Incredible. Not only is it the end of another month, but the end of a three month training cycle that has me just a week away from my first big race of the year. And now that I’m finished work for the spring holiday, it’s safe to say I’m more than a little excited about my forthcoming trip to Paris – I even made myself a little French-style breakfast after my run yesterday morning!
This training cycle has probably been one of the best I’ve ever had as I’ve stayed healthy for the most part, avoided injury and stuck to my plan like glue as it has clearly been working for me. In total I’ve only missed 2 planned sessions (1 in February when my body was fighting off a bug that was trying to take hold and 1 this past week when a work commitment got in the way) which I’m really pleased with as it really is the rare marathon training programme that goes 100% to plan. I completed all my long runs (mainly in what we’ll call “interesting” weather conditions!) and my Metafit classes have left me feeling strong, particularly my core. I’m now two thirds of the way through my taper and coping well so far, although I’ve been starting to feel impatient to blast out a race-pace long run after a week of shorter, easier sessions!
March has also been the first month of the Around the World Running Blog Relay (ATWRBR2014) which I have been taking part in. With all my long training runs recently, I’m pleased to have been able to contribute 126.5 miles (203.63km) so far. It’s been really exciting to see how far we’ve collectively run so far and to make contact with other runners/bloggers.
So for the second week of my taper my scheduled training was:
Monday – 30 min jog
Tuesday – 6 miles easy
Wednesday – swim/sauna
Thursday – coaching running club
Friday – Metafit
Saturday – 30 mins easy
Sunday – 10k
Unfortunately, the Monday session had to be scrapped entirely after I was asked to go to a twilight session after work and by the time I was back home it was far too late to be getting organised for a run. At this stage, though, it didn’t really matter as I knew that missing a half hour jog wasn’t going to make a difference now, plus I had an easy run scheduled for the next day so if my legs needed some recovery then they would get it then. And as it turned out, my Tuesday run was very pleasant as it was light enough to include a section through the woodland park I like to run in on Saturdays and I really enjoyed it.
My first real Taper Hiccup came midweek when I realised that the heavy cold that has been sweeping through my colleagues in this final week of term was now threatening me. I’ve been dosing myself with an assortment of preventatives and trying to get plenty of rest to keep it at bay, but I did find myself particularly sniffly this morning which, combined with a somewhat miserable start to British Summer Time, made for a rather interesting 10k run with plenty of tissues to hand! To help, I paid a post-run visit to the steam room and am already feeling better. Things like this usually only affect me for a day or two so hopefully I’ve got it beaten and a few more steams (and a bit of good old Vaporub!) will shift it once and for all in the next couple of days. The next few days are mainly about rest anyway so I have plenty of time to make sure I am in tip top health – I suppose it wouldn’t be a taper without a sniffle or other worry to contend with!
My other news this week is about fundraising. Although a link to my online donation page has appeared on all my posts, I so far haven’t used my blog to drum up support, however I hope you’ll forgive me as this week it’s a bit different. This week, there are high stakes!
Yes, Steve and I agreed to go head to head with our fundraising to see who could raise the most in the last couple of weeks before Paris. To keep things interesting, the loser will have to do a forfeit.
The forfeit is to take part in a Fitsteps class, complete with “suitable” outfit. Have you heard of Fitsteps? Fitsteps is a dance-based fitness class created by professional dancers Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite from Strictly Come Dancing (also known as Dancing with the Stars in some other countries). I LOVE Strictly, in fact it’s my favourite TV programme in the whole year, so it would definitely be fun to take part in a Fitsteps class, however my dance experience is, let’s say, limited and I no doubt have all the grace of Bambi on ice! Hopes are high that Steve is going to lose this particular challenge and a suitably spangly, glittery outfit for him is already being planned. At the moment I think I might be in the lead, but with a week still to go that could yet change so I’m going to give my metaphorical collecting can a little rattle here.
If you’d like to support me in my triple marathon challenge this year, you can make a secure online donation on my Justgiving page by clicking on the link that should appear at the bottom of this post or by clicking here. Every penny raised goes to Macmillan Cancer Support and will help make a difference to the lives of those affected by cancer. And of course if I win this particular challenge, I promise to post a photo of Steve doing his forfeit!
Do you go to any fitness classes?