With only 8 days to go until my virgin half marathon experience, I am starting to feel a little bit… erm… nauseous/excited/giddy/ nauseous/ dizzy/nauseous… spot the pattern? During the past week, I’ve experienced more mood swings than a clock pendulum. I’m fun to live with. Honest.
In a desperate bid to DO something, I have started to make lists. In fact, I have made so many lists that I might need to make a list of my lists just so I know which lists I’ve made. According to my training schedule, I’m supposed to be tapering right now- which, as far as I can tell, means running less so that you get the full, awesome strength of the ‘I cannot run a half marathon/ I am insane/ I haven’t even run 13 miles combined in the past week, let alone in one go. Aargh…’ stress. Last night though, after I had cleaned out his wardrobe and given (by accident, honest) several of his favourite t-shirts to Cancer Research (I’m also a compulsive stress cleaner), my husband kicked me out of the house and told me not to come back until I was ‘too bloody tired to pick up a duster.’ So I ran 8 miles. 4 of those miles I ran in the dark. It was a new and not entirely pleasant experience. On the up side, it gave me more list fodder.
List A: Things I have learned from running in the dark.
1) It doesn’t matter if you are wearing a reflective jacket, have illuminous pink shoe laces and a reflective band wrapped around each ankle, some idiot car drivers will STILL fail to see you and you will have to leap for cover. I have the scratches to prove it!
2) No-one can make reflective clothing look good. I bet not even Claudia Schiffer could and I defy her to try! Combined with the fanny pack, over-use of spandex, hat with holes and runners pimples/welts, it’s a no brainer. Running will not make you beautiful.
3) Not only do country roads not have pavements, they also don’t have street lights. But that might be for the best when we consider point number 2. Perhaps it’s God’s way of protecting innocent pedestrians and car drivers from the vision of grossness that’s sweating its way along the road side.
4) I am a scaredy cat. I was running past the cemetery – which I have passed hundreds of times before in daylight- and suddenly it became really dark. REALLY DARK! My headphones started to get all squeaky as well. The hairs on the back of my neck stood to attention and I squealed. Literally, squealed. Then I turned on my heel and ran as fast as I could in the other direction. I managed an 8 minute mile which is pretty spectacular. I’m not sure that counts though, because I was pretty sure a ghost was chasing me. Perhaps I’ve seen Scooby Doo one too many times (I always thought Fred was a bit of a hunk actually.)
Phew, it’s a pretty exhaustive list eh?! As I have been cleaning/ listing/ biting my nails/ pacing the floor, I have also begun to wonder about the ‘technicalities’ of race day. Obviously, I had to list these questions just in case I forget something really important.
List B: Serious and thoughtful questions I have about race day.
1) In a bid to make myself look like an ‘I just do this for fun/ I haven’t been obsessing about this for months…honest,’ kind of runner, I am having my hair cut and highlighted the day before the race. Should I wash my hair before the race? Usually I don’t bother washing my hair. In fact, sometimes I don’t even brush my hair. But what if I end up on one of those posters advertising the event and I look awful? And what if someone puts a poster up near my house and I have to drive past it every day and look at myself looking disgusting?
2) What will my number be? I haven’t got it yet but I want it to have a 7 in. What colour will the number be printed on and will that colour clash with my outfit of choice for the half marathon?
3) Will there be gorgeous race marshals? If so, will they run in front of me to give me the incentive I need not to walk and to keep on climbing those bloody
4) What is a ‘chip’ and why would I want one? Are we supposed to eat on the way round the course because I struggle to keep my goo down so I think fries might just push me over the edge.
5) Can I listen to my i-pod or am I expected to be polite and chatty to people when they pass me in a cloud of dust? I know it is good manners to converse but honestly, I can’t see it happening.
6) Can we arrange for the run to go past a cemetery in the dark, because I can run an 8 minute mile under those conditions!
So many vital questions, and only 8 days left to get organised. Help! Does anyone need a cleaner?
Nauseous times x