I did it again. Oooops. I signed someone up for a 5km without telling them. Paid for, t-shirt, tree and everything. It’s going to be fun, I said. Run rhymes with fun, after all. Not sure she believes me yet. But at least she’s out there, doing it. Without champagne.
Last night I went to bed and I was nervous. All I kept thinking about were the miles I had to run the next morning, the blisters on my feet and the tibia twinge. These are all things I have dealt with before, so I don’t know why this time I was feeling the nerves.
I guess it’s because Cruce de los Andes is the something I have never done before, and all these runs are leading up to that one momentous event. With their latest promotional video (see earlier posts), it seemed that every time I closed my eyes there they were: lakes deeper than ever, volcanos as high as the sky, rivers, creeks, forests, steep and never-ending paths… I was turning Cruce into an arch-enemy.
But it’s not. Maria and I, as best friends and crazy chicas, are going to have to make Cruce our friend. It’s going to have to join the M&M Running Club. This will mean laughing at those impossible gradients of scree, the mud, the itches, the leg burn. It will mean relishing each painful moment, knowing that there will be less painful ones ahead.
That’s what I did today. I got up and got straight into my running gear, even though I wasn’t heading out for another 90 minutes. I paid attention to Maria’s earlier post and filled myself up on peanut butter. I hydrated after all the salted popcorn last night. And I stretched and tried not to psyche myself out. These were hills and routes I had run many times before.
West London was waiting for me in all its winter glory. And there were so many other runners I passed that I felt I was part of some secret club. I’m not running with music these days, so I kept mentally focused, imagining the stupid stories Maria and I would be making up along the way in three weeks’ time, and the hilarity which would ensue if we actually bumped into a mountain goat on our path. The sun beat down, I made sure I kept sipping my Lucozade sport and I relaxed.
Each step, each hill and the further I went, the easier it was and the more I knew I was winning. It wasn’t a race, I wasn’t going to win a prize, but I was winning against the nerves that had plagued me the last couple of days. As Maria alluded to in a previous post, I think sometimes we freak ourselves before realising that getting out the door and getting on with it is the only thing that’s going to get rid of those nasty nerves.
So, now I feel like superwoman. Psychologically speaking. Physically, I need a feet transplant and some more blister operations will be coming my way. But is this going to stop me? No.
As Steve Bull once said: “Nerves and butterflies are fine – they’re a physical sign that you’re mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that’s the trick.”
Let’s go flying…
Welcome to the M&M Running Club blog.
We are Maria and Laura: friends, runners and girls who like to see the world.
To this end, in February 2012, we are combining them all in a run which will be etched forever in our minds and friendship. We are teaming up to do Cruce de los Andes (Crossing the Andes); a 3-day, 106km run from Chile to Argentina. We will spend the three days in the mountains running through rivers, passing mountain villages, skirting glaciers, being eyed up by mountain goats and climbing peaks. We will sleep in tents and share dinner with the hundreds of other runners.
It will be intense, both physically and mentally, but with the Andes for inspiration and each other’s spurring on we will do it, and enjoy the journey.
We are also doing it to raise money for our respective charities. Maria is running for the Alzheimer’s Disease Research and I am running for the Pelican Cancer Foundation. The links are below should you wish to donate, which would be much appreciated.
So, this new blog will help us on our journey and we hope it will be a place to share our sweat and tears, hopes and fears, advice and tips, achievements and joys and a whole lot more on our way to Cruce and our running club beyond.