Just two weeks to go. It’s strange in many ways. Deep down I was always half expecting we’d see the goalposts change again and the race would suffer yet another postponement. However, now for the first time (and following last government updates) I do now believe I will be in London on October 3rd.
On the flip side, this last week did feel like a bit of a mental slog.
After last weeks very early start for my 20miler, Monday I was shattered. My body actually felt better than recent weeks but the lack of sleep was quite telling. This unfortunately flowed through to the Tuesday as well. I woke up with my alarm but was making a myriad of excuses why not to get up. In the end I decided I’d do my session at lunchtime, before checking my diary and seeing I didn’t really have space (unless I fancied being on a large group video call sweating like a pig!). It did therefore end up as a rest day. I was a bit annoyed but did then see a great Instagram post by the endurance athlete John Kelly. He is one of only 15 runners ever to complete the infamous Barkley Marathons yet he has recently DNF on a race. One of his reasons? Pressures at work. This week I did have a big deadline of my own so it does go without saying that this, coupled with 14 weeks of training and many early mornings, could well contribute to a bit of fatigue.
After Wednesday’s gym session, by Thursday it really seemed like an eternity since I had run, even though it was only 3 days. It was a simple, slower pace run around town so whilst I had struggled to get up again, I really didn’t have to think about what I was doing.
The same was true on Friday. This called for a little more distance and speed but very much another run that can be knocked out without much further thought at the minute. On Friday we did finally get visibility of the event guide for London. I will admit I was still a bit frustrated that so close to race day and we still don’t have our actual start time. It makes me smile that in the race pack it says about practising your race day routine but this big question mark still hanging over heads. I understand that it is a different year but it still feels a bit last minute.
With the cocktail of dance and football for the kids, parkrun again had to take a back seat on Saturday. I had thought about trying to sneak in a 5km run on my own but as it was, we were heading to a friends for a last BBQ of the summer so instead I gorged myself on burgers etc.!
This meant I was quite well rested for my final longer run of the training plan on Sunday. First up though was Junior parkrun. I can’t actually remember the last time I made it there with holidays, training etc. I ran with the eldest for most of it as he was unsure having not run for a long time before leaving him to finish as my daughter who has been suffering with a bunged up nose had dropped. Eldest managed to equal his PB and youngest knocked 55s off his so did really well.
I then headed out for my longer run. It was overcast and I was expecting some rain which would have been nice as within the first few km were already sweaty. I also found that the first few km I was struggling to get into a rhythm and rather than the distance tick over quickly, time was going so slowly. Fortunately after about 7km it started to spit and the rhythm seemed to find me and the time started to speed up. However, the rain itself was still resolutely refusing to drop properly and lower the humidity.
Much of the route was on roads I hadn’t run before but towards the end I had a choice to make. I could carry on down a road that is a bit busy with no path, or I could cut across some footpaths. I have had problems in the past with paths not being as accessible as I’d hoped but this time I thought I was fine. I’d seen people running this way on strava (or at least I thought) and on Google Street View the path looked quite pleasant from the road. I should have probably realised it wasn’t to going to be as smooth sailing when I almost ran past the start of the path as the entrance into field and the sign were covered by overgrowth. The first field was then recently ploughed and not great under foot, not really a risk I wanted to be taking so close to race day. The next stage was then along a brook, it took me about 5mins to even work out where the path was. The next couple of km were slow, punctuated by stops to check the map and pushing through bushes of particularly potent stinging nettles. At one point I even forgot to restart my watch. The irony was I had chosen this route over a separate route I had mapped out because that went along a river and I have bad memories from earlier in the plan of this! Thankfully the path did eventually open in to some wide paths around fields which I now believe to be where I have seen the strava tracks and the last few km home I was able to drop the pace again.
If I ignore the short stretch of problems then the run itself was a good preparation for two weeks time. I’m still in two minds as to what pace to go out at. I don’t want to blow up but at the same time, I don’t want to be left thinking what if.
What was nice was to come home to find that my fundraising target for The UK Sepsis Trust had broken the £1k barrier whilst I was out and through the rest of the day the generosity of friends and family both of myself and Pete saw me break the target I had set of £1.3k as well. I am so grateful to all the support and it adds to the reason why I have been doing all this training.
The mileage really starts to drop off now so it is a case of keeping myself healthy and starting to visualise the day itself.
- Monday – Rest Day
- Tuesday – Rest Day
- Wednesday – Gym
- Thursday – 9.50km @ 5:36 pace
- Friday – 11.14km @ 5:01 pace
- Saturday – Rest Day
- Sunday – Junior parkrun 2km then 27.81km @ 5:20 pace
- Total – 50.45km
- Overall Total – 633.45km