Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The final countdown

Training miles completed this week: 15
Total training miles completed: 223
Training miles left: 9
Training runs left: 2

Hello again

I'll start with an apology this week.  I didn't write a post last week and that was essentially for no other reason than I was sulking a bit about not running.

A day or so after my 20 mile run, I started to feel a bit of pain in my foot so I took a conscious decision to miss a run and let it heal a bit.  There's obviously no point running for the sake of it - an injury this close to the marathon needs to be looked after.  I thought I could miss one run and be back out to properly start my tapering.

Unfortunately I got a migraine which floored me for about 4 days (I think I've mentioned these before) and so I ended up missing another training slot.  That left me feeling a bit downbeat about the whole thing and I didn't feel that blogging any of that negativity would be particularly cathartic.  But I'm back now with my penultimate blog before race day.

I've managed 3 runs this week totalling 15 miles which is encouraging.  I did 4 miles last Thursday and followed that up with 5 and 6 miles.  It's a bit of a twist on the taper plan I had in mind, but I need to bear the injuries in mind and so I've opted for an extra shorter run rather than doing, say, 12 miles and reducing down after that.  I just need to make sure my legs still worked and I'm happy to report that they do.

Skipping the two runs last week has meant I've developed a bit of a complex about being underprepared.  I'm not sure how much of that is the "to be expected" pre race nerves, and how much of it I really believe.  By the time I get on a train to London at the end of next week, I'll have already run 232 miles - equivalent to about 9 full marathons.  I'd like to think that stands me in good stead but at the same time I have a nagging doubt that having done no great distance for a few weeks will be a bit of a set-back.  Hopefully it's the former.

I think nerves are natural at this stage.  I'm venturing into the unknown in more ways than one.  Obviously I've never run a marathon before and equally, I'm running on a route I'm wholly unfamiliar with.  I've also not run with anyone in this sort of race environment for about 17 years (The Rother Valley 10k for those of you in Sheffield).  All this is easily overcome I suppose - I'd just not really considered all these factors until recently.

I'm going to have to focus on my pace in the early miles - I don't want to set off too quickly and burn out too soon.  I know the first 5 or 6 miles can be done at around a 10 min/mile pace and I should hopefully be able to replicate my 11.5 min mile (ish) time to 20 miles.  That gives me a good guide to where I should be and when.  As I've stated all along though, as long as I get round before the medals run out (6pm) then I'll be ecstatic.

I'm considering Google-mapping the route before I set off.  I'm not sure if that's a bit OTT or whether I'll genuinely feel calmer for having visualised the route at least once before I set off.  In all likelihood, I'll probably get bored/frustrated after 2 miles of trying, but it could be worth a shot.

There's been some movement on the fundraising this last 2 weeks which is excellent!  Current total is £837.50 which is another £130 since I last blogged.  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 very close to the £1,000 target.  If you're thinking about donating then please know that even a couple of quid will make a difference - you can click on the subtle fundraising link above, or the less subtle one at the end of this post to donate.  Again, I can't thank people enough for what they've already done - I couldn't have wished for more. 

As always, all money that I raise is being split equally 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'll blog next week after my last training run which in itself feels like quite an emotional milestone.  I'm going to do a bit of a "Marathon Training by numbers" post which will either be a bit interesting or not half as fun as I thought it would be - who knows?

As with the running, I feel a bit rusty with the blogging so hopefully this has been a moderately interesting post for me to return with.  As I say, I'll try and sum everything up next week and perhaps talk about where this blog goes after the marathon is all done, because to be perfectly honest with you, I don't have an answer for that just yet.

Thanks for sticking with me today and if you've been with me since the start, thank you for making it this far.  I really appreciate all the support you've all given me.

Take care and have a good week


You can donate at any time by clicking on this fundraising link


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