For sure, I would miss out on a medal, a t-shirt and 97 Facebook likes. But how does a hefty medal compare to the resilience gained from grinding out those long runs (and many quinoa salads)? How does 97 likes stack up against achieving a hitherto unachievable goal?
It's not always pretty - says the woman with the terrible gait, fluffy chemo-styled hair, dodgy hips and injury-battered body. But, what's so brilliant about this great leveller of a sport, is that however you do it, wherever you do it and whatever technique you use to get round, you get to call yourself a runner.
It worries me that I can identify a proper one from a supermarket fake on a blind taste test (and that I have actually conducted said test). It worries me that I ordered a kilo bag from Amazon the week before a race and there weren't any left by the time we got to the start line. It worries me that I choose to eat them before dinner as a snack - along with my parents.
Got a spring marathon or half marathon coming up, getting nervous, and scrabbling for some last minute training tips?! Having trained for the last three years for a marathon (yes I only ended up completing one, but that's neither here nor there...;-)) and with three half marathons under my belt I feel like I'm at least semi qualified to give this advice!
Running this event was something I'd felt an overwhelming urge to do for many years. But when my eldest sister, Joanne, unexpectedly passed away in 2004 following a life of severe epilepsy, my casual interest in running became a coping mechanism for unbearable grief.
I have a lot of friends doing it this year, and they're all diligently posting on social media how far they've run, what gels and shakes they're using and showing off sparkly new trainers. There's been a number of things I've had on my 'to do list', and getting better trainers has been one of them.
Your time is measured in weeks counting down to race day, and your life squeezed in around your training. I get it, because I'm this person too. Over the past couple of years of regular running I've perfected the following five offensive office habits that only marathon runners will understand.
In many ways winter is the best time to kickstart your training regime - festive eating sessions are inbound, New Year's resolutions must be met and the judgement period that surrounds Valentine's Day looms closer.
I'm finally back into the swing of training for the London Marathon having got over my latest injury. It feels great, but it's also reminded me of all the stupid little things that annoy me when running. If you're out for over an hour you've got far too much time to think about things...
Running is not always pain free, however as soon as I cross the finish line I forget about the pain. Same thing with signing up for races. If you're pushing for a PB it can hurt like hell, but the pain is worth it for the high at the end!