Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Training miles completed this week: 9
Total training miles completed: 232
Training miles left: 0
Training runs left: 0

Hello again. Welcome to my last pre-marathon blog post!  It feels a bit surreal writing that to be honest.

I completed my final training run tonight -  a steady 3.5 miles (in a torrential downpour) over my old route as a wind down in preparation for Sunday.  I managed another 5 miles last Saturday night although the inclines are still causing me some shin-splint esque pain.  I'm still hoping that the flatter course will make the difference there (aided by pre-race paracetamol as well I think).

At the start of the week I was considering how it felt to be at the end of my training, to have done my last bit of race preparation, and to be honest, it's quite emotionally overwhelming.  I went back and read some of my earlier blog posts from September/October time, and I can't quite believe the progress I've made since then.  Going out and completing a mile (with a number of walk breaks thrown in) was a massive achievement back then and now it hardly feels woth going out to do less than 5 miles.

It also feels strange that I've wanted this so much since my Dad ran the marathon in 1988 (ish - I'll confirm that when he finds his medal) and now it's only a few days away.  I guess I'll not be focussing on that too much at the start on Sunday - I expect I'll be somewhat over-awed by the occasion and I'll be buzzing from the adrenaline a fair bit.  However, I do expect that when I turn down The Mall and finally see the finish line, there's a good chance I'll turn into some sort of blubbering emotional wreck (though I don't want to spoil my finisher's photo so I'll try and hold it together a bit).

I'll take injuries (most notably these shin splint pains that I can't shift) with me to the start line but as I said in one of my first ever blog posts, my aim is to get to the start line intact. Once I've done that I know I can get to the finish one way or another.

I promised you a bit of a Marathon-By-Numbers post last week and so here's what I've come up with:

17626 - my marathon running number.  I'll be going from the blue start at Blackheath
30,000 - number of other people also starting at Blackheath on Sunday
232 - number of training miles I've run since 18/10/2011 (just shy of 9 full marathons)
183 - days since my first training run.  It's been fully 6 months of training to get me to this point
4,500 - approximate amount of pressure (in tonnes) that I've put through my body whilst training (the "average" person sends 500 tonnes of pressure through their body over the course of a marathon run)
2-3 approximate difference in centimetres  in your height between the start and end of the marathon - compression of the discs in your back means you lose about an inch in height over the course. I'm going to test this on Sunday.
72 - the number of people to date that have parted with their money to sponsor me for the marathon
26 - people I've never actually met or spoken to (excluding the realms of the internet) that have sponsored me - thank you
1128 - the amount of money I've raised for Diabetes UK and The Sheffield Children's Hospital Charity to date
10.91 - my average minute mile since I started tracking my time on New Year's Eve
36 - total number of hours I've been out running throughout my training
6 - number of scheduled training runs I've missed in the last 6 months
5.25 - my projected finish time (in hours) for the marathon this weekend
1724 - (at the time of writing) the number of hits the blog has had since it started

I'm not sure what I'll do with this blog when the marathon is all over and done with.  I'll obviously be back next week to let you know how it all went, but after that.... I don't know.  I'd like to keep writing something, but I don't want to be one of those people that thinks having a blog equates to having a right to force their opinion on everything/anything on the world.  I have a Twitter account for that.  I'll guess we'll see eh?

I'm travelling down to London on Friday to get to the Expo to register and collect my running number and shoe tag and then I'm meeting up with my closest friends in the evening and we're seeing a show in the West End.  Saturday my lovely wife and I are having the laziest day possible (mostly hanging around the cinema in Leicester Square I think) before the race on Sunday.  I'll try and fire off a few tweets before the race starts if I can to show the start area and the build up etc (@BroomOwl if you're interested).  I'm not planning on doing anything during the race other than texting my family when I'm roughly half way round but I'll let you all know how it went afterwards. 

There's not much left to say now I think except a huge thank you to every one of you that's read the blog, sent me words of encouragement or clicked on the fundraising page to donate some money (you can still click on the link to donate if you want to).  Reaching my target with a week to spare has been a fantastic achievement and I won't let you all down now.  The support you've all shown me over the last few months has been incredible.  My Dad and brother-in-law are travelling down on Sunday morning to watch so I'll be looking out for them around Wapping and I'm so grateful they're making the journey down to support me.

I also owe my wife a massive thank you too.  Even though she doesn't actually read this blog at all ("it's too long"), she's made a number of sacrifices over the last year or so, and I really honestly couldn't do this without her and I hope she knows how thankful I am for everything she's done.

Thank you everyone.  I'll speak to you again from the other side of the finish line.

Take care


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