Tuesday, 8 September 2015

..."Sleepwise I'm Medium to Well Done, for sure"...

First off, I have to make an apology to Scotland. I, along with many others, have been flippantly commenting on the "rubbish summer" we have had up here this year. I feel the need to put this into context slightly as I feel we have been misrepresenting you, Scotland. I have been out running every weekend for the past 19 weeks and I have to say that throughout that time, I haven't been rained on once during any of my long runs. I have tan lines like a retired accountant in Benidorm; I am hobbling proof that Scotland has indeed seen sunshine this summer and I'm standing on the Scottish defensive weather front.

Moving swiftly on from that favourite British pastime of chatting about the weather, it's all been very tame over the past week. After that blinding 21.4miler, I feel pretty happy to wind down and taper. I'm rocking a cut calorie and lower carb version of my normal diet, which combined with less running will effect a natural carb load over the next 2.5weeks leading up to race day. I'm feeling lighter already. Lots of tasty low fat proteins and piles of raw courgetti with every meal. What's not to love!?

The only game-shaker this week came in the form of uncertainty surrounding running shoes. Without getting into too much gory detail, I've been battling some pretty grim issues with my big toe and blisters on one foot. Really dreadful blistering beneath my nail that has caused all sorts of whining and complaining while limping around the flat. Poor Tom. 

I'd also pretty much shit-canned my old trainers too - 360 miles on tarmac and the soles were starting to wear away enough for me to definitely consider breaking in a new pair for race day. AC said this was easy done and that I definitely wasn't too late to run a fresh pair in. Sold. As always, Run 4 It went the extra mile so I didn't have to, and they sorted me out a treat with a pair of the exact same shoes, just half the price I paid for my first pair (le sigh) and in a much less garish pink. Winning. 

Yummy scrummy Asics Gel Cumulus 16s for the devouring
So new shoes were a good idea. What perhaps wasn't such a good idea then was choosing to break them in on a 13.1mile run back along the gravel-ridden A702 in 18degree sunshine. A bit on the snug side, I'd say! Slightly sore on the old soles there, but I went out tonight and shaved 2mins off my 6mile time with zero toe pain so I'm back in the zone of confident/calm again with them now. They can stay. We are friends now. Blue Team is the way forward. Go Blue Team.

It's funny how the mental aspect of running is SO significant, but it really makes all the difference. Thankfully even after the more difficult runs, I've found the grit and resolve to get back out and keep going with all my training. Skipping runs and giving up has not been an option unless I've genuinely known that my body needed an extra day to recover. Having everyone's kind sponsorship and support has made a huge impact too, and has been really encouraging on those harder days when an extra hour in bed feels really tempting. Thank you again for that. If you'd still like to sponsor my journey to the finish line of this year's Berlin Marathon, please just head to my JustGiving page

Anyway, back to the feet thing, I've been donning some pretty swish running socks with the ends cut off in a last bid attempt to aid the healing process after #ToeGate2015. These bad boys, combined with Epsom salt baths, seem to be doing ok - so far, so good, as they say. :)

All in all I'm feeling a lot less anxious than at this point in my taper for LA. I remember having all these crazy anxiety dreams about missing flights and being lost and naked in public. Anxiety's Greatest Hits as I call it. But this time I've just been rocking 10 hours of sleep at night and who even knows what I'm dreaming about for that crazy amount of time..? Probably MY BEST FRIEND'S TOTALLY AWESOME WEDDING...

Never over it. I miss everyone so much!

Whatever it is, my body must be really enjoying the healing process. Lots of lovely sleep to get these hard-worked muscles all ready for race day - I'm excited beyond belief. I even had an outrageous thought and started talking CRAZY TALK about Boston one day. But that's a distant dream I daren't get too attached to for a long while yet...

It's a nice dream to hold in the back of my mind though. Anything is possible.

Not much else to report really...it's all going to plan. So I'll shut up and stop being so goddamn smug before I fall down some stairs or something, eh...


Love you millions, 
Nikki. xxx

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