Oh lord…. how are we here! It’s London marathon week. I keep getting waves of excitement in amongst the prevailing nerves. My plan for this week is fairly low key. I’m going to aim for some short, sharp 200’s on Tuesday, but otherwise just a few easy miles with some race pace strides here and there. The real battle is going to be balancing a super busy week at work with good food, plenty of sleep and most importantly not wasting futile energy on my fight or flight response! 1 more week everyone, one more week…..
30 mins stretching
After only doing 10 miles for Sunday’s ‘long run’, it felt strange not to wake up with heavy legs today. The first time in weeks. But, as this week is about keeping everything as similar to usual as possible, I still did my stretching session (and then rewarded myself with a hot cross bun!) Too early to carb load??
Track session: 12x200m repeats with 1 minute jog recoveries
This might be a controversial session so close to race day, but personally, I like to keep some speed work on the plan just to sharpen up my legs up. 200’s temporarily sting, but have no lasting effect which is why I chose them. In the past I’ve tried marathon pace miles, but this close to the London marathon, if I find it tougher than I should to hold the pace, I know I’ll end up spiralling into a big hole of self doubt! 200’s are a great way to keep your legs turning over, but more importantly, to boost your confidence.
I definitely didn’t run these flat out, but I was aiming for somewhere in the region of 45-50 seconds. My splits in the end were: 45/43/42/44/47/47/44/44/44/42/44/43. I’ll take that for a fun, confidence boosting session.
I did have a slight melt down moment, where I realised I didn’t want to leave the track. This was my last structured session, and I think my brain had also made the link to it concluding this cycle of training. Leaving the track felt like I finally had to admit that Sunday’s London marathon is IT. It’s no longer a date in the future, it’s getting very, very real! Since I can’t live at the track forever though, and I don’t have Bernard’s watch (anyone else get that reference??!) I forced myself to run back to the car. The marathon mind games are REAL!
1 hour body balance
I find doing nothing really hard, so I was hoping that another stretching session, this time at body balance, would keep me out of mischief.
I was planning to do an easy 4 miles, but about mid way through the afternoon I suddenly felt like I’d been stabbed in the stomach, which got worse and worse until I ended up going to bed at 8pm feeling really sick. Someone had already rung into work with D and V, and I was petrified that I was going to wake up 3 days before race day with a full blown stomach bug. Not ideal.
3 miles easy in 26.08 (average 8.42mm pace)
Although I was thankfully feeling better, I still had a really low grade pain in my stomach. I was hoping it was just nerves, although it’s not something I’ve ever had before. My legs felt really easy over 3 miles, but the stomach pain did build up as I went. 2 days to go….
Rest day, and picking up my race number at the Expo!!
The London marathon expo is huge, and to be honest, a little overwhelming. I picked up my number and my timing chip and we spent half an hour of so watching people fall off the world record pace treadmill, and making use of the selfie spots. I’d like to have done a bit more exploring, but aware that it was 4 o’clock and I didn’t want to be on my feet for too long, and that we hadn’t even had lunch yet, we decided to head back to the city. The fact that I wasn’t hungry though, probably should have been an alarm bell.
London marathon day!
I woke up at 5am in the Hilton Hotel at Canary Wharf, pleasantly surprised to find that I had actually fallen asleep! Race day. 16 weeks of training, and it all boiled down to this. The hotel was great and had provided a grab and go breakfast. So I collected some porridge, banana, juice and a coffee and headed back to our room to get ready. Weirdly, one of my worries was getting to the start line. It turns out, all you have to do is follow the masses. You really can’t go wrong…. unless you were to listen to the DLR advice and get off at Greenwich when you know that you need the Blackheath start, but luckily enough of us were on the ball!
Walking through Blackheath to the runners area, I felt surprisingly calm. It was 8.30am, and I knew that whatever happened, in around 6 hours time, it would all be over.
Race report to follow!
To be continued….