A 'Spectacular' 20 Miler by Becky Fennelly

I ran 20 miles!! I can’t believe I did that!

When I started this “adventure” in January I was as anxious about these long runs towards the end of training as I was about the day itself. So I’m so delighted to have reached maximum training mileage and the start of tapering.

The last 2 long runs have been significantly better than “the one” as reported in my previous blog. It’s fair to say my pain issues haven’t gone away, but somehow it’s been more manageable. Polly and I have trained together for the last 2 weeks and it's been great to have her company to distract me from the distances we've covered.

On the first of these 2 long runs we stopped for a hydration/fuelling break on the Thames Path close to Hammersmith Bridge. A few miles further on Polly noticed her glasses were missing from her pocket and after checking all possible pockets etc we concluded she must have dropped them somewhere along the way. In the way that you do on a long run we completely didn’t think about going back the way we came to look for them and carried on as planned, writing the glasses off as a casualty of training. Watching the boat race on TV later that day I couldn’t help but think that, with all the crowds on the riverbank, Polly’s glasses were likely smashed to smithereens by now.

Roll forwards 6 days and Polly & I set out to tackle the momentous 20 miler and the pinnacle of our training plans. Usually I have to make a decision when running along the Thames whether I fancy turning right at Kew and heading towards Richmond or go the other way towards Hammersmith. Today we did both to get the 20 miles in without having to do soul destroying laps of the park at the end.

As we approached Hammersmith Bridge Polly suggested we stop at the same place as last week and just have a quick look for her glasses. Amazingly, tucked down behind the bench we spotted them! Not only were they there but they appeared to be in one piece! With the amount of footfall the area must have seen in the previous week we were totally shocked.

For those who have been reading my blogs you may recall a similar incident involving Che’s glove which was lost by the canal one week and retrieved the following week. This is turning into a bit of a pattern. I’m half expecting to lose something on my planned recce run this weekend and find it again on race day.

The next couple of weeks are now about making sure I get to the start line in one piece, which is already proving tricky. On a well deserved spa break over Easter I managed to slip by the side of the pool and land heavily on my knee. Cue massive maranoia! Thankfully it’s bruised but there doesn’t seem to be any other damage. I think I need to wrap myself in bubble wrap for the next 2 weeks. 

Well, time to taper now. A couple of long but not as long as they have been runs to go until the big day. See you at mile 23!!

As this is my first marathon I have decided to take the opportunity to raise money for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

If you would like to donate please visit my fundraising page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BeckyFennelly1