Panic on the streets of London

It’s fair to say that I’m getting more nervous about tomorrow’s Royal Parks Half.

Already I have woken up an hour early, insistent that we were catching the 6.10 train. We never catch the 6.10 train. We always catch the 7.10 train, even today when we made the train with only a couple of minutes to spare (although we did have time to admire two teeny black dress and heels walk of shame outfits at the station. If they weren’t from last night, I admire their commitment to early morning weekend glamour).

So I am on the train. That’s the first worry sorted.

I am fairly convinced that I have my race number, safety pins and Miles in my bag. I know I have my trainers. If anything else is missing, I’ve been reliably informed that London has a few shops.

This has reminded me that I have forgotten my oats for the morning.
I hope that my insides aren’t so delicate that they rebel against unfamiliar muesli. I am already nervous about my insides and needing the loo tomorrow.

What else am I nervous about? People. Thousands and thousands of people. 12,449 other people in fact, and one of them is Ian Beale off of the telly. This is the biggest race I have done and the first time I have been penned by predicted time. I’m hoping that I will be both carried along with the excitement and slowed down enough that I don’t set off at a pace that I would be happy with for a 5k.

I am probably worried about lots of things that I haven’t thought of yet and we’re not even past the Midlands. The best advice I have had has come from people who have run previous Royal Parks – admire the scenery, be lifted by the spectators and most of all, enjoy it!

Snot funny.

It’s been a funny old few weeks since my last post, very up and down. We had a death in the family on the Friday after my last post, my mum’s the next of kin and is trying to deal with what, at best, can be described as a chaotic estate. As a bit of a distraction, we went out to an art sale at a local charity that works with people who have learning disabilities, and then spent the afternoon with my sister and niece. From this we discovered that she (my 5 month old niece) does not like the sight of me wearing a large felted green bag on my head. Everyone else in the family appears to be bth amused and scared by the image.

Family priorities did push running off the agenda on Saturday evening, but we plodded out on Sunday morning for 3 miles in the fresh snow. Have I mentioned that I’m bored of snow?

I also had a scary scary job interview. It was for a sort of diagonal move into a more specialist job in another area and was the first time that I had made the leap of faith to go for a job at this grade. The presentation for it became an all-encompassing nightmare – the stress peaked at 1am on Sunday night/Monday morning when there were tears and a general outpouring of anxiety about my ability to do my job. This put paid to Tuesday club run as I was still trying to assemble my portfolio for the next day (organisation was not on my list of strengths that I can bring to the post).

The rest of the week went something like yoga, restore order to house, visted by friend, visit family, night out in Blackpool, sleep, funeral, club run, yoga, gig in Manchester, belated celebratory meal (I got the job) and then a lazy weekend with a husband-accompanied run on Sunday. What I didn’t plan for was feeling increasingly grotty and snotty as the weekend went on. It is now Monday and I’m tucked up on the sofa with hot lemonade and honey, several balls of wool and the sensation that someone is alternately whacking me on the head with a stick and then jumping on my chest. It is unpleasant to say the least and I can’t take more paracetamol for another hour. Bugger.

Positive steps (with a bit of a lithp)

A slightly odd run tonight. The original plan was to go to the group and run there, but we ended up doing a 4 miler a deux. This means that we probably went a bit further than if we were out with other people, but also a bit slower. Our speed wasn’t helped by the need for a bit of a loo stop in the first couple of miles – the end result being that we ran/walked a bit/ran the first two miles, went to my mum’s (thank god she was in, she’s let me down before with near disasterous consequences) and then ran the two miles back again.

To be honest, it was nice just being out without stressing about time/pace/distance (although she did refer to my “bloody garmin” because I made us keep going until we hit 4 miles, I’m not bloody stopping at 3.95 I tell you. So there.). It was a little scary on Saturday as even the thought of going out for a run made me feel anxious. I appreciate how weird this sounds and I don’t really have a reason for it, although I wasn’t in the best of spaces head-wise over the weekend (I’ve perked up since then). The sweet irony is that I sometimes have to do anxiety management at work and I know all of the theory about challenging negative thoughts, grading and practising tasks, riding out the anxiety feelings, flight or fight, the lot. I’m just crap at putting into practise with myself when I need to. The upside of this is that I have a good stock of anecdotes to give examples from, I think the latest one can be filed under “Examples of Black and White Thinking – if I do a run that isn’t 100% perfect to me, it’s a crap run and I’ve failed. Ergo, I may as well not run as I will inevitably fail”.

Husband has suggested that we have a bit of a Decemberthon to keep me motivated. I like the idea, apart from the fact that I can’t pronounce it without sounding like Violet Elizabeth Bott, Juneathon is a lot easier to say than Dethemberthon. Add to this the fact that the running bully and I are planning a bit of tag team bullying to get us back on track, we’ve a canalside run booked in for Saturday morning and a 4.5mile race in Santa hats in a month. All very positive steps, I think you’ll agree.

Next run, round the village tomorrow 5pm pre-yoga. Ooooh, actually, I can test a hypothesis that a pre-yoga run will be as effective as a pre-yoga nap for keeping me awake during meditation (and the nap is very effective, despite it taking me nearly a year of falling asleep in class to realise this).