I have regained my identity among the running community.
I no longer pound the streets aimlessly for now I am marathon training.
I’m on week one of 14 as I build up to the Rotterdam Marathon (fast, flat, and a ferry journey from Hull) and already the old anxieties are there.
Can I stay injury-free for three months? Why am I already tired? When should I buy my marathon running shoes and what colour should they be?
These are not helped by Strava and, in particular, the runners whose activities I am able to track via the app.
“20-mile run at faster the speed of light. Felt good.”
“Quick ten-miler with Mo in between kettlebells and cycling to Leipzig. Was raining.”
And the absolute worst: “Early morning run.”
My rivals are surging ahead of me while I sleep. It’s just so underhand.
I’ve not looked to see if Major Tim Peake is on Strava as he counts down to his London Marathon attempt but I bet if he is his space walk would be quicker than my tempo pace.
My fragile confidence is at breaking point.
What I need is an app to follow people who aren’t running.
It would make me feel so much better about my progress if I logged on to find status updates from absolute slackers.
“Extra hour in bed. Felt good.”
“Three sponge puddings and custard in 20 minutes. Personal best.”
“Watched Mo on the telly. Exhausted.”
My runs would be major achievements in comparison and I wouldn’t have to embellish them with excuses any more (after a hard day at work, niggly calf, hurricane-force wind (weather), hurricane-force wind (me)).
But most of all it would give me the confidence that my marathon preparation is where it needs to be.
At the very beginning.