The most intense training week I've probably ever had is finally behind me...and I actually feel pretty good about it.
If you remember from last week, I was planning on 2, 3, 4 and 5 mile runs this week, using the shorter ones to try and have some actual speed and the longer ones to translate that into some pace over more miles.
Family and charity commitments over the next week or so meant I actually had to pull one of Week 4's runs forward into this week so I had an additional 6 mile effort in there too, making it 20 miles for two consecutive weeks which is something to be pretty proud of!
To say I've done 5 runs in 7 days (something I've never attempted before) I feel pretty good and my times have reflected that. My average pace across the last 20 miles is 9:26 minute miles compared with an average of 10:13 for the previous week.
I know for most people, they aren't anything amazing to write home about (and I look at others on Twitter who are training for the same race and they're a lot faster). The one thing about marathon running is that for 99% of people entering you're only really racing yourself - it doesn't matter how everyone else does so I'm trying not to pay too much attention to other people and just focus on doing what I'm doing.
I talked last time about how conditions are something you need to bear in mind when running and managing your diabetes. This week the weather has given me a fair few challenges, varying between warm sunshine and monsoon rain. Fortunately I've managed to take most of that in my stride (pun unintended).
The most difficult run this week was the 6 miler this morning (Sunday). Having been out four times already meant I was pretty tired but I'd had one of those nights with my diabetes that meant it was all the more difficult to motivate myself to get going. I'd replaced my cannula just before bed as the adhesive had lost its usefulness but this is something you should generally avoid because if you put the new one in wrong and you don't get insulin properly, it can be pretty catastrophic and you're unlikely to know during the night.
For some reason I still don't understand, the new one only lasted about 20 minutes so I was still up at nearly midnight putting a third cannula in (and sticking it down with surgical tape to be certain). To make sure I was going to be OK, I set an alarm for 1:30am to get up and check my blood glucose (which was fortunately OK). I then had a hypo at 5:30am so I was up again to eat and raise my blood before I set off to run. That's a fairly good (but thankfully rare) example of a diabetes rollercoaster - highs and lows and the physical strain of dealing with everything in between too.
Thankfully I managed to get round in a pretty decent time and made it home in the rain before it properly bucketed it down.
Next week is relatively easy, two runs and some non-impact/strength work. I'll be doing 5 miles tomorrow (Monday) and then 12 miles on Thursday after work. That definitely won't be fun as I'm not a huge fan of doing my long runs midweek, but needs must this time. The distances are going to start getting bigger pretty quickly now so the next 6 weeks are crucial now.
I'll finish, as always, with a mention of the fantastic work that Diabetes UK do and why I'm raising money for them. Living with diabetes isn't an easy thing to do a lot of the time. Having a self managed chronic illness takes a lot out you and knowing there's someone there who can support you is an incredible help. Diabetes UK offer that help and support to millions of people like me who need it and to say it makes actually living life easier is a huge understatement. If you can spare anything to help me reach my £1,000 target for 2014, then please visit http:www.justgiving.com/broomhead - I'm incredibly grateful for your support.