This time next week I shall be lining up with over 38,000 (yikes) other runners, rhinos, supermans and jolly people at the start-line of this year’s London Marathon. This will be my 4th time of running it and 8th marathon overall. But right now it is taper-time. The time that every runner dreads because we have to cut down on our running to rest our eager-beaver bodies in order to be ready to run 26.2 miles. That .2 is a killer by the way…
Psychologically it is hard; being a running addict I am dependent on my running to keep me sane. It makes me feel happy and strong and not old. So please don’t ask me to stop. Or cut down.
So this week the doubts about ability that started small begin to loom large. Withdrawal symptoms include delusions about weight gain, irrational and ungrounded fears of knee problems that I already visualise starting as I cross Tower Bridge and the sudden need for a hip replacement before next Sunday. Not to mention the fear of an unexpected urge to poo mid-race with no portaloos in sight. All neurotic symptoms of this mad marathon non-training period.
The hard work has been done. But suddenly it feels as if having a week or two of less running means that we’ll be lucky to drag ourselves as far as mile one.
But it will be be fine! Of course it will.
And then it will be over. The endorphins and post-race adrenalin will be coursing through our weary bodies and we’ll head straight to the internet with our medals still hanging around our necks to enter another marathon. Even though we said this was the last, the first, the only one this year…
Madness. All of it.
But nothing beats it.
See you on the other side.