So, we were here. I had a gin and tonic, Zoe arrived, we went out to a little Italian restaurant in Battersea. I ordered pizza, she had pasta. We were nervous and grumpy and preoccupied.
Back to the hotel. I faffed about downloading songs onto my iPhone and trying to get them from iTunes to my MP3 player. Zoe had a bath. I went to bed around 11.30.
Unfortunately I then got out of bed around 11.45. And 12.30. And 1.30. And 2.30, 3, and 3.30. For a couple of days before I’d had a bit of a headache and felt a bit wobbly, but I’d put it down to nerves and excitement. Suffice to say I spent the whole night on the loo, which wasn’t exactly the best way to prepare for 26.2 miles of running.
The hotel had put on a marathon breakfast, and along with about 10 others we stuffed down porridge, toast and a banana. I was retching whilst I ate it (sorry that may be too much information) but I knew I had to have something to eat.
London was full of people carrying red marathon kitbags, and after all our worrying about how to get to the start we didn’t have to think at all. We just followed the rest of the kitbag holders like sheep in trainers.
On the train we got talking to some seasoned marathoners. They pointed out the 25 mile marker and Big Ben, and I said ooh, not long till we’re back there. They all looked at each other knowingly. I recognised that look – it’s the look you get when you tell a mother your birthplan before you have your first child. The look says ‘come back to me once you’ve done it and then we’ll talk’.
We left the train station and flocked to the start. There were marshalls everywhere, directing us and wishing us luck. Everyone was very jolly and excited, and being British there was much talk about the weather. We’d been promised the hottest marathon on record, and it looked like rain.
Sure enough as soon as we got to the start, it started to pour. We ran over and put our bags on the baggage bus, then queued for the loo. I was so excited and nervous that I hadn’t time to think about how I was feeling, and I was trying to find my lovely Twitter friend Donna who was borrowing an iPhone armband from me.
Then the klaxon sounded and the race had started.
The pen system seemed to have gone a bit wonky – we were meant to be pen 9, and Donna was pen 8, but they seemed to be letting people in through gaps in the barriers. We decided to tuck ourselves in somewhere around the back, and didn’t go through the start gate until 10.10am (mistake no.1).
- To read part 2, go here.
I’m taking part in the Ultimate Blog Party! This is my welcome post – come in and say hello. It’ll be lovely to meet you.
As an introduction, here are some little-known facts about me:
1: As a child I lived in St Kilda in Melbourne, Australia (with Mrs Hall)*. I loved it. We went to the beach after school, we had pie for lunch, we had suntans, wore sandals and had skinned knees.
2: One of my ambitions (besides running the London Marathon) is to compete in the Tevis Cup, an endurance ride which covers 100 miles across the Sierra Nevada in one day. The motto of endurance riders worldwide is To Finish is to Win. I like that.
©The New Albion Stud, CA, USA.
Easter Sunday. You were probably eating chocolate and reading the papers, weren’t you?
I was running (and walking) 18 miles with Zoe, the final long run of our training.
The whole point of the famous long run is that it prepares you, mentally and physically, for the completely lunatic 26.2 miles of the marathon itself.
The other point of the long run is to iron out the little problems you might otherwise not discover until the day, most of which you’ll have heard about. Black toenails, bleeding feet, skin rubbed raw by seams on t-shirts, and of course hitting the wall. I’m making it sound like loads of fun, aren’t I?
I’ve been nominated for an award. In fact, I’ve been nominated for SIX awards!
They don’t have a category for ‘crappest marathon runner’ or ‘eater of the most chocolate in one sitting’ (a giant bar of Cadbury Whole Nut, if you’re wondering). But I have been nominated, and I know I should be cool and matter of fact about it but I’m not! Yay!
And if you want to vote for me too, well, hooray.
And if you already did, thank you for that too – if you were here, I’d share some of my secret Green & Black’s stash with you. I never win anything, so even being nominated has made my day.
I’m off to cast my vote. There are lots of amazing writers in this funny little blog world (see my links at the side there for some of them, although it’s a constantly list) and it’s nice to be able to show my appreciation.
It’s also a lovely diversion from thinking about that thing that’s happening in 25 days. Gulp.