Each marathon runner, well maybe not the Elite ones, but most of us, have to travel to the London Excel Centre in Docklands to register. You have to check in, collect your bib number, safety pins ( helpful touch !) kit bag and timing chip. The Expo is open from today until Saturday so I went up today. As I approached on the Docklands Light Railway I knew that I was heading in the right direction, purely from the number of healthy looking types clutching either carrier bags with the Marathon Magazine in, or North face back packs. Most of them seemed to be carrying bottles of water, eating healthy packs of rice or pasta and either wearing well worn trainers or Timberland boots !
A steady stream of people made their way into the Exhibition and registered at the desk appropriate for their number. I found myself suddenly overcome by the reality of all this. I was actually here, registering for "The London Marathon ". The man at the desk thought I looked bored and I had to explain to him that I was actually trying hard not to cry ! " Ahhh, First Timer ? " He said. How did he know that ?? Do I still not look like a runner ? Will I ever ? The man at the timing chip desk said the same thing. As he gave me my chip he smiled and said " First Timer ?" "Yes, how do you know ??" I said. He smiled again "You've just got that look. Good luck on Sunday !!"
At that I nearly crumbled. I smiled and hurried away with tears welling. I pretended to be sorting out my bag until I could pull myself together. For crying out loud !! If I cry at registration what sort of wreck will I be on the Day ??!!
I wandered round the Expo and picked up a couple of little things for my boys and then decided to come home. Its weird, but I still feel like that little girl whose PE Teacher told her she was always useless at sport. Get a grip girl !!
I don't feel as nervous now as before getting my number, which is good. I am trying to live "in the moment " I refuse to worry about what might happen. My Mantra is " I can do this. I will do this. "
Oh, and one last thing... My Trainer, Suzy, put a bit in the local paper about both me and a couple of her other clients. I am actually in the Sports Section, with a photo !!! Who would have thought ?? Runner 006123 ready for duty...