London Marathon 2017… The Build Up

So the last few weeks have been something of a rollercoaster of emotions… new job (so far so good!), house move progressing, foot injury improving only to have morphed from plantar fasciitis into peroneal tendonitis as well… 

The training has been going reasonably well, despite a horrible new commute I’ve been managing to fit most of it in.  Reading half marathon on March 19th saw me just scrape in under 1:30 to get my championship spot sorted for London next year!

And I’ve managed a couple of long runs, as well as some solo track sessions which I’ve actually really enjoyed!

I spent 3 hours in Royal Berkshire Hospital A&E the week I was off before starting my new job, worried about a stress fracture in my left foot as the pain was so intense after just walking… X-rays didn’t show anything so I was sent home with the advice to stretch, take anti-inflammatories and ice it.

Three weeks ago I was supposed to do my last long run, 20 miles before starting to taper, however I’d been having a fair bit of pain in my left foot since the previous week’s 23 miles so I decided to just head out gently and see how it felt. 6 miles later, I was back, and in tears. Not ideal with 3 weeks to go until my favorite race of the year!

On Ellie’s advice I contacted a lady called Suzanne Bowen at Optimum Performance Clinic in Camberley. Well, what a legend. I had my first session of shockwave therapy, and some K-tape and walked out of the clinic virtually pain free. After 48 hours of rest, I headed out for a short run to test the foot and had a glorious, pretty much pain free 4 mile run! Then a couple of days later I had another 5 miles virtually pain free 👍🏻

Back I went the following week for session number 2, it’s such a wierd feeling shockwave. It isn’t exactly painful just a bit odd. And I have absolutely no idea how it works, but as long as it does, that’s all that matters! After round 2 I walked out pretty much pain free again 😊 

This time two days later we were in Wales for Easter weekend, so my run was slightly hillier than recent times, and split into two as I wanted to do Parkrun so did 7 miles beforehand around the beautiful countryside where Simon’s parents live followed by Llaneli Parkrun which goes along the millennium coastal path. The 7 miles were ok, I felt heavy and plodded my way round, at 7:45/mile average. Simon’s dad, John drove me and Simon’s brother in law (also called Simon!) the 20 minutes to Parkrun where we had a little warm up trot before setting off on the relatively flat out and back course.

I honestly wasn’t expecting anything, my legs felt heavy and I was fully aware of the lack of running over recent weeks. I pushed hard, but not too hard. I came home in 20:24, average of 6:33/mile! 1st lady and no foot pain!

Needless to say, the taper had been a bit up and down until now… Saturday evening I was hit by a cold that seems to have been doing the rounds recently. It started with a sore throat, and progressed to a full on runny nose, productive cough and feeing generally exhausted the next day. Not ideal!

The rest of the weekend continued in much the same vein, and it even continued well into the next week. Wednesday I dragged myself out for a run, mainly for confidence that my chest was going to be ok… and it was absolutely fine!

I headed to the Expo on the Thursday, somewhere that usually fills me with sheer joy. It’s a Runner’s heaven, like being a kid in a candy shop. But I didn’t get the buzz this time. The long journey to Excel wore me out and I spent a few hours having a sports massage and traipsing round trying to talk to race directors and charities for work too. By about 1:30 I’d had it and just wanted my bed. So off home I we went!

Saturday morning was quite exciting, Simon and I headed to Southampton to the docks relatively early to pick up my dad and his wife who had just finished up on a cruise across the Atlantic from Florida! Excited was an understatement! We popped in to see Suzanne at Optimum on the way back to get my feet taped ready for the run- placebo? Maybe, but if it works for me I’ll do it! Still coughing, and with my dad and Simon’s dad occasionally giving me ‘the look’- you know, the ‘are you sure you should be doing the marathon tomorrow’ kind of look… 

Anyway the rest of Saturday was spent having a great time with our parents. We went for afternoon tea at the gorgeous Oakley Court hotel in Windsor… I definitely used it as some carb loading!!!

Afterwards we popped to Guildford to show our parents the new house… which we are hopefully moving into in a couple of weeks! Thankfully they all liked it 😊 we even sampled one of the pubs at the end of our road! Lime and soda for me obviously!

After heading home we had jacket potatoes and chili for dinner, accompanied by my usual pre race glass of red! 

And after picking my bag and ironing on my name onto my Finch vest (badly I will add!!!!) it was time to sleep and get ready for the big day.

Two numbers and two timing chips this year, thanks to a championship place, plus a whole herd of family coming to watch… no pressure then! I’d already told everyone it’s not going to be a PB given the build up. I had come to terms with that, and to be quite honest was just happy to be getting to the start line!


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