By the time you read this I will be at the start line of the Virgin London Marathon. Stood with thousands of others. Trying not to panic.
Photo credit Flickr: Martin Pettit (Virgin London Marathon 2011)
It will be the culmination of 9 months training and while some might say that should be gestation period enough; experience has taught me that no matter how much preparation you do blood, sweat and tears will inevitably be shed.
Training this time has gone for the most part positively. Things started looking up at about 8 months in when the purchase of a new pair of trainers coincided nicely with the arrival of British Summertime. With a new spring in my step and spring to step into, a renewed enthusiasm washed over me and my 20 mile training run was ticked neatly from the schedule.
The 8 months before this however, involved a lot of gym work, a sacrificial end to my Saturday social life and a new compendium of classic dance tracks to my iPod.
Attending the Team PB training* day back in January (post-Christmas motivation to move from a sustenance intoxicated sofa slump to running around like a jack rabbit) one of our Olympic hopefuls, Scott Overall, was asked what he thought of when he ran his last race (the Berlin Marathon, in which he qualified for this year’s Olympics with a time of 2 hours, 10 minutes and 55 seconds). His reply was along the lines of “well I spotted someone in the crowd I recognised and spent the next hour wondering what he doing in Berlin?!”
My way of passing the time involves picturing scenarios where I am on fire on the dance floor (metaphorically speaking) and not running 26.2 miles for the sheer fun of it…
Photo credit Flickr: katsommers
The added pressure of running for charity does focus the mind though, and while I’m sure none of my sponsors would actually demand their money back should I fail to hit the finish line, it would be somewhat of an anti-climax to the months of hard graft and un-quaffed glasses of vin rouge if I did.
Photo credit Flickr: Annie Mole (Full marks have to go to this valiant participant last year…)
So, with race day looming it has been rest, carbs and logistics that have occupied the mind. The gym also noted my presence in a bid to satisfy unwelcome nerves which convinced me I had forgotten how to run. Like pre-exam jitters (which force you to stay up all night absorbing every last word of a book you’ve already read a thousand times) pre-race nerves are at best irrational and incessant and at worse down right destructive.
Fortunately however, I survived the week with limbs intact. I’m well fed, well watered and well rested and successfully navigated Excel like a pro in order to secure my race number – now sitting proudly below my name on my Team PB vest.
All that lies ahead of me now is the open road – all 26.2 miles of it.
Photo credit Flickr: Milan G (Virgin London Marathon 2011)
“The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit” Ken Doherty
*I am running this year’s London Marathon for Team PB – The Prostate Cancer Charity & Breast Cancer Care, the joint official charity of the Virgin London Marathon.
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Category: London Calling