Preparation.

So, tomorrow I’m running my first race of 2010.

It’s almost been a decade since I last ran a race (which was the Harlow 10 mile*), and while I’ve been training for the last four weeks I’ve come to realise that in the decade that has passed I can no longer comfortably run as fast as I used to, nor can I just start running from cold.  Physically speaking, the me of ten years ago was far, far fitter than the me of today.

On the upside, the me of today is less of an idiot.  Still an idiot, but less of one.

I think.

Still, as part of my pre-race preparation I have started mentally ticking off all the things that I think are wrong and that will lead to me having a terrible time.  For a start, I slept really oddly last night.  I woke up twice, once at 3 and again at 6, and when I finally got up for good, my right knee was aching.  Have I been walking oddly the last few days, or did I put pressure on it during the night?  I don’t know, but I’ve been hirpling around trying to stretch it out all morning.  A couple of k’s warmup tomorrow early might be in order to check that it’s alright.

Also, food.  I worry about food a lot; it’s a combination of the low potassium diet I’m on/meant to be on but the renal dietician won’t see me until July and the knowledge that from now onwards I’m battling my body’s natural tendency to fill out.  With regards to running, and fitness in general, I know I should plan out my approach to food a little more than the standard “open fridge, grab, pile into cakehole” method that has been at the vanguard of my lifestyle since I was tall enough to reach the fridge door handle.  Considering today I’ve had time to grab a latte and a muffin on my way to the post office (after taking Lisa to work and driving back into town), I’m not doing too well on the diet front.  If I don’t sort it out, I’ll either be ravenous or bloated and queasy from over-loading.

Oh! I also have a spot on the inside of my nose.  THE INSIDE. This probably won’t affect my race time at all, but it’s still really annoying and random as hell.  Who gets a spot inside their nose?  Crazy.

It might also rain tomorrow.  I don’t like running in the rain, or indeed the cold, or if it’s too hot, or for any number of variations off of an idealistic memory I have of doing the Nike RunLondon 10K in breezy sunshine that was absolutely perfect.**  There’s not much I can do about the weather aside from hope, but really I should just suck it up.  This is Britain, after all, and anything short of horizontal sleet should be considered fortuitous.

So, we’ll see how it goes.  Report tomorrow, in all probability titled “Toot Toot, all aboard the failboat”.

*where the celebrity guest runner was snooker playing swagger-wank, Ronnie O’Sullivan.  I honestly can’t recall my time from the race, but I do remember that I went flying past him and his gaggle of personal trainers quite early.  I also recall that I went dressed for bad weather and it turned out glorious, so I was boiling all the way round.

**This should actually be a really shameful memory for me, because I latched onto a fairly professionally-dressed runner who was going about the pace I wanted to go at and dogged along behind him the entire way.  Apparently this is the runner etiquette equivalent of sitting next to someone going “AM I ANNOYING YOU YET AM I AM I AM I AM I?” but in all fairness I was a complete beginner at the time and didn’t know better.

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