12 Months and a Million Miles


This time last year I was getting ready to run the 12th (or 13th) of the 12 marathons in 12 months challenge. That seems like a lifetime ago, a dream land that I once lived in, a thing that if I did it now I’m not sure I could, or would!

On that day I rocked up at Portsmouth sea front, some friends were there, some family were there, and I was there. It was a purposeful end to a purposeful year. I chose to finish in Portsmouth because that’s where everything had gone wrong for me some decade previous. It was the place I was supposed to graduate, the place where I was supposed to make life long friends, and the place that would fix all the things I had done wrong, or could do wrong, most of all it was the place I’d be successful. It wasn’t. In the end it was the place that broke me in to a million tiny pieces, the place that exposed all the horrible bits of me I’d been keeping secret, under-wraps, at bay for a lifetime. It was the place I unravelled, fell apart, gave up. So after years of feeling weak and lost and alone. I decided to run 12 marathons, because I wanted to feel strong, powerful, and connected to something/me again. I finished in Portsmouth to change some of the worst memories I have in to some of the best ones, and to show that time can pass and things can change, and places aren’t as scary in the light as they were in the dark.

It was probably the only marathon I didn’t cry at the finish of. To be honest as it all ended, the whole year of doing everything, I didn’t really feel much at all. I know that might seem sad or harsh or unusual, but to me it was rather beautiful. I’d felt so much over the last 10 years, over that last 12 months, and I’d had so many ups and downs. It was beautiful because it was simple, understated, no dramas, no walls to crash through, no breaking points, just time to run and chat and be. it was quiet, non eventful, normal! A life I’d lusted after forever.


So why am I having a good old reminisce? Fast forward twelve months and I couldn’t feel further from that. 2018 pretty much sucked in terms of achievements, and goals and drive (apart from you Loch Ness, you little beaut)! And now I find myself  lost in a sea of training I don’t really understand, heading towards a goal I don’t really understand. My brain feels heavy with questions and my body, All be it doing the things I ask of it, feels slower and less fit than ever before. A part of me thinks that’s ok, and a part of me thinks I truly am an idiot of epic proportions. My dad asked me yesterday “so are you on track with training” my answer “I don’t know” was honest and not meant to be flippant, although I’m not sure I mastered the delivery.

So I am here, I tick off activity after activity, week after week and hope for the most part that it will build me into the person I need to be. “Trust in the process” rings in my ears heavy! But right now I’m not sure that I do…

It’s virtually impossible I feel, to start something and not compare yourself to where you need to be at the end. Whether that be the dream job, the end goal, or the A race. You see the gap between where you want/need to be and where you are now, or at least I do. I think to myself at least 30 times a day that I’m so far away from being a triathlete, let alone an iron distance one. I think how 7 months is no time at all really. I think how I can’t do the things I need to be able to do right now. I think how big HUGE that gap is. I feel small in that space; tiny, alone, scared, weak.

Now the smart little bird that lives in my brain somewhere will be chirping away that all this is normal, that I’m not meant to be fit enough to do an ironman right now this second, or else I’d be doing one right now this second. That 7 months is plenty. That the process is trustworthy. That it will come together in some glorious way that I can’t even fathom right now. But that bad and rather loud part of my brain tells me I can’t. I won’t. That I am in fact the worlds biggest imposter, trying once again to be something I won’t ever be, successful!

So I write about 12 months ago me, who stood at the finish line of 12 months of training and racing, stronger than she’d ever been, braver than she could ever know, more powerful than she gave herself credit for, surrounded by love and being pelted by torrential downpours.


She is me.

So if you’re feeling like that gap is too huge, too scary, too dark or too lonely. Then I am right there with you! Staring in to all the unknowns, trying my best to trust in the process, and believe that I have enough of whatever it is I need to pull this thing off.

Time to start a training journal on here I think!



4 Comments on “12 Months and a Million Miles”

  1. Oh, lovely girl. You have SO got this. Honestly, you’re already an Ironwoman. You just are. You have it all within you and more. Training for A New Thing is scary and I’m right there with you. Let’s go kick 2019 in it’s three-pronged ass.

  2. I know how you feel. This, as always is a lovely piece of writing Clare. If we didn’t feel scared or at times overwhelmed then we wouldn’t be challenging ourselves. I know you can do this and I am so bloody proud of you for going for it. x

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