It is the night before my first marathon and, much like many other things I do, I have stumbled into it blithely unaware of what I am actually doing and just sort of hoping for the best. This being so, I have decided to share my fountain of marathon wisdom (in list format - who doesn't love a list?!) with anyone thinking of doing one themselves.
1. Sign up for a marathon without leaving much time for training.
This is important because it means that your training regime has always been laced with an edge of panic. The panic is important, not because it makes you train harder or better but because it reminds you of what an idiot you sometimes are.
2. Take up barefoot running.
With little time to play with before your first marathon, make the momentous decision to become a barefoot runner. This means starting from scratch with how far you can run and having to run/walk everywhere barefoot to force your feet to be ready in time.
3. Have a relapse of a medical condition and end up in hospital five weeks before your marathon.
Five years ago, I had this whole twisted colon affair that was totally not cool. It took a few months but I finally turned back into a human being and went on my way. Then last month, Mr. Colon decided he was in charge again and off we went to the hospital. It took me about ten days to start running again but I thought I could get back on top of things... until Mr. Colon had yet another go and we were back in hospital. That was two weeks ago. I have run once since then.
4. Stay in a B&B the other side of town.
Now, as I mentioned, I tend to float around a little like a jellyfish, thoughts occurring every so often and sometimes causing me to do things. A few weeks ago, realising that I would struggle to get to the marathon on time in the morning, I decided to get the train down to the coast the day before and stay over. It was 11pm when I was thinking about this so in a flurry of haste and panic, I googled places to stay and pretty much booked the first place I saw. Having arrived earlier today, I went to pick up my race day kit from tomorrow's starting line then went to find my B&B and yes, it's freaking miles away and no, I gave absolutely no thought to it's proximity to the race when I booked it. I am getting immense enjoyment from the added layer of stress this has created now that I have to factor in the time it will take to do a long walk to get to the starting point.
5. Last but not least, forget your sports bra.
Now this is crucial, you understand? Crucial! You must only realise this when unpacking your bag at 6pm and not any earlier when you were wandering around town surrounded by shops. Because of the long walk you know you must do in the morning, it is guaranteed that you will have no time to buy yourself one leaving you with the only option of wearing your normal bra and facing 26.2 miles of fighting to keep your bra straps from falling down as you run and feeling like you've been enclosed in a wire cage.
Well, if that sound advice doesn't work out for you, I don't know what will! (Adequate training, perhaps? And appropriate clothing?)