Time does fly. We’re getting closer to the end of February and March will be here soon. That means that time’s up and I should start getting ready for the final push. I’m talking of course about my Half Marathon scheduled for the 23rd of March, which will take place in the area around Richmond, in approximately 4 weeks.
I've chosen this course last autumn. I liked it because I’m familiar with the area and I always enjoyed running along the Thames path. That was without knowing that we’d get the most rain ever recorded since 1910 and all the flooding that followed. I’m hoping that by then the level of the river will get back to normal. I’ve also chosen this course because it’s mostly flat and doesn’t form loops. I hate it when I have to run over and over the same thing. The course is instead shaped like an 8. One loop is more or less around Kew gardens and the other close to Richmond Park.
I had plenty of time to prepare and train and I’m generally proud of myself with what I’ve done. To be honest our winter apart from being very wet, hasn’t been that heavy and I was able to run a lot outdoors. I’ve run 35.1 miles in December, 37.1 in January and 40.9 miles in February so far which for me is a good amount. I’m not sure if I would have done that much if it had snowed and there was ice on the roads. My greatest distance was a bit more than 10 miles that I did during the London Tube strike. I’m not that great of a runner and my pace is generally slow, but at least I manage.
I’m planning this weekend of doing almost 12 miles. Google maps says 11.7 for the route I’ve drawn but sometimes my phone GPS registers more. That way, I might manage the whole half marathon distance the weekend close to the 8th of March and after that it would be two slow weeks till the actual race. I want to do the whole distance to know that I’m ready but I’m planning not to run the last days till that Sunday. I don’t want to risk an injury or being tired.
Tomorrow for the first time I’ll try energy gels. Till now, on my long runs I’ve been carrying only water. But a marathon runner and colleague of mine suggested taking a gel halfway through my run. I can’t see it doing any harm, so I’ll give it a go. Worst case scenario it gives me an upset stomach, but I believe it will be fine. My runs now are about 2 hours long and a small boost might come in handy. He also said he’s having 4 raw eggs and a banana before each of his long runs! Just the idea of a raw egg is making my skin crawl…