While I get dressed in my running gear, I am seriously pondering three major concerns I have already identified with running a marathon.
In no particular order…
1. Boredom. Forty-two kilometers is a very long way. Am I allowed to run with an iPod? What is the protocol here? Is it runner-acceptable to accompany my grunts and groans with some Living End and Muse, or am I expected to endure my compadre’s suffering as part of the whole experience?
2. Bathroom Needs. Most runners have had the unfortunate experience of heading out too soon after a morning cup of coffee. The chance of this occurring is already causing me great concern. Like most women, I have a healthy aversion to the humble port-a-loo, but am also very aware that forty-two kilometers is far too far to be carrying any extra weight.
3. Hunger. I am like an infant. I need to eat every three hours. And since it is supremely unlikely I will finish within that time, I am going to have to choke down those glucose gel thing-ohs and pretend they’re food.
It is odd I realise, to focus on such matters at a stage in training where I can’t run long enough for any of them to become a problem, so I shelve them and head to the backyard to instruct my foreign husband in the peculiarities of ye old hills hoist. No more dryers for this American; welcome to the washing line.
Like most Australian mothers, mine has quite a system for optimum hills hoist drying capacity, and it is this philosophy I try to pass onto my new recruit.
Hang small items and delicates close in, leaving sheets and towels for the outside rung. That way, even in winter when the sun is not as strong, your clothes should still be dry by the day’s end. Give your shirts a good shake out first, then peg them on the seams, or consider hanging them on coat hangers to try and get rid of a few more wrinkles. (That last hint is mine because in terms of household chores, I would rather scrub a toilet with a toothbrush than iron, so I am always looking for ways to make the job easier).
Cultural lesson over, we head inside, hat and suncream on, laces tightened, iPod’s strapped to our arms. I don’t mind drying clothes the old school way, inhaling the smell of sunshine in freshly laundered sheets, but I will happily embrace technology when the occasion fits. I program my music, start the first song, and pound up the road to Muse’s Absolution.