So the time has finally come, here we are with 3 days and counting… last night I went to the VLM Expo and honestly it was like entering the twilight zone; initially I was okay as I was firmly focused on picking up my running number and timing chip. All seemed to be going well to start with, I had my registration paper and passport for ID and found my way to relevant collection station, labelled with a selection of numbers (which is I gather how VLM keep track of all their runners by grouping them into numbered sections, makes sense). It was after I had the number in my hand and had to pass through under some balloon arches to collect my chip… I told the lady who registered my chip to my number that I was still in shock that I was there and didn’t quite know what was going on, bless her she gave me an encouraging smile and wished me good luck as I passed through into the BOOST ZONE which is apparently what Adidas are calling it this year? Surely can’t be the same every year? I can tell you that I have seen Hell and it was neon with running w@nkers as far as the eye could see. I tried to keep it together long enough to purchase a fetching long sleeved branded running top with London Marathon 2015 written on it, on the basis that it was a fairly casual top and might double up for things like pilates and weekends.. I was actually delighted to find they were selling marathon MUGS and naturally feeling myself more at home promptly snaffled one of those as well. That done. Focus over. I just wanted to dash off onto the first train back to reality and escape the hoards comparing trainers, nutrition and learning about new kinds of foam rollers (I observed an interesting demonstration of a chap rolling what appeared to be a thin rolling pin up and down a woman’s leg and though that is not gonna be me!)… I started to break out in a cold sweat and panic began to fog my brain, I was short of breath; I had to get out ! Naturally they make you walk around every damn stall in the place before you can glimpse the exit and it was on my fevered dash for the outside world that I hilariously bumped into the ONLY other person I know who is actually running the marathon this year – my gym trainer Luke! It was great to see a friendly face and we had a quick chat about our training…. I told him of my plight and having been kindly pointed towards the exit I thanked him and legged it passed a huge BUPA station giving people massages out in the open with towels over them – how very uncivilised, I need panpipes with my massages! haha 😉 Finally salvation was mine, I saw the goodie bags which meant the exit was near and felt immediate relief as I escaped the largest group of running w@nkers in one place that I have SO FAR encountered. Feeling safe as I boarded the DLR home, I relaxed a little and enjoyed the sunshine streaming through the window until I overheard a haughty woman ask a rather posh sounding young man:
“are you running?”
“what time do you want?”
“dunno, was going for sub 5 hours but had an injury so…”
“what are you doing about nutrition?”
“you know, gels”
“oh, I’ll use three”
“not sure, the yellow ones…do you run with music?”
“my boyfriend’s an elite runner, you can get disqualified”
Thank goodness I managed to get off the train before I punched this idiot @rse of a girl in the face for being such a patronising tw@t. What the hell is wrong with people that think talking down to someone like that is a good idea? If I were that guy, I’d have told her to mind her own f*cking business. I’m just glad she didn’t speak to me.
However the fun didn’t stop there and as at some point on my three DLR’s home I left my rucksack on one and after much persuasion I got the man at Lewisham to arrange for me to collect it at Canary Wharf, so after an additional 30 minutes of dashing around alls well that ends well, to quote the great poet who’s birthday is TODAY!
I have now read my final instructions and find because I overestimated my running time I am truly at the back with the awesome fun runners, whilst I am totally up for some comedy on the way, I now realise the error of my ways and wish I’d been a bit more grrrr about my finish time, as I am hoping for around 5.5 hours if all goes well… but put down 7 hours on my registration which was back in January and I had NO IDEA really what to put down. Oops… oh well hopefully I can still get the time I was hoping for? Let’s just see how it goes, will be fun at any rate. Though I am rather panicked to be right at the back of the 50,000 running… always dread the idea of being left behind though I don’t think that will happen, I am just being irrationally terrified! haha. I am starting in the RED zone at the top of Greenwich Park which typically runs a totally different first mile to the one I have run before as I didn’t realise there were different starting routes and so have always ran the blue and green routes before… hey ho, it will be good to keep it fresh so let’s see how it goes – I imagine we will all end up on Shooters Hill in the end? Fingers crossed !
The bad news for spectators (though good for runners) is that it is likely to drizzle all morning on Sunday which I am rather happy about though now debating what to wear, as usually I’d wear my little pink jacket, though obvs can’t do that on marathon day as need my race number and charity vest to be visible… hmm… long sleeved top underneath is likely to make me too hot, so I may have to ‘man up’ and just run in the vest? Something for me consideration.
I have a sore left leg after my last ‘long’ run on Sunday only 5 miles but I’m worried about it so popping off this morning for an emergency leg massage and hoping then I will feel more confident at relaxed.
The time is now and can’t wait for this to be over!