With just over three weeks until the London Marathon there’s not much more running you can do that will make any difference. If you’ve stuck to your schedule since Christmas you’ve got the miles in the bank and, except for probably a week lost to illness, the legs are properly toughened up and ready to unleash on the road of London. Now it’s all about tapering off, letting those niggling injuries settle, getting out the map to familiarise yourself with the course and preparing mentally for the big day.
I did my last long run yesterday and will now be reducing the mile count by going out for 6 miles every other day rather than once a day. Although I managed to avoid this winter’s cold, I did pick up the strangest injury a few weeks ago. Out for a leisurely 16 miles with my friend Jonah, I daydreamed myself off the pavement and slipped into the road landing, not with much grace, on my ribcage. Three weeks later I still can’t sneeze – let alone laugh – without shooting pains running through my right side. I’ve tried to keep a lid on the boy, but he’s going through a screeching-laughter phase at the moment, and it seems a bit harsh to ask him to put a sock in it for the sake of his old man.
While the miles will be reduced, the preparations for the double marathon continue in earnest. The new trainers are properly broken in, and it won’t be long until I’ll be walking into meetings clutching a water bottle filled with carbohydrate powder. There’ll be no more steak for dinner, and it will be early to bed as often as possible to take the weight off the feet. Now will also be the time to start filing down the feet to be sure there is no loose skin and chance for blisters.
I’ll also be deciding on what kit to wear. At the moment I’ve got a hankering for long socks – I think it’s a psychological thing to make sure I stay running tall. But I’ve also come across the best running T-shirt I’ve seen in a long time. It simply says ‘Running Sucks’. Whether it will make the Marathon itself, I am not sure, since my publishers are fixing me up with some ‘Make Mine a Double’ Marathon T-shirts, but as more and more conversations drift towards the Marathon, it seems like the most appropriate outfit to be wearing at the moment.