The night before the race – Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon 2008

Tomorrow morning I am running my first half marathon of 2008. I am not really ready for it. Training has been erratic what with winter, work and the weather, but I am not unfit so I should be fine. I absolutely love racing. I love my rituals, I love the thrill of the starting gun, I (sort of) love the agony when you still have 4 miles to go, and I love crossing the line. My goal for tomorrow? Well, since it has been several months since my last half, I don’t want to push it too hard and I understand it is quite a hilly half, I am going to aim for 1.55.

Am I the only one who has a ritual? Probably not, but the regular order before a race is all part of the excitement. For me it’s

  1. Eat wholemeal pasta the night before
  2. Check the location, how long it is going to take to drive to the start and my race number
  3. Set the sat nav so the location is programmed in for the morning
  4. Pack my running bag – blister pads, a Snickers bar, bottle of water, bottle of Lucozade, book, towel, jumper, my running gear, Immodium, gels, iPod, race-number, details of how to get there, lucky beanie bear…
  5. Set the alarm to allow for enough time to get up, have breakfast and get on the road
  6. Go to bed
  7. Wake well before the alarm
  8. Coffee, breakfast, shower
  9. Pace a bit
  10. Get in the car, put my favourite music on, put the roof down and drive
  11. Park
  12. Put the roof up
  13. Smile at everyone
  14. Take Immodium
  15. Drink my Lucozade
  16. Pace a bit
  17. Pin my race number on
  18. Walk to the start
  19. Pace a bit more
  20. Go to the toilet
  21. Pace
  22. Go to the toilet again
  23. Go to the toilet a third time
  24. Pace some more
  25. Wonder whether I could perhaps to the toilet again
  26. Put my favourite song on my iPod (break out The Weather Girls!)
  27.  Take a deep breath and grin a lot
  28. Wait for the moment….and….
  29. GO!

I love it. I am getting excited already. I can’t wait for tomorrow. Doesn’t matter how well or badly to do – this is what I run for!

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