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Amazing motivation of a Marcothon

Written by Fiona December 11 2014

The Marcothon is a challenge that encourages you to run every day in December, including Christmas Day. I completed a full Marcothon month a few years ago and I decided it would be the perfect motivator for this December, too.

Wispa the Wonder Whippet loves the Marcothon.

Wispa the Wonder Whippet loves the Marcothon.

I also wrote about the invention and growth of the Marcothon in the Sunday Mail.

What is Marcothon?: Marcothon is a 5km or 25 minute minimum run from December 1 to 31.

For the last year or so I have been majorly troubled by stomach issues and nausea when running. The problem is more than “runner’s trots” and if I run too far I can end up feeling ill for another 12 to 24 hours.

You can imagine how this has put me off doing much running. I have continued to cycle, mountain bike, swim and Munro bag so I am not inactive but I do miss the easy accessibility of running.

I thought that the Marcothon might introduce my legs – and stomach – to a bit of running again. The hospital consultant wants me to try to build up my mileage to see at what point the nausea kicks in.

First 10 days of Marcothon 2014

Day one or two of anything is always the easiest for me. I begin with enthusiasm and whatever the weather or my busy schedule I find time to slot in some exercise.

I also promised myself that I would start slowly. So I plodded at slow jogging pace around a route that I knew to be 5.5km. The route starts from my home and includes a bit of pavement, some off-road and a few small hills.

I told myself that over the month it would become easier and I would be faster by the last day.

Days three to six were a little harder. I already have a busy self-invented exercise programme so on many days I needed to fit the short run around these other sessions. It’s not about fitness but about finding the time in my busy freelance/family life to get out for a run.

I also managed a bit of a hill run. I did a lot of walking uphill but ran all the way back.

On one of the days I almost forgot about the run. I had agreed to swim with a friend who was visiting from England on a Wednesday morning and I like to attend a tri club spin session on a Wednesday evening.

I found myself at the end of the tough spin session with the run still to do. I kept going over it in my mind: “Shall I bother, yes I should, but shall I bother?”Amazingly one of my tri club pals agreed to chum me on the slow-ish “cool down” run. Thankfully, the chat and run combo was easier than we had both imagined.

Hit by bad weather

After a very mild start to Scotland’s winter we have now been hit by the so-called Weather Bomb. This is really just a winter storm but when you look out of the window at rain, sleet, hailstones, wind and darkness it is very difficult to motivate yourself to go outdoors, let along to run 5km.

I confess that without the Marcothon challenge I would have stayed indoors working. On some days I ran as late as 9pm. I’d left the run until later in the vague hope of finding the evening’s weather to be a bit quieter. Sadly, on two nights this didn’t work.

However, when you get back from a run through difficult weather conditions it always feels very uplifting. Wispa the Wonder Whippet wasn’t so sure! She has accompanied me for most of my runs and she trots along at my side guided by my speed and the light of my super duper head torch.

The future of my Marcothon

I hope to increase my mileage next week, at least on some of the days. I feel a little fitter and more able to cope with my nausea. I know when I have pushed it too hard or gone to far and I hope to be able to listen a bit more to my running body.

This weekend we are visiting relatives in London so I will take my running kit and find a nearby park in which to run. I hope there is a nearby park – and that I find the motivation!

Later in the month, we are off to the Alps to ski. My Marcothon will be tested to the limits during a week of skiing. I have a plan to run before breakfast each day but I have no idea if I’ll manage that.

Anyway, there is something about Marcothon that pushes me out of the door each day. It’s nothing to do with what other people are doing or telling me to do. It’s simply that I don’t want to let myself down.

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