Everything in life seems so much more achievable if recorded in an Excel spreadsheet. The columns and rows are so definite and inevitable - almost as if they’re trying to say: “Follow me and you’ll be fine”.
I make spreadsheets at work to record what articles I have published and when, I make spreadsheets to help me count down the days until my next holiday, I make spreadsheets to keep track of how much money I am spending on Christmas presents for my family and friends.
The latest addition to my portfolio of spreadsheets, however, has the intimidatingly earnest title “Training Diary” and its sole purpose is to shepherd me all the way to the finish line of my first marathon, one gentle cell at a time.
The left hand column repeatedly lists the days of the week up until race day. Next to that, the dates span from the hot days of august, through rainy autumn, dismal winter and right up to April. The next column is sluggishly filling up with terms like “run”, “walk”, “rest” and “cross-train” followed by the time it took me to complete each activity and the distance mastered in the case of the first two. A cumulative total after every week gives me a virtual pat on the shoulder.
So far so good, but what happens next is the bit that is starting to unnerve me. At the far right of the spreadsheet, I’ve generated two columns showing the number of days left until race day and the number of weeks. 36 ½ and 250. Time to pound the pavements.
I’m a 24-year old journalist working in the City of London with six half marathons under my belt. So far I’ve avoided the challenge of taking on the full 26 miles but 2014 is my year, I’ve decided, and I’m ready to strike one of the harder things to achieve off my very long bucket list.
If my fitness is anything to go by, the challenge is certainly no mission impossible. I run at least twice a week, walk all over the place (those regularly relying on the Underground during rush hour will know why) and I love winter sports. But the psychological challenge of conquering 26 miles on my own two legs – preferably in a respectable time – is huge.
That’s where this blog comes in. In the first instance, I hope it will motivate me to stay focused on my training, nutrition and recovery, but also, perhaps it will inspire others in my position to face the challenge too.
I hope to use it as a platform to provide tips and advice to likeminded people, and also to share my experiences – both good and bad.
Running, after all, is hugely rewarding - both physically and mentally so with the help of a MicrosoftExcel.doc I’m ready.