London Marathon Training: Week 7

I’ve actually reached over half way in my schedule, which is a bit scary.  I know there are still 9 weeks to go but the last three of those are supposed to be for ’tapering’ down and resting up before the big day.  Plus I’ve got two half marathon race weekends which I’d signed up for before I knew I’d be doing this so that only gives me 4 more very long runs.  Shit!

But at least I’m up to (nearly) 18 miles.  Although it could have been a little bit more if the weather on Sunday hadn’t drastically turned from dry to freeeeezing sleet.  I was attempting to run from my place in Liverpool to my sister’s in Warrington.  That, according to google maps, is about 20 miles if you circumvent the motorway.  It was ambitious but I figured I could walk the last mile or so as a cool down and it felt a bit more of a motivation to have a destination, rather than going around in loops.

It started off well, a bit smelly around some of the industrial bits but Hale village was very pretty with its thatched roofs and sculpted gardens.  However, I managed to get a bit lost in a couple of places, which slowed me down and then sometimes the path disappeared and I had to backtrack and find ways of crossing a main road to pick it up again.  Still it felt great to have a definite direction.  Even though the first spats of rain started falling as I headed into Widnes I was, in  a roundabout way, enjoying myself. I nearly got as far as Warrington Bank Quay station but I’d gotten to a point of saturation that meant that I needed to dive into the first open indoor place I could see which turned out to be a very rough looking pub called The Sloop Inn.  The landlady was lovely and let me sit and drip onto the beer stained seats without buying a drink while I called my brother in law to pick me up. 

My app said 17.9 miles.  Kind of frustrating in a way as I had the legs to go another mile or so. But it shows that I am definitely getting a bit stronger.  Legs felt fine by the evening and I could manage a good two and a half glasses of wine without keeling over.  So I think I’m back on track.


London Marathon Training: Week 6

I ran 16 miles today instead of the 17 I’d set myself which is obviously not that far short but I’m gutted.  Properly down in the dumps, low and deflated.  The reason I think is because I’d been feeling sooo good all week, strong in my midweek runs and hardly any pains or knots in my calves as emphasised by a non painful massage on Thursday.  And the fact that I felt great coming into the run and then not succeeding makes the gulf that is the 9 or 10 extra miles that I need to get over that line all the more insurmountable.

It’s ridiculous making such a mountain out of a molehill I know and I’m not quite sure why I’m this affected but hey.  I’ll pick up and feel less sorry for myself tomorrow!


London Marathon Training: Week 5

I went out this morning at just before 9am, six days after doing my last long run, with the aim of adding just a couple of miles. How hard could it possibly be?

Well, as it turned out, really hard as I had to do my first 15 all over again before adding those two babies.  Plus, for the whole of this week my left leg has been seriously out of sorts in that my calf was still tight and felt like it was being dragged along at the beginning of all my runs.  Then on Thursday, I woke up with peculiar sensations running down from my hip when I twisted it in certain ways.  It wasn’t to do with the muscles, as it felt like thin lines of discomfort, shooting down from various places in my top leg.  Plus, it never happened on the second time I made the same movement.  

I know jack about how the body works so I’m never quite sure whether I should ignore these oddities and plough on or rush myself down to A&E.  I’ve settled on the basic rule that if the pain doesn’t start to ease off after the first couple of miles then it’s serious.  But to be on the safe side with this little funny I decided to do absolutely nothing on both Thursday and Friday apart from a little stretching and self massaging.  This coincided wonderfully with my first ‘night out’ on Thursday with some folk from work.  I managed a whole 3 beers and a whiskey sour along with my mega burger at Almost Famous, and although I was tucked up in bed by 9pm it felt good to dip my toe into normal life.

So it took me 3 hours, including a quick pit stop at Costa for a call of nature, to do my 17.  It is much much slower than my once upon a time dream of a 10 minute mile pace but as I nearly called it a day at mile 12 when my legs felt like concrete, it is a bonus to be able to say I’ve now done that distance.

On another wonderful plus note, I uploaded my donate page for the charity that I’m running for on Monday and in my first week I’ve got nearly £500 which is superb and absolutely definitely a spur for me to keep pounding away!


London Marathon Training: Week 4

I’m writing this with a radiator at my back and with a tennis ball being rolled around by the soles of my feet.  It’s cold out there.


Last week was a bit up and down in terms of emotions and energy.   I started it off well, feeling really adrenalinised (is that a word?)  by the fact that I’d managed a full 15 miles on Saturday and recovered quite quickly.  But by midweek I was kind of feeling a bit flat. I may have had a few too many chocolates or something.  I don’t know what it was.  Plus I had to work on Saturday so I was off balance and  I decided to take Friday afternoon off and do my long run a day early.  Because then, I thought, I’d have the whole of that night to chill and I’d be able to have a few drinks at a friend’s birthday meal on Saturday evening and it would feel almost like a normal weekend and that would be great!  

Two and a half miles in and I was back at home with Epic Fail written all over my brain.  My calf was so tight I felt like I was dragging my leg along the ground and my feet felt so hot underneath.  I would probably have loosened up and warmed up if I’d carried on going but my head suddenly went ‘Nah’ and I just stopped.

Part of me thinks I was right to knock it on the head and part of me is wondering if I can maintain the self discipline to keep these CBA moments to a minimum.  It’s hard to say how it will be but I did redeem myself slightly by getting another 15 miles in on Sunday.  I was hoping to try for 17 this week but having had my wobbler I just decided to go and at least get a Half in and see what happened after that.  My calf did start off tight again although not quite as bad as before as I’d been massaging it all weekend (- I’m now using the dumbbell which was gathering dust beneath my bed as a roller). Oddly it eased off when I went up a small hill in my route.  I don’t quite know the science behind that but it gave me a bit more confidence.  My run was a couple of minutes slower than last week but it was quite windy and pleasingly I didn’t feel as wobbly after finishing.  I’m calling this a consolidation week!  

The tennis ball thing, by the way, is an exercise suggested by a podiatrist to strengthen and lengthen the Plantar Fascia and hopefully reduce that burning sole sensation.  Let’s hope I’m more successful than Andy was with his balls in that last set against Novak.