My challenge for 2017 is slightly different. I’m getting married! I had wondered what I could take on that would take up more time and what I could do that would mean that I think about it even more every day… and I seem to have found it. I’m more excited than I can put into words, and unlike the ironman, know that it is going to an absolutely bloody brilliant day, as I get to marry to coolest man on the planet.
We’ve not been plotting and planning for the summer for very long yet, but already I’m starting to see comparisons between organising a wedding and organising a good marathon time…
You need a good team around you
When you’re training for a marathon and when you’re planning a wedding, I’m learning that it’s vital to be surrounded by people who love and support you. It’s useful to have people in your team who’ve been there, done that and can guide you through the tricky bits, promising that it will be OK in the end. You need people around who will pick you up and put you back together again when something doesn’t quite go to plan, and you’ve had a set back. You also need people around you who really don’t care. Who will roll their eyes at you when you start talking about invitations and colour schemes, or paces and sore feet. You need those people to keep your feet on the ground. And make you laugh, all the time.
You have to forget ‘should’
It’s so easy to get sucked into the ridiculous world of wedding planning and pinterest boards for every.single. aspect of the day. Bez and I have tried hard to stay away from what everyone else is doing and stick to what we want. Whilst we are keeping some aspects of wedding ‘tradition’, there are lots of things we’re not doing – why should we when we don’t want to? It’s our day, and it needs to suit us.
This is true too of marathon training, where you can get so sucked in to what everyone else is doing and what you think you should be doing to be like everyone else. If you can’t run 4 times a week, that doesn’t mean you’re going to fail… if you don’t go to parkrun, you’re not doing it wrong. If you don’t like using a garmin and aren’t bothered whether your left sock is on your right foot, that’s OK.
You need to stay well rested and well fuelled
Everyone knows that marathon training requires plenty of good quality sleep, plenty of food and 2 litres of water a day. Wedding planning takes lots of concentration and compromise, and so you need to keep hanger away at all times. Similar strategies should be employed.
Everyone will tell you what they think
Everyone has an opinion on what you’re doing. Whether it’s that running that far will ruin your knees, or that you really shouldn’t be getting married where you are because their niece got married somewhere else and that was much better, everyone will want to tell you what they think of what you’re doing. ‘Wear your hair up’, ‘run 4 times a week and only run at night’, ‘what do you mean you’re wearing those trainers’, ‘what do you mean you’re going to wear trainers’… you get the idea.
You’ll get bored of it
Much as it is the best, best thing you will ever do ever and is going to be the most super day, after a while, you’re going to need a break and time to not think about it all. When it gets like this, go and do something else for a bit. It’ll still be there when you come back and be even more brilliant.
If you enjoy what you’re doing it’s easier
I really like running, and this means that training for a marathon is, for the most part, really fun. I really, really like Bez, and this means that all the planning that means I get to marry him is ALL the fun.
It’s worth investing in the things that you’re not that good at
There are a number of things that we’re rubbish at, and so we’re going to have to spend more time (and money!) making sure that this things come together in the way we want them to. Same goes for having a successful marathon – you might have weaknesses that if you want your day to be the best it possibly can be, you might need to spend time (and money…) ensuring they’re not going to get in the way of you having the day of your dreams. So do those extra deadlifts in the gym and I’ll practice making bouquets…
Marathons and weddings seem to have been sucked into a hole of websites and magazines, as well as social media shoulds and people giving advice left, right and centre. This year, I’m going to remember that at the end of the day, it’s my race, my day and I’m going to listen to the people I trust for advice, but do most of it my way – because that is what will make me happy.