Da do run run run

20121228-181450.jpg
marcothon calendar designed by Neet Neilson

December is the month of the Marcothon. The rules of Marcothon are simple: 3 miles or 25 minutes running every day. The runs should really be done outside and the best rule of all -if it feels like cheating it probably is.

I really like Marcothon. I like the fact it doesn’t have a sponsor, it isn’t for charity, there is no league table, no run logs to be posted and is completely self sustaining. Folks pop onto the Facebook page and post about their run, the weather, the aches and pains, their motivation or lack thereof.

This year there has been a great bunch of people and over the course of the month a real sense of community has developed even though there is a huge range of abilities and experience. The one thing in common is that everyone is achieving whether you are Robert Soutar running crazy mileage at 4:30 in the morning or Lynne Chalmers running Couch to 5K in 27 days.

On the face of it Marcothon should be easy. It is only 3 miles a day.  As the month progresses the logistics of getting out every day become a wee bit harder.  Christmas, work, family, illness, injury, hangovers, all take their toll.  It is interesting how the pattern progresses through the month. Everyone starts off strong and full of beans.  10 days in and there are some casualties but it isn’t really until the start of he third week that the highest attrition seems to take place. Make it into the fourth week and suddenly everyone seems to get a bit stronger. Folks start reporting PBs and while there are a few casualties due to freak injuries and the like, the majority seem to get stronger. There are probably a number of reasons. It might be plain old survival of the fittest,  a case of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger as the physical adaptations of the trainng effect kick in. Or it might be that people start to truly believe they can achieve something which was previously only an aspiration. Whatever the reason, the community is greater than the sum of its parts and is a great support network.

This is a wee bit like my experience so far of running ultras. You start off apprehensive but full of running, then you go through some lows, hit a period of stability, then sink to rock bottom, before climbing back out of the abyss and finding the mental strength to endure the suffering and keep going.

And so to the WHW.  It’s still a long way away, but feels quite real. The start list is up on the site and John Kynaston has sent out an email asking for pen portraits of the entrants so I shall need to figure out how to describe myself. The other thing which is making it real is the need to get out and do some serious training. And yes I am panicking already 😉

some coos out in the Ochil hills
some coos out in the Ochil hills

Training has been going not to badly so far. Marcothon has been building my mental stamina as well as the ability to run on tired legs. I have run 60+ miles in the last 7 days including a freezing trot up the Ochil hills and even ran a new PB for 10K at the Ayr Turkey Trot on Boxing Day, so I suppose my base isn’t too bad.  Next will be to add miles in to my long runs to get used to running long again.

There are a couple more days to go until the end of the year and it will be a shame to see the end of Marcothon, but like all good things it is the time limited nature of it which makes you want to come back for more next year.

And the title of this post? A wee parody of the Ronettes hit song which I posted in he Marcothon Facebook group.  As with all in jokes it sort of loses something out of context, but here it is for posterity.

with sincere apologies to the Ronettes and to anyone else who ends up with this tune in their head for the rest of the day…..

It started on the first and my legs were fresh
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon
Somebody told me that it was only 3 miles
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon

Yeah, my legs are strong
Yes, my clothes they pong
And when I run I moan
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon

I’m out the door at seven and I look so fine
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon
Kitted out in hi-viz my clothes do shine
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon

Yeah, she caught my eye
Debs, oh my, oh my
And when I shuffle round
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon

I’m running in the wind and the rain and snow
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon
Legs like lead but out I go
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon

Yeah, my legs are strong
Yes, my clothes they pong
And when I run I moan
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon

I spend all day on facebook with my Marco friends
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon
cheering and cajoling till the runs are done
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon

Yeah, my legs are strong
Yes, my clothes they pong
And when I run I moan
Da do run-run-run, da Marcothon

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