, it's been a while since I've had a dress code for work and to be honest, most mornings at Axonn I just grabbed a pair of jeans and a jumper, so I need to think ahead a bit more with work outfits. When I worked at Frank back in 2012, I used to keep a pair of heels under my desk so I could wear my pencil skirts, but these days I'm too impatient to totter around in heels and I'm too short to be able to wear pencil skirts with flats, so printed trousers it is!
In other news, I'm still not quite marathon recovered - I still have niggles in my hip and foot, but I'm really hoping to give running a go this week. I'm going crazy! I did manage an hour of weight training on Saturday and yesterday Phil and I played badminton, so I'm getting there. I'm just in a real catch 22 between wanting to run because I'm going crazy and I have a race in 4 weeks, and also being worried that if I run too soon I might end up properly injured.

Runners are crazy folk aren't we?

Charlotte x

Saturday, 16 April 2016

The post-marathon blues

You hear about the post-marathon blues, but you don't think they'll hit you at 2am on the dance floor of a crowded nightclub during the first night out you've had in four months.

You don't think you'll suddenly burst into tears and don't know how to stop. You don't think once the flood gates open they'll be uncontrollable.

You don't think you'll miss the worry and the fear and the anxiety of training. You don't think you'll miss the mornings when you've been awake hours before anyone else in the office or that first intake of cold morning air. You don't think you'll miss your 5am alarm or hours of your Sunday morning lost to long runs.

You don't think you'll grieve. You don't think you'll feel a sense of loss. You don't think you'll miss that sense of purpose, that focus, that need to work towards your goal. You don't think you'll feel a piece of you is missing when you have a weekend free of running.

You thought you'd love having your social life back. But you remember you didn't really like going out anyway, and you realise you'd rather spend a Saturday morning getting a parkrun PB than spend it nursing a hangover. You thought you'd be glad of the extra sleep and love no longer feeling exhausted all the time, but instead you miss that feeling of "I already did something today while everyone else was in bed."

You'll miss the awe of telling people how long your run was this weekend or nervously telling them how many weeks you had to go.

The post marathon blues are real. It was never about the end goal, it was about the journey. After months of dedication to one goal, to achieve it leaves you with no direction. Nothing to work towards. Nothing to strive for.

And you have to mourn that loss. While your body is recovering your mind is too.

Your mind is no longer preoccupied with running maths, pace calculators, training plans committed to memory, fueling strategies. It's done. None of that matters anymore. 

You never thought you'd feel such a sense of loss for something that robbed you of so much time and energy and sleep and sweat.

So what next? "Are you going to do another one?" There is no right answer. The uninitiated gasp when you say yes, undoubtedly, definitely. Those who have been there nod. They know. They understand that nothing is harder than the training, but no relief is like the finish line. 

But another marathon is not as simple as just filling in a form and handing over your money. Training would have to begin in six months. Are you prepared for another winter of 5am alarms and lost Sundays? No, not yet. Maybe the year after, when you've forgotten how much dedicated training requires.

Marathoners are people who never give less than they're all. They're the people who get called crazy because they can't give up. They are the people that will arrange their weekend around that 20 mile run, or turn down their social life for an early night. They're committee, they're dedicated and they'll do whatever it takes. And not having that goal can drive you crazy.

Here's to whatever is next. While mourning the life that I did, the dedication I proved, the training I committed to and remembering the medal I won. Remembering that the training was the biggest challenge. That my medal represents the hundreds of miles I ran in training, not just the 26.2 I did on the day. Remembering that I set myself a goal and I achieved it. Knowing if I can do that, I can do anything. 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

What's it's really like to train for a marathon

When I first started marathon training, I kept a list in my phone I entitled "What it's really like to train for a marathon." The idea was for it to be a list of all the things nobody tells you, anything that I didn't expect, things I thought people should know and also just a list of little grievances and annoyances along the way. 
I've been adding to this for over 4 months, one run at a time. Some of my notes make sense, some repeat themselves. Some are gross, some are funny. But this is my experience of training for my first marathon...

  • You have to run 8 miles before work. So you get up at the crack of dawn, run 8 miles, THEN go to work
  • Sundays are an absolute write off
  • Say goodbye to your toenails
  • And hello to blisters
  • You will be hungry all.the.time
  • Nights out are cancelled
  • Everything is planned around your schedule. You will use sentences like "oh I can't, I have an 18 mile run the next day"
  • And "ooh my long run this weekend is only 13 miles!"
  • You will miss some runs in your training plan
  • And freak out that you've ruined your training and you'll never finish the race
  • You will be exhausted 80% of the time
  • You will worry about whether you're following the right plan, or if you should change plan, or if another plan is better
  • You will eat a LOT of sweets
  • And you'll learn which are the best texture to chew while simultaneously running
  • Everyone will think you're a little bit crazy
  • And they'll tease you about how often you go on about your upcoming race
  • You will start feeling a bit resentful of all the training you have to do
  • You will need the toilet on a run. And you will worry about whether using the toilet in Tesco without buying something is an offence you can be arrested for
  • You probably won't be able to think straight after any run over 15 miles
  • It will ruin your social life (or give you a great excuse to leave early)
  • You'll stop caring about how you look when you're running
  • Anything you get done after your long run is an achievement
  • You will eat everything after a long run
  • You will eat a lot of junk
  • Sometimes you'll just need to take a nap to avoid being a zombie the rest of the day
  • You will need to up your self care game
  • You'll end up going to bed when it's still light outside
  • Other hobbies will have to take a step back
  • You will get ill and have to rest up for a few days
  • And you'll worry about losing fitness all the time
  • You will become a bit gross (see, toenails)
  • You'll be thankful when you go to a party and don't know people very well when someone asks "how's your marathon training going?"
  • Sometimes you need to give yourself a bit of a break
  • You will need to rearrange your social life around your runs
  • You will get really, really bored of training. Of the running, of the planning, of the Sunday afternoons when you can't do anything
  • Your weekends will be dedicated to running
  • You'll try to get out as early as possible for a long run so you're not getting back in the middle of the afternoon after a 3+ hour run
  • You'll feel like you're wasting your weekends
  • Sometimes you'll need a Plan B
  • You'll feel ill and run down most of the time
  • You'll have to learn to be a bit flexible sometimes
  • You'll realise that your training isn't "hard", it just requires oh-so-much committment
  • You'll say you don't care about your time, but you do
  • You will have a slightly unrealistic time goes (edit: I HIT MY SLIGHTLY UNREALISTIC TIME GOAL!)
  • You will feel disgusting
  • You'll never get around to crosstraining
  • You'll read a lot of articles about what you "should" be doing
  • You will get so bored of running
  • You will listen to a LOT of podcasts
  • You will worry you haven't done enough (read: any) speedwork
  • You will eat, have a nap, then need to eat again
  • The day after a 20 miler is a write off
  • You'll feel ill all day after a really long run
  • You will need some real grit and determination to get through the training
  • You will have terribly awful runs
  • There will be times when you'll really think you can't do it
  • You'll spend the last 2 weeks worrying about everything
  • You'll read every article you can find about carb loading
  • You will spend a lot of money last-minute on things you "need" for race day
  • You will question everything
  • Everything will niggle
  • You'll start to regret not doing more training
  • You will panic buy everything
  • You'll start to worry about life after the marathon
  • You'll pimp your JustGiving page constantly
  • You will have nightmares of not finishing
  • You will have one niggle that will threaten to derail all your training
  • You'll try new things way too close to race day
  • You'll have absolutely no plan for anything after race day
  • Carb loading will be nowhere near as fun as you expected
  • You'll feel constantly full and bloated
  • You'll start to feel a sense of loss even before the race
  • You will read all the contradictory information online
  • You will completely freak out
  • You will be bored senseless the day before the race
  • You will start to seriously envision getting a DNF
  • You will imagine failing much more than you will imagine success
  • Everything will go wrong on race day (edit: I accidentally slept in my contact lenses the night before my race...)
  • It will hurt. All the way around.
  • You will have to factor in needing a wee at mile 12 into your goal time
  • You'll try to compensate for the five minutes you waited for the toilet
  • You'll see your family half way and they'll spur you one and you'll be in the happiest bubble on Earth
  • You'll be feeling amazing...
  • Until mile 19
  • And then it will be the hardest thing you've ever done in your life
  • You will spend the last 2 miles looking over your shoulder for the pacer
  • You will nearly give up
  • You will try to stay in the mile you're in
  • Your Garmin will save your sanity
  • You'll think you'll speed up the last 2 miles. You won't
  • You'll have dreams of a sprint finish
  • But the last 0.2 miles will be absolute torture
  • You will cry
  • You will cross the finish line and your legs won't know how to walk any more
  • And then someone will put the medal around your neck like the Olympics
  • You will see your family and you'll cry some more
  • Everyone will tell you how proud they are of you. And you'll be so proud of yourself you can't even believe it
  • You'll know you worked so hard
  • You will hurt everywhere - legs, back, chest, arms, mouth, ears...
  • You will feel like you have the flu
  • You won't be able to think straight
  • You'll be annoyingly in awe of yourself - "remember that time I ran a marathon?"
  • You'll know you should stretch... but you won't
  • So the next day you won't be able to move
  • Stairs will put the fear of God in you
  • You won't be able to walk properly for two days
  • You won't know what is just muscle soreness and what is an injury
  • You'll feel nauseated for days
  • You will resent everyone who compares anything to a marathon
  • You'll have a horrible moment when you realise you can't eat what you want any more
  • You'll start to become bereft
  • You'll miss the training
  • You'll know you need to remember the torture of training before you sign up for another one
  • But you know you'll do it again