From Golden Gate Park to Royal Parks Half

It’s about this time of year that I like to write a post entitled “how not to prepare for a half marathon”. Last year, September’s Folkestone Half was preceded by a tight, grouchy ITB (and accompanying knee pain) which affected my training in July and August. This year, I have adopted an approach that I am calling “reverse tapering”.

How not to prepare for a half marathon 2012

Twang your back sitting on a sofa – this really doesn’t help the preparations in any way, shape or form.

Go on holiday to the other side of the world
Two weeks ago, we flew out to San Francisco. In itself this is a really, really good thing to do and I heartily recommend it, just not three weeks before race day.

That my friends is a blue sky and sunshine. Every day was like that. We returned home to flood warnings.

San Francisco is rubbish for greedy people. Alright, it’s actually brilliant for greedy people – I am a greedy person and I didn’t meet a meal that I didn’t like while we were away. Despite my concerns that I may have turned into what the cabin crew politely referred to as “one of our broader passengers”, I was relieved to not have to ask for a wider seat on the plane.

Breakfast. Sour dough French toast. Accompanied by me exclaiming excitedly “It’s basically pudding. Pudding for breakfast. It says breakfast on the menu, but it’s pudding”.

Having been lured in by thoughts of running through the Golden Gate Park and along the Embarcadero or joining a running tour, I did take my trainers with me. They seemed to enjoy the trip, but sadly they didn’t get to see any of the city, apparently preferring to remain in my suitcase for the whole week. Ooops. However, we did do lots and lots of walking and if San Francisco has one thing, it’s hills.

Lombard Street – zig zag zig zag

And steps. Two things, hills and steps.

This wasn’t the bottom of the steps to Coit Tower. I have another 3 photos of the steps that preceded this stage.

This seemed to offset most of the lard and hopefully did something towards me not losing the fitness that I had acquired previously (albeit a little erratically). Unfortunately, this positive was neuralised by the fact that the flight home/time difference threw out my normally clockwork sleep system meaning that I couldn’t sleep until the early hours and started dozing off at four in the afternoon. Which is a shame because I don’t finish work until five.

Oh and within 24 hours of landing back at Manchester, I had managed to twang my back again. This time getting up from a sofa – if nothing else, I shall be avoiding DFS in the near future. So that was another week of ice, ibuprofen and painful massage using a bouncy ball (don’t ask), but no running.

Finally, with just seven days until the start line I have hauled myself out for a not brilliant 10 miler (I was completed under-fuelled, so I have been carb-loading ever since. Mostly on Tunnocks caramel wafers admittedly, but the thought is there) and did a giddy 3 tonight just to remind my legs that they do know how to run.

2 days, 12 hours to go. Gulp.