Friday 7 April and now only 16 days to go until the London Marathon!
For the most part the training has gone fine, and I’ve studiously followed my training plan. The early weeks focus on getting your legs used to running 4 times a week. The distances are easy to cover, it’s the conditions that can be a bit more challenging. When you head home from work at 7pm on a dark January Friday evening and its minus 3 degrees, and you have to get the running gear on and complete a 5 mile training run instead of settling down with a nice glass of wine after a busy day….that’s when the determination needs to kick in!
During February the distances and pace step up a gear but the Sunday long runs are still no greater than distances that I have covered before. So I’m feeling casually confident that the marathon mission can be achieved.
And then we move into March and I don’t so much step out of my comfort zone, it feels more like I’m propelled out if it at speed! The short run intensity is cranking up and the long runs suddenly become very long indeed!
The last 2 miles are always the toughest and they seem to go on for ever. The good news is that all my long training runs are now behind me, and there’s a sense of achievement that over 20 miles I’ve managed to cover the distance in a half decent pace (for me at least!). The not so good news is that my last long run resulted in a small tear in my right calf muscle. Having an injury so close to the big event is an absolute nightmare so instead of enjoying a stress free ‘taper down’ period before the Marathon (short easy pace runs) I’m now involved in frequent physio sessions and rehab in the gym and swimming pool.
I have to stay focused and believe that my recovery will be complete in plenty time so that I can (nervously) join the other 45,000 runners on the start line at 10am on 23rd April. I’ve been told by those who have completed the marathon before that it is an awesome event and the crowds that are there on the day will spur all the runners on. Further advice on hitting the right the pace is “don’t run the first half like of the race like an idiot and the second half like a wimp”!
Overall the marathon training has been brutal and rewarding in equal measures. There have been times on the long runs where my body has craved walking over running, and I have hurt – a lot! But as a read somewhere “if it didn’t hurt more people would do it”.
Hopefully the big day will go well, I won’t ‘hit the wall’ that everyone talks about and I can enjoy the occasion.
I have benefited from the most amazing support from so many people and the outstanding generosity of those who have supported the Inspire fund raising activities for Meningitis Research Foundation, mean that I simply must complete this personal challenge.