Pardon my French.
One week to go.
I’ve done long runs, sort tempo runs but I still don’t think I have done enough. The email came to download the course booklet and that just made any nerves that I had settled become very unsettled very quickly. I am a little nervous, more so than I was when I had been preparing for the Great North, not about the same thoughts, with that epic road race it was more about if I wouldn’t cross the line letting all those who sponsored me down, but also if I was indeed fit enough. After all I had only been running for several months and had only run in a 10K race and here I was an ex smoker and heavy drinker with a very inactive life style taking part in the biggest half marathon in the world, what on earth was I thinking when I signed up? But now with the full on 26.2 miles I’m thinking about the time it will take, the wall, having a gingerbread man, not finishing, fainting, basically everything that could happen.
My energy gels all arrived today, and the course booklet has been read several times with passages of text echoing around my mind. ‘ No earphones’ ‘You will be pulled out of the race if you don’t reach Durham Massey by such a time’ ‘The roads will be reopened at 3pm’ All extra stress and information to un focus my mind from the task in hand causing me to stress and fret even more. I am bricking it. I don’t need to go for a run to get my heart rate up just thinking about standing on the line waiting for the gun is getting me 167 b.p.m let alone looking at the map and mapping out if i have timed my taking of gels with where the water stations will be, I’m seeing other people complaining that they can’t get their weekly mileage down and are finding it hard to taper. Meanwhile I’m longing to be running the 30-40 miles there still trotting up. This week I have done 4 miles, four whole miles and maybe I should think of it has stocking up on my energy, resting before I go out and burn all my stores but there is a niggling in the back of my head. Well I say a niggle it’s more like an army screaming ‘You have not done enough’ and while I know, or hope my mates will be there to hold my hand to pull me up after I collapse over the finish line so far I feel like I am alone in this conquest which is ironic as being a runner can be lonely, but it’s also a really social activity. Everyone is in it together. But I think of what I have sacrificed, with nights out, work, drink all for 4-5 hours on a Sunday in April.
Everyone is on about London and how they are looking forward to it, meanwhile I feel like I’m the only one with focus on the Manchester Marathon. My friends have neither confirmed or denied their participation in the crowd cheering me on, or handing me extra energy bars or drinks. I have posted the course map and have hinted where I need people and support but yet no one has confirmed. I know they will come, well I hope they do as in my mind I am building this to be a big life event. Yes I am doing for myself, to prove that I can run 26.2 miles and get entry into the prestigious marathon club but it mean jack if my friends and family aren’t there to celebrate in my triumph.
Oh well just over a week and all kinds of thoughts are running through my mind, things to eat, drink, sleep everything thing about my life and habits is now being scrutinised like cramming for an exam anything I do now will have little or no affect.
Maybe I should just sit back and eat pasta with my legs up and look forward to this Herculean task and enjoy every mile with the knowledge that I am one of a few that have taken this ridiculous event on and be proud to hopefully cross the line.
But I suppose having that nervous energy is a good thing, but I wish I would have just maybe one positive thought before next Sunday. No doubt I will blog again before the big event.
Oh well, time for a quick run, to make sure my legs still work.