So a mild-mannered word of warning: This post is all about running, running orientated stuff and marathon type scenarios. Do NOT read on if you don’t care / aren’t interested / generally couldn’t give a monkeys…. (Or if your name is @SpeccyWoo or @robjones_tring) Thanking you kindly.
The Virgin London Marathon was an experience. I absolutely hated every second on Sunday, but on Monday fell totally, completely and utterly in love with it. I learnt loads on Sunday. There were things I’d definitely do again and things I most definitely would not repeat. For the record:
DEFINITELY DO ALL OF THIS STUFF:
► Get to the start line on time. Nothing worse than stressing about being late blah blah blah. Really not good for the blood pressure.
► Remember to pack a bin liner. Not only will you look like a seasoned athelete at the start line, but you will also stay warm and v. cosy.
► Drink lots of water. Dehydration will make you feel like rubbish. Fact. I worked out that I drank (threw down my front) about 4 litres of water on Sunday. And even then I was most probably still not hydrated enough at the end.
► Wear sunscreen. (I feel a little like Baz Luhrmann right now.) However it’s a necessity. I have the most lovely tan lines you’ve ever seen. Major goomph moment.
► Take imodium before you run. There are toilets on the course, but they’re not so nice… Plus you don’t really want to be queuing 20 minutes to use one.
► Get your name printed EVERYWHERE in really BIG letters on your running top. Even on your butt too. Every little helps…. See next point.
► Use the crowd. They have turned up to show their support. I’m still in awe of how someone you’ve never seen before in your entire life (and never will again) screaming words of encouragement at you can lift your heart, soul and legs.
► Buy shares in vaseline / surgical spirit and compeed. You will reap the rewards in the long term. Vaseline to prevent chafing. Surgical spirit to toughen up your feet (mmhh sexy), and compeed for when you get mofo blisters.
ON NO ACCOUNT SHOULD YOU DO ANY OF THIS STUFF:
► Fill yourself with low quality calories during your taper. It’s all about the potatoes, pasta and good carbs doncha know? Chocolate just doesn’t cut it.
► Try new gels / drinks / running gear or anything on the day that you haven’t already tried and tested beforehand. Some gels and drinks have loads of sugar / caffeine in them and can *allegedly* have an alarming effect on your stomach! Nuff said.
► Fixate on a finish time. Have a goal time and also an acceptable time. But (cliché central coming right up) the important thing is that you finish in one piece. Not that you kill yourself trying to achieve a time that might actually be a little punchy.
► Wear an i-something (other walkman type devices are available) to listen to music to keep you motivated. I can’t stress enough how much of a help the crowd are. However if you do need something to distract you from the pain / anguish etc. then personally I think one music ear and one crowd ear is acceptable! (It’s what I did!)
► Walk. Keep running at all costs. You must! Even if its running as slow as a slow thing on slow day. If you walk your muscles will start to contract the moment you stop running, and it will only make running even more arduous than it was before…. You’ve been warned!
► Forget to enjoy yourself. Whatever the reason that you’ve decided to set yourself this immense challenge (and it is immense) it’s really important that you don’t forget why. Running isn’t a hardship. It’s the easy bit. The difficult bit is what goes on between your ears. Crack that bit and you’re onto a good ‘un.
And there you have it. Time for me to shut up about all things marathon orientated. For the time being anyway. However in other news: My runners are being returned to me tomorrow morning and I am going to go for a run. Happy, happy, happy days!