Marathon prep – the half arsed version

I’ve mentioned before (in a really whinny voice and with much self pity) I picked up an injury in late December and it has thrown my running for a burton over the last few months. There’s been lots of missed training, missed events and lots of moaning. There may even have been some light sulking along the way; stamping of feet, yelps of ‘It’s not fair’, swinging of arms etc….

399762_447438601975817_1357129758_nHowever about a month ago I managed to work out what was wrong and address the issue rather than the symptoms, and I’ve been working on building up my weak right hip which (appears) to be the issue. That’s been going ok and I’ve been able to run more, albeit with a few grumbles from my knee to keep me on my toes. This has all happened a bit late for my preparation for my upcoming Kent Roadrunners Marathon on Saturday 28th May however. I’ve only run around 220 odd miles in the last 5 months, where as I had run nearly 600 miles in preparation for my first Marathon with lots of long runs and fast miles in my legs. I feel under-trained, a bit overweight and still not very confident in how my knee/hip is going to stand up.  Apart from that, I’m golden!

Still I did manage to cover a half marathon at the Ranscombe Spring Challenge in early April which was proof I hadn’t forgotten how to run (and was a lot of fun out on the trails). After that, whilst still managing my hip, I managed a few longish runs the next few weekends and then decided to go for broke – literally, on the basis if everything went crappy I could defer my entry to the race, and retreat to our cellar to weep and live out the rest of my days.

So a fortnight ago I was up early, applying Bodyglide to unholy parts of my anatomy and trying to work out where and how far to run. I ended up doing my old favourite, of round St Mary’s Island, through Chatham to Rochester Riverside and back. It was very warm even that early in the morning (and got hotter still) and despite getting more water at Rochester coach park I had to go home for more (and throw water over myself to try and cool down) before heading for a final loop of St Mary’s.

new-york-city-marathon-running-sports-ecards-someecardsIt wasn’t easy; my knee started to ache after 6 or so miles and I nearly packed it in then. But I stretched my hip and IT band which brought some relief, and kept digging my fingers into the sore bits to loosen things up which also worked (and brought looks from pedestrians…). It was sweaty, painful and great. In the end I covered 19 miles; I wanted to do 20 odd, but my groin was burning (probably another nice side effect of my hip), my knee was sore (and I didn’t want to push too hard) and I was just plan knackered (see end of paragraph two).

I think with that I should be able to cover the distance at Roadrunner, but it’s not going to be pretty (or quick). But that’s still a lot better than I was expecting a few months ago, every time I started to run quicker or further again my knee felt like someone was hitting it with a hammer. My knee was sore the day after the 19 miles but eased off within a day or two and it’s been fine since. I’ve been doing my exercises diligently so my hip should be stronger and my fitness has come on a bit with the consistent miles I’ve been able to cover. So although I am under-trained, a bit overweight and still not very confident, it could be much worse! I’ll hopefully cover the distance (touch wood), not break anything (crosses fingers) and enjoy it (kisses baby pigeon).

My partner Claire (who has a blog too, it’s great) is also going to be running the Roadrunner, her first marathon. She has only been running ‘properly’ (I don’t know what they means either) since the new year, and hasn’t always found the training easy. But she has stuck with it and pushed herself. Although life has got in the way she has ticked off all the long runs in her plan, through illness, heat waves, fatigue and high winds. I can’t tell you how proud I am of her determination, and to see what she has accomplished in such a short time. She’s basically, awesome. She has covered so many miles in her training and I hope she gets to enjoy the result of her efforts and the race itself as a newly forged runner.

Crazy lady that she is, she’s actually has three races in a row; a 5K Race for Life this weekend to warm up, the Roadrunner next, and then Harvel 5 the week after to finish things (and her) off. It’s essentially a racing trilogy of epic proportions, to raise money for Cancer Research UK. I will be screaming her on at all the runs, either from the side lines or behind her, and you can help her on too; donations can be made to Cancer Research via her fundraising page. It’s a massive challenge for Claire, but for a great cause and she is going to smash it.

As for me, I’ll be doing my final long-ish run before the race this weekend, and entering taper madness. Joy. But before that I get to celebrate/commiserate over Crystal Palace’s triumph/disaster in the FA cup. EAGLES!


I will bore you with how the Roadrunner goes in due course, and you can see how Claire get’s on via her blog too.

Thanks for listening, and enjoy your running. Adam 🙂


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