Training miles completed this week: 20
Total training miles completed: 208
Training miles left: 30
Training runs left: 6
Hello again - thanks for taking the time to drop in.
This week saw another 2 big milestones in my quest for the marathon. I completed my longest run on the training programme (20 miles) and also saw me break the 200 mile mark overall.
All this came at a bit of a price as I've picked up another niggling injury which means I'm going to be taking it really steady over the next few weeks. The summary above says another 30 miles over 6 runs but it's increasingly likely that I'm going to just do 3 runs to minimise the risk of any serious injury. I've worked too hard over the last few months to not get to the start line and now I feel mentally prepared to take on the full distance - I just need to be physically able !
The 20 mile run went really well which was something of a surprise. I was convinced after my 18 mile horror show that I would struggle a lot but it wasn't really the case. I think I've probably perfected a decent run/walk strategy which conserves enough energy for the latter parts of the run and I've also got a good understanding of how my blood sugar will react and what insulin doses I need on the day.
I managed 20 miles in 3 hours 53 which felt good. A 12 minute mile pace would be 4 hours so I'm still to do a run that's over that pace which is encouraging. Again, I'll stress that my finish time isn't important to me, but knowing my pace so I can predict where I'll be and when is key so having that understanding is good. I also managed the last 6 miles in 72 minutes which makes me think I can complete the course in about 5:15.
My 'shin splits' (or whatever that particular pain is) were still uncomfortable during the early parts of the run (the part with the most hilly terrain) and I've picked up a pain very similar to the one that forced me out of the Sheffield Half Marathon 4 years ago, but this time in my left foot. I'm hoping it's a bit of bruising and nothing more but I'll keep the weight off it and only run when it feels right.
Doing that 20 miles has convinced me I have a strategy to complete the marathon and still be standing afterwards and that has to be a hugely positive thing. If you weren't familiar with my starting position when I went into this training, this introduction blog post will give you an idea of how far I've come.
My final marathon pack came in the post this week and it contains all the details you need to register, get to the start, and know what to do at the end. You have to go to the EXCEL Centre (Custom House) in London to register and pick up your running number and timing tag. I'm doing all that on the Friday before the marathon so I can hopefully have a day or so of rest in London before the race.
I'll be starting from the Blue start at Blackheath at 9:45am on April 22nd. This is where most of the mass runners will start but everyone from the other 2 start areas will merge together by about mile 3. I think this first 3 miles will be a bit tricky due to the sheer volume of runners on the course. I'm guessing that this will take a bit of time to get through but hopefully I'll get into my stride as soon as possible after that.
For a look at the course map, click on this Interactive Map
There's been a lot more fundraising money in this week which is good news! Current total is £707.50 which is more than £130 in the last week alone. The generosity everyone has shown has been incredible! I do still have some more donations that I've been promised as well so I hope I'll be able to get around £800 in total which would be a really amazing. Again, I can't thank people enough for what they've done.
As always, all money that I raise is being split between Diabetes UK and The Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity - two very worthy causes. The Children's Hospital money will be going to help fund a summer camp for children with diabetes which is very worthwhile.
I'd also just like to say thanks again to the virtual running club on Twitter - you all give me a lot of motivation to keep going when it always seems easier to stop. Thank you.
I'll sign off this week with a quote a good friend of mine gave me from her marathon finisher's t-shirt from a few years back: You see impossible. I see the finish line. Impossible is nothing. That'll be at the front of my mind over the next few weeks now. 25 days and counting.
Thanks for reading - I'm not sure I do enough to express how important your support is.
You can donate at any time by clicking on this fundraising link