It’s been 400 years. No, not since I started talking about this marathon but since William Shakespeare died. I was watching TV recently when a discussion on Shakespeare came on. Suddenly, a familiar feeling I had experienced a lot during my marathon training came over me. I was out of my depth.
Luckily I am married to a big Shakespeare fan and an English teacher. She was trying to explain to me the more nuanced points being raised. Luckily for her, she’s married to a Personal Trainer so I give her fitness advice in return and so we complement each other nicely. However, whatever you do, do not try to compare the impact on this world of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Shakespeare. Apparently The Terminator is not the same as The Tempest.
The marathon is only a few days away now and the story that’s about to unfold could mimic many of Shakespeare’s plays. My ambitious goal of running a 3:30 marathon could be Macbeth like. That sea of people better get out of my way at the start. The tragedy of falling apart on the day, might be compared to Hamlet. Or will it be a comedy? I mean have you seen what a man with a belt full of running gels looks like? Ridiculous. So Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Yes, I had to Google all of these.)
Having thought about this, if we’d met, I can confidently say that Billy and I would have hit it off. I could have explained heart rate zones to him and he could have explained heartbreak and why the silly Friar Laurence sent a messenger to Romeo that never arrived and then everyone dies. A simple WhatsApp notification and the whole thing would have been averted.
This TV discussion was frequently pointing out the relevance of Shakespeare in today’s world. However even my wife struggled to find a link between then and my tapering period now. Tapering is the two to three weeks prior to race day in which you decrease your training load in order to prepare yourself for peak performance on the big day. During this time many runners report feeling edgy and guilty that they are not doing enough. It certainly seems counter-intuitive to be taking it easy. I’ll be honest, I’m okay with it.
It’s been a challenging 6 months getting ready for this. But most importantly it is a fantastic cause, which has been brilliantly supported by so many. The work done by Tiny Tickers is so important and there are many stories, which highlight their mission. From Marek to Mia and beyond there are so many babies that need our help. We are on course to hopefully raise beyond £5,000 now, which is way beyond the initial target. I’m truly humbled.
I have mentioned it before but everyone who has been listening to my boring stories about going for a run has helped motivate me to keep going. If you were on the receiving end when you hadn’t asked about it, I’m sorry. If on the other hand you were only trying to make polite conversation and then found yourself trapped by my talk of “foot strike”, well you’ve learnt your lesson haven’t you? I can only thank everyone who has been so generous with their support. As Miranda said in The Tempest “O wonder! How many godly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in’t.”
If you are after a good story then check out 53033. No not a sonnet but my race number if you would like to follow me live on the day of the race. If you do see me falling off my horse on the day, look after my kingdom please.
See you on the other side.