Total training miles completed: 188
Training miles left: 25 + taper off period
Training runs left: 8
There's only 31 days left until I'll be lining up to start the marathon. It feels like yesterday I remember the countdown being 180 days and thinking I had all the time in the world to train and prepare.
Training is definitely beginning to take it's toll now, with pretty much every day spent ignoring some form of pain. I think that it (being in pain) has been so much of the norm for me over the past 4 years that I'm surprised that I can still really feel it at all.
But I can feel it and the major battle I've had this week has been in my mind. For those of you who know me, you'll know that I'm a bit stubborn from time to time, and training is one of those areas where I'm the most bloody-minded of all. I'll try and explain...
I've come to terms with the fact that it's unlikely I'll ever really lose the aches and pains in my foot if I want to continue any form of running based exercise. It's the new, less familiar pain that I'm struggling to get used to. When I did my 4 mile run last week, I had a bit of pain in my ankle joints and in my legs, but I passed it off as lack of proper stretching and warm-up. I did 16 miles on Saturday morning and the pain was there again but I ran through it and it disappeared after about 4 miles. (I managed the distance in 3:04 and I felt like I could have kept jogging/walking as well which was pleasing)
I Googled shin splints when I got in as it seemed to be the only condition I could think of that would make sense. And reading through the causes and symptoms, it does make a lot of sense. I'm not going to visit my GP for it as I know the answer is rest. I also don't want someone to tell me I can't run because I've worked too hard to get to where I am.
On the other hand, I constantly remind myself that I've already done less training than someone preparing for their first marathon should do and so missing any distance at all never really seems acceptable to me. I'm into the mindset that I'm 'only' doing 6 miles so it shouldn't be a problem, not really letting myself understand that 6 miles is a distance that means I need to take care.
Ultimately, my goal is to do the marathon and if that means cutting back on my training and resting sensibly then that's what I should do, no matter how hard it might be.
I've decided to skip my 6 mile run for tonight in favour of resting and keeping my 20 mile run on track for the weekend. Whether that turns out to be a sensible decision or not, only time will tell but it feels like a good compromise. I think I wrote some weeks back about saying that I'd cut down to one run a week if that's what I needed to do. There's only 4 weeks left and I think getting this close to race day and feeling ready to compete is an achievement in itself. If I only do 4 more runs instead of 8 then it doesn't really matter - I just need to convince myself of that.
I've conquered my battered ankle, (possible) shin splints, at least one stress fractured toe (possibly two) and now I just need to get the better of my own psyche.
I managed my blood sugar really well again on the last 16 mile jaunt (reaffirming my belief that the 18 mile run was so painful because I got things wrong). I'm convinced now that 8 miles and then 4 jelly babies every 4 miles will get me round comfortably. I'm glad to have one less thing to worry about.
There's been some more fundraising money in this week which is good news! Current total is £575 and I'm hoping I can break the £700 barrier before April 22nd. I'm becoming a bit more direct in terms of sponsorship requests now (as the people in my office will be finding out this week) so I'm still hopeful of making at least £700 before I top up the rest to £1000. The generosity everyone has shown has been incredible!
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 had an interesting conversation with my daughter this week. She came up to tell me that she had a poorly tummy and she needed an injection to feel better. She sees me injecting before meals and asks what I'm doing. I tell her it's because I'm not very well and I have to take medicine. It's hard to see her mimicking what I do because one of my big fears is that she'll end up the same way. But I don't see the point in hiding it from her either. Fortunately, this only lasted a couple of days this time.
Finally, a word on another blog you might enjoy. A friend of mine has entered the Tough Mudder event in November and has started a training regime that will ultimately put me to shame. You can follow Sam's progress here - it's a great read. We seemed to have a bit of a virtual running club on Twitter at the moment and it's great to get support and chat things through with people doing the same thing. A really valuable way to stay sane. Thanks - you know who you are.
Have a good week - hopefully next time I'll be able to report on a decent 20 mile slog.
You can donate at any time by clicking on this fundraising link