By Jess

Only seven days to go! Today we did our last double digit run, which was pretty much our last chance to practice pacing those early marathon miles. We decided to head to the Dollis Valley Greenwalk, a 10-mile route which runs between the Moat Mount Open Space in Mill Hill over to the Hampstead Heath Extension. I felt a bit tricked as Clinton hung back for the first half of the run but seemed revitalised by the energy gel with caffeine, and really upped the pace for the second half. This was meant to be an easy run but we ended up doing negative splits with an average pace of 4.50/km!

We’ve been tapering for nearly a week now and it hasn’t been easy to wind the miles back. I kept questioning myself whether it was the right thing to do and I kept thinking “what if I’m tapering too early, and I lose all that fitness I’ve built up over the last four months?” I’m also equally paranoid that I would end up spending race day ill, injured or probably both.

For my part, some of the anxiety is just no doubt taper nonsense, but to be fair I am genuinely worried about how well my right hamstring is going to hold up for race day.

You may recall I pulled my right hamstring in parkrun a couple of weeks back. Since then I’ve been focusing on warming up and stretching before and after runs. I haven’t pulled it again since, but still, the paranoia doesn’t quite go away!

Muscle dramas aside, everything else is on track. I did a parkrun at Bexley yesterday (which was relatively flat with a few slopes) and I got another 5k PB – 21.53!!! I must say the marathon training has really helped with my parkrun times and I’m SO thrilled to finally get under that elusive sub-22!

I’ve also started carb loading… I don’t do this in a particularly scientific way, so it’s really just an excuse for me to have lots of Easter eggs and ice cream 🍦😂😂

Minimal running this week too, only 2x4km gentle jogs to stay loose… I will definitely need to resist the temptation to run fast!

Hopefully on the big day all that hard work, and taper madness, will ultimately pay off.