I remember feeling quite similar at 1.15am on 13th January 2008, the day my son was born. And so, the day has arrived, or at least the night before the Brighton Marathon. I am currently sat in bed typing this as I know I won't be able to sleep tonight, I am so nervous I can't explain.
I'm drifting between a state of nausea and at risk of having a panic attack to convincing myself this is no different to one of my long training runs, the last of which was 21.3 miles and I'd only planned on going 16. It can be done. I can do it.
I've been carb loading all this week, which I think was a big mistake. Much the same as the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy when, encouraged to eat a little more to aid milk production, I went a bit overboard and ended up 3 stone heavier as a result. What this additional calorie count actually boils down to is an extra 100-150 calories a day, the equivalent of an extra slice of toast and a thick spreading of butter and marmalade, not, as it would turn out, huge slices of cake, extra teacakes with soup, more cake, lots of pizza and garlic bread and cheese. Each day. So here I am, full as an egg with what appears to be perma-stitch from over-eating. Ironic that I should end up in the same situation as I was when I was about to give birth, after all that is the reason why I started this running caper in the first place some 2 years ago now, and I have a not so little 4 year old I want to be proud of his mummy tomorrow.
With any luck this will be enough to get me round, this and knowing that I've managed to raise some much needed funds for Sussex Search & Rescue for whom I hope I never have the cause to meet (in the nicest possible way!) but reassured that every penny raised will contribute towards keeping this valuable volunteer service running.
The plan for tomorrow is, in order of importance:
1. Get round in one piece without vomming or having a panic attack
2. Get round in one piece running without walking
3. Get round in one piece, running and in sub 5 hours
Anyone who knows me well enough will know I will not give this up easily, so unless my feet get chopped off at the ankle and I'm forced onto bloody stumps, I will complete the course (I'm bringing plasters in case of this eventuality). Anyone who knows me well will also understand the challenge I will face if I don't manage my second and third goals above but I will try to curb my disappointment if at any point I do have to walk or if I'm still going at sun down. This will probably form the basis of the inevitable psychological trench I will find myself in on Monday once the endorphins have dissipated and it's all over, but recognising my failure to plan the next race after last year's half marathon, I have entered my next race this time (this year's Sheffield Half) taking place at the end of May so I know I can't just stop altogether. I might actually look forward to it this time!
So I wonder what I'll feel like this time tomorrow?
I hope euphoric, at a personal victory and humbled by the support of so many people come to cheer on loved ones and those running for charities that mean so much to them. I'm looking forward to making my family and my charity proud of me tomorrow because both have supported me so well over the last few months without which it would have been incredibly hard to keep focussed.
So look out for runner 17119 puffing around the course, probably in need of some cheering on at about mile 21 as this will be unchartered territory for me. If you're wondering how you'll know when I get there, then follow me live around the course at www.runkeeper.com/user/bolney assuming my 21st century technology doesn't let me down!