People talk about going a bit mad during taper time, especially this last week before the marathon, and I think I have fallen right into the trap. As your training decreases, you start to panic and imagine you are not fit enough, so think it might be a good idea to add in more runs or start running faster, but at this stage, there is no way you are going to get any fitter and should just enjoy the ‘rest’! My own madness is taking the form of injury panic. On Saturday I went for a short run with Edward and Hector and every step felt like hell: my lungs were wheezing, my knee hurt and then my shin was hurting to the point where I sat on a bench and cried! I can’t get shin splints now! I gave it a good rub and, on Edward’s advice, ran slowly home and had a nice hot shower.
Yesterday I was scheduled to run ten miles, so decided to go for it, but very slowly. As I left, Edward shouted out ‘eleven minute miles!’, which I tried to do, but it’s hard to run slower isn’t it? Again, my shin was really hurting, so I took it slowly through the deliciously lush marshes (the rain seems to have triggered all the leaves and blossom into action) and paused at three miles to drink and rub, this helped for a bit and I plodded onwards. The real warm-up was felt at about seven miles, when my shin stopped hurting and I felt generally good. I had a nice end-point in the back of my mind as I was meeting the boys and two of Hector’s friends – and parents – at the swimming pool, so I had something nice to look forward to 🙂
To reach Stoke Newington, I ran through Clapton and then Stamford Hill, which always feels slightly surreal, with the men in very large fur hats averting their eyes and rushing on to wherever they are rushing to. On reaching Clissold Park, I still had a little way to go, so joined in with all those grumpy runners doing circuits then had a good old stretch outside the swimming pool while I waited for the gang. We had a lovely swim and then enjoyed coffee and snacks at the park cafe. Happy.
Time: 1 hour 46 minutes 5 seconds
Distance: 10.04 miles
Average Pace: 10.34
Best Pace: 7.50
Saturday’s sorry attempt
Time: 29 minutes 34 seconds
Distance: 3.10 miles
Average Pace: 9.33