My current mood is a mixture of the complete dread and anxiety that preceded all five of my driving tests (none of which I passed) and the uncontainable excitement of a small child on Christmas Eve. I have already started to pack some things and I have checked the weather forecast for Brighton at least five times each day. It is currently saying it will be 13c and partly sunny, the same conditions as it was in Barcelona. It could be a lot worse, but I’d prefer to lose the sun.
I have been a bit ill since my last run on Saturday. The cough and cold I felt coming on during my final long run took hold properly. I had to miss my 10k race in Regents Park on Sunday, which was very annoying – I really like running in Regents Park, it’s perfectly neither-flat-nor-hilly and the weather was spot on too. Hopefully I will be able to make another race there later in the year. But for now, the marathon has to come first. I am a bit worried because I haven’t run for a week now, but I’m starting to feel better and am going to the gym today and parkrun tomorrow.
My ailments, however, have been nothing compared with my friend Dawn, who is also running the Brighton marathon. It is totally my fault that Dawn is running. I took the piss out of her for entering the London Marathon ballot every year and pretending to be disappointed when she didn’t get in. I said that if she really wanted to run a marathon, she’d enter Brighton, which has no ballot, you just pay up and you’re in. So she did, and proceeded to make me regret my words by running about five hundred times further and faster than me in training and having a projected finish time about three hours ahead of mine. Unfortunately poor Dawn’s luck ran out, and she injured a calf muscle and missed a couple of weeks training, and then ended up in hospital narrowly avoiding surgery for a stomach complaint! Dawn is made of rocks and is still going to be running the marathon, but now she might only beat me by an hour or two, so she says she’s going to come back and run again next year.
I will not be joining her!
It actually amazes me that so many people who are doing this marathon are keen to do another one straight away. I think this is the equivalent of giving birth and immediately trying to get pregnant again! I mean, this marathon training bollocks has been an amazing experience and I am glad I did it, but I seriously need to get on with my life and start paying attention to things I am actually good at and can earn a living from at some point.
That said, I did pencil the training plan for next year’s Hastings Half into my running calendar. Just to see how it fits with my rota, you understand. Just in case I fancy it.