A Basket Called London

by mphcrawley

‘So are you totally knackered yet?’
‘I’m pretty tired, yeah.’

I’m sitting on the sofa at my coach’s house, waiting for Google Earth to load. I have a feeling he’s going to show me something to put my idea of tired into perspective, and I’m not disappointed. ‘The year before I left home I was getting up at 5.40am to leg it to the bus stop, clocking in at 7.30am at the factory, finishing at 5.30pm and legging it back to the bus stop’, he says, ‘and then I’d do this run, in work boots, when I got home.’
‘Did you have no trainers, then?’
‘No, I did. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. Anyway, the run was eleven miles*, and I’m going to show you the hill in the middle of it, which goes from the lowest to the highest point in Richmond.’

He’s promised to cycle the route so I can run it, but hopefully that will wait until after London. I decide not to mention being tired anymore.

I ran the Scottish National cross country at the weekend, and had a solid enough run through the mud to finish 11th. The race came at the end of a 94 mile week, though, and made me realise that I’m unlikely to run all that well in any of the races leading up to London. You really do put all of your eggs in one basket when you decide to run a marathon.

I ran pretty easy for a couple of days after the race, 17 miles on the Sunday and 8 in the morning and 6 in the evening on Monday. I then did 12 x 400m on Tuesday night in around 66 seconds, to try to avoid losing what little speed I have in my legs. Wednesday morning I did 16 miles before work and had the evening off (!). Tonight I have one of the bigger sessions, a 12 mile acceleration run.

Brendan Foster is famous for saying that distance runners in hard training wake up feeling knackered and go to bed even more knackered. This is certainly the case, but strangely enough I actually feel ok whilst I’m actually running. It’s the time in between, slumped in the shop eating biscuits, when I feel totally wrecked. Strange that.

*Had a text today, apparently the route has been measured for the first time on the computer and is actually ‘18,506 metres – divide by 1609.344 equals 11.49 miles.’ So he was actually running faster than he thought, too.