Last year I had fitness goals and I was determined to attain them.. Fast forward to Christmas 2017, fa fa fa foul I had become a bonafide fat boy. I weighed over 110kg and totally unfit. I had let myself go and was eating with reckless abandon. I trust my body , it reveled in the recklessness. So I made a decision in January 2 , 2017. I was gong to run a Marathon…….
Before I looked up training methods and what not I decided to look up when the next Lagos marathon was going to be held .
As always Google is your friend and Viola! I saw the information I needed. The Access Bank Marathon was going to be held on the 11th of February , 2018. After a long hesitation I just damned the consequences and just hit register.
Registration done and now it was time to hit the road. So I actually jog on and off but in 2017 it was more Off than On. I was really hoping that muscle memory would really help. The training schedule i opted to go with was one that i could progressively improve run times every three days. But you see I needed to start at a high number. I didn’t have much time.
The next day comes and its so cold! The Lagos Harmattan was in full effect! It was a damn struggle gasping for air every Kilometer I added.
Trust me after this day I really wanted to give up. I kept asking myself “Na Who send me message?” I definitely had to dig in.
First run was a paltry 11.85 km an improvement from my last run in 2017 which was 3km and change but nowhere close to my 42 km goal on marathon day. I had to put work in!
The Mind Vs Body Struggle:
You know our bodies hate any discomfort no matter how little. Trust me when I say very cell in my body fought tooth and nail to make sure that that I didn’t become consistent with my runs. Soon enough I shamed the devil and was able to dominate my body. You see long distance runners have to be the most mentally resilient people I know because you literally have put your body through pain until pain becomes secondary .
Those chants during runs though! I can’t even explain how it sounds. Especially when I unconsciously shout the words Lets go! Lets go! Its crazy!
Guys , before we continue I want to do a quick Rundown of FAQ that I usually get asked from people.
Is music even Important?
For me? absolutely. It even has to be a certain kind. Pure rap albums. Typically I do a specific set of albums. Joe Budden – Against the Machine , Pusha T – My name is my name, Cyhi Tha prince – No Dope On Sundays , DMX – And Then There Was X.
Let me just say it this way , drink enough water and you are not going to cramp up. Usually I start from the day before with bottles upon bottles. The morning I run I drink water before I stretch and a few more gulps begin I begin running. Do this frequently and you’re good.
What was your training schedule for the Marathon?:
I randomly picked a training schedule i felt work with me. So my first run was 11 KM then I started increasing my distances in small increments with every run until i hit 40KM.
Did you ever want to end this all and stop putting your self through this punishment?
Every time my Alarm went off at 4.45 am. Every single time!
So finally the Marathon came and I was so high on Adrenaline I was even awake by 4am. Got to stadium in time and it was like a carnival! Brand presence everywhere!
It was packed with people! From the pretenders to the professionals. The funny thing is the conversations I overhead at start point were just hilarious. Some guy was asking some other guy to describe how long 42KM was. He had not trained but he totally believed he would complete the race. Another conversation that struck me were the two Bankers who just left the office that morning and drove straight to the National Stadium to partake in the Marathon. Lagosians are interesting people!
I saw a group of muslims praying in their running shoes and running bibs, such a lovely sight! For the first time I got the chills…you see I had prayed at 4am when i woke up but i said another prayer… “Lord Only you can lead me through these perilous roads. Give me strength Lord for I have no strength of my own”
Fear left me.
Not long after that the race started and there was a roar from every one. People shouting and and chanting . I started my running app and I was away into the great unknown.
Shouting and grunting my own chants I switched on my mind and silenced my body from that moment.
The race was full hazards let me clue y’all in on the route so you guys can understand what a brother went through.
STADIUM->IKORODU ROAD->ANTHONY->GBAGADA->CLIMB 3rdMAINLAND BRIDGE->CLIMB ALFRED REWANE TOWARDS OSBOURNE->COME DOWN TO BOURDILLON->IKOYI/LEKKI TOLL GATE->ADMIRALTY->LEKKI TOLL GATE->VI->EKO ATLANTIC->FINISH LINE.
It was tough. I cant even explain to you guys how I felt from the Ikoyi/Lekki toll gate to Eko Atlantic when I completed it. It was a mix of despair and finally fulfillment.
This is one of the biggest tests I have ever put myself through and I tell you guys all my mental walls have been broken down.
Best feeling ever.