Having spent the last 4 months thinking only about the marathon, and the marathon basically structuring my entire life, going back to normality has been a strange adjustment.
So, last weekend I ran the marathon in London, and it turned out to be one of the best days of my life! From the incredible crowd support, to Cutty Sark, to Tower Bridge and then finally running down The Mall to the finish, my mind is totally blown.
It’s nearly here! This week, I will be finally fulfilling a long held dream – I will be running the London Marathon! Feeling so excited and nervous!
London will be my third marathon, and for the first time I have suffered extreme taper madness. I spend nearly all of my training looking forward to the taper, and usually love the feeling of gradually winding down, the shorter long runs, the extra time to do other things on a Sunday. I’ve never understood taper madness.
Relieved to say that my second 20 miler last weekend felt much better than the first! I can’t say I enjoyed it, but 15 miles in, I knew I would run it all the way without a problem, and it wasn’t the horrific experience of last week. The longer, final runs in marathon training 20 miles and over are so tough, and it’s mentally hard to keep going when there are still so many miles ahead and everything starts to hurt.
So, after taking 2 weeks off for my knee to heal and a record number of hours spent icing and worrying, I started running again this week. It’s now pain free to walk on, although there is still a small amount of bruising. It was sore during a 6 miler on Tuesday, but stood up to 20 miles on Sunday.
Yesterday I did a 26/ 27 mile run with my weighted bag around Carsington water, I also included two extra large hills to add that little extra, I will be reducing distance to around 20 miles then 18mile but my overall weekly running will be around 50 and reducing to 30 in the last week.
It was all going too well. Something had to happen! At mile 10 of last week’s 18 mile training run, I moved to the side of the road to allow a car to pass, and took a crashing fall straight onto my knees. The pain was absolutely excruciating, especially as I managed to land most heavily on the knee which has had issues on and off since the Dublin Marathon.
Training has become more about time than speed. I’m running and speed walking. This helps in two ways: In the MDS quite a lot of distance is covered by speed walking (only the super fit and very young can run most of the distance).
In 2008 I decided that I needed to do a bit more exercise, so I started to go for a daily walk, which then started to change into a jog. I really enjoyed this and I began running. By the end of 2008 I had done three 10k runs and in 2009 I did a mixture of races, eight of them half marathons, completing 28 races in all.
So finally one of my life dreams has been realised and after many attempts to get through the ballot, I have been lucky enough to get a place in the London Marathon 2016!
It’s been a while, but as I write, I am 10 days away from taking part in the Dublin marathon! Long runs are logged and taper begun. Frank Shorter said “you have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.” Three years later, I have finally plucked up the courage to try another. My aim is simply to “get round.” Not expecting a great time, but I will be so happy to just cross that line – fingers crossed!
I’ve just renewed my GNR membership. This means that by paying a one off membership fee of £50 you get guaranteed entry for the next 3 years, which is great for people like me who absolutely love this event. Hoping that this year I will have a better race and break my current run of personal worsts…8 months to train!