Now it gets real - and scary! There's less than a fortnight to go, we've run our last long run (a relatively easy 20 miler last week) and the taper has started (the taper is the 2-3 week period before a big race when you scale back the length of your runs to let your body heal, build up fuel reserves, and rest before the race). Our 'long' run this weekend was 12 miles, and next week is 8 -it's amazing that these distances seem really short and easy, when only a few months ago they were still daunting and difficult. The 12 mile run was one I'd wanted to do for three years, since I moved into my current home. From the bottom of my road you can see, in the far distance, the Erskine Bridge. I always had a notion to run to it and run across it, and a few weeks ago I checked the distance - exactly 6 miles from my door, so a perfect 12 miles for an out and back run. The run there was pretty hard and I was struggling a bit, but we eventually reached the bridge. We ran uphill to the centre of the bridge and stopped to take in the view of the Clyde stretching back towards Glasgow, and take a few pictures. We turned around and headed home, and after a mile or so I realised why the run out had been so hard - it had almost all been uphill! For some reason, the fact that we were going downhill on the way back was more obvious than the fact that we were going uphill on the way out had been, so the second half was pretty speedy in comparison!
I've been working with an injury for the last few weeks, which has had me worried about the big day. I've had a pain in my left thigh when walking, which initially gets worse when running but eases off after a couple of miles. Jen and I went for sports massages this week, and the therapist diagnosed it as a problem with the iliotibial band. She gave me stretches to do, and I've been icing it and wearing a support, and it's been much better, so hopefully it'll hold up for the marathon. Unfortunately, the only real cure is rest, so I'll just have to soldier on until after the 22nd of April.
One real benefit of having the marathon to focus on is that I've barely thought about going back to work after maternity leave. I go back on the 30th of April, although I still don't know where I'm going to be working. I'm a teacher and I was on a secondment for 2.5 years before having Izzy, so I had to release my position at my former school. The council do have to find me a post, but it's taking a while to get any answers. To be honest, though, I'm not too worried - I have to go somewhere, and a school is a school, kids are kids, and teaching is teaching - I'm certainly looking forward to being back in front of a class after my time away, and I think all the exercise is keeping me from getting too stressed about it.
We've nearly reached our fundraising target! We're at £1545 out of £1800. We're so close, it really looks like we're going to do it! Thanks so much to everyone who has sponsored us, we really appreciate it and we hope to do you proud a week on Sunday! If you'd like to sponsor us, you can do so here - thank you :-)