Both of us - Blue
Kelly - Purple
Orange - John
We've just arrived in Chester at our lovely Airbnb accommodation. The Chester Marathon - the culmination of months of training and planning - is only a matter of hours away!
Here's how my last week of training has gone:
Monday 1st October 2018
I started the week with a rest day. I'm only doing an 8 day taper so going to really drop the mileage this week to give my legs time to recover after my last long run on Saturday.
My main mission this week - don't get ill! Everything has gone to plan; the only thing that could go wrong is for me to pick up a cold now...which, when working in a school, is often quite a challenge!
I went to yoga, at Pure Yoga Wapping Wharf, in the evening and really felt the benefit of all of the downward dogs. I'm a total yoga convert. It's made a huge difference to my recovery this campaign and I'll definitely keep going regularly.
Tuesday 2nd October 2018
A lovely gentle 5k around the Harbourside this morning. Super nice to be running with John again. We averaged just under 9 min miles. Legs felt pretty good although my calves were a bit tight. I made a mental note to ask Jenny to focus on my calves in my sports massage later in the week.
Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Today, John had planned for me to run a 'dress rehearsal'. This is something I often hear people talking about (especially John!) but I've never tried myself before. The idea is that you wear everything that you plan on wearing for the race and run a few miles at your planned marathon pace. I haven't done it before because I haven't wanted to run so fast so close to the big race. However, John aka Coach Cox thought I should give it a go...and...let's face it, everything he's suggested so far has been successful so I decided to give it a go.
Despite running 102 miles just a week and a half ago, John was keen to come along and pace me so we headed out together along the Portway. 1 mile to warm up and then we were off. John encouraged me to practise drafting behind him and not look at my watch too much but try and feel the pace.
Amazingly, the pace felt really comfortable. My legs felt great and I was bouncing along merrily. 3 miles at : 6:45, 6:39, 6:43 spot on planned marathon pace. Woohoo!
Thursday 4th October 2018
Just 1 mile for me today at my staff running club. Had 4 people today which is great. Hopefully the numbers will continue to rise.
In the evening, I went to see Jenny, at Comfort Health Bristol, for my sports massage. She focused on my calves and achilles before turning her elbow onto my glutes - ouch!
I left with a spring in my step - my preparation was almost complete!
Back at home, I completed my next phase of preparation - the all important nail and toenail clipping and painting! The colour of choice - GWR blue of course!
Friday 5th October 2018
Another mile today with the kids this time at our lunchtime running club. 37 children, 2 parents and 2 teachers. We did a focus on the importance of using our arms today. I made them run up a hill with their hands on their heads, before then letting them use their arms again, so they could feel the benefits!
That's it! My last mile before Chester done!
Then I did my final yoga class. A one off special - a 90 minute workshop (especially for runners and cyclists) called 'melt into your hips'. 90 minutes of stretching focusing on opening up the hip-flexors - ideal!
Saturday 6th October 2018
Marathon Eve! I'm VERY excited! I haven't stopped bouncing around all day. I've been eating lots of rice and toast and trying to remember to drink lots of water. Both my parents and John's parents are also in Chester to watch me race so we're off out tonight to meet them and have dinner.
For the first time ever, I feel like everything in this campaign has gone to plan. I've been following a 10 week plan, which is my shortest ever, written for me by John. Initially, I wasn't sure it was long enough but now I feel completely ready. I've followed the plan to the letter. I didn't manage to achieve all of the workouts initially but I've grown in strength and, more recently, I've hit every session. I've not had any injuries or illnesses at all which has made a huge difference as I've not had to take any breaks from training during the 10 week block. I've had massages around every 2 weeks, been to yoga at least once a week (a lot more frequently in the summer holidays!) and had PT sessions, working on strength and conditioning, almost every week.
My race strategy is to go out at 6:45 min mile pace. I've heard that the course is undulating so I'm planning to take the uphills steady, recover on the downhills and really focus on hitting the pace on the flat sections.
Bronze - PB - sub 3 hours 3 minutes
Silver - Sub 3 hours
Gold - Sub 2 hours 58 minutes and 5 seconds (John's PB!)
I'm feeling good, feeling confident and ready to go!
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