In the words of my colleague as I arrived at the office this morning…..it’s squeaky bum time! No “Hello” or the usual Bank Holiday type banter – he just got right to the point!
So, this is it. My final miles have now been run. No further amount of training will help and I just have to rely upon the miles banked in my legs to get me through.
I’m not going to go over my lack of training, you’ve heard all that in my last blog and now is certainly not the time for any negativity!
A wise lady once told me (I believe it was when she actually offered me the place in the 10 in 10), that the 10 in 10 journey will not only take over my life, it will change it completely. I was actually rather naïve and shrugged this off. I have run plenty of marathons in the past, how can this event be so different? I was so wrong.
For the last 6 months or so, the 10 in 10 has been my main focus and even more so over these last few months. Worrying about training, injuries, fundraising, the logistics of the whole event, childcare, dog care, is my husband going to cope?! Then the practical stuff – thinking about fuelling, kit, the weather, the chafing!
“Maranoia” is a term I first came across over the recent London Marathon weekend. Over the last few weeks, I appear to have suffered this 10 fold. I have been panicking about the most random of things – do I have enough shoes? Socks, I must need more socks. I have found myself looking online for new trainers in this last week (no lie, I have about 20 pairs to choose from). I dragged my poor husband to sports shops this weekend to look at socks and leggings. Sensible Joni knows that she has plenty of kit and does not need more shoes - Maranoia Joni is just going a little bit crazy.
What if it’s hot/torrential rain? Should I run/should I not run? If I run, how far should I go? What if I overdo it? What if I’m undertrained? What if I trip and get injured? I’ve been worrying about every single niggle – that little shin pain, is it a fracture? (No, it's just a bloody niggle - my poor osteopath had to put my panicked mind at ease last week over every slight thing).
I’ve had a few panics about my fundraising – will I hit my target? Will I sell the final virtual places? Will friends/family want to sponsor me? Are they actually interested or now just fed up with my endless posts about running?!!
I’m usually a fairly laid back runner. I’m not one of these runners who gets my kit all picked out and takes a photo of it with my race number for social media the night before a race. I’m simply not that organised. I rarely even plan what time I’m setting off or how I’m going to get to a race until the last minute! I have, on occasion, actually forgotten about races until it flashes up as a Facebook reminder a few days before the event! I don’t usually overthink things. I don’t usually wear a watch, don’t time my runs. I just rock up in whatever kit is clean and run. This maranoia is completely new to me. I can see that I am being completely irrational (and a bit of a crazy lady) but I just can’t seem to stop myself.
It’s at this point that I want to thank my husband, Jon. He has been a complete rock over these last few months and has had a lot to put up with. He has been really thoughtful and kind and put up with my random panics and surprisingly, he has not moved out! When he received extra money from work, he spent it on new trainers for me as a surprise. He is always thinking of me and buying me little things for my kit bag – things he thinks will help me, be it for fuelling or simply a treat. He bought me some headphones for Mother’s Day to help me get back in to running after my injury. I have never run to music but he thought they would help. They have.
I have had several people tell me that I cannot do this. My husband is not one of them. Even a few months ago when it looked like I may not even make the start line, he has stuck by me and has every faith that I can complete this. He has been there through the tears, the moments of doubt, the times of absolute joy when my training is going well or when some kind soul has made a donation or entered the virtual run (you have absolutely no idea what a difference such a kind gesture can make).
Jon has calmed me, consoled me, brought me many a cup of tea and basically put up with me during my moments of craziness and panic. There have been times that I have been so caught up in my thoughts about this event, that I start sentences and don’t finish them, I hear questions but don’t respond to them. I have spent many hours late in to the night posting about the event and fundraising etc on social media. Despite all of this, he is still by my side supporting me.
Although I think he does feel a little responsible, given that he planted the idea about running the 10 in 10 in the first place!
He and my daughters have made sacrifices so that I could take part in this event. We have sacrificed our family time, even our family holiday this year so I can train, fundraise and just take part. They all dressed up as Santa and his elves for our Yuletide Trail fundraising run for Brathay. My girls even dug out their own belongings to sell at this weekend’s car boot sale to raise money for Brathay and gave up their lie ins (which is a huge deal to my girls) to help me out.
Sadly, my family cannot be with me during the full 10 days due to work and school commitments, however, I am so looking forward to them being there during that final weekend. People think that it’s the running of the event will be the toughest thing. To me, the hardest thing will be being away from my family and I include my dogs in that too (I will miss my stinky boys dearly – who will lick my face when I do my stretches or lie on my head in bed? Who will jump up at me and greet me when I get back each day and nearly take me out by my knees? The crazy fools!)
Given Eva’s renowned poor timing (she often calls me when I’m running to make random requests for pancakes or other things that I cannot possibly sort for her when I’m 7 miles from home), I am sure she will be Facetiming me when I am mid treatment or in the middle of a melt down climbing Ice Cream mountain for the 6th time, to tell me about some argument she has had with Mill about the remote control or to ask me how to cook spaghetti hoops. Mill may call me to tell me that Eva is singing too loud and she is trying to nap or to let me know that someone famous (who I have probably never heard of as I'm old) has liked her latest tweet! I’m looking forward to hearing my kids tell me that I stink and need a shower at the end of the final day! It’s moments like these that I am so looking forward to(normal family banter) and simply the thought of such moments that will keep me going over the 10 days and will make it such a memorable event.
Thank you Jon. Thank you Millie and Eva. You are all absolute stars and I couldn’t have got this far without you. I will miss you all dearly but I will make you proud.
So, this is it. It’s squeaky bum time. Let the adventure begin xxx