Training miles completed this week: 17
Total training miles completed: 129
Training miles left: 89 + taper off period
Training runs left: 16 (inc taper period)
Hello again - with 53 days to go until the big race - things are really starting to get serious.
Last Friday saw me complete my last evening distance run (12 miles) in a pretty respectable 2 hours 11 minutes - an 11 minute mile pace. It felt really good to do and it was my first run in what I'll actually wear for the marathon in April (unexpected heatwaves aside). It was also very tough towards the end but I made it home relatively unscathed which is always the target. I got my first blister but I'm not going to complain as it took more than 100 miles to appear.
I have to confess that when I got home, the thought of going back out and doing it all again (plus another 2 miles) was far from appealing, but I'm hoping that was more psychological as I'd paced myself for 12 miles and not 26. We'll have to see how that goes over the next few weeks.
I did 5 miles tonight in 53 minutes - a best for me over that distance. I was really surprised when I got in and saw that as I felt like I'd not paced myself properly and had very little energy while I was going round - particularly around 3.5 miles. I guess the training is paying off and I'm able to work a bit harder than I expect. Shorter distances afford me some leeway as well but the longer routes need to be a lot more disciplined.
The remaining weeks are very much a pattern of long run/short run, building up the distances as I go. This coming weekend marks an important milestone for me. It'll be the first run I've done under proper "marathon conditions" (i.e. up early ish and running from about 9:30am). It'll also be the longest distance I've ever run and should give me an opportunity to banish the demons from 2008. It feels as though the training has been building up to this run and I think it'll give me a massive boost physically and mentally if I can make it through intact.
I've got a bit more of an interesting diabetes update this week. I realise my definition of "interesting" may be different from yours but...
I had an appointment with a diabetes specialist dietician last Thursday and it gave me a good chance to discuss what I eat now (and when) and what I should be eating to give me the best chance of getting round whilst managing my conditions.
What we found was that when I eat before running, my blood levels don't raise as much as she was expecting. This could point to too much insulin (although I've tested previously and ruled that out to a degree). She also said that what I'm currently eating for lunch (some salad leaves and grapes effectively) isn't really enough and I need to be eating more carbs and protein to build up muscle and improve glycogen stores for when I run. She also mentioned that if I eat a few jelly babies every mile then it could reduce my chances of 'hitting the wall' at around mile 18 so that's good news.
We came to the conclusion that I really need to focus more on a running diet rather than trying to lose weight. I've been trying to balance the two to a degree and I think it's more successful to shift my focus to running for the next two months and hope that the exercise will lead to some weight loss, albeit at a slower rate.
I've now started to incorporate rice cakes and fish/cheese into my lunch and I'm looking to switch to more chicken and pasta combos in the evening - particularly before a big run.
The other change I need to make is to reduce my insulin doses before and after a big run. I have two types of insulin that I take (Background insulin twice a day, and quick acting insuling before each meal). The exact amounts I need to reduce these doses by aren't clear yet and I'll need to experiment to understand what is best for me. As a result, for the next few weeks, I'm going to have to take my blood sugar meter with me whilst I'm running to monitor my levels. This should give me a guide ot managing my condition whilst I'm running. Hopefully I won't crash too spectacularly this weekend!
It's all down to a combination of numbers now - mile times, sugar levels, insulin reduction percentages, carbs per mile to keep my sugar levels correct - it feels a bit overwhelming sometimes but it does come down to training and numbers - something I can conquer if I put my mind to it.
I'm going to stop blogging on my weight loss for the time being as it's not really my primary focus. I'll still have a weekly weigh in, and I'll mention it occasionally, but it's not something I'll live or die by until May now.
No further fundraising at the moment - I've hit a bit of a plateau at the moment which is frustrating, but a number of people have pledged to donate before the race so I'm hoping I can still get close to £650 before I run. I know £1000 was always ambitious but trying to get as close as possible remains my goal. As always, all money raised is being split between Diabetes UK and The Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity - two very worthy causes.
If you've been following my progress for a while and would like to donate, please do consider giving just a couple of quid. I know charitiable donations are often very personal things and so people rightly prioritise things that mean the most to them. Every pound I raise will help and so please consider having one pint less this Friday night and clicking on the fundraising link above instead - it would mean a lot to me.
Thanks for sticking with this until the end, I appreciate it's been a bit long winded this week and I can be a bit boring at times, but hopefully it's given a bit of an insight into how things are going and what changes I'll need to make to get round the distance in April.
Your support has been fantastic and I'll do my best not to let you down.