Tunbridge Wells half marathon tomorrow morning (and I'm drinking a rather sickly Baileys and don't know if Ive got any safety pins for my number...!)
It is meant to be a hilly or ‘testing’ course equivalent to 13.7 miles on the flat, through ‘picturesque’ Kent countryside. Unfortunately the weather forecast is grim. On we go.
I'm still quite excited to be doing it though, to see how fit I feel after two months training. I also love the herd mentality of races, the padding trainer soles and whiff of methane, tiger balm and faint BO. I don't expect a brilliant time because it is hilly and wet and not good for 'PB's' apparently. But I definitely want to get under 1.50. My PB for a half marathon was last autumn's Royal Parks half mara in London which was 1.43.10. I think I could get a bit under this now but Im not sure the races are comparable beasts...
But back to writing stuff. Inspired, or just fired, by the Guardian Review’s recent ‘ten rules for writers’ I decided to think of some ‘rules’ for runners and running writers and writing runners and runny writing - and I ended up finding parallels between writing and running - and yes they sound a bit like they are written by a corporate sloganeer but I kind of like them too in a personal way..
- You are on your own. No one is making you do this. Remember you love it.
- If you’ve lost the plot retrace your steps and then take the other road.
- Every new mile and every new line/sentence is a small triumph
- Put one foot down after another. Put one word down after another. Don’t look back until you’ve finished.
- Stop before its too dark to see what you’re doing and you're too tired
- Take yourself into an adventure into the unknowable
- Persistence can make you more free.
- Don’t think about doing it, just do it (urg, Nike).
- Be as excellent as you can but stay open to other joys and needs
- Listen to the rhythms and respond