I was incredibly lucky to get into London Marathon 2019 via the ballot – and I survived (http://www.cliffdive.co.uk/the-first-20-miles-were-good-never-again/). As I went across the finishing line I said “never again”, but the next day ignored that and put my name into the ballot for 2020. After all, what are the chances of getting in two years running?
It turns out that whilst I’m certainly no great marathon runner, I am particularly good at getting into the event. While on holiday in October I received an email telling me I had been selected again. All I had to do was to pay my money and I was in. Moments like that give rise to a whole bunch of conflicting thoughts – rejoicing at success in getting in, apprehension at the thought of doing it all again.
And there was a whole lot of conflicting advice too. I’d shown I could complete a marathon, so what was the point of doing it again? I was incredibly lucky to get another opportunity, and I’d shown I could do it, so it would be easier second time around. I had been really lucky to have no real injury problems in training or on the run – I’m a year older and it might not go so well next time.
The decision was made worse by the fact that I’d done very little running since the marathon, initially because I thought I deserved a rest, and then because of recurring injury (possibly as a result of giving myself a rest). http://www.cliffdive.co.uk/and-six-months-on/
Never again I shouted as I went over the line
I’ve spent a few weeks agonising over all this, and reluctantly concluded that I really don’t want to do it all again. The actual event was tough on the day, but the training is much tougher, and I would be starting from a worse fitness baseline than last year. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to be running over the winter. I’ve entered the Cambridge Half Marathon, as I have every year since 2012. Not so long ago I found the half marathon distance a daunting thought. After the full marathon, 13.1 miles sounds quite relaxing now.
Sorry to those who desperately wanted to take part but didn’t get through the ballot – I know I’ve let you down.