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09 March 2018 @ 08:00 pm
The Road to the London Marathon: 6 Weeks to Go.  
I ran 16 miles on Sunday. I did not enjoy it. In theory the first and last four miles were supposed to be at my planned marathon pace. I just about managed mile 13 at marathon pace and then slowed dramatically because I was just so tired. Afterwards, I found I had managed to add a calf muscle that was threatening to spasm to my catalogue of aches and pains.

Tuesday's run, which was a bonkers sequence of fast intervals of various durations, was equally hard. I more or less managed the first sequence (2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes) at my interval pace but was forced to do the second sequence more slowly.

It is probably fair to say I was feeling pretty down at this point. I even had toothache. However I watched one of the London Marathon motivational Facebook live events in which Martin Yelling smiles professionally and tells people that of course they can do this - though his smile did waver slightly when confronted with the question from someone who had a bone "problem" and had been told to rest up for four weeks and he rather strongly advised consulting a doctor and considering how practical running the marathon would be. Still it was reassuring to realise that lots of people were hitting a bit of a hump and that many had struggled to do any running at all last week because of the snow.

He had a physio with him who suggested heel drops for calf muscles, so I threw some of them into my daily stretches. I'd already added some balancing exercises to the stretches since I had a feeling that the ankle pains I've been having for some time were related to stability muscles and a suspicion that ankle weakness had contributed to whatever was wrong with my knee. Whatever is happening, just regular healing or the additional exercises, my knee is actually feeling at lot better as I type though I'm still walking a little bit funny. The physio also said that unless a pain was causing you to limp or otherwise alter your gait, you were probably OK to run through it when training which was a useful rule of thumb to bear in mind.

Black and white photo.  A female runner with short dark hair, centre, with the number 261 is looking over her shoulder to where a bald man in a black jacket is approaching her.  To her right another (male) runner is leaning in towards the man in the jacket as if to intercept.  To her left another male runner is looking over his shoulder back towards the man.
This is a photo of the moment where Jock Temple attempted to remove Katherine Switzer's race number. There are a surprising number of photos of the incident and its clear that both the man to her left and the man to her right got involved in keeping Temple away from her.

In honour of International Women's Day* the London Marathon announced yesterday that Katherine Switzer would be running. Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official race number having entered under her initials**. This was at a time when it was generally believed that women were too fragile to manage the marathon distance and the longest competitive race for women was only a mile and a half. Famously a race official, Jock Temple, tried to remove her from the course and take her number though he was prevented by her fiance who was running with her (and, looking at the photos, by several other of the men around her). She's considered a pioneer in opening up marathon running to women. She's never run the London marathon though she did run a marathon in London as part of a campaign to get a women's marathon included in the Olympics. She will be runner 261 which is the number she wore back in 1967 in Boston. If all goes according to plan, I should be ahead of her most of the way around (judging by her recent marathon times), which is fair enough given I wasn't even born when she ran that marathon in Boston, though I shall be keeping my eye out for bib 261 anyway. Mind you I gather she says she always ends marathons these days with soaking wet shoulders because of all the women who come up, give her a hug and then weep all over her, so perhaps I should try to restrain myself, even if I do see her.

KM run this week: 50.4
KM run in 2018: 340.5

* International Men's Day is on the 19th November, before anyone asks.
** She was not the first woman to run the race. Bobbi Gibb ran without a number the year before (hiding in bushes near the start and then entering the race when about a third of the pack had passed).

While raising money for charity is not my motivation for participation, it is a big part of the London Marathon. Shelter have bribed me with a T-shirt and the promise of a post-race massage. People have been incredibly generous already, plus bonus £10 note found in the street* (much appreciated), but you can donate here should you feel so inclined.

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/488715.html.
fififolle: doggy - wheeeeeefififolle on March 11th, 2018 07:46 am (UTC)
Glad to hear the knee is better!
Incredible history thete.
Good luck on radio today!
louisedennislouisedennis on March 11th, 2018 01:02 pm (UTC)
Good luck on radio today!

I didn't hear it (I thought I would be out running, though I think it might actually have gone out while I was having breakfast) but I've come back to a slew of nice comments and emails, so it seems to have gone well.