It’s amazing to think that not so long ago, the mobile phone was seen first as a status symbol and then as a badge for the over-paid City types of the late 1980s, the so called Yuppies. People would say in a loud voice “I’m on the train!” To emphasise to their friends the fact that they were using a mobile phone. Who would have known back then, that in 2016, people have mobiles as a cheaper alternative to a landline!
So, today I’m not saying “I’m on the train” to brag about the fact that I can blog on the move (today, that’s primary school stuff), but to emphasise my excitement of being at this stage of my journey. Even 200 miles away in Wakefield station, the atmosphere is palpable; I bumped into a couple of fellow Heart Runners and excitement and nervousness is in the air.
All I have to do now (provided this train continues to be on time), is dump bags at the hotel and take a quick trip down the Central Line to ExCel to pick up my precious running number and chip. Crikey, they say that in marathon running the real achievement is reaching the start line and now I know what they mean! Up to now I haven’t blogged more than once in any one day but today I may well share a picture of my number when I get it.
“Then they said to him, ‘Please enquire of God to learn whether our journey will be successful.’ The priest answered them, ‘Go in peace. Your journey has the LORD’s approval.’” Judges 18:5-6 NIVUK
“He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list; And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed.” From The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan.
My mum, Maggie was always one for lists, she was famous for it. She would have a list for everything, particularly for trips away. This is something I’ve picked up and I religiously make lists every time we go on holiday to the great amusement of the family. They do realise though that it’s a great way of de-stressing travel because if you have ticked everything off a well put-together list, you know you haven’t forgotten anything! The best holiday list I ever came across is very simple and it goes “passport, tickets, money”, the rationale being that if you forget anything else, the money will be able to replace it. When we leave the house on any trip abroad, I always use that for final peace of mind.
What about travelling to London for the Marathon though? You don’t need a passport but you do need your registration form, that’s an absolute must because if you don’t have that, it’s game over! I suppose I could buy rail tickets on the day with money, but that would cost a small fortune compared with the cheap advance tickets that I have, so tickets are on. I really need to pack my running shoes because money can’t replace the wear that has made them optimal for me & able to carry me blister free through 26.2 miles. So my minimal London Marathon list is: registration, tickets, running shoes, money.
When we leave tomorrow I will definitely have a list because I can certainly do without the stress of going without something (how could I possibly run so far without my Garmin). Overall though, above all other things I am looking forward to what people tell me will be an experience of a lifetime. I am very thankful for the opportunity to do this and for all my friends who have been so supportive and generous.
I also thank God because “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NIVUK
They say a week is a long time in politics, but how long is 7 days if you are waiting to compete in the world’s greatest marathon? How nervous should you be before a running event? Remember this isn’t your “get up, pin your number on your vest, collect a few bits and pieces, hop in the car and park up at the venue about 45 minutes before the start” job. No, this is in a whole different league of logistics; we have a train to catch and then provided it’s on time, 5 hours to collect my number from the Expo (at a place called ExCel which I’ve never been to before on Saturday, a day they say to avoid) and then the following morning, taking the tube then a train together with 40,000 other runners to get to the start venue by 10 AM! Furtunately I have done marathons before so at least when I cross the start line I kind of THINK I know what I am doing!
The thing to do in the next 7 days is to try and NOT run very much because If I’m not trained up now, then it’s far far too late and all I can do now is mess things up.
I have done enough public speaking in my time to know that it’s a good idea to be a little bit nervous because it sharpens your senses and makes you concentrate on what you are doing. You don’t want to be too nervous of course because then you just go to pieces and become a blithering idiot!
So it’s all about not panicking or worrying, being organised and striking the right balance and all being well this time next week I’ll be able to blog about how it all went.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NIVUK