When do you declare Game Over?

Katherine French. Liverpool Marathon. DNS.  That’s what it will say next to my name this weekend.  Another marathon, another fail.

After falling some way short of target in London, I wanted to give it another go whilst I was still marathon fit because, quite honestly, the thought of another season training for an Autumn marathon simply makes me want to throw allllll my trainers in the bin and swear a lot.  But it’s quite evident that I just don’t have that kind of speed in my legs at the moment.  Entering Liverpool and thinking I could smash it really wasn’t my brightest idea.

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It was all a bit too perfect.  5 weeks after London, a large UK marathon, a friend with a flat I could stay in, I’d even managed to wing a lift there and back.  But my heart and my body had a full blown argument that only my body could ever win.

I know exactly what would have happened.

  • Turn up at the start line
  • Full of hope, but knowing I probably wouldn’t make it
  • But maybe, just maybe I could make it?
  • Purposely set off just behind the 3:30 pacer and hang on for dear life
  • Curse the sodding hills that I was warned about
  • Fall off the pace
  • Get angry
  • Walk
  • Hate everyone overtaking me
  • Hate myself for being rubbish
  • Hate life
  • Be the the very last person to finish the Liverpool Marathon in the slowest time on record. Ever
  • Cry
  • Still not get into Boston
  • Hate running

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It might sound silly, but I know myself well enough to know that would be the most likely outcome right now.  It wasn’t worth it.

Last week someone said to me, in reference to London,

‘Remember when you spent 6 months training for a marathon and then jogged it?!’  

Whilst there was obviously an air of jest, it doesn’t change the fact that it is indeed true.  I trained really hard for London and still didn’t have what it takes to achieve what I wanted to.  I just can’t get that out of my head.  When it came to game time, the really serious-poker-face-hardcore bit, I jogged.

It’s definitely game over for this season.  But is it game over for good? I don’t know.  How do you know?  I’m not sure I have any coins left to play again.

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Annoyingly, I had cancelled all my fun weekend plans to go to Liverpool so I’m now plan-less for the Bank Holiday.  But instead of killing myself on the streets of Liverpool on Sunday, you’ll find me bumbling along the North Downs Way eating Jenn’s Jelly Babies (and other nutritional snacks), and talking to Barry about alarm clocks (and other important things).  I’m much happier about that.  I think.

When I finally made the decision to pull out I felt a huge sense of relief, I didn’t have to actually run another marathon!  But the dark cloud?  That hasn’t shifted yet.

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6 thoughts on “When do you declare Game Over?

  1. If you felt relief at pulling from Liverpool then you obviously made the right decision. Time to take some time out and enjoy pressure-free running again before having another marathon-time attempt by the sounds of things. I know how frustrating it is to put all that work in only to not get the race you were after. That’s one of the things that makes a marathon such a huge achievement in my eyes though – it’s unpredictability on the day.

  2. That relief means it was definitely the right decision. But that doesn’t mean it’s game over just yet. You probably need to rest, recover and get back to enjoying running again. That’s when to decide what to do next.

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