Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Moving on up

Training miles completed this week: 16
Total training miles completed: 112
Training miles left: 106 + taper off period
Training runs left: 18 + taper off period

Hi and thanks for stopping to have a read.

It's been a good week this week - something I'm really pleased to be able to say after the last couple of weeks.

I've done 16 miles since I last blogged (and actually 21 in the last 7 days) and I'm not feeling too worse for wear for it.  Friday night saw me finally get through the 10 mile barrier, which I did in 1hr 53 which is just over an 11 minute mile pace.  Remember that I'm forecasting about a 12 minute mile average so getting through 10 miles inside that time is encouraging.  Here's the route:

It was definitely the most gruelling run and the first time I've really got home and thought "that hurt".  Fortunately, a shower and a sleep seems to be enough to get me back on my feet.

I ran 6 miles last night in 66 minutes.  I was more than happy with that as I'd done it after a 4:30am start and a return trip to London.  I'm feeling the aches and pains a bit today but it' be foolish to expect anything else given the amount of training I've done.

This coming Friday marks the end of my evening distance runs.  I'll be doing 12 miles that night and then all my long runs after that will be done during the day at the weekend.  That's partly to get accustomed to race conditions, and partly because I can't reasonably run 16+ miles on Friday night and still find time to eat.

I recently finished reading The London Marathon by John Bryant (a Christmas present) and I've never felt so inspiried and terrified at the same time.  The book is a history of the race mixed with notable performances of elite and "fun" runners.  It also highlights (on several occasions) the amount of physical stress your body goes through when actually running the marathon.  Whilst I won't bore you all with endless quotes and references, two of the things I've read have stuck with me and reminded me how important it is that I take it steady in the build up and on the day:

1. Running a marathon is approximately 32000 paces.  Couple this with your (average) body weight and you can put up to 500 tons of pressure through your feet and up your spine during the race

2. Linked to the first point, it's said that you can be up to 1cm shorter at the end of the race than at the start due to the compression of the discs in your back as you pound the streets

I'll be taking it very steady I think.

Managing my diabetes has been a bit of a rollercoaster this last week or so.  I'm finding my morning readings are higher than I'd like and this is difficult to control when I've run the night before.  I'm eating to replenish my energy levels and then going to sleep so it's difficult to understand whether my insulin doses are correct.  During the day I'm pretty normal but over night it's a bit trickier.

Obviously diet, running and diabetes are a tricky threesome to manage and so tomorrow I have an appointment with a diabetes specialist dietician at the hospital to discuss what I should be eating and when, how to adjust my doses and what, if anything, I can do to try and avoid hitting "the wall" towards the end of the marathon.  I'll talk about that in next week's post.

Not too much to report from a fundraising perspective this week - no new donations have come in so I'm still sitting pretty on £482.  As the big day approaches (59 days to go!) you may see me being a bit more active in terms of asking for donations so I'll apologise for that up front.   All money raised is being split between Diabetes UK and The Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity - two very worthy causes.

My weight has also stayed constant this week (perhaps the two are linked...) at 188.6lbs.  I'm not going to complain too much about that really.  I feel fitter and slimmer and that's probably the most important thing when all's said and done.  I also maintain the belief that your diet and weight loss have a lagged effect and all that takeaway from a fortnight ago has negated this week's running.  Hopefully I can drop another pound or so next week.

As I mentioned earlier, I was in London yesterday for a meeting.  It gave me a good chance to do a bit of a recce of the mile 17 to 19 stretch of the course around Canary Wharf.  What struck me the most was when I look at the course map, I never really visualise any of the surroundings other than the really famous landmarks I know (Tower Bridge at mile 13, Cutty Sark (as it is) at mile 7, Buckinghma Palace at the end).  Seeing the route as just a normal road just under the DLR tracks made it all seem a lot more real than it has done before.

For some reason, when I do look at the course map, the distance never really looks that far.  I can't explain why, though it's probably the soothing blue line that weaves around London that makes me think it's all going to be OK.  And I'm sure it will be OK, just a bit painful along the way.  I'm really excited to be doing it and while the weeks seem to pass quite slowly, I know it'll be here before I know it.

Head down and focussing on 17 miles next week now.

Thanks for stopping by to read this.  I know I say it every week, but the encouragment and messages I get really do mean a lot to me.  You can find me on Twitter (@BroomOwl) if you want to get in touch.

Take care - have a good week


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