Paul Walters runs the London Marathon

Report from Monday 29th March 2004


My last report told you about a scare I had with a tightening of my piriformis muscle after 8 miles of a 10 mile run. I was very concerned about this, but after spending the week stretching and icing, on the following Sunday I managed to run 14 miles without problem, so the panic was, for the moment at least, over.

I have generally not being following a set plan or schedule, apart from a simple recipe of running twice a week - going to a Reigate Priory AC training session on Thursdays for a shorter fast run with my running colleagues, and a longer run on Sundays to build stamina and get used to increased distance.

On 29th February I completed a 14 mile run on my own, and followed this up with a 14 mile run on the following Sunday 7th March with Helen, a running club friend. She really kept the pace going, and we finished the whole distance in just under 2 hours, although I really slowed up towards the end.

On the following Sunday 14th March Helen and I went out to push the distance even further, and we completed 17 miles in approximately 2 hours 23 minutes, and again I was really tiring towards the end, but completed it never-the-less.

Helen left for a holiday, and on Sunday March 21st I was due to run the Gatwick Half. Seeing as I was in the middle of my 40th Birthday celebrations, and I was also suffering from a rather sore achilles tendon, I decided to give the Gatwick Half a miss, which was a real shame, but I can't regret it. I had a lovely birthday.

Come Saturday March 27th I decided to set out on a 20 mile run, and to stay on a 4 hour marathon pace - that was two laps of my usual 10 mile course to be completed in under 3 hours. I started with a little tightness in my left hip, right on the extreme edge of my leg, and with a burning sensation from my right achilles tendon, but these problems subsided. I was also suffering from back and neck pains, but although they didn't go away, they didn't stop me. After completing 15 miles on my intended pace and feeling rather good, I got a tightening in my left hip. I jogged / walked / stretched for the next 3 miles, and in the end completed not much more than 18 miles distance.

I have been stretching, icing and heating my right achilles tendon and my left hip (as well as all round stretching) for all of this week, and I have decided to see my physiotherapist twice a week in the build up to the marathon. I'm going to try a run of 20 miles plus on this coming Sunday, which will be my final long run before the marathon. I am hopeful that with all of the stretching and massage I will have had during the week, I will not suffer like I did last Saturday.

I can report that on one Thursday night session with the running club this month, we ran the last Jimmy James Handicap race of the season. The competition is a series of six races throughout the winter season, the winner having obtained the maximum points from four races. Prior to this race I had the minimum of 3 points from 3 races, but I managed to win this race, showing that I had improved my speed over five miles by quite a margin from the previous month.

Over the last ten weeks I have been on my crash marathon diet, and I am now 9 stone 7 pounds, and have taken over a stone off. I'm now much thinner and trimmer, and feel much better for it. I don't think I should overdo it on the dieting though - I know I can get obsessed with these things.

I have sharp pains sometimes in both feet, a burning right achilles tendon which can come on simply by walking or driving, slight soreness above the knee caps, tightening of the muscles in my left hip, and back and neck pains, but I just need to complete one more long run and then I can look forward to the marathon. After that, I'll reduce my running distance back to about ten miles maximum distance and get over all of these troubles.

I have not counted it, but I have been obtaining some sponsorship from colleagues, friends and acquaintances - many many thanks to you all. I'm hoping that my total fund will surpass 1,000, which may be something like 500 for the MS Trust and 500 for the Blackborough Club, a local Rethink centre.

Many thanks for reading this and supporting me in this project.

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