Week fourteen: The last post

Marathon Dan

The last post provides an opportunity to reflect on my preparation for the 2013 London marathon, and share the highs and low of what has to be the most ridiculous challenge ever in the quest for a new facebook profile photo.

My marathon experience is best described as:

  • Twelve weeks of intense antarctic training conditions
  • 59 runs completed
  • The support and understanding of a very patient wife
  • 51,000 calories burnt
  • 375 miles clocked up
  • Training support from Muzz and Deon
  • 35 Maximuscle promax gel bars inhaled
  • 27 blog posts drafted
  • 1,300 individual views of the aforementioned blog
  • Nike + app and the competition to top the friends leaderboard
  • Half a stone in weight lost
  • Clothes that once fit now baggy
  • A black cabbyesque knowledge of London’s streets
  • Four rounds of physio for a dodgy hip
  • £3,000 raised for the UK’s oldest children’s charity, Coram
  • 65 tracks for marathon playlist carefully selected
  • A sense of perspective in light of the Boston marathon terrorist attack (note black ribbon on running vest)
  • Overwhelming support from family and friends 

That’s about it kids. The time has come to lace up my trainers, don my vest and apply some strategically placed vaseline for the run that really matters.

The last six miles are going to be hell but with the amount of support from family and friends on the day, I’l be fine.

As a close friend said when I first embarked on my marathon adventure, you’re alive and anything is possible.


Week thirteen: run twenty six

The final countdown is on as Sunday 21st April is now days away, not weeks and certainly not months away.

Rewind the clock to those snow filled runs and I thought I had all the time in the world.

Now you ponder, could I have done more? You could always do more.

All I do now is that my hip and left knee will allow me one run a week.

Last Sunday, Deon and I made the journey to Blackheath, the start of our marathon journey.

Quite simply, we got lost. The run from Blackheath to tower bridge is eight miles, we did 15.

My run was rather abruptly called RPA halt thanks to Burton’s Starbucks toilet break.

15 mins wait and my hip decided it had had enough. I feel like I need a good soaking in WD40.

Am I worried? Nah, I just can’t afford a toilet stop. It’s all about self relief

Week thirteen: Run twenty seven

My final thirty miles clocked up in two runs over the last seven days, that’s me done now.

My body can’t do anymore. I’m going to factor in two yoga sessions and a massage, but that’s the lot. The body physically can’t do anymore.

I’ve bought myself a rather fetching runners bum bag. It’s a runners Mulberry, it holds four gels, my iPhone, toilet paper and some dried fruit. Oh, and my Oyster card if I don’t make it round.

My twenty seventh and final run was only the second time this year I’ve been able to wear shorts. A real novelty, some would say for passers by too.

I’m building up a bit of a following for next Sunday with mum, Bill, Sarah, Dave and Lyn coming to cheer me along.

Throw in a few mates who have all said they’ll see me at the finish line, and we’ll have (another) marathon session ahead of us. I’ll be in bed by 8pm, nothing new there then.

I’ve hit the magic £2k number for fundraising. I’m chuffed to bits with the amount but would still like to raise more.

Week eleven: Run twenty four

Two thoughts dominated last night, bodeans and pavements.

Let’s start with the carnivore meat feast that is Bodeans. 1500 calories on one plate, that’s the equivalent of a 10 mile run.

Now, I’m not saying it doesn’t taste like heaven, and if death row inmates were looking for a truly satisfying last supper, this culinary delight of chicken, pork and ribs is a must.

The downside to Bodeans was revealed last night on a standard 10 mile run. It hurt, in fact, it hurt bad. I thought I was dragging a cow, pig and chicken, not eating one 24 hours previously.

The next bone of contention is the declining state of our nations pavements. Forget about the pothole epidemic, have you tried running on our pavements recently?

Most are like an obstacle course on the krypton factor. If your not leaping over a gaping hole, your avoiding a 2ft ravine between slabs.

Oh god, I’ve just realised I’m turning into my father. Sorry Dad!

The four day Easter bonanza is almost upon us. Usually an excuse to have a good old party, I need to reign it in much to the frustration of the wife.

I’m going to attempt 23 miles this weekend.

Dear god of Easter, please bless my feet to carry me upon my journey….

Week 10: Run twenty three

To celebrate the fact that my blog has now been viewed 1,100 times, I’m going to throw a party.

It’s going to be epic. It’s on Sunday 21st April and the guest list includes me, Big Muzzer, Deon and Pete Czapp.

It costs £10 to get in and you can reserve your place by handing over your cold hard cash at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RunDanFrenchRun

We’re expecting a few to turn up so you’d better get down early. The venue is doing a special promotion on lucozade and vodka, you need to bring your own vodka though….

Thanks for the track recommendations over the last four days guys. Tracks submitted by Dr Moverley, Martin Booth, Czappy and Nada mean my fundraising target is even closer now. Keep the track tips coming through please.

I had my first sports massage last night. I’m not really a massage type of bloke, my last experience with the baby oil was in Thailand when I was trying to guess the ‘gender’ of old magic hands.

Clive (Cindy, 21, from LA was unavailable) pushed, twisted and manipulated my hamstrings and thighs for 45 minutes. He found points of pain I didn’t think existed.

Was it beneficial? I hope so. I’ve booked four in before the marathon as general maintenance. Hopefully Cindy returns soon, sorry Clive.

Week nine: Run twenty two

Target distance completed. 20 miles clocked up at a pace that will get me round in under four hours. How do I feel? Ask me in 48 hours.

With a landmark figure clocked, its time to work on my playlist. 2 hours and 45 mins of listening to my own iTunes ‘collection’ on shuffle yesterday was painful. God, I’ve got some rubbish on there.

So, I need your help. What are the tunes that you think will help me do the distance?

Every track that my blogging and social media friends recommend, that make the final cut in the 21.4.13 playlist, I’ll personally donte £5 of my own cash to coram.

I need a playlist of about 55 tracks so get thinking. I might as well buy NOW 6758 hey?

In terms of music, I’m looking for soul classics to start the ball rolling in the early phases of the run, old school dance, pop classics (Carly Rae Jensen is nailed on), and generally anything you feel will keep me motivated for four hours.

Any tips would be much appreciated.

Week nine: Run twenty

Last night I clocked up the magic 300 mile figure. That’s a whopping 40,000 calories burnt. Despite freezing conditions since day one, I’ve continued to hit the streets of our capital every week.  I reckon I’d definitely pass the black cab ‘knowledge’.

Fingers crossed, I’ve so far managed to remain injury (and virus free), despite the test of some very contagious in-laws over the weekend.

My only slight concern is that my knee’s haven’t quite felt like my own recently. It sounds strange but post run and especially when wearing shoes, they feel odd.

After speaking to Dr ‘Muzza’, sorry Mr ‘Muzza’, he also shares the same discomfort. Once you get running, all seems to return to normal, but the sensation is very strange.

Running has been transformed thanks to the return of acid house into my life. All you runners out there, download Danny Byrd’s Rave Digger. It’s the perfect running soundtrack.

The rest of the week will hopefully include yoga this evening, another 10 mile run tomorrow after work, an early morning military fitness class on Saturday, and the magic 20 mile mark by the end of the week.

The best thing about this is that I’ll spend the rest of the time eating.

Who fancies a long run on Sunday?