Yes, I have gone and done it. After not securing a place in the London Marathon Ballot I felt a sense of relief. Short lived mind you, as three days later I got a call from The Willow Foundation congratulating me, as I had been selected for a charity place!
26.219 miles, 42.195 kilometers, 385 yards. Double the distance I have ever run, four times the distance of a 10K race. I had never felt such a sense of panic in my life.
I have to keep telling myself every single day “I’m going to run the London Marathon” in the hope that it will eventually sink in.
As soon as I found out the news I put myself to training straight away in the hope to get a head start and to ensure that when the intense schedule kicks in in the New Year I will be more prepared physically and mentally.
In the last two weeks alone I have covered 28 miles with my training buddy Jo. Safe to say the transition back into running has not been in easy. Combining this with my normal boot camp sessions and spinning classes has left my legs feeling tight, heavy and I am generally feeling more fatigued than usual. So much so, that after an evening run this week, we finished with some hot tub down time at a local hotel (and a glass of wine of course).
The past few weeks has proven I need to make significant changes to my training programme and diet. I can no longer go to a early morning spinning session and then go on to an evening boot camp class. The energy is simply not there and It will contribute to my fatigue. So with this in mind, come the New Year I am freezing my Regiment Fitness membership in order for me to be more focused and increase my running strength. I will combine the long and short runs with spinning sessions a couple of times a week to mix up the training. The decision to freeze my membership has been a tough one, especially as it is so much more than a fitness class for me. But needs must. All those I have met through Regiment Fitness have been so supportive since I signed up to the London Marathon – and will still be there when I return from my four month hiatus.
Over the coming months I will be sure to increase the time I spend in the hot tub (due to the lack of bath in our household), perhaps even signing up for a temporary membership so I can come and go as I please. I will also be looking at investing more time in massages. As the miles increase, so will the damage to the muscles in my legs. So I will need to incorporate these into the schedule to help repair and lessen the tightness I will begin to feel.
Diet! I need to eat more! This does not mean eat everything in sight. But to make a concerning effort to eat small portions of food regularly throughout the day – something I am terrible at. Over the past weeks I have got better by ensuring I do batch cooking at the weekend. Preparing food for the week has helped me cut out the crap and means I have food instantly available after training.
The most concerning thing for me, other than covering hundreds of miles and running the actual race, is energy sources for long runs and the day itself. I have had several bad experiences with energy gels in the past that have left me with a nasty taste. But I will need to either give them another chance (would rather not) or find an alternative source. Any suggestions?
So much to think about and so much to plan. This is going to be a challenge I build up to in baby steps. The key is planning. Planing my food, planning ahead with training runs and planning in rest days (and stick to them). And then the final planning – fundraising!
Do you ever sign up to a challenge and think “what the hell was I thinking?” I have for the last few weeks, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I am not going say no to.