Paul Walters runs the London Marathon

Report from Wednesday 9th April 2003


I ran 5 miles last Thursday, and it went reasonably well, although my legs were a little "niggley".

On my 10 mile run on Sunday, I felt my left hip tighten after just 5.5 miles, but it did not get any worse, and although I could feel it for the rest of the run, I managed to finish okay, although I was running very slowly - over 9.5 minute miles.

I'm not going to do any more running. I've been trying to stretch twice a day this week, but yesterday my knees started to ache a little. I suspect that my left knee hurts because it has "cracked" a little too much in my exercises. I don't know how else to explain this, but it happened a couple of months ago, and the problem took up to a week to recover, so I'm going to respect this problem and rest up my leg. My right knee aches a bit at the back, and I think that this is just from over stretching - a different sort of feeling in comparision to the left knee. I'm still hoping to stretch, but I'll have to go carefully.

I have got the sniffles, and I feel a bit throaty. Sarah has a bad cold, so I hope that I won't develop one before the marathon. I don't mind if I have one afterwards!

I've been up to London Marathon registration today. I was outside the London Arena at 9:30AM waiting to go in at 10:30AM, and it started sleeting. It was so cold I went to find a cafe. When I returned, there was a very long queue to go in, but the queue went down rapidly, and I was registered quite quickly.

I saw the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre people. It was good to see them, and they were busy seeing their competitors running in aid of the charity. I got an MSRC running vest, and will wear this on top of a long sleeved running top on the day, because it looks like I'll need to keep wrapped up during the race.

I have been getting some sponsorship this and last week, and I hope this year to have collected in excess of 1,000, which will be split unevenly between the MSRC and the "Blackborough Club", the Rethink building in Reigate.

I'm now hoping to get rested, I'm hoping that the small problems with my knees subside in the next few days, and I can stave off a cold in the next five days. If I can do this, I'm confident I'll be there on Sunday. I have mixed feelings about this marathon. I'm not going to run to my best, and after my injuries sustained last November, I never was going to. I'm sort of looking forward to it, as well as looking forward to getting on with my life afterwards, and worrying if something should stop me from being at the start. If I do start, I'm confident that I'll finish, but that I don't do myself too much damage, as I'd like to continue to train afterwards with lower distances, to get myself prepared for the Dorking 10, the Great North Run and the Great South Run.

My plan during the marathon is to try to start at a 4 hour pace, or not far off it. However, if the runners I'm in go slower, then I'll just go at their pace. I'm not going to be diving in and out of runners. I hope that I'll do the first half in not far off 2 hours, and then just wait and see what happens. I suspect that I'll start having to stretch because of tightening piriformis or hamstring muscles after between 15 and 20 miles, and if I stretch every mile, I hope to be able to run right to the end. However, I wouldn't be surprised if I have to start walking somewhere within the last six miles.

My family are coming to watch me again along with Darren and his friend, and my physiotherapist will join them, so I should hopefully have some really useful help at the 15 and 20 mile points if I need it.

A big thank you for reading this far and considering to sponsor me.

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