How to Shit Yourself Without Really Trying / Felix Felicis

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I am a worrier. I think far too much. I have a splendid ability to turn my mind inside out by thinking and over-thinking things that really don’t deserve such mental anguish. It doesn’t do me any good, but I still fret to the point I wish I could extract my memories and thoughts like Professor Dumbledore, bottle them, and come to back to them individually when I’m feeling more rational. Despite my fondness for panic, this whole marathon business has largely passed me by. I’ve been going through the motions of training, getting kitted out, blogging about, telling people about it, boring everyone to tears with tales of chaffed bottoms and sweaty cleavage etc etc… but it didn’t really hit me until yesterday that I am actually doing it. I had to log on to my profile on the ING New York City Marathon site and fill in some information about baggage and transport etc, and there was a link to print out my registration card. This card has my bib number and start time on it. Helpfully, the site also had a countdown timer on its homepage. 52 days and counting. Suddenly, I had am image of me standing at the start line, pinning my number onto my shirt, checking my watch and waiting for the klaxon to sound.

Oh Jesus.

I have to run a marathon.

I have to spend almost six hours walking/jogging/running.

It was like a giant comedy Acme anvil with ‘marathon’ written on the side had just fallen from a great height, smashing me into the ground. I could feel the distant rumblings of childlike scaredy-farts approaching. Then another thought exploded in my mind: Oh Christ! I have to run a half-marathon on Saturday! Adding insult to injury, I realised that The Dublin Half Marathon has stealthed its way into my calender with disturbing haste. It seemed logical to squeeze in another event before November, plus I’ve ran 12, 14, and 16 miles already. Surely a wee 13.1 will be childs play? Possibly, if the child in question is particularly whingy and pathetic. I am still in the throes of the seven week itch – yet I’m into my ninth week of proper training. I am awash with aches and pains. There is always something hurting, especially from the waist down. I’ve had to cut runs short; due to either my head working against my body, or my body letting me down. Hamstrings, quads, and now glutes (though the glutes may be the root of the problem) – it’s like my lower body is teaching me a lesson for giving it so much stress to deal with in the Fat Years. Then again, despite spending all of last Friday limping because my left quad felt like it had been attacked with a cheese grater, I completed my longest run to date the next day. I did sixteen miles at a very very slow pace, taking very short strides as I didn’t want to cause myself any significant pain/damage that would cause me to stop. I endured, and could maybe have squeezed another mile or two at a walking pace. Based on my long run times, I reckon I’ll be lucky to finish this marathon in around five and a half or six hours. I always say I’ll be happy just to finish, but with running being such a fashionable endeavour these days, I don’t want to feel ashamed of my time!

So much to think about. For now though, I guess there’s nothing else that can be done. I just have to keep my head down and try hard. At least I have my outfit for Saturday planned, and I know where I’m going for a dirty big feed when the race is over. It’s just the bit in-between that I have to worry about. Hopefully I will have one of those days everything seems to go my way, hence the term ‘Felix Felicis’ in the title. For those of you who aren’t Potter enthusiasts, this is a potion also known as ‘liquid luck’ – it makes the drinker lucky for a period of time, depending on how much is taken, during which everything they attempt will be successful. I have decided to create my own version of this, a mixture of St John’s Wort, ibuprofen, Alpen Bars, and a Slimming World fry two hours before the race. Hopefully the Dublin Half Marathon will be magical.

I still have 51 more days to worry about New York.

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