Paul Walters runs the London Marathon

Report from Thursday 21st March 2002

I've run a half marathon, am resting up and wondering about shoes

My training has been going well, and I've put in some fairly long runs of up to nineteen miles in the last month. In the last week or so I have been running with pains, and I have not been enjoying my running. My legs are now feeling tired and they ache, so to stave off injury I've decided to have a week off from running to let my legs recover a bit (well, a rest from one Sunday to the next).

I ran in the Gatwick Half Marathon last Sunday. The weather was excellent - not too cold and dry. I was running in what I call my racing shoes - I'm not sure if they really are a special racing shoe. Anyway, my racing shoes are a little smaller than my normal training shoes, and I was also wearing thick sports socks. Unfortunately, this was a mistake, because I got bad pins and needles after about four miles. I stopped to loosen one shoe, then stopped to loosen the other, and when this did not work I decided to stop to take off my socks to run just in my shoes. At the eleven mile mark I stopped a St. John's Ambulance lady who was cycling along with a first aid kit - I was suffering from blisters. From this point I ran in to the finish. Although I had problems during this event, I did achieve a personal best for the distance, which shows that I'm fitter than previous years. It was good that I made the mistake with the footware now rather than at the marathon. The race was a good confidence building exercise, because I now feel better about running long distance.

I'm not sure what footware to run in for the marathon. I've got four pairs of shoes, and I could run in any of them. I've got my normal pair, which are usually caked in mud, but they're worn in and comfortable. I have another pair identical to these which are new and clean. I've got my racing shoes which I mention above. I also put my name forward to test some Puma running shoes in the marathon, and I was lucky enough to be selected - the shoes arrived today. However, they are too small, and I hope that they can be replaced before the marathon. If I can sort this situation, then I'll be duty bound to use these.

For the last two Thursdays I have attended a physiotherapist. This is quite an expensive exercise, but I thought it'd be worth it because of the problems I've had in the previous years. Well, she said that the problems I've been having in my legs stems from problems in my back, and this does make sense. After she gave me a back massage, my legs were definately looser. I hope that I can improve my posture when sitting, and do exercises, to improve this situation. I can't really afford any more treatment though.

In an ideal world, I'd be applying ice and heat to my legs and stretching each night, but I have real problems finding the time. I hope that I can get through to the marathon with the bare minimum of doing these things.

Sponsorship has started trickling in, and I hope that in the next three weeks I can have a publicity drive to get a lot more coming in.

I hope that my marathon effort will be part of an item in next week's "Surrey Mirror" newspaper. I'll put the article on the website when it's published.

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