With two weeks to go until the Berlin marathon I have to admit training has gone much better than I had ever anticipated following the Liverpool marathon. My training hadn’t gone so well in the run up to the latter. I had suffered an ankle injury which had dogged me for quite some time and finally got the better of me three weeks out from Liverpool. I had to admit defeat and resorted to the turbo trainer to keep my cardio fitness up. It simply wasn’t enough to ensure that those last few miles were as good as the first few.
When I approached Chris to guide me for Berlin I just wanted to ensure that I could get enough training under my belt to get myself around. However, as the weeks have worn on my previous niggle has progressively improved. I, under the advice of my coach, sought expert physio input from Tony Wood Wood, an elite runner himself, Tony has an excellent understanding of the needs of those of us who need to keep running and require appropriate treatment. Tony assessed the problems I was experiencing in my left ankle, and further up the leg in my hip, stemming from inflexibility in my 3rd, 4th and 5th vertebra. 3 visits and daily stretching later and the pain in my leg was gradually getting better. In fact Tony advised me on the first visit in June that if I have any pain greater than 2 out of 10 I should probably not be running until the pain was down to 0. I ignored him and kept running!
My weekly mileage has consistently increased since June and my training with Chris become a regular early morning run on Wednesday and a long run on Sunday. Of course I have been running on the treadmill in between. The early morning Wednesday runs have been pretty challenging at first having to get up at 5.30 am, glug down some tea, run and then get back home for a quick breakfast and then to work. This week I went to bed early on Tuesday evening so excited about the Wednesday morning run that I could hardly get to sleep! I know that sounds really sad but when your running is going so well you just look forward to the next run because you know it is going to be better than the last.
With the biggest running mileage completed in one week (54miles) to date I have to say I have astonished myself. Prior to this if I ran more than 45 miles consistently I would normally end up with a bad injury and weeks off training. Instead I am looking forward to a super taper (reduction in running miles) for the next two weeks in preparation for Berlin. There is no doubt that apart from the consistency and regular stretching, the strength and conditioning work I have been doing in the gym with Martin Hulbert has been invaluable. Specific targeted work to strengthen my posterior chain muscles have increased the strength in my hamstrings, glutes and lower back. This combined with resistant band work has lowered the risks of injury while my training has stepped up.
Hopefully both Chris and I will be like wounde up springs ready to smash out a great time. We will be targeting 3 hours and 15 minutes. My coach thinks that my fitness levels would get me to a 3 hour `10 marathon. I have no doubts that this is quite possible.
I am really looking forward to what we can achieve. But, at the end of the day we are both doing this in order to raise money for Breast Cancer Now. I hope that friends and family can help support us in reaching our target. At the time of writing we only need to raise a further £350. Please keep giving –it will definitely help to find a cure for breast and other forms of cancer.
Thank you so much to those who have given generously. I will let you know our race numbers so that you can follow our progress during the marathon. Wish us luck in the last couple of weeks in the run up to the race. Thanks again for your ongoing support.