Since my final pre-marathon training run at the end of March – a toe-bruising 23 miles – I have only ventured onto the roads three times in as many weeks. Though all part and parcel of the tapering-off process, the lack of running in the lead up to the big day is unnerving, particularly as I have felt heavy-legged and sluggish each time I've ran.
Though perhaps understandable to feel weary only a few days after a 20-miler, struggling to complete a short lap of Kennington Park only the week before embarking on a marathon is hardly a confidence boost. Instead of feeling prepped and primed, I´m paranoid about the miles I´ve missed in training and confused about carb-loading tactics. In hindsight, a boozy weekend of wedding-fueled revelry and a night dancing Strip the Willow and the Gay Gordons in high-risk heels, wasn´t exactly ideal preparation. As a result, I´ve spent a panicked three days on a serious, if slightly belated, health kick.
However, weekend excesses aside, at least I have made it this far. From loops of Clapham Common on dark and frosty mornings, to late-evening circuits of Battersea Park, to monotonous laps of the swimming pool during the week… Now, there´s only three days to go and no way to wriggle out of it. Though convinced that in the hours preceding I´ll either clumsily injure myself, lose my timing chip or get lost on route (all worryingly likely scenarios), I should be on the start line on Sunday. After notably sporadic training, I haven´t a clue how it will go. The only thing I can be certain about is that I´ll be relying on bloody-mindedness and praying for a strong tail wind. Unfortunately, weather reports so far have confirmed that it´s likely to be pissing it down. Typical!
I´m still collecting sponsorship, and am a fair way behind the target total that I promised to Children with Cancer. Thanks to those of you who have already donated, and to those who haven´t, envisage 26.2 miles in the pissing rain. You can sponsor my efforts here!