Saturday, April 16, 2011


This time tomorrow I will have finished the marathon. 

After a good (ish) night of sleep I went for a very gentle 3 mile jog past the finish line. I have rested my legs. Eaten lots of carbs. Ironed my name upon my shirt. Checked my kit and of course, watched Star Wars. The force is hopefully with me. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011


It's no secret that I'm pretty nervous about running the London Marathon. I'm not a fast runner and as a result I'm not that confident when it comes to races. It can be demoralising when everyone around you seems to be taking about 3:30 marathons or under and you know you'll struggle to do it in 4:30. But then again, someone who's expecting 5:30 might want to throttle me. 

Going to the Expo and registration at the Excel centre was a chance to see just a handful of the runners who will be pounding pavements with me on Sunday, but rather than make me unsettled to be in the presence of those more dedicated, hardcore and fit than me, it made me feel more prepared. 

Everywhere there were stands selling things - kit, trainers, massage equipment, massages, energy gels etc. I realised that on the whole I've put myself in the best possible position with my training. My Dad has run quite a few marathons, so I have him to got to for advice. I have a personal trainer (who ran the Brighton marathon last week) and has worked with me for almost 9 months, nagging me about my nutrition, stretching and giving me the tools to look after myself. Because of my personal trainer, new fangled gadgets on sale at the Expo like the Magic Stick, The Grid and the Trigger Point kit are all well known to me already. My trainer also encouraged me to start experimenting with energy gels early on, so I'm all prepared on that front too with a massive stock of Cliff Shot Bloks and Gu gels. And I even have a sports massage every fortnight which has helped look after the increasing stiffness in my legs, which find it difficult to keep any decent equilibrium when I'm running on them at least 4 to 5 times a week. 

I have also tried as best as I could to stick to my schedule - of course I missed some sessions due to work, tiredness or injury, but I altered my habits quite drastically to squeeze the runs in - not drinking, not going out on Saturday nights, running home from work and forgoing socialising etc. I only missed on long run during the whole 14 week training schedule, and that was because I was limping from a tendon problem. 

Perhaps I'm nervous because I know I've prepared. I've done everything I can do. Which just leaves me to accept that on the day, if anything goes wrong, I can't beat myself up about it. But that might be harder to do than training to run this thing. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I'm off to the Expo for the Virgin London Marathon to register, which means this whole this is real and I'm actually running the marathon on Sunday. I can't quite believe it, although the nerves are definitely there and it's all I can think about. 

I am majorly paranoid about getting sick or injured between now and Sunday, so I've been keeping to myself, eating lots of veggies, oats and wholewheat / spelt pasta and drinking Berocca. My 5 mile run yesterday was slow and steady so as to keep my body moving but not wear me out, and I stuck to flat ground - no dirt tracks or cobbles that I could accidentally go over on. 

I'm writing this to put off going, better sign off x

Monday, April 4, 2011


I ran the Taunton Half Marathon yesterday. I was a bit nervous beforehand - it's the first time I've run any distance since I hurt my ankle almost 9 days ago. Since then I've rested it, before testing the waters with a personal training session after a week and a quick 3.5 mile jog the next day. Happily, my ankle seemed to play ball, so it was full steam ahead (ish) on Sunday morning. 

My previous half marathon time has hovered around the 2:18 mark - I am a slow runner! That was October (and the October before that), but after 12 weeks of marathon training I've got my half marathon time down to 02:02:05, quite an improvement if I do say so myself, even if now it's screaming at me that my next goal is clearly a sub 2 hour half marathon. My mile average was 09:20, also an improvement on my 10:00 / 10:30 miles that were the norm just 8 weeks ago. 

The marathon course was one I hadn't run before (well, I knew parts of it), but the hill that took up most of mile 10 to 11 was the hardest part and resulted in my slowest mile. At least after that it was pretty much down hill to the finish line. Water was well placed along the route and the sponge stalls were great, especially as it was starting to get quite hot by midday with the sun shining through. 

After the race I went home and iced my ankle for half an hour to minimise any chance of my injury returning and then, of course, my Mum put the ice back in her freezer. Classy. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I'm a bit worried about this marathon lark right now. On Thursday I flew out to New York, and that night I walked around the streets of Manhattan with my parents in a pair of high heels. Not super high heels - a 1 1/2 inch pair. 

The next day I set off on a 6 mile run around Central Park and my ankle was hurting - not the ankle per se, but the muscles around it felt uber tight, especially on hills. I put this down to the cold weather. When I got to my hotel the pain in my ankle got worse and my movement was restricted, the pain seemed to come from my lower calf muscles or achilles tendon. 

I've stayed off exercise for a few days, missing my first EVER long run on a Sunday (and what was due to be my last long LSD run to boot. I have also been massaging my leg / ankle - not too much, but enough to alleviate some of the discomfort - I got a bit carried away with buying every massage tool known to runners-kind whilst away. It feels a lot better, but the area is still super tender and prone to sharp bursts of pain. I am very worried that if this continues running this marathon will be difficult to impossible. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Speed training this morning wasn't something I was looking forward to. My legs were super tight and if I'm honest a bit wobbly - as I walked down the stairs I was half thinking of jacking it in and going back to bed. No matter how much I sleep I am still tired. But the important thing is that I didn't. 

I met my Dad and we set off down Piccadilly, dropping down into Green Park and then to St James' Park for 8 x Yasso 800's with 400 metres recoveries. The first three weren't THAT bad, but the last three were not nice, although funnily enough I found a massive burst of speed for the last 80 metres of the last 800. A slow two mile jog home and by 8.30 ish 10 miles were in the bag. 

All that and the pelicans were out. Each lap was definitely made easier by the knowledge that I'd be seeing pelicans again soon. Let's hope the killer pelican wasn't about