The Road to Paris – Week 14

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In all honesty I could do with another week, but like it or not, I have just about reached the end of the road and race day is right around the corner. Race preparations may not have been ideal, but on Sunday I’ll be lining up in the Champs Elysees ready to run/shuffle/crawl 26.2 miles. I’m not sure how I’m going to hold up physically, but I’m absolutely determined to finish the weekend with one of these:

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Photo from Marathon de Paris on Facebook

Originally, I had a nice race week plan for the final days before heading to Paris, but I’ve ended up with a strange cross between resting/protecting my quad muscle and regaining the strength that muscle lost as a result of the strain. I don’t know what will happen on Sunday, but I’ll certainly be giving it my best shot.

Monday – Swim/sauna Conditioning + Metafit
Tuesday – 5miles 30 min run
Wednesday – Swim/sauna conditioning
Thursday – 4 miles 30 min run
Friday – Travel to Paris

I felt it was important to spend some time over conditioning exercises this week, hence the extra session on Monday. My physio recommended plenty of strength-building work, particularly dynamic and plyometric exercises, so there’s been lots of jumping and hopping about in these quad-heavy sessions. Since I’m on holiday, these sessions were in the morning, then on Monday Steve suggested I return to the studio in the evening for the Metafit class. On the first Monday of the month he always does the Metafit Big 5 fitness test which involves burpees, press ups, squat thrusts, skaters and the plank. I haven’t done the fitness test since (I think) December so was pleased to find that my scores in almost all exercises were around the same or better. A bit of a confidence boost in terms of my fitness right now!

I also had a further two running sessions. After my run last Friday, I was unsure how much I would want to push it this week, but since my main focus was to strengthen my quad and help it adapt to dynamic, load-bearing exercise again, it was important to still have some short runs so that I would know how well it was adapting. Of course I was a bit nervous, particularly since I had felt it a bit grumbly after my run on Friday, but I actually found that each run brought improvements. The pattern seems to be that I’m aware of the muscle for the first 10 minutes or so, then it begins to settle. After 20 minutes of running I’m barely aware of it and after half an hour, I’m feeling good. So far I’ve only run for half an hour so I don’t know how it will play out from there, but hopefully if I can tough it out through the first 5k on Sunday then I should get a decent spell of comfortable running before hitting that tipping point where EVERYTHING starts to hurt anyway. I’m quite prepared to adopt a run-walk strategy if need be, and I expect a bit of discomfort afterwards, but then I may not be able to distinguish that discomfort from all the other aches and pains a marathon brings!

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And so now I’ve done all I can: I’ve rested, I’ve worked the muscle, I’ve had massage and I’ve prayed to the running gods for a miracle. My feelings have been up and down all week about this one, but then a marathon is always a bit of a leap into the unknown, regardless of how training has gone. The marathon is an unpredictable beast and anything at all can happen on race day. For me, I’m getting a weekend in PARIS and whatever happens on Sunday, I’m going to have a lovely tour of the city on foot, in glorious sunshine. Depending on how things go, I might have lots of mid-race photos to share!

For now though, it’s time to go and double-check once more that I’ve packed all my kit. It’s incredible how much I carry when I’m running a marathon!

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I’m running this year for Macmillan Cancer Support. Whatever discomfort I feel on Sunday will be nothing compared to the pain experienced by someone battling cancer. If you would like to help, then my fundraising page is here. Every penny raised will help make a difference to the lives of other and I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received.

 JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

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11 thoughts on “The Road to Paris – Week 14

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