Two Weeks To Go

So, the VMLM is just 14 days away. Scared? …… an emphatic YES; Excited? ….. another emphatic YES. Ready? …… I hope so.

I still have some training to do but the taper has begun. Yesterday I did a mere 8 miles, which seemed like a drop in the ocean compared to my 20 miles last Saturday. The week’s training went well. I only did 16.16 miles in total, compared with 29.17 miles the previous week and spent just over 3 hours on the road compared with just over 6 hours the previous week. I wore my Prostate Cancer running top, just to make sure it was comfortable and that it didn’t have any irritating seams, etc. which could cause chafing. I did feel a bit self-conscious running round Harpenden with it on, especially as my name is emblazoned on the front of it, ready for THE DAY.

I have received my Registration Form and Final Instructions Magazine. My running number is 3126 and I will be starting from the BLUE START at Blackheath. I will have to go to the VMLM Expo at ExCel London to collect my running number and kitbag, probably on Wednesday next week. Typing this is giving me an attack of nerves because it is now very real and imminent.

From now until THE MARATHON, I am going to focus on nutrition and hydration. I really don’t want to hit the dreaded wall so I will do everything I can to prevent it by making sure I have enough carbohydrates to re-stock my glycogen supplies and will also keep myself well hydrated. I’m not very good at drinking water regularly so it is going to be top priority in the next two weeks. Rest is another important factor during the taper to ensure the repair of tissue damage caused during my training.

I may well do several blogs in the next two weeks because I feel it may help to calm me down and remind me how far I have come in my marathon journey.

To visit my Prostate Cancer fundraising page, please click here.

Nearly there


Thank goodness, that’s the last long run done. It was a good week until the long run of 20 miles on Saturday. My Monday and Wednesday runs were straightforward and enjoyable but the long run was another story altogether.

It hasn’t helped that I have a bad cough and cold – yes, another cold, would you believe it. I haven’t had a cold in years and then 2 come along within a couple of months. Nearly everyone I know has got a cold at the moment so it’s not that surprising I suppose.

I knew I had to do the long run despite the cough and cold because it is the last one before the taper. It’s only 3 weeks to the VMLM so not much training time left. I was doing fine until I hit 16 miles. My trusty supporter (Alan) was handing me a cold towel and drinks  every 2 miles and this worked very well and saved me a bit of time. When I got to mile 16 I became very tired and everything seemed a struggle and, in the event, I walked more than I would have liked. Of course now I’m thinking how I am going to cope with the last 6.2 miles in the marathon. Everyone says the crowds will push you along – I only hope that’s true.

I guess I am feeling a little negative at the moment but that will soon pass and excitement will take over. I have been training for 10 months and I can’t believe it is only 21 days to go.

I was wondering just how far 26.2 miles is from point A to B. I know, of course, it’s the marathon route round London but I have never walked that, nor driven round it. So I thought I would try to get some perspective on the distance. Well, it’s 25 miles from Harpenden to Hyde Park Corner and, for those of you who are reading this in Portugal, it’s from Alvor to Lagos and back (also about 25 miles). I don’t know if that has helped me or frightened me. 10 months ago I would never have imagined I could walk (or want to walk) that far, never mind run it. I have to remind myself that I have come a long way and that I shouldn’t be discouraged if I have a bad run. It happens and it doesn’t matter – all I want to do is to finish the marathon and to help Prostate Cancer UK with my fundraising.

I’m already feeling more positive. The long runs were hard but I’ve done them and completed my training schedule as planned. One more week of fairly heavy training (but no more very long runs) and then two weeks of tapering. All the hard work is nearly done so I am going to spend the next three weeks looking forward to the marathon and get excited about it.