Not long after establishing base at the hotel, I headed back out to find the Expo, which will also be where the marathon starts tomorrow. To my relief it is pretty much on the same road I am staying at and no more than 15 minutes slow walk, which should equate to five or six minutes easy jog to the start tomorrow.
The Marathon Expo, compared to the behemoth that is the London Marathon, was also a quaint village affair in comparison. What this meant was that it was blissfully hassle free. I didn’t remember what my race number was but there was someone on hand to let me know. My race number and t-shirt collected, there was a cheesy photo opportunity to have myself superimposed onto a race finish for the New Balance Facebook page. At home I would baulk at such an opportunity, but for a moment I was in tourist mode and I couldn’t resist changing into the race t-shirt, grabbing my race number and grinning inanely for the camera.
That done and a couple of quick laps of the stalls at the expo, which yielded much of the same tat you’ll find at an Expo in the UK but with funny Dutch signs and their love for the word kunt, which, to my juvenile mind, makes me giggle every time I see it, and I was outside looking to kill time. Some very slow walking to and fro and I settled on lunch – a bagel and a cup of tea, followed by exploring for pizzerias for the evening meal.
Stocking up on drinks from the almost local Spar (One thing you’ll miss here compared to Britain is our love for the corner shop – few and far between round here) and it was back to the hotel, catching up on Football Focus thanks to having the BBC on the TV, then a quick doze and this before some stretching.
Tuesday’s run was prescribed as eight miles mostly easy with a couple of quick bits thrown in. Ultimately that’s more or less what happened. A club run with a mix of runners who’d just run a marathon, those who were competing at the weekend and so were tapering and a few who were just there for the ride.
Most of the run was very casual, the left thigh nagged and ached but it wasn’t unbearable. We spent some time in the middle of the run deciding exactly what route to take. In the end we decided to just turn and retrace our steps back along the canal path. This suited me fine as I’m finding downhill sections the hardest to handle at the moment.
Easy paced all the way back along the canal path I allowed myself around 1km of fast paced running once back on the main path. It felt easy and pretty quick, albeit with continued nagging ache in the thigh. Once home I stretched extensively and again the following morning, putting in some minute long stretches. These seemed to be doing something to the left thigh, at times I thought my phone was vibrating in my pocket; instead it was my leg in a weird spasm.
I’d debated whether to run on the Wednesday; at the last moment I headed out and did just over four miles. The outward leg was mostly uphill to Gonerby, then coming down, once past the steep downhill, I ran around a mile and a third at marathon HR, which was coming in at near dead on six minutes per mile.
So aerobically I am ready to race on Sunday. The leg – well I am relying on three days rest, a productive massage this morning, and more stretching and massage building up to Sunday. I don’t really like this position of not knowing if I’m going to even make it on Sunday. I think I will; I think it will be painful; whether it will be quick – that I just don’t know.