Countdown: 6 days to go!

And so into the final week.  This time next week, I should be hobbling around the office basking in the self-satisfied knowledge that I am a London Marathon finisher.  That is, assuming nothing stupid happens between now and then.  I had a momentary panic this morning after going flying on some kind of kitchen grease spilled across the pavement on Fetter Lane.  I landed quite hard on one knee, which is now sporting a neat graze and a big bruise reminiscent of the school playground, but (fingers crossed) I don’t appear to have done any real damage.  Even my dented pride was restored when another chap also slid spectacularly to the ground just seconds after I did.  Well, misery does love company!

But back to the training.  As per my last post, I have been trying to get some hot weather runs in just in case the current summery spell continues into next weekend (although forecasts at the moment are more encouraging).  To that end, I headed out on Wednesday lunchtime for a quick jog along the last 2.5 miles of the actual marathon course (and back via Northumberland Avenue).  I made sure to really notice my surroundings and try and imagine how different they will look on Sunday lined with thousands of spectators.  I’m not sure my imagination really did it justice.  I did particularly notice one lady on Birdcage Walk though, who can’t have been much older than me but who was shuffling along very slowly with the help of a frame.  I told myself to remember her when I am in pain in those last few miles and remind myself again how lucky I am to be able to contemplate running the marathon at all.

The 2.5 miles to Buckingham Palace and the Mall took me about 22 minutes  (not being sure exactly where on the Mall the finish line will be I couldn’t be more precise).  It’ll be hugely interesting to see how long they take me on Sunday – safe to say that it’ll be longer than that!  It was a hot lunchtime to be out and about, and I did feel the heat slowing me a bit, but I was pleased to find that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.

The same was true on Sunday morning when I went out for the last long run. 10 miles, Putney to Barnes.  Again baking hot, but with a perfect breeze that cooled but didn’t slow me down.  There were loads of obvious marathon runners out in their charity vests for a final dress rehearsal, and I made sure to give each of them a particularly encouraging smile.  Maybe my boring black vest and shorts didn’t inspire similar sentiments, because none of them smiled back except for one beaming grin from a blonde girl in a Breakthrough Breast Cancer vest.  I hope she does well on Sunday.

I was really pleased with the 10 miles.  The heat didn’t bother me at all (I slowed to have some water at every bridge, so roughly every 2.5 miles), I felt strong and comfortable and had to deliberately slow myself down at times to keep to a gentle 10.30 min pace, getting home on target in 1:44:49.  After the disappointing long runs of recent weeks it was a relief to feel back on form.  Even better to look back to where I started from and realise how much I’ve already achieved: I can now run 10 miles in 20 degree heat with ease, which would have been pretty unthinkable six months ago. 

All that’s left to do now is sort out logistics for Sunday morning, get to the Expo (hopefully on Wednesday evening) and stock up the fridge.  Oh, and actually run the marathon.  Bring it on!

Stats (Sunday)
Distance:  10.0 miles
Time: 01:44:49
Weather:  hot midday sunshine, 20 degrees
Route:  river, Putney to Barnes loop
Notable features:  ITV1 were filming the Britain’s Got Talent London auditions at the Hammersmith Apollo, so I got to run past TV cameras, guys in drag and tutus, and loads of very weird costumes.  So pretty much just like the marathon then!

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About westlondonplodder
Thirty-something London girl looking for the next big challenge

3 Responses to Countdown: 6 days to go!

  1. Boothy says:

    Just dropped by to wish you lots of luck on Sunday Emma. Wish I could be there to cheer you on and offer some moral support. Keep well hydrated this week, then, on the big day, just trust the effect of all those specific training miles you’ve put in to get you to the Finish line. Rest assured, they will.
    Don’t forget to let us know how you got on, what an amazing time you ran it in, so as to give Old Runningfox the perfect excuse to raise a celebratory dram. Go Go Go!
    Regards,
    Boothy

    PS. We’re supposed to be in Scotland from this weekend until 27th so possible we might not hear the result until we get back. On the other hand my wonderful partner is currently laid up with a ruptured tendon in her foot – so may have to stay at home and rest it. We’ve a ½ marathon on May 1st.

    • Thanks Boothy! And don’t worry, you will be supporting me whether you are there or not. As you will discover when I finally get round to blogging the next bit, Oxfam’s tips suggest that you dedicate each of the last few miles to someone who has helped or inspired you – the theory being that then you won’t want to stop in “their” mile! Anyway, as you are a true inspiration, mile 20 is all yours!

      Hope you make it to Scotland, have an amazing time! (Or if you’re stuck at home watching the marathon on TV, I will be running as number 52610 and looking very much like I do in my picture in Oxfam (RunningBug) green T-shirt and white visor.)

  2. Pingback: 48 hours to go! « Things to do before I'm 30

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