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13 April 2018 @ 01:37 pm
The Road to the London Marathon: 9 Days to Go.  
I have booked a hotel. I have purchased train tickets (first class open single for return journey). I have pre-purchased a photo pack (because, despite the expense, I always seem to end up buying these and it was £15 off if purchased in advance). I have read all the instructions several times. I have a supply of jelly babies and protein bars. I guess I'm ready...

This week I have been tapering, which means running less in order to be well-rested for the race. Mind you, looking at the training plan, the running less mostly refers to the long run on Sunday since the other runs have been 6.5km, 6.8km and 11km which is pretty typical for the runs on this training plan. I guess I haven't had any threshold runs (fast but not ridiculously so), and I've had shorter intervals with more time between them on the interval runs (intervals being fast runs of a few minutes). The long run on Sunday was 13 miles (though I ran an extra couple of hundred yards at the end just to make it up to a half marathon). This was actually a smidgen further than last week when I was notionally resting the ankle (and further than I would have run before I started marathon training) but still considerably less than the weeks leading up to that. The plan said to practice marathon pace on the long run but didn't specify how long for. In the end I ran 7 miles at marathon pace and then slowed to an easy pace. I was quite tired but I know I can sustain race pace better in an actual race so hopefully this is all good. Another Shelter runner who I'm following on Strava, managed his whole 13 miles at his intended marathon pace, but he's complaining that he's not done well at the shorter runs this week so I guess we're about equally ready?

Shelter (the charity I'm running for) sent me a leaflet with instructions for spectators. I don't know if anyone reading is London based, or might be considering turning up, but Shelter have three dedicated cheering points (marked out in the linked instructions) and say they'll let you in if you mention you are cheering on a Shelter runner to one of the members of staff at the cheering point (one of these cheering points is at the Cutty Sark which, I gather, is usually completely packed so getting into a dedicated area is probably a good idea there). After the race they are holding a reception at All Bar One on Villiers Street, so my plan is to make my way there post race if anyone wants to meet up. The marathon also has a spectator app (I assume you can find this if you search in the app store), among other things this will let you track my progress if you type in my bib number which is 8949. If you're spectating that should give you good warning to look out for me on the road, and if you aren't but fancy checking up on me on the day from wherever you happen to be then I imagine that will let you remotely monitor my progress.

The marathon starts at 10am but all the runners will be in pens (which makes me feel like livestock - or at least a greyhound, I suppose) which will be opened at intervals over half an hour to release the runners and prevent congestion. The pen you are in depends upon the time you predicted yourself when you registered and I've no idea what I put down so I've absolutely no idea when I'll actually start the race. FWIW, I'm reasonably confident I'll be running at about 8 minutes 30 seconds per mile until Tower Bridge (approx 7mph) but after that I think it's anyone's guess what speed I'll be doing.

Really, all I have to do between now and race day, I think, is contrive not to trip over an imaginary crack in the pavement and break a leg.

KM run this week: 45.4
KM run in 2018: 585.1

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, but you can donate here should you feel so inclined.

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/495399.html.