2) Public nudity
3) Loss of bearings
They don't have to be in that order, and I'm not quite sure why number two is even a thing (and I can assure you it is), but it would appear that these are my top three favourite things to dream about the week before a marathon.
I have everything in hand, especially my race day clothing, so I can't really explain why I am feeling so surprised all of a sudden that race day is a mere nine days away. According to my Hal Higdon book this is all natural (although he doesn't specify "naked in public" dreams) but if I'm honest, the anxiety has definitely made way for nervous excitement now. It's been a long and nervous taper.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned that I cannot WAIT to get to LA and run that race. I got an awesome running vest made up by my fabulous friends over at Kustom Clothing and I've been into Run 4 It almost every evening on my walk home from work, just to check that my trainers definitely aren't too worn out for 26.2miles next weekend and to keep my shit together by talking to other people about running. I like to buy a few extra energy gels and the odd pair of socks every time I go in too. It's almost as if that shop is my comfort, my happy place.
Speaking of happy places, Hal's book presents a whole host of tips from experienced marathoners about how to get through those tough back six miles. Going to your happy place is a classic. But my favourite tip was to dedicate each mile to somebody and during that mile you focus entirely on them, the memories and conversations you've shared, and what impact they've had on your life. I haven't trialled it on any long runs and I'm sure that when my calves are screaming and my hips are about to give out (don't even THINK about making me slow down or change direction in the back 4miles) I'll be lucky if I can think about anything else. Having said that, I absolutely love this idea and I'm going to give it a try. I'm starting to draft my Miles 20-26 tribute schedule and instead of dying as I hit "The Wall", I'll be crashing into my own wall...of fame. All will be revealed post-race...but if you want to make it in to the "Tatty Narja Wall of Fame" get inspiring me asap.
Sponsorship has started, under the radar. Select friends have received the link - avid readers and people who keep finding the little pieces of paper I am leaving around Edinburgh are already on the donation list there. Thank you all so much. Check out my amazeballs branded running vest...and overexcited expression. NB no, it's not printed backwards; that's a mirror, smartarses.
Folk are now asking me if I'm feeling ready. I felt ready after my 21mile run three weeks ago...I'm positively chomping at the bit now. But interestingly since I've been tapering I've stopped bitching about how much I have to run and how tired I am. The past couple of weeks, the past four days in particular, have reignited my passion for running and my overall enjoyment of getting up at an ungodly hour of the day to run a lap of the Meadows before work.
Maybe that's got something to do with the daylight, but whatever it is I'll take it.
Also this week I went to see Dallas Buyers Club with a couple of the girlfriends. What a great, great film. I didn't even recognise Jared Leto at all and his performance was so moving and really captured me - he did an incredible job and it's one of my favourite performances in any film I've ever seen. Ever. The topic isn't one I knew much about at all - emerging AIDS and HIV treatments in the 1980s. Though I was obviously aware of the social stigma surrounding the virus, and sadly not much has changed in many parts of the world.
One element of the film I found particularly compelling was the personal journey that Matthew McConaughey's character went on. He was a heterosexual man living in a largely homophobic society and because of his diagnosis he was projected into a community predominantly comprising gay men. It was so interesting and enthralling to see his character develop over the course of his illness and I loved every scene of this beautifully shot movie.
Please go and watch it - it deserves to be seen.
Now, please don't think me rude by taking off like this. But it's carb o'clock and I need to do some eating, stat. Nom nom...marathons are worth it just for this. ;)
Tatty loves you. xxx