Monday, April 16, 2007

Issue 413 - The Great Gordino Marathon Is This Week!

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I hope everything is well where you are.

Today's issue has a bit of a marathon twang to it, combined with an old article I wrote called 'Do You Listen To Unasked For Advice?'

My marathon is coming up this week, on Sun 22nd.
Wish me luck.

Although to be honest I don't need it.
I started training for this the day after last year's race.
I followed a 6 month training schedule, on the basis that this would allow me to take time off if needed.
As it happened I did need to, with a tweaked groin.
I'm still thinking that the groin was due to my peculiar leg movements while playing my heavy see-through-purple-plastic bass guitar.
Things like that aren't covered in my training programme, so to give myself extra time to allow for the unknown was a sensible thing to do.

The weather here at the moment is very hot.
If it's this hot on Sunday I will certainly know about it, so you won't hear me complaining if it's cold or pouring with rain!

Another marathon taking place this week, today in fact, is the Boston Marathon.
It's been going well over 100 years, and today it can claim a first - it is being run in space.

Sunita Williams, NASA astronaut on board the International Space Station, qualified to run the Boston race when she clocked 3 hours 29 in the Houston race.
Being in space is not going to stop her, so her race bib has been sent up to the station, and she will run the race strapped to a treadmill.
That's impressive.

I'll update you next week on how she gets on, when I can also update you on how I got on.

Ok, here's the bit about unasked for advice.

2 women have recently given me unasked for advice.
Often when women give me advice, it's a snappy 2 word effort, with the second word being 'off.'
This time however, there were actual sentences involved, so I'll pass them on.

One of them, Rebecca, told me that she had been going through my archived newsletters, and found that some of the links were to non-existent pages.
She said she was intrigued by some of the titles, and hoped I didn't mind her pointing in out, particularly since one of those unavailable archives was called 'Do You Listen To Unasked For Advice?'

The other advice came from Liz, who asked me what happened to the places given to people in the marathon who have to drop out through injury or other reasons.
I told her I had not known of any mechanism to give those places to people like me who had lost out in the ballot for places.

As I considered the point, I told her that if someone didn't get a place in the race, they were unlikely to have trained to do a marathon on the day, so it made sense not to offer the places out.
However, Liz then pointed out that I *had* trained for that day, as strange as it may seem, so wasn't it worth ringing them up to ask?

What a superb idea!
I did ring them, and got through to a veritable maze of automatic messages, all read out by a girl with a decidedly common accent, so no joy.
I'm not surprised - during this last week before the race, the organisers will have thousands upon thousands of people to deal with, without worrying about loonies like me ringing up and saying 'but I've kept up my training, honest!!'

So, do I listen to unasked for advice?


Listening to advice is not the same as acting on it.
Sometimes you might listen to advice and realise right away that it is useless.
However, as I found out again recently in the last few days, you might get some absolute gems!
Ok, the marathon tip didn't work out, but it only took one phone call.

So I'm back to doing the race on my own.
I like that aspect of the challenge.
It makes it hard because I have no-one to talk to, or to gee me along.
When I get bored, (and I can tell you I do!) I have to rely on myself for motivation, I have to concentrate to not let my mind concentrate on the aches and pains.
I for one can't listen to music when I run, because I tend to adjust my pace to the song, so it all goes pear shaped if I'm listening to Motorhead or AC/DC!

Various people have asked me what I do about water.
Some websites suggest I go round in advance and stash bottles of water in bushes!

I don't want to sound like I'm obsessed with dog wee, but come on!
When you've done 15 miles, and your water bottle is empty, the *last* thing you want is to pull a bottle out of a bush and wrap your lips around a bottle covered with something a local dog has deposited!

No, here's what I do.
I park my car along the 3 mile lap that I cover many times.
I carry my keys with me.
As I go past the car, I whip out the new bottle, chuck in the old, and I'm on my way.
It's probably no slower than trying to get a bottle at a drinks station with thousands of other people.

My target time?
5 hours 30, although with my dubious groin, anything under 6 hours will be fine.
I've got myself a little medal made to present myself afterwards.

I'm looking forward to it.
I'll be thinking of the original marathoner, he did the whole thing on his own too, the main differences being that he didn't have a car with water parked enroute, nor nicely designed running shoes.
He also collapsed and died afterwards, something else I'm not planning to copy!

Ok, that's it for this week - think of Suni Williams as she runs the Bostom Marathon in space today, and think of me as I do the first (and very possibly only) Great Gordino Marathon next Sunday.

'Til next time,
Health and Happiness,
P.S. If you know anyone else who you think would enjoy the Great Gordino Newsletter, please pass it on to them!

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