I’m running a marathon in just under 2 weeks.
Training has been a bit up and down owing to a couple of minor injuries, and a cold, the latter of which is known as Japanese encephalitis in my household owing to my hypochondria which sets in in the month leading up to a big race.
This will be my 10th marathon, so you’d think I’d be a little bit practiced in terms of what needs to be done. But I’ve been caught out this time.
One of the big rules is to race in what you train in, both shoes and gear. A marathon is as much a mental challenge as it is physical, and you want to go into the race minimising your sources of doubt. Ensuring that you have run plenty of miles in your shoes and apparel is one obvious way of doing this.
I had been training in a pair of shoes that were really comfortable and light, and I’d had them earmarked for race day. But after a short time (only about 300km of wear) they developed a wear patch in one part of the tougher outer sole covering that was right through to the bouncy stuff. I thought this was a bit odd as did my local running shop who told me to bring them in and they’d investigate with the manufacturer.
Over the next couple of weeks I was still running, but using another pair of shoes that were heavier and more supportive – fine for longer runs in comfort but not really what I was wanting to chase down a PB in.
After a few weeks of toing and froing the manufacturer responded to our queries by saying the shoes were fine and had only worn because of the way I ran. As such there was no fault with them and they were not going to replace them.
While having to wear the cost of a replacement pair was a minor annoyance, things quickly got worse. My running shop had no more in stock and a limited range of options for me because all the manufacturers would be releasing their new models in a couple of weeks so supplies of the old models were being run down. A quick check online confirmed this.
I didn’t have too many options available to me, so I tried what was available that might do the job and settled on the least worst option. They didn’t feel quite as good, in fact they felt quite strange when standing still but seemed to be ok in a test run. Fearing that I was running out of time to get comfortable with them and break them in I opted to settle for these, and crossed my fingers.
I took them out for a few test runs and they were certainly lighter to run in, but they didn’t feel anywhere near as comfortable and supportive. In a longer run my legs and feet felt sore from the impact with the pavement, and now I had a confidence problem too: if my legs felt this way after only a bit more than half marathon distance, would I actually get through the full marathon?
In a panic I started ringing shoe stores hoping they might have something not listed in their online stores. Luckily, I have managed to track down one pair of my original shoes.
My head is certainly much more settled now.
Whether there was anything wrong with the new shoes I tried I don’t know. At least part of it was likely the result of feeling like I had to buy them because I was out of time and out of options, and hence I was powerless.
Whatever the underlying reason, in reality it doesn’t matter. I didn’t feel comfortable in them, and the worry and stress that was causing was bound to have a negative impact on my performance.
This could all have been avoided if I’d planned better.
The same thing applies to your financial affairs. Planning early and having ample time to consider and make informed decisions is an easy way to reduce your stress levels. We know the differences in consequences and hence importance: if things go pear shaped in a marathon it might mean you miss out on your goal time, or even that you fail to finish, but if things go badly with your finances it can have a long lasting impact on all areas of the life of you and your family.
So take a little time to plan. If you’d like to book a free Diagnostic Call email firstname.lastname@example.org
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