It’s the final countdown!

Keeping with the 80’s top cheese theme, I couldn’t resist the reference to the fact that I HAVE ONLY ONE MONTH TO GO!!!!

Oh crap. Oh crappity crap. This is getting serious now! Before I’ll know it I’ll be on the plane and the final preparations will be underway. Time to take stock of how I am doing.

Injuries

Good news is that my knee is a lot better and is coping with the running now.

Bad news is I have a problem around my calf muscle – outside of my right lower leg – that may have been down to the long run on Saturday. It wasn’t happy yesterday even after a few days’ rest, so restricted me to 3.5 miles. It feels achy and tight more than anything else, but could lead to further problems. Will see physio when I can next get an appointment.

I also still haven’t run successfully outside for a couple of months, so yet to be tested.

General Fitness

One surprise to me is how I’m coping cardiovascular-wise. I can think of only one run I’ve done where my chest was tight and I struggled to keep my lungs pumping. Sure, I haven’t exactly pushed myself in terms of speed, but I often have a feeling that I can run all day if my legs let me!

Lifestyle

Training can be delightful when all is going well. The achievement of a good training run makes you feel great for days after. Conversely, the pain and disappointment when times are bad really can get you down. Doing my legs exercises every day (and I mean EVERY day) in the morning is laborious and is time I’d rather spend in bed. Stretching, doing warm-ups and warm-downs around each run is also time-consuming. Meals have to be fitted in around runs. Hobbling around with an ice pack strapped to your leg becomes a common activity. Secretly cursing those around you with colds comes second nature as you seek to avoid any germs that might grow in some activity-stopping ailment.

But so what? Some people have to do these things even when they aren’t running a marathon. For some people, pain and struggle is part of their daily life that they have no choice but to do. I chose to do this, so I suffer the consequences. It helps to put things into perspective sometimes.

Confidence

I’m still very confident I can finish the marathon, as long as I take care of myself over the next few weeks. I might not reach the distances I wanted when first started or even with my revised schedule, given the recent leg problem, but I’ll do it. Based on my ’98 effort, I have the advantage of knowing that I can achieve something even if all logic says otherwise. It’s amazing how far the mind and body can go when pushed.

Charity

I’ve raised nearly £500 pounds so far for Dreams Come True. Am I happy with this? Yes and no. To those who have sponsored me – thanks, it means a lot to me. I’ve even had strangers sponsor me, as friends of friends, which is fantastic. But I want to raise more! I want £1000 and above, so I’ll be pushing it more and more in the next few weeks. I want to help those kids, and as much as £500 is great, four figures is much better and I think I can do it. Any ideas would be greatfully received, and if you’re reading this and haven’t donated, then think about getting that credit card out and clicking on the link below!

The Blog

Finally, I’m still enjoying doing this blog, although it takes longer than I realise to write each post! It’s good to know that some of you are regular readers, so shout-outs to my girlfriend Jus (who puts up with the noisy treadmill and all the marathon/injury talks), Big sis, my nephew Ryan, the rest of my family, Steve “ankle is crocked but I’ll make it!” P, friends who put up with boring sober Andy every weekend, work mates, and various Internet pals out there, all of whom have given me encouragement and will be foremost in my mind when I access the “people to think of to give me strength” section of my brain come the dreaded wall 18 or so miles in.

Please consider donating to the children's charity that I have now painfully run the 26.2 miles for - details at: http://www.justgiving.com/andymales
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