As I sit here and write this, gripped by a food-induced-coma after devouring a super-sized pizza, it’s hard to believe that I’ll be running 26.2 miles in just seven days.
After four months of training, and lots of guilt (holidays and London Fashion Week play havoc with a training schedule) all the blood, sweat and tears boil down to Sunday 22nd April, 2012. I go from moments of sheer panic, overwhelmed by the scale of the event and the length of the run, to a beaming sense of achievement, because I know when I cross that finish line, it will be down to my hard work and determination, and no-one else’s. I’ll have raised a thousand pounds to support a life-saving charity and proved to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to.
It was only today after I dragged myself out of bed for me penultimate long-ish run (8 miles round Regent’s Park at sunset) that I realised, there’s something quite comforting about pulling on my lycra leggings, and when this is all over…what will I do each weekend? Will I miss running? Will I go back to my late-night binge-drinking ways, never to pound the pavement again?
All I know is that this experience has changed me as a person. A year ago, I wouldn’t be seen dead running in public, let along donning head-to-toe lycra and a neoprene bum-bag. It just wasn’t the done thing. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not at one with body-hugging dry fit and the fashion faux pas they present, but lycra is a necessary evil in the world of running. One that over time I’ve come to accept!)
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by marathon fever, so whilst out running, I went over a few THINGS I KNOW, my mantras to get me through…
I KNOW… I was not born for speed, but I’m in it for the long haul
I KNOW… I’m not a natural runner but I’m committed to the challenge
I KNOW… I can run continuously for 13 miles – 2 hours 10 minutes, I did it in Berlin and I can do it again
I KNOW… I can run as far as 18 miles and be on the road for 4 hours
I KNOW… I perform best under pressure and rise to the occasion
I KNOW… I will get to the finish line
I KNOW… I couldn’t have done this without all the amazing people I’ve met at RunDemCrew, for the long training runs, track sessions and all-round support.
The gun hand will be going up at mile 18 and by mile 26 there’ll be tears of joy, relief, pride and exhaustion. Bring it on, in the words of Charlie Dark, let’s do da ting!
I’m running the 2012 Virgin London Marathon on behalf of Anthony Nolan, a life-saving charity that helps people in need of bone marrow and stem cell transplants. If you’d like to sponsor me for the marathon and donate to this amazing charity, please do so below. Thank you.