There is now less than 3 weeks to go until 'The Race', so I am hoping I have done most of the hard work and can begin to taper down. For those of you who are not runners and may not have heard about the concept of tapering, it describes where you reduce the amount of mileage and the intensity of training, with an aim of ensuring that your body is completely fresh for the big day. That sounds easy in principle, but in practice it is a bit more difficult. The main difficulty I find is that my body initially enjoys the fact it is not working as hard as it is used to, so tends to go in to 'shut-down' mode. That can make easy runs feel quite hard, which in turn can make me think that I have lost all of the fitness I have spent the last 6 months or so developing. All complete rubbish, of course, but it does have a tendancy to cause a degree of panic to set in. An unwelcome consequence of this is that I am liable to spend the next 2 and a half weeks moaning to everyone I meet about my non-existent injuries and illnesses - this includes (but is by no means limited to) my family, my workmates, other WHW runners, and in fact just about anyone who is unfortunate enough to have to listen to me. It all gets quite pathetic, to be honest - for example, if I happen to be sitting beside someone on the train who sneezes, then I am likely to move seat. After all, you just can't risk catching their cold, can you?
Anyway, back to this week's training. I didn't feel great in the early part of the week (see paragraph above), and then yesterday my back was really sore (see paragraph above again). It didn't stop me going out today with a few of the guys from my club Strathearn Harriers (I said I'd do a link to their website, which can be found at www.strathearnharriers.org.uk) for a 31 and a half mile run around the Comrie and Crieff area. It was a hard run, mostly off-road, which took us 5 and a half hours. It was a shame the weather was so poor, as this meant we were unable to see any of the fantastic views from the top of the hills, but we all ran reasonably well and felt quite good at the end.
Finally, an appeal to all readers of my blog. Did any of you send flowers to my wife this week? She received a lovely delivery from M&S on Friday, but there was no label to say who they were from. It's put us in a bit of a dilemma - we aren't able to thank anyone, as we don't know who they are from, but we don't want the sender to think we are being bad mannered by not thanking them. So, if the sender is reading this: 1) thank you very much, and 2) could you let us know who you are?