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Image courtesy 123rf

Yesterday I announced that I was recycling one of my 2011 new year’s resolutions: to run my first marathon. I’ve never been much of a runner; it’s just never been my thing. I took it up in 2009 when I was in London as a means of “active” meditation. I used to actively meditate by swimming because I find the sound of underwater breathing very soothing. But of course, London is too cold most of the year for swimming (indoors or otherwise!) – so I defaulted to running (although the term “running” is a rather optimistic description of the slow alternation of left foot-right foot, that I do).

It didn’t last very long. I just never had the time, with my day job. After I started my sabbatical, however, I took it up again. I managed a couple of races last year – a 10km one being my longest… but all the travelling got in the way (well, it’s not very sightly to be seen running in Paris now, is it?) and generally excuses, excuses.

So here I am again. Determined to give it another go. I’m starting at the very beginning. I’m using Hal Higdon’s training schedule for a 5km race and will work my way towards his marathon training schedule – in enough time to run the Sydney marathon in September. I’ve used Hal Higdon’s training schedule before and I chose it over the myriad available out there for its sheer simplicity: run, walk, rest – perfect! (None of this interval or fartlek business – yes “fartlek” is a real word! – I just want to get to the finish line).

Panting in pink - my Asics Gel

Now, a girl should never be seen in public in ugly shoes, no matter what she is doing. The range of running shoes available used to be boring and ugly, but I’ve noticed a trickle of more fun, funky ones coming onto the market recently.  I love these bright pink Asics Gel GT 2160, which provide lots of support with a dash of style, and, just like fire engine red makes a Ferrari go faster, I’m hoping these will make a good PB (or at least get me to the finish line with a beating heart). Wish me luck, on this, Day 1, of my long road to the end of a marathon!

Have you ever completed a marathon? Are you training for one now? What gear do you wear when you run? If you have any tips or stories to share, I’d love to hear from you.

Bisous, mon ami