Tomorrow, at 10am, I’m running the London Marathon. I genuinely thought at this point I’d be casually soaking myself in a nice hot bath and stuffing my face with a bag of spuds. Instead I woke up after 4 hours sleep, feeling overwhelming tired (naturally), nervous and teary.
I've had recurring bad dreams where I am not allowed to run because I've lost my race number. That no one’s there to cheer me on and that Banana Man tripped me up! I'm asking myself how will I cope with massive highs and crashing lows, how will I tell myself to carry on when the voice on my shoulder is telling me to stop and why on Earth did I ever volunteer to do such a thing?! If you are feeling the same, it’s time to block out the negative voices, trust in the training you have done and realise that Banana Man doesn’t actually exist.
My friend James advised me “don’t let your head undo all your hard work”, Adrienne tells me “relax and put one foot in front of the other, the same way we always have”, Hayley says “see it as another long training run” and Alice says, “I’ll see you on the finish line with a big bottle of gin!” Even though my friends pearls of wisdom hasn’t completely stopped the butterflies, thankfully, they are calming me down.
All in all, training for my first marathon has definitely been a mixed bag. Though I’m sure once I cross that finish line and stop to reflect on the hard work I’ve put in, holding a champagne flute in one hand and my medal in the other, I’ll look at that same bag as nothing but a bag of goodies. So for the rest of the day I vow to only be concerned about the things I can take full control of. Let’s do this together!
Plan Your Race Day Travel To Start
Get to the race in good time to drop your bag off, have multiple nervous trips to the loo and find your race pen.
Red numbers start at Greenwich or Maze Hill
Green at Maze Hill
Blue at Blackheath
Bag drop closes at 9:30am sharp and the only bag you're able to leave is the clear bag you were given your race number in.
Race Day Outfit
Tomorrow is not the day to try new things that may cause discomfort. Wear what you've been training in or that you have ran in comfortably before.
Take a layer of outerwear that you're happy to dispose of just before you race. This will be collected and given to charity.
What To Eat
Hydrate by drinking 350-500ml of liquid 3- 4 hours before race time and then 250ml 45 mins before.
Eat a high carb breakfast 3-4 hours before. This could be porridge with milk and a banana or toast, honey and yoghurt or eggs on toast. Whatever you're used to eating before a long run.
1 hour before start have a carb rich snack such as a banana, or a bar or gel. As long as you're used to eating it.
In the wise words of my friend Adrienne, move forward and do what we’ve been doing for yonks. Let’s go!
Tell yourself you are ready you can do this and that the nervous energy you feel really is excitement...in disguise.
If you want to track my run download the official 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon app or cheer me on from the side lines. My race number is 56471. You can also follow my Instagram Story along the way @AJOdudu.
Good luck to everyone running tomorrow and see you there!