With 5 days to go until Marathon Day I am full of mixed emotions. Since the disastrous race at the end of March I haven’t been able to run much and have been constantly worried that I wouldn’t be able to actually do the race after so many months of hard work training. So this is making me anxious! All of the final plans are now coming together for Team Variety and the rest of the Team are driving me along which is giving me butterflies of excitement about the day. Along side that is that bizarre feeling of not quite wanting the journey to end…
The past few weeks have been quite a rollercoaster – after two weeks rest and massage I still couldn’t get past 1.6 miles without excruciating pain to the left of knee… I have been suffering with my IT Band and it’s pretty much floored me. Most people I have spoken to have advised rest, rest, more rest, ice and stretching. I have found it utterly frustrating not to be able to head out for a run and maintain my training programme to the end. As much as a physical struggle it has also been a struggle mentally. Trying to stay positive when I’m limping around has been really hard for me. After the Easter break, two sports massages and plenty of rest I still struggled to get through the 5k Sweatshop run but it was definitely an improvement on the last run I had tried. I was desperately trying to focus on that fact that it was recovering more quickly but I was having to let in that thought that I might not be able to take part in the Marathon – I was feeling pretty devastated even by the thought. I arrived into work the next morning to find a Good Luck card on my desk from some of the children who Variety support and that was my breaking point – tears tears tears! It was the culmination of a good two weeks of worrying and it naturally all comes out on my managers shoulder who was positively lovely about it. That was my miserable day when I looked into back up marathons and every single type of treatment I could squeeze in before the big day. After a great appointment with Amy at On Track Sports Therapy discussing options and a leaving with a plan made me feel much more positive. I had also spoken to my friend Sophie who I am running with on the day and she recommended her Phsyio at Back on Track who had treated her for the same problem with a mixture of exercises and also acupuncture. Acupuncture is something I have never tried before but heard goog things about….at this point I will try anything to get me across that finish line…. Soph actually came along with me and we had a right laugh and being present for each others analysis was fascinating (running geeks). I’m not going to lie, the treatment was just a tad painful but no pain, no gain in my eyes. Acupuncture felt bizarre but it hit the problem points and I have since been doing my exercises to improve the strength in my glutes and stretch out my ITB. Despite leaving with a slightly dead leg (normal after acupuncture), my positivity was restored and I felt more determined than ever that I CAN do this Marathon. My friend James who takes part in all sorts of crazy challenges also advised me on some training techniques and the dreaded ice baths. WOAH, it took a lot of guts and dubstep playing to lower my toosh into the bath that evening….It was a great sight (ha)…thermal top, beanie and not much else…recovery is sexy stuff.
My plan now looks like this… IT band strap, one more physio session, ice, foam roller, stretching, healthy eating, rest and a hit of Voltarol before the race to see me through…Oh and not forgetting positive thinking…The past few weeks have really made me realise how easy it can be to get sucked into a spiral of negative thinking and just how detrimental it can be to let your head drop….positivity positivity positivity!!
As I write this I have a book sitting next to my lap top which I have just received from my friend Lucie. She is a triathlon machine and introduced me to the mantra of Chrissie Wellington “Never Give Up…and SMILE”. I loved it so much I have adopted it for my Marathon training and now I am the delighted owner of Chrissie’s book “A life without Limits” I think it has to be the perfect pre marathon reading ever! I can’t wait to get started!! (thank you Lucie…a millions times over)
There is still a lot to prepare before race day but it is game head on now and I WILL achieve what I have worked hard for….those months and miles simply can’t be wasted and failure is not an option.
The support from friends, family and colleagues has been and continues to be immense and I can’t wait to see them as I make my way around the Marathon route.
5 days to go….let the final countdown begin!!
Thanks for reading – as promised, there will be a pre race blog entry which will include my race day playlist and also my race day dedications….My playlist is full of songs from friends and family as well as the tracks that have seen me through those cold winter runs…I know it will keep me going!