In the taper…
So that was my last really long run, the race simulation run…
Same day of the week as the main event – check
Thousands of other runners – nope
Same kit as the main event – check
Water & fuel stations around the course – nope
Same prep & pre-run bits and bobs – yup
Medal at the end – nope….
I’ve less than 3 weeks until Belfast and 26.2 miles; less than 3 weeks to let me body repair itself; less than 3 weeks to get my head in the right place.
For me it is going to be a combination of head and body. All the demons of my school PE lessons will come out as I get closer to the day, every ache and pain will be something giving in, giving up and writing me off.
The body is easier (probably) than the head; my training has gone well. The second of the 20 mile runs has a stonking 15 minute PB. Now it’s a case of easing down the miles, and keeping injury free and supple.
The head I’m tackling a couple of ways – first of I’m choosing to send a couple of friends as much love, motivation and energy as I can over the next couple of weeks. One is competing in a GB top at the European Triathlon in Israel, carrying injuries and a bucket of stubbornness larger than most. Jus has talked me through more injury scares and psychobabble stuff than most and if my inane commentary helps even the smallest amount then it’s all for the good.
The second friend is Kieran, another bucket of stubbornness, again carrying injuries and wearing a Papworth top as he pounds out the London Marathon. His joyful embracing of life, both of them, keeps even the darkest spirits at bay… His lives are best described in his own words – and if you can spare some cash, so much the better…
Both are elites in my whacky way of looking at life, both put the extra in extraordinary and I’m proud to call them both friend.
But when you line up on that start line you’re on your own, so as I try and support them I’ll be rereading a couple of books that have helped me work out how and why I run… I’d call it my philosophy of running but that sounds awfully pompous…
The Iron War is about the ultimate IronMan triathlon – and the link is about pain, I have a fair idea of how uncomfortable I’m able to get and carry on, when nothing else is left the pain I have inside will well up and keep me going.
Born to run is about the joy of running, and running for joy… It doesn’t matter if you're first or last but that you get out there and enjoy it.
And that’s the long and short of it, I will never come 1st, the only records I threaten are my own and I can handle the pain of 26.2 miles…
So for now, all I can do is wait and say - Bring on Belfast!