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The 26.2 Things Going Through the Mind of a First-Time Marathon Runner Right Now

19/04/2016 11:22

I never thought Week 16 of the 16-week marathon training plan would ever come.

I confess I never thought I'd get this far (something to do with a hip full of metal and a cancer-scarred body).

But, now I have, I wish it was week 5 again - or 17 ('put-up-your-feet' week).

Don't get me wrong. I can't wait. But, now the day is so close, I feel like I'm suddenly a magnet for injury, illness and all things annoying.

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This week is one giant holding pen and I'm not sure whether I'm waiting for the toughest challenge of my life or Christmas.

What am I thinking? Exactly 26.2 things right now (still too early for 'where do I apply Vaseline?')...

1) Why did I sign up? Your life is unrecognisable. Your house resembles a gym changing room. And, that sacrifice STILL doesn't guarantee you'll make it. Anything could happen, and you're convinced 'anything' will happen to you.

2) If I refresh the weather app, will the picture change? Yesterday light shower, now fluffy cloud. What next?

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3) Is that a swollen gland? Yes, I'm drinking honey and lemon, thinking WHY NOW?

4) Is everyone around me sick? I've taken to holding my breath on tube journeys around cold-infested commuters.

5) Will people stop asking me about my time? The last thing anyone wants is to finish thinking we have to do it again - just faster.

6) Why the 10am start? Apparently everyone wakes up ridiculously early. So, why 10am, when virtually no other races start? When do I wee?

7) Can I carboload now? Thinking about last night's dinner, carboloading has officially started. Already in danger of splitting my lycra.

8) Should I go for another run? Tapering is torture. Two weeks ago, I ran 20 miles. I'm now starting to question whether it actually happened. Do my legs still work?

9) Will my running watch go the distance? They say never go the full distance beforehand, but am now thinking maybe somebody should've taken the Garmin for a test drive.

10) Is my kit lucky? I'm not superstitious (yeah, right), but have now isolated my lucky safety pins, socks and knickers and Breast Cancer Care vest.

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11) Will London ever look the same again? For someone who lives on the start line, these are roads I cannot avoid.

12) Do I actually have a plan? The marathon magazine has been thumbed, but every time I open it I get a wave of fear that makes me shut it again.

13) Will I see anyone I know? With around 37,000 runners, will I be able to distinguish a familiar 'Jackie' cheer from an anonymous one? Does it matter?

14) Should I eat the jelly babies? My stomach says yes, but head (I've heard about sweaty penis hands), says no!

15) If I finish after the millionth finisher, can I still call myself #oneinamillion? The millionth finisher will cross the line this year. But, do I qualify for the T-shirt, if I finish later?

16) Can I hold it together? People say wear waterproof mascara. I think no mascara!

17) Which pair of trainers? The experts say buy two pairs. What they don't say is which ones you should wear - my first-ever pair or the ones that match my vest?

18) What did the charity team mean when they said 'it's ok, there will be people to help you up the stairs to the after party'? Yep, really?!

19) Why will no one talk about those last 6 miles? The crowds will get you round they say. Not my legs?

20) To high five or not to high five? I think I want to, but what if I accidentally hit a small child or someone grabs me and I fall?

21) Could I actually die? Moving on...

22) What will my first marathon soundtrack be? Granted, the marathon theme music is the ultimate song, but will there be one that will be forever known as the one that got me round? Let's hope it's a good day and good song.

23) What should I eat? My favourite races involved a pudding the night before. The superstitious side of me is thinking I need to stick with tradition. Question is, what?

24) Will I need the toilet? There's a first time for everything. I'm just hoping it won't be on Sunday.

25) What next? It's the question I asked people to stop asking. Now, I'm asking it!

26) Is next week going to be a massive anti-climax? I've no idea what a normal food portions looks like. I can't imagine lycra-free laundry. How will I adjust?

26.2) Should I be worried about that .2? I gloss over that decimal point, but am thinking it could be my undoing.

Maybe the sofa was the better choice...

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