It is so close now, 20 days to go today! how am I feeling? Excited and nervous all at the same time, relieved that the really big runs have now passed and its time to taper! The last few weeks have been a battle of wills, trying to remain focused and not to get injured. After the horrendous 3 miles of 40 mph wind along the seafront in the Hastings Half, I managed to sustain a slight niggle which basically had me off for a week. At this point I was a little concerned and hoped it wasn’t anything too serious. We runners do have a tendency to say “Oh I will just run through it” and hope that is goes away! Hmm not exactly looking after yourself and not really listening to your body! But I did in this instance feel that to rest and to get it checked out, a week off would not do me any harm. So I went to see my lovely friend Kim whose knowledge and skills in sports physio is second to none and one that I am grateful for. Kim assured me everything was ok, and managed to work on the tightness of my calf, right next to the shin bone! Based on the way it felt at that time I was in two minds whether to run Sussex relays on the 1st April, as this would have meant fast speed work over a 2.5 mile course.
I had an easy week, did a lot of yoga and stretching and even rode the bike in the tent and which felt great, if a bit strange cycling at 8000 feet! Things seemed to ease off and come Saturday the leg was feeling less angry and I decided to do the relays.It was a beautiful sunny day and the cream of the crop of Sussex Athletics where there, John Pepper, Charlie Grice to name but a few of the class runners! Even AC’s own talented senior men Rhys, Gary and Kieron who seem to be going from strength to strength off the back of their winter training! I would be running in a team of three myself, Karen Murdoch and Kim Brown, we did extremely well coming home in 4th place in a very tough category of V40 women!
Sunday was supposed to be the last of the really long runs, which would be 22 miles, I decided I would run as I felt it, as the leg was still a little stiff and I didn’t want to chance anything at this point. The previous week I had conquered 20 and felt really good and kept an even pace of 8 min miling on the way out, unfortunately the dreaded head wind was to be battled on the turn around, so the pacing dropped off slightly. Got to say I am pretty rubbish running into a headwind definitely not my forte!
My goal this week was to take it easy and not push it, in the end I did 16, not quite the 22 but for me it felt like the right thing to do on the day. This journey has been a huge learning curve on so many levels and one that I won’t forget. There have be runs where I could have cried as I battled hailstones, being completely drenched by cars through puddles, to being so cold that it took me 10 mins to get the key in the door! It has been one of the hardest things I have ever done and to all those of you out there whether like me this is your 1st or 51st Marathon you are all amazing!
If any of you still want to donate then please do. Thank you to all of you who have already donated, I feel extremely blessed by your generosity. https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/rizmaslen