It would be illegitimate to milk my marathon musings for much longer. Indeed, I may test the bounds of friendship if I stay addicted to conversations about the mileage and blisters I have clocked up. However, because I acknowledge that I may have unconsciously morphed into a long-distance runner, I intend to stretch this blog out over two posts – pre and post London (unfortunately, for you, it’s a marathon not a sprint, people). If in weeks to come you realise that you only got to read this pre-London post, you can infer that I never did pass the finish line and that I may still be languishing somewhere around Canary Wharf, and was probably overtaken by a rhino weeks ago.
All these weeks of training have afforded plenty of time to work out my running strategy – only Sunday will tell if I am sadly deluded. For the sake of my sanity, let us pretend that I have become older and wiser in the process; let us allow me to bimble through some rights I now believe every runner should log.
- The right to convert miles into calories.
Naturally this is totally misguided – unhealthy even – and ignores the fact that my 50+ metabolism hits snail’s pace even when I’m sweating – however, it does allow those post-run endorphins to kick in beautifully. Am I the only runner who rewards herself with food before even contemplating kicking off her trainers, ticking off the mileage on her fridge planner or hitting the shower?
- The right to pretend that pre-marathon carb loading is essential.
This links in with my food heaven above but also sanctions a marathoner to continue guilt-free eating even when tapering.
A fellow marathoner (get us) agrees that in tapering she is experiencing a similar situation to when she finished breast feeding her daughter 20+ years ago; back then she couldn’t understand why she had put on two stone in weight once she stopped feeding her baby daughter – she then realised that it might just be linked to the additional 2,000 calories she was still consuming each day.
I am guilty as charged. Sadly, the cashier at my local Simply M&S Food (it’s not just food, it’s marathon proportions) believes that I shop for a family of four when I pop in each night. I don’t like to tell her that I live alone.
- The right to behave like royalty while tapering.
I need to confess that over the last couple of weeks I have used tapering as a ‘get out of jail card’ on many occasions. Naturally I will not disclose much detail (let us just leave it at the dustbin duty rota and some early morning boot camp sessions), for, if I get the hang of long distance running, I may need to use this joker again.
- The right to ‘take a load off’ at every opportunity
Naturally I don’t mean cutting back on carbs here, but taking the weight off weary feet during the tapering season. Over the last two weeks I have taken the liberty of sitting down while manning the lunch queue in the school canteen, using my wheeled office chair to scoot me to any ground floor classroom in which I need to teach and using headstand and seated lotus poses as a key pillar of any yoga lesson I have taken. Namaste.
- The right to become a compulsive on-line shopaholic
Naturally, this is just flexing muscle on the item above – it is surely the ideal recreation for anyone not wanting to leave the house or let their feet touch the floor. Along with a desire to finish 26.2 miles comes the desire for ‘go faster’ stripes on your socks (Runderwear), a non-chafing sports bra (Sweaty Betty) and some detergent that will make your purchases not smell like you left your kit in a gym locker for 3 weeks (Halo – you’ve changed my life). Post marathon, I am thinking of moving into athleisure by purchasing some apartment pants (apparently, they are a thing) for I have a feeling that I may be grounded off-road for a while.
- The right to drink a cheeky expresso before a run
Enough said. Have two shots at least. Learn to love caffeine.
- The right to get nervous
We know that we have completed all the mileage dictated on the training schedule, but we still like to emote about our nerves. No one likes a runner that is too full of themselves – even if it’s the result of carb loading; modesty goes a long way and that is what we are after on Sunday.
- The right to support from family and friends
I’m getting emotional now, but if you’ve done all this training and your friends have stuck with you this far, then you have earned the right to bask in the glow of their continued support; my goodness, how they will support you. Brace yourself for customised cards (where did you get those running photos from Kath?), random visits to wrap a ‘you can do it’ hug around your sorry limbs (love you kids/Kath again), sponsorship (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jeanne-fairs it’s not too late) and physical support on the day (you know who you are, my lovelies).
- The right to get excited
Enough said -very similar to the right to nerves so it is easy to get the two confused. Just remember when you are running past balloon arch mile markers, gospel choirs and Mo Farah (ok, the last one is not going to happen but you are at least attending the same event as the Mobot) that this is excitement and you have trained flipping hard for this.
- The right to leave a blog unfinished
Part 2 – hopefully – to be continued after Sunday (rhino and will power permitting).