I remember very clearly the confusion I felt at my friend's jealousy of those running the London Marathon. She'd not got a place and would've given anything to join them, instead she was fated to sulk the whole week before the race with what can only be described as a severe case of FOMO. "Surely you're relieved you don't have to do it?!" I just didn't understand.
Five years later, I'm the one feeling jealous and I find myself explaining to my non-running friends why I'd quite fancy putting myself through 26.2 miles of pain rather than watching from the sidelines. And I'm sure, as race day gets closer, I'll also sink into a sulk fuelled by my inner little green monster but I'm going to try and fight him off.
There are plenty of ways to feel a little more included in training hunger talk and taper madness. After all, London is not the only spring marathon to choose from. Go local with a club race or visit another city, another country, even and make the race just part of a holiday. A ‘runcation', if you will.
If London absolutely has to be the host city of your next (or even first) marathon though, why not go guerrilla. Join the famous nohtaraM ehT group and run the cordoned-off, ready-marked race route the night before the main event, in the middle of the night and be done in time to greet the nervous runners about to start.
Take it a step further and go it completely alone. There are plenty of routes to follow around the city, including the thigh-burning tube-stepping London Underround, which takes in 42 Underground stations and all their stairs. It's just as easy to make up your own marathon route, pick your favourite sites, your favourite pubs and include them along the way. And if you live in London, here's the opportunity to create your dream marathon route – door-to-door with the finish line on your sofa next to a barrel of biscuits and a gallon of tea.
So stuff the official London Marathon, I'm running one any way.