Monday 11 April 2011

Worst Taper Ever! 04.04.11 - 10.04.11

Wow. This time in a week, I will (hopefully) just be going through Barhill, with only a few hours left to go before the finish of my challenge in St. Ives. I'm tired just thinking about it! This week has been the second week of my taper and, whilst it has been a lot more chilled than most weeks (I got to sleep in until 8am on Sunday! That's practically the middle of the day?!), I have by no means been slack.

It's been surprisingly Christmassy recently, with a pantomime last week starring our good friend Jeff Knott doing his best impression of David Bowie in Labyrinth ("Ding Dong!"), and my work's Christmas do on Wednesday. The lab that I work in have a tradition of holding a Secret Santa in about March/April every year. Usually, receiving presents is a wonderful time of mystery and fun. Not here. The idea is to buy presents that are mean, or in some way take the mick. Queue many jokes about legs falling off and dog ownership being like having a baby (including the rather harsh copy of the DVD "All Dogs Go To Heaven"... Thanks guys!). After the fun and revelry, I ended up cycling home - a much better prospect than shelling out for a taxi. I don't really drink at the moment, so there was no issue with staying sober, and I can't say I would relish the thought of cycling back down the bus way at 1 in the morning in the pitch black along the 1.5 foot wide track while unable to walk in a straight line... It was actually a very pleasant trip back, but I wasn't exactly feeling the most awake the following day. Still, at least I didn;t have the hangover from hell to contend with like everybody else!

Running wise, I've kept it fairly light this week. A couple of little 8 milers have been really nice. I have just thrown on a pair of shorts and a vest and headed out the door into the beautiful sunshine, heading around the river and the meadows of St. Ives. No bags. No heart rate monitor. No watch. Just out to run, going at whatever pace I feel like doing. Both times I ran with someone which is quite a change - once with my friend Dan (who will be on my support crew next week), and once meeting up with another St. Ives runner and chatting to him about University and the like. It's days like those when I realise why I love running so much! I also ran home from work one day, just to get one last longer run in before the race.

Then on Saturday, I decided to take my bike and cycle the remaining section between Royston and St. Ives, to fully cement the route into my brain. As you may have seen from my previous post, it was going very well - fantastic weather, nice clear routes, a bike that had two pedals... Unfortunately one of those points soon changed. I felt my left pedal become loose, so stopped to check what the problem was. The bolt holding the pedal to the crank had come loose. It was literally hanging on by a thread. I had to stop every few minutes to retighten the bolt, and was willing the thing to hold together. Unfortunately I was also out of range for phoning for any help, and was still miles away from home. Eventually the thread sheared completely and I was left with a somewhat useless machine. Luckily, I was wearing my old running shoes, but unfortunately was wearing my cycling clothes (including padded shorts) - not really designed for long distance running, and particularly not great for avoiding chaffing. Oh well. So I set off running (at a pretty good pace of 10/11 mins/mile), with a combination of pushing and carrying the bike. I got a few odd looks from people as I shot past with a bike on my back! I finally got through to Jen, and was able to secure a rescue from Bar Hill, which was the main place that I wanted to get to anyway (it should be relatively simple from there). So my 25 mile cycle ride turned into a 7 mile cycle + 13 mile run + 5 mile drive. Oh well, it's all good training!

So now we play the waiting game... We are shopping tonight for the last few supplies, and everything is planned so we should be all set to go. I suspect that things will go pretty smoothly, and most of the organisation and supplies will be unneeded, but I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. I'm off to the London Marathon Expo on Wednesday to pick up my running number and the like (very annoying that they don't just send it out to you, especially as I already have to be in London the day before it opens for a conference...). Then I will be heading down on Saturday evening and staying at a friend's flat (kindly donated by Deb) with my friend Pete who will be my support for the London leg of the day.

I will start blogging things from Saturday night, and try and keep you updated on how things are looking in preparation. I probably won't blog during the marathon itself as I am after a sub 4 hour time, but will start to blog as soon as I get going after the finishing line. I'll try to get plenty of photos in as well to show how things are going and what the route looks like. Some of it is very pretty, and I'm really looking forward to it! It should be a fantastic day. Please forward the link to the blog to anybody else that you think may be interested in hearing how an idiot copes with running for 30 hours straight...

Hopefully see you this time next week!

Cycled 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Cycled 16.5 miles (Work to Home)


Ran 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Ran 16.5 miles (Work to Home)


Cycled 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Cycled 16.5 miles (Work to Home)


Cycled 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Cycled 16.5 miles (Work to Home)


Cycled 2.5 miles (Park and Ride to Work)
Cycled 2.5 miles (Work to Park and Ride)
Ran 8.5 miles

Cycled 7 miles
Ran 13 miles

Ran 8.5 miles

Running 49 miles
Cycling 69 miles

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