The final countdown!

I’m starting this on Tuesday night having completed my penultimate training run, however I think I may add as the week goes, (I’m guessing I will have lots I want to share this week!) rather than lots of short posts all week!

Yesterday I had my final sports massage before the big day. Over the last few months I have seen Rosemary on a fairly regular basis & she has been amazing at loosening my very tight muscles and making my legs feel fresh again …. although this isn’t exactly what I say when she is inflicting her torture on me! As a nurse practitioner she is incredibly knowledgeable, so she has also given me lots of other advice. Yesterday after talking to her about my possible cold/hay fever/hypochondria I went out & purchased various vitamins for my final week. Hopefully it’ll keep everything at bay. I have also promised her to be more religious with my stretching this week…..

Today saw my final 4.5 mile run. It was a lovely evening, so it was quite nice getting out there. I put my running playlist on shuffle, as I always do, but tonight the random choices happened to be some of the best on there! Lots of great motivators, and happy memories! The last song is actually one that can make me cry as it reminds me of two people who were taken far too young, however tonight that song made me feel even more excited/proud/motivated/lucky…..as I realised yet again how privileged I am to have the chance to take part in such an amazing event.

I have also made the decision this week that I am not going to stress about time. This has been such a hard decision for me & has taken lots of deliberating. Since signing up I have been very focused on wanting to achieve my best possible time as I’m only likely to do this once, however I’ve also been really conscious about being mega disappointed in myself if I didn’t achieve the time I wanted! My ASICS app reckons I can achieve it in about 4 hours 40 minutes….whilst I still think this is unrealistic, sub 5 seems achievable. However based on my training runs it is likely to be very close. In the end having listened to people who have taken part previously I’ve decided I would rather enjoy the day. I want to hug my family and friends when I see them, high five kids as I go past, take a selfie with thousands on Tower Bridge etc & if that means I come in after 5 hours so be it, as I’ll have enjoyed the experience. I’d rather that than try my hardest, not stop for anything & come in at 5 hours 1 minute and regret it forever. And as Karen said it’s a bench mark if I ever decide to complete another marathon!! 😜

I have also decided I am not going to spray my hair purple. I had thought this might be a way to make me stand out a little, so I am easier to spot! It would also tie in with Asthma UK’s colours. I was slightly worried about it running down my face when I got sweaty, but had decided to risk it. However when I told Libby (my sister) about my plan she said ‘you’re going to have loads of photos of you doing this once in a lifetime thing & you want to look like a tit!!’ To be fair she had a point! Thank goodness for sisters!

It’s now Thursday & this afternoon I joined Karen & Laura at the expo to collect our marathon numbers & timing chips etc. I was super excited by the time Karen & I arrived at the Excel, pointing out everyone who was carrying the marathon kit bag & just generally acting like a child at Christmas! It reminded me of how I behaved when I visited my first Disney park!! Karen has since described me as being like a puppy on it’s first walk!!

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Karen and I arriving at the expo!

I happily took photos of everything, including the men who gave us our numbers. Karen & Laura were a little less keen on the photography!

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Said men!!

We visited all the stands, collecting as many freebies as we could & entering any competitions!! I didn’t intend to purchase anything, after all you shouldn’t do anything different for race day, however I couldn’t resist the little miss naughty leggings!! I’ve wanted some for ages & the purple is Asthma UK’s colour!!! I may have been slightly rude to the man on the stall in my excitement. 😬 I was asking him what size I should buy as they were S, M, L etc. He asked what size I normally wear & when I told him he explained his wife is the same & she wears a L. He then remarked she also has a M & he couldn’t remember which she actually preferred! My somewhat blunt response was ‘well can’t you just phone her then!!’ Bless him, as he did! Turns out she wears the M to run & L to the gym, so M it was.

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Leaving the expo.

So now that’s done, which means there is very little left to do! I am so excited & wonder how productive I will be at work tomorrow!!!

It’s now Friday night….told you I’d keep adding! The emotions are running high now! I’ve received a number of messages today, people telling me how proud they are, how they’ve enjoyed following my journey etc and each one has made me feel somewhat teary!

I went out for my very final run this evening. A very short gentle 1.6 miles. You will be pleased to hear the new leggings passed the test & so I will be wearing them on Sunday! 😀 My knees hurt from about 100 yards in, however I think that’s just my paranoia! Tim & Freddie came with me for my final run, although Freddie wasn’t keen on the gentle pace and so was home ages before us! As Tim & I walked back up the road, talking about the fact the final practice was done, I started to cry! I really do worry about how much of an emotional mess I will be on Sunday!! I can’t quite believe how far I’ve come in the last year or so & what I’m about to embark on.

Probably the final addition now. It’s Saturday morning, I’m sat at home (I should be completing an assignment for a course I’m doing,  but instead I’m writing this) and I’m feeling very weird that I’m not out running! That’s been my routine for months. I actually just looked at my training plan, it’s pinned up in a cupboard in the kitchen. I started it on 31st October, since that point I’ve done 3 runs a week, 1 session of B-Fit & 1 session of pilates. I’ve marked on there when I haven’t completed what I should have & there are only 7 occasions!! Most of those were the week I had off when my ankle hurt in November. I’m actually quite impressed by my own commitment to this. Hopefully it’ll all be worth it this time tomorrow!! I’m sorry to be wishing the weekend away, but tomorrow can’t come quick enough, as I just want to go & do it!! See you on the other side!!

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