Its 2 days until Manchester Marathon and what was going to be the first of three marathons in three weeks. However, I couldn’t resist running Milton Keynes again so last week decided to add that one. It is the week after London but, as it’s on the Monday rather than the Sunday, I get an extra day off!
Sadly, confidence has dipped rapidly this week. On Sunday I ran the Reading Half Marathon. Initially I was going to take it easy as I had “gone for it” at the Cardiff Half the week before. However, after a mile or so I felt really good so decided to try running at marathon pace (around 7.25 minute miles) for the rest. It all felt great and my pace increased as the race went on. I came in at 1.36:09 only 9 seconds slower than Cardiff.
I’ve got mixed feelings about this as, if I’d decided to go quick from the start I’m sure I could have easily beaten my pb of 1.35:21. Conversely I could have taken it easy and saved my legs.
What has really got my worrying though is the huge blister on my heel I got from the run. I don’t do blisters, not even in ultras, so this is a bit of a shock. It’s huge and I’m struggling to see how I’ll be able to run properly in only 2 days.
I spent yesterday sticking needles into it as there was no way it would go down on its own. Liberal amounts of Savlon and plasters have made it go down a little. I really wanted to go out for a run today but am worried that it will knock my confidence too much.
However, I’ll definitely be parkrunning tomorrow as this is a pre race ritual I can’t do without – especially as I am now only 10 away from my 100 t-shirt!
I’m looking forward to Manchester though, as it supposed to be a good flat fast course. Initially I wanted to try for a 3.15 but after illness during the middle of my training I would be happy to qualify for Boston (somewhere under 3.25). If my foot holds up I will hopefully go for this and leave the Good For Age 3.15 for Berlin Marathon in the Autumn.
The course looks like it has a lot of out and backs which I really didn’t like at Bournemouth but I think I was just having a bad day.
From about 9 1/2 miles to 17 miles is a long out and back so it will be great to see the leaders coming back the other way, less so to realise they are on their way back and I’m still on the way out!
So that’s it. All the training since before Christmas, the run on Christmas Day, the endless training runs in the cold and pouring rain being drenched by cars, the fantastic days of sunshine running through woods and trails, the 20 mile races and half marathons are all over.
It’s time to pack the marathon bag, try to forget about what can’t be controlled and focus on the things that can. And most of all enjoy it.
I might just have another go with a needle on my heel though….
I’m running these marathons for the South Bucks Hospice – a charity who support patients and families coping with life limiting illness, death, bereavement and grief.
If you feel you would like to help please click here to donate. Many thanks.