It’s six days and 14 hours before the gun goes off and I begin to move my legs. My heart will be pounding. My nerves running wild. My body fresh and ready to go. Ahead of me lays 26.2 miles, which will be around 41,000 steps, but of what?
Well running obviously, but what sort of running? Will I be having a good day or will it be one of those days when your body just doesn’t feel right. A bit like a run down battery. All runners experience them. I just hope that I don’t next Sunday.
One thing’s for sure: I’m going to do everything I can to enjoy the experience. After nearly six months of training, that’s got to be my main goal. Oh and to finish it of course.
I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to run the marathon within a certain time, or try and keep up with someone. I’m going to soak up the atmosphere, take in the sites of Brighton, dance to the music (if I’ve still got the legs to do so) and do my best to smile! And that’s going to be the hardest thing I reckon. When your legs are aching, and your shoulders are up around your ears with tension, when you’re battling with that evil voice inside your head saying ‘let’s walk now’, it’s going to be hard to find that smile. But I owe it to myself to smile as this is going to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. And it’s probably going to be the only marathon I ever run. Note the word probably readers. I found out the other day that next year’s London Marathon ends in the Olympic stadium and that set the old brain ticking over, much to the annoyance of my partner. He’s just got his Saturday morning lie-ins back. But for how long? Watch this space.
I’m not going to write too much in this post. All I’ll say is I’ve done the prep as best I can for a first timer. I’ve had a few set backs, but I don’t know a runner that doesn’t. And I’ve learnt from them. I’m really excited, but my stomach keeps lurching with the realisation that it’s almost here. This week I’m going to eat really healthily, drink no alcohol (not counting the glass of wine I had today – well, it is Mother’s Day!) and have some nice easy, short runs as part of my taper (not counting the 15 mile bike ride I did today - I know, don’t say it, ‘bird brain’).
I’d also like to say how chuffed I am to have chosen Winston’s Wish to raise money for. They’ve got 38 runners at Brighton and they took the time to hand write a thank you card to us all. In these times when it’s all too easy to bang out a letter on a computer, I was really touched by that. Why not have a look at their webpage to see the reasons why others are running for them. It brings it home how much people care about others. Complete strangers want to help people they’ve never met before, or ever will. If we wanted to, we can all remain in our own little worlds these days with the technology we have. But things like the Brighton marathon show that we’re all human, who are compassionate and care about each other. I know from talking to friends who’ve run marathons that the people lining the streets of Brighton will be willing me on. They’ll be shouting encouragement at me, calling out my name. They’ll want me to go over that finish line. They’ll be showing me they care.
And it’s that which will get me over the finish line with a smile on my face. Not just a smile though, the biggest grin ever.
Signing off as a non-marathoner, hopefully for the last time. Ever.