Diary of a Slightly Scared Runner: Tapering, postmen and turkey

Courtesy of http://www.someinterestingfacts.net

Ten days to go, and the heat is on. Actually it’s not. The heat is very much off. Yes, I’m “tapering”. Until a few months ago, this was an unknown phrase. I’ve learnt it means dramatically reducing your mileage just before the marathon.  Stockpiling  your reserves so you’re bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and raring to go on the big day.

This has come as a massive shock to the system. After weeks and weeks of pounding the streets come rain, hail or shine, they’re telling me to relax? Weird.

As far as I’m concerned it’s not even going cold turkey. It’s freezing turkey. In a freezer. In Iceland. All I want to do is jump up and get going. Think an exuberant Monica in Friends, trying to get Chandler to go jogging: “We’re working, we’re moving, we’re in the zone, we’re groovin'” 

Courtesy of YouTube/NBC

There have been alarming side-effects. Picture it: You’re sitting on a tube, train or bus and out of the corner of your eye someone’s fidgeting. And fidgeting. Shaking a bit, moving about. You avoid any eye contact. “Maybe they’re drunk. Or high on something.” But they’re not. In fact, they’re me. I’m trying to do the hundreds of muscle-strengthening and mobilising exercises my physio has given me. My feet are moving, my hands are moving, my shoulders are shrugging, like a children’s entertainer on coke. All the while frenetically Googling, facebooking and twittering every runner’s website known to man.

I’ve also metamorphosed from a (relatively) sane individual into an ultra-hypochondriac, amid fear of being struck down with something before the run. If anyone so much as sniffs sitting next to me I want to jump up and hot-foot it down the carriage, with hands on cheeks a la The Scream.

Recently, things have taken a turn for the worse and I’ve developed a worrying pain in my Achilles. Cue sitting for hours with my leg on a slab of ice and a grumpy demeanour that explicitly says “do not approach”, leaving my fiancé like a postman faced with a “Beware of the dog” sign. I’m hoping this is a fleeting “injury”; a combination of a ridiculous amount of running and a mounting heap of melodrama that will subside in a few days. I’ll keep you posted. Grrrrrrrrr.

* I’m running the London Marathon for Prostate Cancer UK, in memory of my grandfather, Jim Hosie. All donations are very much appreciated. My sponsorship page is: http://www.justgiving.com/Louise-runs-London Or text OVGF67 & amount (£1, £5 etc) to 70070. Thank you so much.

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