WHO INVENTED TAPER???? The last two weeks have been so weird, I was warned about this by many people and was confident that if I could get to 22 miles then I would be confident going into the marathon; makes sense right?? I mean, how hard could not running very much be? Well, I have learnt that not running very much is just the start of it!
So, after my last long run which was 22 miles, I was told that all I needed to do now was to keep my legs ticking over. I was so pleased that I didn't have another long run to do - apart from the marathon of course! As far as I was concerned putting my feet up and eating a bit of pasta sounded great!! Well it bloody well isn't!
The first few days were great, I had a couple of days recovery, then a couple of short 3 milers that weeks just to remind my legs what they were supposed to be doing. I have also kept on with my glut and core work twice a day and also some shoulder circuits to help with my posture.
Last weekend I was in the gym and got bored on the bike, so I decided that I was going to get on the treadmill and do some hill sprints. What an idiotic idea! I don't run on treadmills for a number of reasons:
1) It's boring
2) The gym is too hot
3) I have a habit of falling off them (twice so far, I have no balance, and yes it hurts!)
4) It hurts my legs
So as running on a treadmill hurts my legs, why on earth would I want to do hill sprints on it?? Double pain!! I set the incline at 7 and did runs at 11kpm (a bloody sprint for me!) for one minute then one minute slow walk. I needed to do 8, but only got to 6 and then decided that was enough. I was annoyed with myself for not finishing but the pains in my shins over the next few days was proof that I shouldn't have attempted them in the first place! I also don't think that the interval training with Regency Runners on Easter Sunday helped with the pain but it was a great morning and I won some Easter Eggs! Hooray! It was also great to have a session that was lead by my sister Helen again, as now she is expecting she's not running, and as it was intervals she only had to stand and shout with a stopwatch and 'test' the Easter Eggs while we ran around the park like mad women!! Helen also told me that she was amazed at my improvement over the last few months, with my speed (still slow but at least I look like I'm running now, not shuffling...I think!) and also with my running style. It's great to hear her say that she is proud of me and that I am impressing her, as a running leader, she is really encouraging and she doesn't half make you work!!
This taper has turned me into a right loon! I spent the last few days convinced that I had broken my legs! I decided that I would rest for the next few days and that if I continued with my glut, core and shoulder work then I would be fine.
It appears that I'm not the only one going through this taper madness. I've found so many people on Twitter that are going through the same thing, all convinced that they aren't ready, that something will go wrong, that they have injured themselves or will do. The main concern seems to be loss of fitness, I hadn't even thought about that!! So, what if I haven't the fitness? OR what if I have forgotten how to do the longer runs??? These doubts go on and on, and even though I don't like to wish bad things on people, I'm so pleased that it's not just me!!
My sister has been on the case of organising friends and family on the day. This has been so helpful as it is now something that I don't have to think about, and she likes being in charge of things! From what I can gather, I will have somebody at 8,13,17,21 and 25.5 miles, which I think is excellent. I plan to stop briefly at 13 and 21 miles to have a bite to eat (I can't eat and run, and I'm going to be going for a long time!!) and also at each stop to fill up my drinks bottle. I know they have water on route, but I hate water, and lucozade is too sickly and the sugar makes me sick, as I learnt throwing up at the top of the hill during Birmingham half! A good friend has told me about High 5 Zero which comes in tablet form, you just add to water and it really helps with dehydration and will replace all the stuff that you lose, and has no calories, bonus! I am aiming for 5h30minutes so we have all arranged to meet at 4pm on the green, I hope someone brings treats!!