As if the London marathon weren't a challenge enough...

Tonight Matthew, I'll be aiming for the second of three little challenges I've got this week.

The first was to get going again on Tuesday's seven miler. That was mission accomplished, with a few important lessons – don't forget to take hair stuff when you're running and showering before a meeting, and to warm down.

I was in some pain yesterday!

I normally go through a series of stretches to warm down. Then, for even more fun, I get into a cold shower for about a minute, to clear the lactic acid in my muscles, before running it hot.

It's something I thought I'd try after reading about it in Monty Panesar's biography that I got for Chrimbo. I've been trying it at smaller distances and, despite being horrible, it seems to help prevent the aching, but for some reason I didn't do it - or the stretches - on Tuesday.

Hopefully the constant dull aching will serve as a reminder to do it in future.

The next challenge is tonight's eight miler – my furthest run so far. It's another general aerobic run to get the miles under my belt and get my body adapting to what it needs to do to finish the 26.2 miles – such as high glycogen storage and using fat.

Thankfully (or not, depending on point of view) this is a straightforward there-and-back rather than a loop, so I'm less likely to be tempted to just go home. In my head I think I only have to run four miles. Then, if I want to get home, I have to run four miles back – see how I play with my mind!.

The third challenge, and the one I'm most dreading, is Sunday's 11 miles.

I'm not sure this qualifies as a “long run” in the scheme of my training – it's only just over half the distance of the longest training run I'll do. It's basically the first step on what will be my regular Sunday habit of pushing runs up to 20 miles .


I've not run double digits since last year's marathon so this also has the double pleasure of being both both a physical and psychological barrier.

As if one weren't enough.

So, to stop me dreading Sunday, I'm focusing on tonight's little trundle of joy, and on making sure I do the necessary to not suffer too much afterwards.

It's weird to think I have to focus on not being in pain.

This is what my life has become...