First of all – thank you so much to everyone who has helped me raise money for Marie Curie by sponsoring me on my marathon run on 6th May. I am overwhelmed by the support and kind words – and the very generous anonymous donations too – thank you – whoever you are!!
With just three weeks to go I can’t help being a bit nervous about the challenge ahead. This feeling has some panic atop, as over the last two weeks I succumbed to a “dreaded lurgy”. Was it a cold? Flu? Or worse – MAN FLU? I don’t know, over ten days or so it manifested itself in just about every way, one day after another. So, reader, I apologise for the lack of recent updates. The good news is I am on the mend. The positive part of my brain says the good news is I am far less likely now to be ill at marathon time. My immune system should be prepared for anything! The bad news is that I am behind with my training.
An unexpected outcome from all of this came on Saturday 13th when I attended a local Parkrun (free, weekly 5km timed runs that take place around the world – managed by generous volunteers and donations – see https://www.parkrun.org.uk/).
I decided to try out a 5km run because I knew I was on the way out of my “lurgy”, even though I still felt tired, achy, and not on top form. I really wanted to be sure that after two weeks of rest from my training – that I could actually still run.
The results surprised and encouraged me, because I actually ran my fastest ever 5k, and include within that I broke my fastest ever kilometre and mile. It seems that despite not being totally well, the rest did me good.
Another surprise was in the data. Unlike practically all my previous runs over the last two years, I spent the majority of my time (58% of the run) in heart rate zone 5 – which for me is over 190 bpm. This is normally my sprinting zone that I move into in short bursts, to overtake, or for a sprint finish. Somehow, I managed to sustain this for longer than ever before. Was it due to rest? Due to illness? A measurement error? I don’t know!
After the run, I also felt far more energised – and a lot less ill! Bonus!
More gear and preparations
During my “down time” I had some more time to consider the details of the day – the route, the weather, my kit, etc.
The full marathon takes place the day after the “Rocket 5K” on the 6th May. Of course, it’s May – it could be cold, wet, hot, snowing – who knows? With my recent experience of running in the sun and running in hypothermic wind / rain I now respect the weather more than ever before. So, I have taken some time to prepare a kit for wet and windy, or hot and sunny (and something in between).
If it’s a bright day, you won’t be able to miss me with my very bright, UV protective sun hat, t-shirt and sun glasses (I am sure, I will look very cool of course 😂😂😂).
I am still working on the wet and windy kit. I have some waterproof socks that I have tested out (they work well), will likely wear a polyester (quick drying) t-shirt, but would like to find a super-lightweight waterproof jacket.
What would be my preferred weather? Whilst most people will be hoping for hot, sunny bank holiday BBQ weather, I will be hoping for a cold, dry and overcast morning – once I cross the line – then I’ll definitely join everyone else in the hope for BBQ weather!
Please don’t break a leg
I sustained a bit of an injury today, which I hope will not cause me problems. I learned that, it’s not all that sensible at 40 years old, to perform BMX style jumps on a mountain bike, when trying to impress your three-year-old daughter – especially in the weeks before a marathon. Hopefully, my shin isn’t as bad as it looks. Thanks, silliness.
I hope still to have one more chance at a long practice run, though most experts tell me it is getting a bit late for that. Given I have had two weeks out however, I feel I have some catching up to do. I have a few other shorter training runs lined up, and a few more preparations and gear to get together. Not long to go! Please – wish me luck!