This is a sign of things getting serious – 35 days out from the big day and I’m turning my attention to my nutritional strategy. I have dabbled with dates, fiddled with figs, and today I’ve been jogging with jelly babies. They pack a good carbohydrate punch, and with correct pacing of their consumption, can go a long way to help avoiding the dreaded “wall” – caused by a total depletion of glycogen stores. I also want to avoid last year’s faux pas with my ill-conceived mini Mars bars strategy – like the wings of Icarus, they melted in the sun.
I took to the open road again today, having become bored with the straight course of the old railway track through Brampton Valley Way. I toured some of my favourite Northamptonshire villages – Aldwincle, Thorpe Waterville, Achurch, Pilton, Barcelona and the little town of Oundle.The air was sweet with the smell of blossom and rape seed, the fields an expanse of yellow, and birdsong counterpointed the church bells of St Rumbald’s in Stoke Doyle.
The route was a bit more challenging, with a fair breeze and hills (inclines!) with a cumulative elevation of 127 metres, compared with 41 metres for the stretch of Brampton Valley Way I usually use. My performance was comparable to last week’s, which is encouraging, and I squeezed an extra 1.1 miles out, giving a total of 13.1 miles – a half marathon. I had wanted to do a bit more, but my right iliopsoas was troublesome again. I feel like a highly-strung and fragile race horse, not wanting to sustain an injury before the big race. I dutifully applied the trusty acronym RICE – rest, ice, compression, elevation (lying on my bed, with ice in my whisky and head compressing the pillow. Elevation? I was upstairs).
It was psychologically important to get to the half-marathon stage in my training. As I once said, you can only run half way into a marathon, and then you’re running out. Complete balderdash, of course.
Five weeks to go until the Edinburgh marathon. You know the score – I’m running to raise money for Kettering Mind, our local mental health charity. If you would like to support me, here is my fundraising page. Thank you!