It seems no major marathon website is complete without a countdown timer on the homepage. In the build-up to this year’s London Marathon I’d regularly check the event website, and seeing the countdown timer drawn inexorably closer to race day was exciting… and a little bit terrifying.
The Houston Marathon website also has a countdown timer on the homepage. And as that countdown timer draws inexorably closer to race day it’s exciting… and a little bit terrifying. Yup, one of the early lessons of running a second marathon is that the slight terror of running 26.2 miles isn’t lessened by the fact I’ve done it before.
If anything, it might be a little worse – because I know how tough the training will be. Especially looking at the countdown timer today, to show that there’s now 100 days to go until the 2017 Houston Marathon. About 14 weeks. In other words, it’s time to begin ramping up the training.
Which isn’t all good news – because Autumn has finally hit Britain. After a late September summer swoon, the weather has snapped back to normal. The evenings are drawing in, and it’s getting chilly. I had to break out a long-sleeve running top for my post-work run last night – which was also my first evening run for several months to finish in the dark. That seems a bit ironic, since I’m preparing to run a marathon in Texas – hardly known for cold weather…
It’s going to get worse from here, too. The clocks go back in a month or so, and the temperature is going to keep on dropping. It’s not going to stop me running – I’m quite stubborn about these things, and have managed to keep on running in all conditions – but it can be hard to find the motivation to go running on cold, dark nights.
Finishing last night’s training trek in the dark was a reminder that there are going to be a lot of cold, dark nights between now and January. And, with a marathon to prepare for, that’s a lot of cold, dark nights I’m going to have to wrap up and head out on a run.
Still, when I’m out running in the cold, I just need to think warm thoughts. Apparently, it was 32 degrees Celsius in Houston, Texas yesterday…