By the beginning of February training was finally going to plan after the illness set backs over the Christmas period.
I had a few 12 milers under my belt and on the 13th Feb I did my first BIG run, 14miles, I had made it past the half way stage, hooray.
Sadly a few days later I was having trouble with my left calf, so it was off to see the physio. She believed it to be more of a neural problem, so it was nerve stretches for me.
A week or so later and I was back running, slowly building up the mileage again. I should have a better understanding of the psychology of injury, having been a track athlete for 12 years, but I still find it so frustrating. I was most disappointed because I was planning to run the full 15miles at the Sportsaid training run in Hyde Park.
On the day, common sense prevailed, (for the first time ever) and I stopped after 10 miles. It was a great, if not very wet morning, and very nice to meet some of the other runners, beginners and experienced alike.
Over the next week the calf was looking and feeling much better, so having used common sense once in my build up to the marathon, I figured it was time to go back to the no brains approach. Having not run more than 12 miles in almost a month I was feeling concerned that I would not get enough miles in the legs to enable me to run a full marathon. Only one thing to do! Plan an 18mile run, 4 miles further than I have ever run before.
When I say plan, I decided on Friday 4th march that I would run 18miles on Monday 7th. Planning finished then!!!!!
On the Sunday I decided to look at the London Marathon website, for the first time, and read all about the nutrition and hydration. Not something I needed to think about for the 800m.
Laying in bed that night it dawned on me that 18miles is not just popping out for a run and I started to panic. I had no hydration strategy, no food strategy and I did not even have a route. I was seriously contemplating ditching the daft idea.
Monday morning arrived, the sun was out, so I decided to go for it. But don’t worry; I am not that stupid, I now had a plan. Firstly, I already had a 12mile route, so add a bit on the front, and then add a bit on the end. Hydration. It was a nice day, so I figured there would be plenty of people tending to their gardens. If I got thirsty I would stop and ask, planning sorted then!
So off I went. And I made it. 18 miles in 2hrs 24mins What was even more surprising, apart from the fact I did not collapse at the road side, I had hit my target pace of 8.00min/mile, bang on.
I felt good after the run and most importantly vowed not to be so stupid again. There has not been an again yet, because my knee has been playing up ever since. Lesson learnt!!!!!!!!