My first marathon was weighing heavy on my mind. For all the kilometers I have been covering over the last few months very few of them have been without Heather by my side. I was becoming genuinely concerned that I didn’t have the mental fortitude to complete the 42.2 km on my own. This fear was also starting to manifest itself in my sleep, the week leading up to the marathon was
filled with all manner of bazaar dreams.
The most vivid of these dreams found me at a deserted start line, anxiety coursing through my veins. The race is due to start, trying to calm my nerves, running through a mental checklist of my race readiness, I get to my feet, shoe laces tied? Hang on these aren’t my running shoes they are my bloody silly slip on bird shoes. Panic stricken I dash to the locker (I have a locker?) whip on my runners and sprint back to the start line, the count down begins 3 – I’m going to be ok, I’m going to be ok 2- breath, relax 1- sh@t, sh#t, sh*t how the hell did this happen, how did they get there, why are the bird shoes back on my feet?!?!
My mood was also starting to become effected. By the Saturday before the race I had a headache that I just couldn’t seem to shake, the family were staying with us the night before the race and I was finding it hard to engage and socialize feeling slightly disconnected from my surroundings. Fortunately we were spending a soggy night watching Toronto FC promise so much but deliver so little, this gave me a social reprieve, after the game I made my apologies and retreated to bed.
I slept surprisingly well, the next morning I went through my regular pre run routine, nipples taped, crotch and bum vaselined, pack check, this familiarity served to settle my nerves, by the time were headed out to the start the dread had morphed into something approaching excitement.
After watching Heather, her mommy and little sister head out on their half marathon it was my turn. In the start corral I felt a little overwhelmed and out of place, the nerves were starting to creep back, then the count down started 3-I’m going to be ok, I’m going to be ok 2-relax breath 1- awesome I have my running shoes on, let’s do this.