The final countdown

It’s the final countdown before race day.

I’ve been feeling a bit low on energy these last couple of weeks so in an attempt to get myself on form I’ve been on the vitamin b complex and Berocca, plus plenty of iron rich foods. The efficacy of these tactics are unproven, but I like to feel I’m being proactive and even if only a placebo if the outcome is positive I’m happy to fool myself!

I’ve also been abstaining from alcohol, filling up on water, trying to get plenty of sleep and tapering my runs, so I’m not going over 8k.

Sunset over Chelsea Bridge
Sunset over Chelsea Bridge

On Monday I had a lovely run home from work. It really felt like the seasons were on the change with the sun starting to set over the river as I crossed Chelsea Bridge (shown above). It was so beautiful and it reminded me that even when I don’t feel like I’m running at my strongest there is still so much pleasure to be taken from running and it is bliss to be able to avoid the commuter squeeze in favour if a beautiful sunset and lots of (sort of) fresh air.

Throughout my run I focused on synchronising my steps with my breath. This is something that R recommended I try, and is actually harder than it sounds.

I am aiming for 4 steps in the in breath and 3 on the out but it is still a work in progress. However I really felt it helped, if only by acting as a distraction. This article in The Guardian also has some interesting thoughts on optimum breathing techniques during running and is worth a read.

View over the river from Vauxhall Bridge
View from Vauxhall Bridge

On Wednesday I also had a good run through St James’s Park, along the river from Westminster to Vauxhall and back to the officer via a loop of Green Park. Again I was thinking about my breathing, as well as relaxing my shoulders, engaging my core and using my glutes rather than my quads to power me (more tips from R). This article in Runners Connect is also interesting in furthering this idea of using your glutes, rather than your hamstrings to power your runs, and I’ve got nothing if not sizeable glutes!

In any case, the run felt reasonable and if I can feel like that come Sunday I’ll be really happy.

R and I opted for a yoga class back at Yoga on the Lane last night to help get me stretched out pre-race. It was a really relaxing class, nothing too strenuous, and after a manic day at work and a lot of coffee it really helped me unwind. Better still it was followed by a green juice at Harvest E8 and a supper of salad, falafel and smoked hummus, which was delicious!

I’m debating a gentle 5k on Saturday morning, otherwise that’s me now until Sunday. Am I ready? I hope so. All I need now is my perfect race day playlist, any recommendations welcome!

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