Friday, 20 April 2012

Virgins and veterans or lights, camera, podiatrist

This week has had three high points: lights, a camera and a podiatrist. 

Firstly, the 'lights'. I've been to register at the Marathon Expo in Excel. What I thought would be a tedious day of queuing and waiting, was in fact a well organised, slick event; not just painless, but rather party like. 

After registering, I had a meander around diverse stalls and met several other 'first timers'. This Expo seemed a celebration of many types of people running a marathon, from virgins to veterans. It really was much better than any registration event has the right to be. Over a bowl of pasta, I was privileged to listen to former boxer Michael Watson. 

Michael Watson completes the London Marathon

Watson completed the London Marathon in 2003 just 12 years after he’d recovered from a 40-day coma and been told he would never walk again.  He spoke about feeling focussed, staying in the moment and always being a fighter. When I saw him on the stage, I didn't see the fighter, I saw a man full of light, despite being faced with so much darkness; I was inspired.

My journey home was marked by forked lightening blazing across Dockland skies. Although I've been back in London for a while, I am still mostly in denial about the weather, and had been ignoring the possibility of rain this Sunday. The lightening brought an epiphany, a flash of practicality: I have now prepared for a downpour, although I'd still prefer to run in my Merlin 'white van man' singlet if I can. 

The sun always shines on TV

Speaking of attire brings me to the camera, as I shall be wearing one on my head. BBC Panorama are making a programme about the science behind marathon preparation, and I've agreed to help out by providing some views from the track. I've broken my own rule of not trying anything for the first time on race day, but it's 'only' from mile 23 to the finish line. It's a fantastic opportunity, and I'm grateful to them for allowing me to take part in this way. 

From head to toes: earlier in the week, I saw a podiatrist for the first time, on the advice of a good friend, and was pleased to be told my feet are more than up to the task ahead. 

I won't write again before the race, but will be carb loading and aiming to get two good nights' sleep. 

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