Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Oh my god - its close to running time!

Its not long now till the big day, its only 23 days away which is pretty scary. The training is going well 19.3 miles at the weekend to be precise which was a long way. Its got to the stage where I am having to have a think about the food I eat the day before a big run as a nice portion of Egg Fu Yung and chips didn't fill me with the required 'fuel' (a running term) to spring round the course. Luckily Pasta is one of my favourites and its rare that I justify having a big bowl of Macaroni Cheese as one of my five a day. The other fuel I found worked very well for 19 miles was one of the pink neurofen pills my wife was given when having our second child, the miles just fly.

I get asked a lot whether I will run the full distance before hand and all the advice is not to, just to ensure you have done between 19 and 20 miles before the day and trail off, so thats positive, and also whats my expected time, I don't know but I was dead on 3 hours for the 19 miles if thats any guide, (I can't believe I ran for 3 hours without stopping).

I have encountered my first injury, significant blisters, although interestingly I got the blisters on my heels from standing around all day at Cheltenham last Friday, I am not sure why I didn't realise until I woke up the following morning, probably due to the medicinal properties of the wonderful Guinness.

Its been a challenge going through busy season whilst maintaining this rigourous regime, and inconveniently Birmingham City have decided to win a load of cup games to increase my viewing pleasure most weekends. I did find that it all caught up with me a few weeks back and I spent all Sunday in bed feeling like I had the worst hangover in years when in actual fact I hadn't touched a drop.

A particularly demoralising experience over the last month has been seeing Sir Rannalph Fiennes speaking (twice), now Sir Rannalph is an excellent Orator, but when you get to hear how he ran 7 marathons, in 7 days on 7 continents 6 months after major heart surgery you feel like the moaning about this training regime is misplaced, and despite his rousing comments I will not be planning to enter any more endurance events after this one.

An amazing aspect of the running is that I have still managed not to have any alcohol in 2011, well I say I haven't there are some caveats I have given myself, a glass of champagne with Noddy Holder, a fine glass of Carling with my Dad at Wembley to celebrate winning the Carling Cup, my GADM project leaving do (quite a lot of Peroni and a couple of Baileys and ice which I was mercilessly ribbed about) and Cheltenham's fine Guinness.

I'm coming up for my 40th year this year and as many will do, you look to experience lots of different things before you are 40, running the marathon will be one for me, but on a much lesser scale towards the end of my run on Saturday a couple of weeks ago I experienced clearing my nose like a professional football player for the first time, which was a strangely uplifting experience after all those miles, however probably not for the little old couple who I hadn't noticed wandering along on the other side of the street and witnessed the full effect.

Another interesting fact I have found is that the streets seemed only to be populated at pre 7:00am with old men walking to buy newspapers, I see loads of them, and noone looked younger than 60, a whole different world.

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