So that’ll be less than 10 days to go now then. GULP…
And, perhaps somewhat surprisingly I am not phased yet. The fact that a measly 9 sleeps (well 8, because I doubt I’ll experience much sleep on the eve of Saturday 16th April) until I embark on the bus journey to London Town with my Mum (also running) and Dad (our super spectator) with the rest of the gang from their local running club is not playing too heavily on my mind.
People at work keep asking now whether I am ready/nervous for the big day and to be honest I am, and I am not – in that order. I am aware that I have prepared well – I should hope I have, seeing as I started 16 weeks ago in snowy December. Apart from a couple of weeks recently with my dodgy knee, and my struggle to manage 4 sessions a week – I feel confident that I have maintained a good momentum with my training, and notched up more miles than I previously would have thought possible. Although these numbers barely compare to some that I have seen reeling across my twitter feed at times! But so far, no matter how many people mention it, or suggest that I should be nervous – I simply am not. I even put some thought into it last night and questioned why I wasn’t nervous. In the end, I think I came to the conclusion that I will be, it’ll come in time and I should embrace it – because that nervous energy and adrenaline is what is going to get me through on the day.
Some of you are aware that last month I took a caffeine amnesty. I felt that 5 or more cups a day was far too much, and can surely only be having a bad effect on my body. In the month of March I succumbed just 3 times to a cup of the delicious bean based beverage, and although I feared each time that it would send me up the wall, I never felt any different. On the whole I have been drinking far more water though, a task I know I need to continue for the rest of my days, but I have also carried my caffeine-free ways into April. Having not listened to MarathonTalk for a while, I had a few to catch up on, and on my run on Wednesday I was listening to an episode in which Tom talks to Dr. Mark Hetherington and they discuss some interesting concepts regarding the use of caffeine in racing. Fundamentally Dr. Hetherington suggested that the use of caffeine will make running easier for longer (at least my exercise addled brain took it to mean that!), so I’m stocking up on the pro-plus to knock a couple back as I wait at the start line, and I think I’ll carry some caffeine enhanced gels too!!
The one thing I remain concerned about is my pacing. During a MP session on Friday I couldn’t hold onto any kind of settled pace, I think I varied from about 8:30min/miles -> 12:00min/miles. This worries me, because I can’t spend the day doing that or I’ll wear myself out, and my legs will just want to fall off quicker! I think I have decided that I am going to make use of the runnersworld pacers, and initially aim for the 11:00 min/mile group. This will bring me in in 4:50, and ahead of my proposed 5 hour time limit. I think though, that I will assess this at about the halfway – 16 mile point and see how I am feeling. If all is good then I think I may start to up the tempo a little and try to push ahead, the important thing though is to be careful and aware of how my body is feeling. I think, for me certainly, having a group running at a set pace will help to discourage me from just setting off on a mission at the start and tiring quickly!
I hope though, that the weather is not quite so warm as today – I would be quite grateful for a bright, sunny day (maybe a touch of thin cloud cover), a nice breeze (not gusty winds) but just not too hot. As a very heavy, very salty sweater I really don’t think I would well cope with a hot day!
Not too many runs left between now and then. An easy 30 minutes tonight, a gentle 60 on Sunday. Then some super easy efforts in the next week.
only 9 more sleeps!
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