100 miles of pleasure, pain and publishing posts

According to my Nike+ gadget, I’ve now done 100 miles of training…wahoo!

Sure, I’d liked to have done double that by now, but it’s an achievement nevertheless. Note that I’ve probably been out of action for at least six weeks of the four months since I started training, each time having to slowly come back into it. I’m back doing regular runs – 13 miles spread over the last 6 days – and hope to be working my way up to the longer runs from next week. There’s little room for error – I can’t afford any injuries now as this really is my crucial period. Picking up a slight injury or cold at the end of October might not scupper my chances as I have to wind down my training then, but now I need to go through the gears and need to do a thirteen-miler at least once.

So what have I learned in these last 100 miles? How about these for starters:

1. I need to be very careful with my legs! Shins, knees, groin, calves, thighs have all given me various degrees of trouble, so I really need to protect them.
2. Suddenly pushing it is not a good idea. Running well gives you a rush, and at times a feeling of invincibility; some runs you feel you could take on the world. THIS IS DANGEROUS! If you want to push it, do it a little at a time. Run a bit faster tomorrow, not see how fast you can go today and pay big time tomorrow.
3. Treadmills are kinder than pavements, but are not the real thing. Treadmills are my friend in injury, but will lull me into a false sense of security if I’m not careful. New York is not one big rolling belt.
4. Not to care how I look running. Look like drowned rat? Fine. Running style ragged after five miles? So what. Stupid-looking long socks? Yeah but they keep me going. Pink charity running vest? Well, I haven’t got mine yet!
5. Everyone gives you different advice – seek more than one opinion and work out what is right for you.
6. That people can be wonderfully supportive and confident in you. Even when you’re not!
7. How to keep positive and to draw inspiration. It’s just as mental as physical at times.
8. How much I really want and need to do this marathon. I wanted a challenge and I hate to fail.
9. That blogging is quite fun! Even if I have no idea how many of you read this, it’s for me just as much as other people.
10. Finally, that the worst – and best – is yet to come.

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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