Last minute preparations

That’s it, no more running now until Sunday. I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be so now it’s time to get going. I will spend today getting my kit ready, double-checking it, and then checking it again just so there are no last minute panics.

Alan and I went to the Marathon Expo yesterday at the ExCel Centre, London, to pick up my bib number and my kitbag, and also to take in the whole VMLM experience. Apart from all the merchandising outlets, there were charity stalls, sponsors’ stalls, etc. and a great running challenge (on a treadmill) which seemed like a lot of fun but only for those who can run as fast as the elite athletes for 400 metres. Not for me, I’m afraid. I listened to another inspirational talk by Martin Yelling and picked up more very useful last minute nutritional information from Anita Bean. Although Prince Harry opened the Expo, we didn’t see him.

The 2017 London Marathon tracking app is now available for download, so if you want to track me, please do download it. My bib number is 3126.


I know that the iOS (Apple) app can be downloaded onto the iPhone and iPad.

The weather forecast for Sunday seems to indicate that it will be cloudy, no rain and about 15 to 16 degrees. I’m pleased there will be no rain but a little worried that it may be a bit warm. Can’t have everything though, so I’ll just go out there and enjoy the day.

I’ve been carb loading (I can honestly say that I now hate porridge) and drinking plenty of water to keep me hydrated. Also no alcohol until after the race.

I hope to do another blog before Sunday.

Thank you for all your support. It means a lot to me.

To go to my fundraising page, please click here.


Training complete!

So now I’m into the final week before the marathon. All the hard work is done and I have to trust that all the hours I have spent training will get me round 26.2 miles in London.

I am unbelievably excited now and can’t wait to get going. I was really looking forward to The Taper but actually it is quite hard to cut back on the running. You do question yourself and wonder if you have done enough. The most I have run is 20 miles and I think whether I should perhaps have done 22 miles. However, I have followed the “First Time Finisher Marathon Schedule” and 20 miles was the maximum required. I will have to trust the experts who put the schedule together.

Last week’s runs were straightforward, nothing more than 70 minutes, so a really light week. I only ran for 2 hours 30 minutes and covered 13.56 miles.

This week my training schedule says:

“You can only do too much this week. Spend your spare time relaxing and leave any household jobs until after the marathon”.

I’m fine about the household jobs! I have also decided not to play golf – that will have to wait until after the marathon as well.

The training schedule also says:

“Look back at your training and see how far you have come. You are ready!”

Therefore I will look back and it will remind me how far I’ve come and what I have learned about running and myself. This will probably be the subject of another blog.

Now I’m off to RELAX.



Yup, I’m definitely suffering from Maranoia. What’s that, you say. Well, I didn’t know what it was either but when I looked up my symptoms, I found, sure enough, there is a word for it.

Maranoia (n) : Mental anxiety found in marathon runners, characterised by the irrational belief that last minute disaster is imminent.

Now that I have reached the taper, I have more time to think of (and imagine) all sorts of little niggles which really aren’t there. I just have to walk 5 steps and I think, “What’s that pain in my knee?”. And then there is the absolute fear of catching another cold or cough, this time worse than anything I’ve ever had before. Or am I going to fall down the stairs and injure myself? Yes, all totally irrational but there they are in my head.

I suppose all this is not surprising, considering I have spent the last 11 months preparing for the marathon. Obviously I don’t want anything to get in the way of me getting to the start line and, unfortunately, I am known to have negative thoughts( e.g. with my golf). What I now need to do is turn those negative thoughts into positive ones.

So, as well as concentrating on my nutrition and hydration, I will also work on being positive. I will go through my training diary and pick out all the good things I have done and achieved and focus on them and not on irrational fears. Starting right now!


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.



It’s hard!

Another week of training done. It is certainly not easy. In fact, I am finding it hard. I never expected it to be easy but it is at least as difficult as my worst nightmares. The positives are that I am not having much trouble with stamina or tired legs. The problem is with my feet.

Having said that, I completed my training for the week, running 4.70 miles on Monday, 4.92 miles on Wednesday and, finally, the long run on Saturday – 18 miles. At the end of the 18 miles on Saturday, my feet ached like mad and I now have another blister on another toe. I bought these “fantastic”, very expensive marathon socks which were supposed to prevent blisters. They worked fine for the shorter runs (up to 14 miles) so I think I am going to have to smother my feet/toes in vaseline to, hopefully, prevent more blisters from forming. The good thing though is that today, Sunday, my feet no longer hurt, so it’s only a temporary thing.

I have one more week of really hard training, with a 20 mile run on Saturday, then the long run reduces in volume. Can’t wait to get that over and done with.

The figures for this week are that I ran for 5 hours and 26 minutes and covered 27.62 miles.


34 days to go!

Only 34 more days to go. Time is flying by and I’m getting really nervous, but excited as well.

I am following my training plan and, even though I am finding it tough doing the long runs, I have stuck to it and hope it all pays off on the day. I do find the long runs difficult. Firstly I find them boring and, secondly, they take up quite a lot of time. Fortunately it is only one long run a week and this week I ran 16 miles on Saturday. I thought I was never going to finish but now, when I look back, I can say, “well, there’s only 10.2 miles more to complete the marathon”. Of course 10.2 miles after 16 miles is quite a lot but I feel better when I break it down into smaller bits.

My feet were aching quite a bit after my 16 mile run and I now have a huge blister. It is difficult running on calcada (Portuguese pavements which are a little like cobblestones) so I will try to run on the road as much as possible in future.

This week I  spent 5 hours 2 minutes running and covered 25.6 miles.