Thursday, 18 April 2013

It’s the Final Countdown

It’s the Final Countdown…
(Yes I really do expect you to all sing/hum that in your head now whilst reading my latest musings J)
So here we are with  ‘M-Day’ on the horizon… and in spite of recent events leaving me heavily subdued I still remain a mixture of nerves and excitement! Just a thought, but does that mean you are all now ‘M People’? …in which case…what have you done lately to make me feel proud? Quite a lot as it turns out!…
Firstly let’s start with the sheer fact you sponsored me and this is nothing to be scoffed at. I won’t be the only person tapping you for money no doubt and I obviously won’t be the last. I am so thankful to each and every one of you though, it’s hard raising money, but nothing is harder than knowing some people ‘really’ can’t always afford to donate and yet they somehow have.  Please know it’s meant a lot to me and taken the pressure off of me and allowed me to concentrate on the job at hand – running on the day!
Then there has been the immense support from you all in the lead up. Reading my blogs, pretending to like them ;o) and daring to ask how my training is going when you see me (as we all know that THAT is a scary question to ask!). I don’t know what it’s like to train for the Marathon without raising money and just going through the ballot as motivationally that would be hard for me. I suppose it ‘would’ mean though that I’m a real runner and not this temporary version! It’s nice though, people rooting for you…so can I just tell you all of the general ‘life events’ that I’m upto this coming year post-Marathon and perhaps you can keep on rooting for me as I’ll miss it?
10 years ago I finished the Marathon and said ‘never again’ which as you all now know was swiftly followed by ‘if I ever do this again’ and ‘WHEN I do this again’ and here we now are with me actually doing it once more! I didn’t intend for it to be 10 years later when I said that, crikey I tried getting through the ballot the first few years (in the hope of getting the guaranteed slot that comes after I think 5 attempts of trying?) and then forgot to enter one year and that was that! Children came along and life changed further and further and I feel un-recognisable to the me of 10 years ago in so many ways. I would have to have an extraordinarily good reason now to want to run the Marathon and everything it entails again.
That reason is Stephen x and John x
The Marathon is an inspirational race, full of people running ‘just like me’ for all kinds of good causes, it brings out the very best in people from all walks of life and backgrounds.  It’s why it’s such a great, fantastic and uplifting day out for anyone that comes along to watch. It’s also why what happened at Boston was beyond incomprehensible and downright disgusting.
On Sunday you’ll not help but be moved by the masses of people, pain etched across their faces for the most part struggling on past you. The elite runners will pass you by early and you’ll feel pleased to see them no doubt, especially so if you get a glimpse of Mo Farrah along the way and you may even spot the odd celebrity going past you too of which Mo Farrah is now one as well obviously! BUT it will be the masses of ordinary people that will move you, draw your support and get you shouting their names and handing them jelly babies (yes please DO bring jelly sweets with you and have them ready to hand out!).
For me running the race amongst all of these people is something I can’t adequately conjure up for you all (unless of course you’ve done it yourself). It’s extraordinary to be a part of.  The mood, however, will be somewhat different this year sadly. Although, I rather suspect that the utter ‘defiance’ that will be demonstrated by Londoners will turn a nasty negative into a positive. I shall be wearing a black ribbon alongside many others to demonstrate my support for those affected by Boston. You will see this camaraderie demonstrated amongst the runners if you are coming to watch on Sunday and it’s yet another reason to be moved by those running London.
This time around I will be travelling to the start line alone which is going to odd in itself, however  I absolutely know that I will be talking to strangers all day and loving it. I will be talking to them on the central line no doubt (and hey that’s no mean feat) and I will be talking to them on the DLR too.
On a lighter note, I am sooo looking forward to seeing the funny Marathon signs along the route as well. Some of my favourites in recent years have been “staying up all night making this sign was hard too” (that’s the sort of sign I’d expect from my supporting crowd) and “Pain now, Beer later” although in my case it will be a glass of wine – large please? These signs, people cheering your name, children handing you sweeties, various live music along the entire course and some of the most hilarious costumes ever are some of the reasons why I’ll be having FUN, yes I did say fun….on Marathon Day.  You’re not shitting on my parade whoever you are – do you hear me?
And then there is my little ‘M People’ J Those of you coming along to watch the Marathon on Sunday, a lot of you all together like one extended family and others spread out at various other iconic parts of the course. Not only do I expect you to have a flipping great day, I defy you not to… but do know you’ll all be playing an integral part of my performance too. Every runner breaks the course down into ways they can cope with to get them through – seeing friends and family is a high incentive for many.  The thing is, you’ll only get to see me for a matter of mere minutes (this is going to shock my kids when they realise this!) but just running ‘towards’ you all knowing you’re out there is the best way to start my race and keep me going. And when I HAVE seen you all, that will lift my spirits and take me through the next vital miles happier J
So whilst you may think it’s just me out there ‘doing this’ on Sunday, know it’s you doing it with me too, every single painful, blister-filled, dog-tired step that I take! Ouch – sorry!
My ‘tapering period’ (from hereon not so fondly remembered as the two weeks Tricia lost the plot completely) did not go as it should have with me picking up a last minute injury of the ‘worst kind’ in the groin as opposed to the ‘not so worse kind’… and I’ll be honest, there have been shed loads of tears from me and everyone has been treading on ice around me, whilst I apply ice to myself.  Then this week I pulled my back ‘doing absolutely NOTHING’. On the plus side (as I have to find one) I will now be able to tell you first-hand about the benefits of ‘Kinesio taping’ that my Osteopath, Bruce has been using on me. Don’t know what that is? Well it’s not to gag me that’s for sure, although I imagine Jamie has mulled over the idea. It’s those strips of tape that you see in different colours appearing on various parts of the body of top athletes. Aha! I hear you say.
So this will be my last ‘real’ blog now until after the Marathon at which point I hope to regale you with tales of how I effortlessly finished in a sub 4 hour run without any injury issue. Yet we know it’s more likely to be how I crawled across the finish line at sub 6 hours screaming “how the hell did you let me do this Jamie?” as anyone who knows me knows I blame everything I can’t control on my Husband J
One last word, if you are WITH my Husband on the day…please be kind to him, he will be stressed. Buy him a beer …but not too many as he needs to collect me at the finish line and shake his hand and wish him luck for later as he has ME to then deal with.
Over and out all – BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!

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