4 days to go…

You know the walking-to-the-dance-floor dance made famous by Peter Kay? I suddenly realised the other day that my running style more than slightly resembles it; a kind of self-conscious shamble, not quite following any rhythm or showing any style, but demonstrating willing and suggesting that it might, just might, develop into something good. Honestly – have a look at about 8 minutes into this clip and you could well be watching me run!

I’m enjoying my taper week – I went for a short run yesterday evening and my wheezy hayfevered lungs felt good, but my stomach was heavy with cream tea so I’m glad I didn’t have far to go.

I’m embracing the concept of carb-loading, although I am wondering how widely I can stretch the definition of carbs. Could I possibly substitute a multipack of Wispas for the more traditional pasta meal maybe? The science behind carb-loading is that it increases the amount of glycogen stored in the muscles, thus delaying fatigue in an endurance event. Sounds good to me. I will be keeping my energy levels well and truly topped up during the marathon with Jelly Babies, but I will be eating mostly pasta for the remainder of this week just in case it helps.

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me recently, I’m so close to my £3000 target now! Check out http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NickiClarkson to see how it’s going (and if you fancy sponsoring me while you’re there, well…)

My amazing sister-in-law in Dubai has pulled even more publicity out of the bag for her marathon walk including an article in the Portsmouth News and a news item on the DebRA website – go Daisy!

I never thought I’d say this but I’m looking forward to the marathon; I’ve put the training in, I’m running for an amazing charity and I’m looking forward to the atmosphere – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity so I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy it as much as I can (please remind me of that at about mile 2. And 3. And 4. And 5…). I am still slightly worried about the toilet issue…oh, and the running bit of course, but on the whole, bring it on!

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This time next week it will all be over…

Dear Weather God,

please will you make it a bit cooler and cloudier next Sunday? If you could add a breeze that is always coming from behind whichever direction I’m running in, maybe more of a powerful wind to help push me along, that would be great. In the meantime I’m loving the warm, dry weather so why not have a rest and leave it as it is until Sunday?

Love and kisses, Nicki

I did a 5 mile run this morning (5 circuits of the Dog Lady route) which went fine despite the lingering lurgy, but it was quite warm and by the time I finished my face was bright pink. And I mean bright – no gently glowing complexion for me, more of a Belisha beacon effect. I’m not holding out much hope of looking good in my triumphant passing-the-finishing-post photo.

I wish I looked like this when I run...

...sadly this is nearer the truth!

Still no photo of me in my marathon gear, sorry. Do you really want to see it? I’m not convinced about wearing the skirt: the negatives are that it looks silly; the positives are that it’s comfortable and has 2 roomy pockets that I can use to stash extra Jelly Babies in. Maybe I’ll wear it and airbrush it out of any photos afterwards. Comments and opinions welcome!

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10 days to go

I’d say I’m about 1/4 excited and 3/4 scared! How can The Marathon (cue ominous music) be so soon?

I’m into the taper phase now, which means I’ve hit the peak of my training and the next long run will be M Day itself.  I still have runs of between 20 and 50 minutes scheduled, as well as cross-training at the gym. Unfortunately training over the past few days has been totally scuppered as I have a cold and feel very rough. Not the best timing, but better now than next week!

On the plus side though I have a new, aerodynamic haircut which I’m sure will double my running speed. Go Nicki, go Nicki…

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Why am I doing this?

Okay, please can someone remind me again why I’m signed up for an event where they have to put info like this in the official magazine:

Lovely…

On a much nicer note, my fantastic sister-in-law who lives in Dubai is joining me in doing a marathon! She won’t be running as she has EB and her feet blister at the slightest pressure so she’s walking a marathon each week from now until the London marathon. She is also far more photogenic than me: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/general/walking-in-the-pain-to-raise-funds-for-charity-1.785436

I saw this on the BBC News website earlier: scientists have discovered that gravity is stronger in some parts of the earth than others…why am I not surprised that England is one of the places where it is strongest? No wonder it sometimes feels like my feet are glued to the floor when I run…

Anyone sat there thinking about sponsoring me? Do it, do it, please! If you click on the Virgin Money Giving link at the top right of this page you can donate, find out more about why I’m running, and get a lovely heart-shaped felt badge sent to a friend all in one easy move. Thank you if you have already donated – your money really will make a difference to the lives of people with EB and you should feel proud of yourself.

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Bad dreams

I’ve had a variety of dreams about the marathon recently, all with one thing in common: I get to London no problem, then realise on the morning of the marathon that I haven’t brought any of my running clothing/shoes/other vital things with me. This does not make for a restful slumber. Alas a self-indulgent grumpy mood first thing in the morning is out of the question as my children both go from sleep to refreshed wakefulness at the crack of dawn in under a second* so I have to be alert and relatively chirpy to keep up with them.

In reality I shouldn’t forget anything important as I have A List of Things To Remember that I have been adding to over the past few weeks and is now reaching almost comedy proportions. Any items you can think of that I might want to add? Let me know!

On a different note, I think I may need to change the way I apply moisturiser after buying this earlier:

The box on the right came inside the clear packaging on the left

Microwaving moisturiser??

I did try taking a photo of myself in my running clothes earlier but it was so awful I deleted it. I’ll try again tomorrow, but even with the best photographer in the world I don’t think I’ll be asked to head London Fashion Week!

*that may be a slight exaggeration…

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Beautiful day

Wasn’t the weather amazing today? I did my long run before lunch and set off wearing my fleece jacket…well that stayed on for about 5 minutes then spent the rest of the time tied round my waist!

It was my first run wearing my marathon ensemble and might I say that I looked more like a 70s throwback on my way to a hippy concert than an elite athlete, man. I was so impressed with my compression calf guards that I bought a pair of full length Skins compression running tights – no idea if they do make a physical difference but they certainly make a psychological one. I wanted to wear something on top of them because they are, well, tight, but couldn’t find any irresistable shorts in the shops so I settled on a lightweight skirt that was in the Fat Face sale in Gunwharf Quays which is perfectly comfortable to run in…but is a tie-dyed pink and purple design and doesn’t exactly scream style and sophistication. By the time this has been teamed with my purple DebRA running vest and grey tights, runner’s pouch (still not a bumbag thank you) and light blue baseball cap I look as though I’ve been dressed by a 2 year old. But hey, it’s comfortable so I’m happy…and the skirt has got pockets that I can stash extra jelly babies in which can only be a good thing.

Photo to follow if you promise not to laugh…

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220 bpm

So there I was at the gym the other evening, casually pootling along on the bike at a relatively easy intensity level when I glanced down at the heart rate display on the screen … and it read 220 bpm. “Hang on,” thought I “that sounds slightly high – shouldn’t I have fallen off the bike or something by now?”

…”Hang on again,” thought I, “I’m not even connected to the heart rate monitor!”

It turns out that sending or receiving text messages is enough to get the heart rate display racing! Slightly concerned that it even registers numbers as high as 220, but also pleased with myself for working out it was texting that woke it up. Elementary, my dear Watson.

Did I mention a few weeks ago that I was in The Informer magazine? I did? What was that? You’d like to see it again because the text was a bit hard to read in the photo of it I uploaded when it first came out? Oh, go on then, just for you:

Pause while I revel in my five minutes of fame…

Thank you all for the suggestions of things to shout out at the 24 mile mark; I’ll make my final decision when I get there!

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