The 26 stages every person who has ever tried to run a marathon goes through
New year, new me.
We all love to challenge ourselves and what better way to push yourself to the limits than a 26.2 mile run.
Here are the stages everyone who even thinks about doing a marathon will go through.
1. The idea
"I could run a marathon"
Sure you can.
2. The push
You're running a marathon. Make sure you tell people.
You've got a JustGiving page. Make sure you tell people.
You're running a marathon. Make sure you tell people. TELL THEM!
4. The panic
"What the hell am I doing?"
There are two days left and it's only now you're realising that you've never actually run 26.2 miles before. The training programme told you to work your way up to 22 miles but why are those other 4.2 taken as guaranteed? You wish now that you hadn't tapered your training. You've hardly done anything in over a week. You don't even remember what running feels like. You're never going to be able to do this.
5. The gullible
There's nothing fun about a fun run either. It's just running... with more crap on your body.
6. The push
7. The first wind
You've taken off too quickly, the feeling is horrendous. You're struggling for breath. If this is the start, what the hell is half way going to feel like?
8. The second wind
"This isn't too bad. This isn't too bad at all"
9. The push
10. The weather
No matter how many times you turn, the wind is blowing in your face.
Even rain isn't just normal rain. It's sideways rain.
11. The hills
12. The push
You're not taking this very seriously, are you?
"I have to do all this again?"
They tell you the half way point is a milestone. That it's a massive victory when you get there. Except, really, when you get there, you realise that you're only, you know, half way.
14, The isolation
"Where the hell is everyone?"
15. The trots
"It'll never happen to me"
Energy gels seemed like a good idea at the time.
16. The good-looking person
At last, a kick. You can spot a looker in the distance so, naturally, you pick up your pace. Think of how impressed he/she will be to see you striding past in full flight. It's only inevitable that you'll end up showering together after this showing.
17. The water
"How am I supposed to drink if I can't f**king breathe?"
18. The distraction
Singing songs in your head isn't working. Now would be a good time to check your Facebook likes or push your JustGiving page.
19. The fear
"I actually think I am going to die"
Death is a real possibility now. You can't breathe, you can't see, and your calf popped about three miles back. Now, the hamstring on your other leg has gone, your back won't stay straight anymore and your feet no longer fit into your shoes. You're beginning to accept that this is the end.
20. The anger
"If one more person tries to overtake me..."
Struggling for survival, fellow competitors are taking no sympathy as they whiz by one by one. Everyone can p**s off.
21. The standstill
"Am I even moving anymore?"
You're working hard but the finishing line is getting further away if anything. You can't be sure if you're still going forward.
22. The wall
23. The self-pity
24. The pep talk
You've come too far. You've trained too hard for too long. Think of the sponsors you were given. People believe in you. Imagine if you could make it to the end.
Probably a good time to remind people to sponsor you.
25. The home straight
26. The finishing line
"I am the greatest person in the history of the world"
There's nothing you can't do anymore.
Except stand. You can't stand.