When you're training for a marathon, everyone will tell you about the fear of injury.
But what they don't tell you is that you might just end up fearing the pavement at the front of your house, your colleagues (particularly anyone developing as much as a sniffle) and even your best friend's baby.
Marathon running turns rational human beings into quivering wrecks. People who could once take on the world, become challenged by taking on even the most basic of daily tasks (like the work commute).
Only when endurance training have I been knocked by a simple blister or feared the worst from a tickly cough. On the one hand, you have this overwhelming desire to wrap yourself up in cotton wool. And, on the other, you don't even blink at the prospect of 19 miles in rain so hard it makes your shoes squelch.
Well, the good news, is that I have recently discovered that there is a diagnosis for this rather odd behaviour: Maranoia.
And, the less time that stands between you and the finish line, the worse it is.
The bad news? The only known cure is the successful completion of the marathon itself!
Can you spot the symptoms?
1) You mount any kerb as if you're training to be a hurdler: I've heard of obstacles in life, but really? Scared of a pavement?
2) You wear trainers with pretty much anything: can't risk even slippers in case they send you sliding across the kitchen floor to your doom.
3) You look rather suspicious on the work commute: looking down and avoiding eye contact is just not an option when you're on the look out for potential pollutants - by which I mean sneezing and coughing commuters.
4) You panic if you lose sight of your antibacterial hand gel: see point three and the fight against flu sufferers
5) You think you're going to get sick: and the more you think about trying not to get sick, the worse you feel
6) You cancel all social events that will leave you exposed to crowds: why risk the germs?
7) You sleep with Vaseline on your feet and in socks: it's actually rather nice, but quite unnecessary for the 36 weeks a year when you are not marathon training
8) You think stairs are out to get you: run up and down them at your peril. Only tentative steps allowed
9) You ask colleagues if meetings are actually essential: increased risk after all, but actually something that would be good all year round
10) You order in extra quantities of ibuprofen gel and rock tape: good to be prepared
11) You eat pasta (a lot): never too early to start carboloading for the big day
12) You wear compression socks for fun: supporting those muscles and sitting on the sofa works for me
And, you find it hard not to talk about any of the above - constantly.
Marathon training destroys your social life and your sense of perspective.
Let's just hope it doesn't destroy our wedding day too*!
*NB: I have been told that a difficult wedding day leads to a beautiful marriage, so maybe that won't be a bad thing after all (says the bride currently battling injury).
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