Paul Walters runs the London Marathon



Report from Sunday 7th April 2002

Only just succeed in running ten miles - and going for it!

I started my final long(ish) run today telling myself that if my piriformis muscle injury stops me before ten miles, then I'd pull out of the marathon, but if I succeeded in running ten miles, then I'd probably find a way through to the end of the 26.2 miles.

I set off too fast today (as usual), and was getting a little tired after three miles. After about two and a half miles, I had a small feeling in my right hip, but I continued to run with this feeling without incident. I did slow down though.

The further I went, the more confident I became, and at the eight mile mark, I felt that I was moving along with ease, well within myself. However, in the last two miles, there are two long hills; Cockshot Hill from Woodhatch to Reigate, and the Reigate ring road is also a little hilly. I don't know whether it was simply the distance of the run or whether it was the hills, but in the last half mile of my run today, my injuries came apparent in both my right hip and knee. I ended up walking up my road to home. I finished today's run in approximately 1 hour 21 minutes - almost eight minute miling and far faster than I intended to run it.

To have problems at the very last part of my run today is really disappointing, as I was hoping to have a clear decision to make - I almost made it home, and my injury does seem to be improving. I have decided to run the marathon, but I have a plan which hopefully will get me through it.

To start with, I will continue to use my stretches (three times a day) and massage (once a day) through this next week. I will not do any running though, so allowing my legs complete rest. During the marathon itself, I will keep the pace down to nine or ten minute miles, and at the first sign of my injury being severe, I am considering stopping for half an hour or more for rest, stretches and massage.

I hope that I will collect a good amount of sponsorship in this final week.

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