Posts Tagged ‘Expo’

Picking Up My Number:

After the longest week of work ever, Lady Jog A Little and I took Friday afternoon off to travel to the London Marathon Expo to pick up my running number. As a local Londoner I was advised to go before Saturday as the queues become horrendous. Good advice. In 3 minutes I had my race number, race chip, marathon-foto registration and Sally had already begun shopping.

I, very foolishly, dived straight in to pick up my marathon survival pack from the Lucozade Sport stand (we were all given vouchers) and parted with my £8 to receive a ridiculous amount of goodies. Of course it weighed a ton (it all being liquid) and I ended up standing around while Sally tried on everything she saw.

Impossible is writing any higher...

Dotted around the Excel centre were big boards absolutely full of good luck messages for friends, family and loved ones. There was a huge feeling of camaraderie. Everyone there had a common goal, some looking very nervous and others who were taking a chance to stock up on some discounted running goodies from the stands, but all smiling and very eager.

What can you expect if you’re going? Pasta, lots of pasta. At the back of the room there was a Pasta Party in progress. Bring a bit of cash and you can attend and listen to a few presentations on the stage. There are also two opportunities to get a quick sports massage (one from Addidas and one from the students of Middlesex University). I did neither. I’m scared witless of damaging something before Sunday so I declined.

There are also loads of places to pick up marathon gadgets like GPS watches, shoe wallets, mp3 player holders and bum-bags so if you need any last minute accessories then this is the place to be. If you have to, you can also get almost any running trainer available, but obviously for after the marathon as you shouldn’t be trying anything new for race day.

For the charity runners among you there is a Justgiving stand, where you can enter a competition for a donation. The challenge, draw a picture of yourself and your Justgiving page (some examples here). Sally did mine while I had my photo taken with John and Jon from Justgiving. John played my video through his iPhone while Jon tweeted about it!

John and Jon

Sally did art A-level

So what do you get in the London Marathon Expo goodie bags? A can of London Pride (for the night after), a jar of cranberry juice, 2 sugar free sweets, foot cream, a granola bar, deodorant, some massage gel and a LOT of leaflets. Not bad when you couple it with the amount of goodies you can pick up on the day.

However, my advice is, if you have to go on Saturday then try and get round everything as fast as you can. There’s a lot to see and do but not a lot of places to sit down. Like every major shopping venue, the floors are rock hard and it’ll tire you out quickly (the last thing you want before the marathon when you should be resting)…

Pasta Party

This will be my last post before the marathon (tomorrow will be spent on the sofa doing as little as possible). I’d just like to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has read and commented on this blog. I’ve enjoyed every minute of writing it and the tips, advice and encouragement I’ve received has been overwhelming. Please come back after the marathon and I’ll let you know how I got on.

For those that aren’t running, Adidas have a system that allows you to track the people you know as they go round using the timing chips attached to their shoes. Just enter their number in to this website. Mine is 41333.

To all those running on Sunday, if you spot me then please come and say hello. I admire anyone who has the determination to train for as many months as it takes to complete a marathon and I’d love to chat to you. I’ll have Sir Jog A Lot written on the back of my vest and will be in the Red area. If I don’t see you then the best of luck to you

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Checklist:

Looking forward to it...I was a bit of a naughty boy this weekend. My Uncle (who normally lives in Canada) was in London and I couldn’t refuse an opportunity to go and have a few beers on Saturday night. As I didn’t have to run far the next day (50 minutes easy pace), I didn’t think it would do me any harm. On Sunday morning I went out and, on an empty stomach and a hangover, ran 10k in 54 minutes. I felt surprisingly sprightly!

Looking back on it, it probably wasn’t the best idea to push myself that hard the week before the race and I was feeling decidedly guilty today. I’d never have forgiven myself if I’d have injured myself with one week to go, but it’s an incredibly difficult situation to be in. I’ve spent 15 weeks in training to get to this point and have become used to five runs of a healthy distance a week. To go from that kind of regime to running 20 minutes here, 10 minutes there, leaves you feeling a bit useless and it’s very difficult to relax. I don’t know what I’m going to be like after the marathon, but at the moment I can’t sit still! I’m worried I’m going to take all of this energy, run like a 4-year-old at the start of the marathon and burn out after 5 miles.

To take my mind off exercise I’ve come up with a checklist for this week:

Tuesday – (10 minutes at race pace with a warm up/cool down)

  • Buy Compeed
  • Get home and run around the park at Blackheath

Wednesday – (30 mins very easy)

  • Collect remaining sponsorship from office co-workers who haven’t paid yet (Wednesday is pay day)
  • Go to gym and watch The Simpsons while running on treadmill
  • Write blog post

Thursday – (Rest or 25 mins easy)

  • Buy seven new DVDs
  • Go to gym, run and say goodbye to everyone until next year
  • Put running number registration form in my bag so I don’t forget it for Friday and make sure I have my driving license

Friday – (Rest)

  • Print off race course map for family and mark points to meet them (remembering to decide on which side of the road to be on)
  • Go to Marathon Expo to pick up running number and timing chip (using registration form and driving license)
  • Buy ‘Marathon Survival Kit’ from Expo using voucher on page 13 of Marathon News magazine
  • Visit Justgiving* stand, Running Free** stand and Bupa London 10,000*** stand
  • Eat big bowl of pasta
  • Write blog post

Saturday – (15 mins very, very easy jog)

  • Get up early and do run (to tire myself out and fall asleep faster in the evening)
  • Cut toenails
  • Fit timing chip to trainers
  • Fill out the back of my running number and pin it to my vest
  • Plan where to meet family at end of race
  • Watch all seven DVDs back-to-back
  • Eat the biggest bowl of pasta I’ve ever seen
  • Give family MS Society cheering pack (equipped with balloons, inflatable sticks and flags)
  • Sleep

Sunday – (Race day!)

  • Eat baked beans on brown toast and one banana
  • Have two Lucozade Sport pouches (one at 8am and one at 9am)
  • Do 20 push-ups to get the guns looking plumper before donning running vest
  • Walk to start line (sorry guys, I live 30 seconds from it)
  • Get interviewed for MS Society video
  • Say goodbye to friends and family
  • Take empty plastic bottle
  • Hide the fact that you are peeing into empty plastic bottle under orange rain mac
  • Throw bottle to side of road
  • GO!

* To thank them for all of their efforts over the past few months
** Running Free magazine have agreed to do a small piece on me for their post marathon edition
*** I’ll be running the Bupa London 10k a month after the marathon

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