London Marathon 2019 – 1: The Build Up

IMG_5037As you know the last bit of preparation for the marathon was not ideal, I had a horrible cold and chesty cough that seemed to take forever to clear and my last couple of runs were short and slow and hard work. Not ideal but nonetheless I felt excited about going to the running show to pick up our race packs. I did this on Thursday after we realised that I was in London for a meeting anyway and could change my train tickets easily and without massive extra cost to come home a bit later.

The running show was actually quite fun. I hadn’t really expected that. I IMG_5034collected our numbers and timing chips and then had a look at the stands. I joined the trail running association and bought amazing looking flapjacks from flapjackery and gorgeous chocolate from Carole Armitage Chocolates. I spoke to quite a few race organisers about their marathons, carefully selecting those with shorter distance options! This is my last marathon after all. I picked up loads of leaflets.

IMG_5055I was late home on Thursday and I was tired! Friday I was unsettled and couldn’t really focus on work. Eventually we went for a little trot out which was harder work than I really wanted it to be. Still though I was excited and only mildly terrified. Later on I packed my bag, worried about what to take, repacked my bag and continued worrying about what to take. I didn’t sleep well. On Saturday morning we were both awake early, much earlier than we really needed to be but we tried to have a calm and relaxed morning and then got a lift to the station. We were on our way.

The journey was fine. The train to London wasn’t busy and the coffee was ok even if the pastries on the LNER weekend service are inedible. The tube was busy but at least we didn’t have that far to go. We arrived at the hotel which was decidedly average ad checked in with the ‘help’ of a totally disinterested receptionist who was too busy trying to have a private phone conversation. Then we looked for lunch. Rather than wandering around IMG_5029aimlessly for ages we just opted for the ASK Italian even though we had a booking for the evening there too. The lighter options were actually just right for lunch.

After lunch we laid out our things, packed our drop bags and got sorted. I still felt more excited than scared. We watched a bit of TV and I dozed off for a while and then it was soon time to go meet Dad for dinner. We had a good natter and I fuelled on lasagna while Kath went for Spag Bol. There, ready! Now it was really just about getting a good night’s sleep. I wasn’t really nervous. I was looking forward to it. Marathon number 4! Yay!

IMG_5091Re-reading this post I realise it says very little about the emotions of the build up, about what I was thinking and feeling. I think that’s maybe because I wasn’t. It was sort of all consuming and life was split into pre marathon and post marathon with the latter being forever away. Yet I felt very little and thought very little about actually running the marathon. I knew that the reality was that I was undertrained. At the same time I also knew that I could get my backside round the distance. It felt a bit like there wasn’t much to think about and emotionally I just felt settled that whatever was going to happen was going to happen.

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