Do you know that moment when some crazy plan that you’ve hatched starts to become a reality?  I had one of those moments a few days ago when I entered Lanzarote marathon.  It had always been on the plan to do a marathon then, I was just waiting for the awesome amazing woman that is Ali to confirm that it was going to be Lanzarote so it really wasn’t a big deal entering another marathon.  It wasn’t until I realised that it would be marathon number 49 that I began to freak out.  Marathon 49 is also known as the first marathon of the 52 in 52 weeks.  Somethig that I thought of as way off in to the future and didn’t need to think about yet suddenly became very real.

I first came up with the idea of doing 52 marathons in 52 weeks last October.  I’d decided I wanted to get to the 100th marathon before I was 40 (rather than the original plan of giving myself 10 more years, I’m not good with waiting) and so if I was ever going to get that 52 in 52 medal this would be my only chance.  When i told James the idea all he would say was “you’ll die”.  That was his response for at least the next three months whenever we discussed it and even as I put together a plan on the spreadsheet I never really thought i could do it.  Reach the 100th marathon next year and complete 52 marathons in 52 weeks.  I know for some people that’s nothing, they do that in like half a year and just keep going and going but I’m not as amazing as them, this plan seemed so crazy and beyond me even to me.  I honestly didn’t truely believe i could do it … and then I completed the triple marathon a few weeks ago.

Finishing Walton Park 5 the day after MK marathon. Image by Simon Clare

I’ve done four double marathons, that is two marathons on consequtive days, but I’ve never thought I’ve ran them very well.  Usually it’s just a case of just getting to the finish on the second day rather than any type of running ability.  I think this has always made me doubt being able to increase the multiples, so four in four days, then 7 then the ultimate 10 marathons in 10 days.  Over the past four or five moths my running has gotten a lot stronger.  I don’t know why or how but I’m running better than I ever have so much so that I got a 5 mile race pb three days after running Paris marathon and then when I was running the third day of the triple I’d never felt better (despite hating the sun).  I walked up the hills but I felt really strong and that I was running well.  I was literally running up and down train station stairs a few hours after and ran for the next three days.  Then the day after Milton Keynes marathon I did a 5 mile race, loved every second and got a pretty respectable time (for me).  I suspect it’s all mostly to do with a change in attitude (I run for fun now and whatever else happens is a bonus) but recent events has really made me believe that I can actually do this very crazy plan.  So much so that I’ve even updated the website and given the challenge it’s own page.

Yes, I’ve still got six more marathons to go before i get to Lanzarote but the suddenly reality of what it really means has really got me thinking and I’m actually looking forward to the start of my next crazy journey.  I’m absolutly terrified of course but I’m like 99.999999% sure i’ll get it done.  One step at a time though, Edinburght marathon next.


P.S. A few people have asked me if I’m doing the challenge for charity.  I wasn’t going to because I don’t like asking people for money but maybe i could just set something up in case people are inspired or what to show support or whatever.  Something local like helping the homeless or Warrington foodbank or something.  What do you think?  I do know from experience that when you’re in the middle of these crazy challenges donations from people to a cause you care about can really help keep you motivated.