It’s actually really hard to describe the sense of anticipation ahead of the big day but I can definitely say I’m more nervous the second time around.
Last year, all I had to do was cross the line. I did that in spectacular fashion, breaking down in tears after finishing my first ever marathon in five hours and four minutes. I’d like someone to follow in my shoes this year: I want to see tears.
Actually I will probably cry myself anyway: crossing that finishing line is overwhelming. It’s a fantastic achievement to train for and finish a marathon, and I know we all have doubts at this point - but we will do it.
This time around I’m aiming to come in under the five hours and improve on last year’s performance. The only pressure is coming from myself and will probably make me a nervous wreck by the time Sunday comes.
I know the route now as well as anyone can, having run over and over it again in training. And in fairness, it’s not that bad - it’s got some beautiful views and there’s a good mixture of inclines and flats - although there’s more than enough hills too: you’ll remember Barrow for the rest of your life!
Training has flown this year and I feel like I haven’t enough done at all. And now to add to my woes I have an inflamed tendon which I’ve been resting for the past week in the hope it gets me through the day.
Six months of training and I get hit by an injury in my last week! I know they say this can be part of the taper, but it’s not fair!
I keep going over and over the route in my head, and poring over the map. It’s actually hard to believe that we are going to run the entire red line on the map. It’s absolutely unreal!
I know all the advice is to calm down take it bit by bit and all that - but it’s panic, panic, and more panic for me.
What keeps me going? I know that in a few days time, I’ll be able to say I’ve completed my second marathon!
Can I call myself a real athlete now? I think I can anyway. I may not be a professional but I’ve been training five days a week for this. Does Usain Bolt do that? Mo Farrah? Sonia O’Sullivan? I’m in good company! I have to say thanks to Marcus Howeltt and Jim McNeice for making me join the Born to Run club last year.
I laughed at them when they said it would change my life - but running has transformed it, and I love it.
So despite the panic and the fear I am looking forward to March 16th and crossing the finish line. We’re born to run - let’s go and do it!