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Jo Little: 5 weeks to go

Posted on 01 April 2017

So, 5 days off for a ski break with friends seemed like a good idea (to be fair, it was booked before I got my place in the London marathon). However, having survived (or so I thought) the skiing, 12 miles into a 20 mile run 2 days after getting back and my right hamstring completely seized up. THANKFULLY, I stopped running and hopefully prevented real damage, very upsetting and a long hobble home! After a cold bath, hot shower and a panicked call for a sports massage, I started to feel more in control.

Not wanting to dwell on the aches and pains, back to the Silverstone Half Marathon which was before my ski trip. I loved this event. The early morning rain eased for the midday start and of course, I didn’t stick to my race plan! I really was too excited at the prospect of a flat course after the endless hills training around Winchester and despite my attempts to manage my early pace and just treat it as a training run, I was happily running sub 8 minute miles up to the 6 mile mark and loving it. However around mile 9 I took a reality check, panicked and felt like crying at the prospect of ever running 26 miles. I slowed my pace and finished in 1 hour 48 minutes, which is a personal best for me over that distance, so I was really pleased.

Next on the schedule was to get 18 miles in before heading off skiing. So two days after Silverstone, off I set. I decided I wasn’t going to clock watch for this one and my running partner and I settled into a steady pace. I put my foot down at the prospect of ‘the hilly route’ for the last 6 miles, so we cruised the water meadows, the river route and finished in a respectable 2 hours 51 minutes (not that I was watching the clock!!).
That brings me back to skiing which was great, but in retrospect perhaps not the best call so close to the Marathon. Or perhaps the learning point for me was that I should have allowed myself a bit more recovery time (dreadful journey home as well) and perhaps put in a couple of shorter runs and focused on stretching before embarking on a long run.

All that aside, this week I completed my longest training run, 22 miles in 3 hours 35 minutes – Hurray! A steady pace (my GPS watch ‘crashed’ so no pace monitoring for me) and an expresso gel did the job of getting me through the testing 18-20 mile section. The hamstring niggled at 20 miles and painful at 22, so not out of the woods with that , but time over the next 3 weeks to get it sorted I hope!
So I now have my ‘final instructions’ magazine, my race number and 3 weeks of tapering, which I have to confess I am quite looking forward to. My focus has to be;
Getting my leg into tip top condition
Rest and sleep (lots of the latter)
Nutrition – eating really good protein and carbs
Roll on the 23rd April!

Jo Little: 5 weeks to go

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