So, Sunday is the day! I’ll be lining up on the start line at Old Trafford and only 26.2 miles will be between me and the finish. If I’m honest, I’m in complete denial. I think possibly that’s a good survival tactic, there’s no point expending energy worrying about it.
I feel blobby, lethargic and unfit. I know that’s normal for a taper but it does put doubt into my mind as to whether I’ll actually manage to get round the marathon, let alone achieve my longed for PB!
I haven’t had the best preparation. Things weren’t too bad when I wrote my last training update but I hit a big problem when I did my longest training run. I set out to do 20/21 miles and my right knee was niggling from about 8 miles. I ignored it but at 17 miles it hurt so much that I had to stop, I could hardly walk. I knew it was my ITB flaring up as I’d had the exact same pain previously. Thankfully it’s settled down quickly but it means my longest run was only 18 miles and I have done very little running in the last three weeks. I’m just hoping it holds out on the day. I’m pretty certain it will.
What I mustn’t do is let those negative thoughts creep in when I’m running. I need to fill my mind with positive ones and be full of self belief. I know very few people will be on the start line with the perfect preparation. I will be well rested and unless something happens in the next four days, I will be well. That in itself is amazing because I had a house full of ill relatives for a week. They were so good about coughing into their tissues and I’ve never washed my hands so much in my life!
I’m looking forward to it and I’m dreading it at the same time. I know a marathon takes you to some very dark places. It tests you, to the extreme. Having done a few before helps but also hinders! I also know that the last two haven’t quite gone to plan and that gives me determination to make sure that this one does. I have my mantras and positive images ready. I’m stocked up on Go Bites®. I’ve even booked myself a treat of a post-marathon massage a few days after the event! I haven’t actually decided what to wear yet but will definitely be wearing my 261 Fearless T-shirt so I can mentally take my global support team with me – that’s a huge help.
Wishing lots of luck to all of you running in Manchester. A special shout out to Jackie Brunton who has been a great online encourager, she and her running buddy Shell Livesey are doing Manchester as their first marathon – I know you’ll smash it ladies.
You only have to look at amazing Claire Lomas to know that my marathon will be easy compared to some on the course. Claire is paralysed from the chest down and will be walking the route in a robotic suit – she wants to beat the 17 days it took her to walk the London Marathon. Wow! Perspective is everything.
So, bring it on Manchester. I shall do my VERY best.
Photo credit: Eddie Macdonald