Three weeks to go so I thought I'd have a intensive training week this week before tapering down for the big day. So, start with a nice long run on Sunday I thought. Off I went for a nice steady 25 miler on the road. Loaded up with a litre and half of isotonic, energy bars and good old banana and honey sarnies I set off on a damp but warm day. My right ankle / achilles made itself felt but it didn't hurt so I soon forgot about it. Up and down the Chilterns I went, nipping through Champneys in the process. The first fifteen miles were fine. The hills felt particularly flat and easy after my week in the Alps. I was very pleased with my performance until my calf muscles started to feel tight. Then the pain down the outside of my right knee that I've had in the past, and assume is a referred pain from my ankle, appeared. I persisted on but was not a happy bunny.
I'd drunk some 500ml of isotonic drink per hour and had my energy food so I should have been fine. The distance shouldn't have been a problem having done simlar runs several times recently without any problem. I'd rested all the previous week apart from one treadmill session so I should have been well recovered from the Alps. None of this seemed to matter as I plodded on. My legs were aching but strangely didn't feel tired. I couldn't run down hill properly because of the aching and eventually running uphill became too painful due the pain in the side of my knee. To cap it all my Polar ran out of memory so I've no record of what my heart was doing after 20 miles. I bent down to rub my knee and found the inside of my knees and my shins covered in a layer of thin white froth. I tasted it. It was salty. I kept going till around 24 miles on the grounds that if this was the real event then I'd not give in but I was worried that I might injure myself so I called home and got a lift for the final mile or two.
Here's the mystery: when I got home I found I had lost six pounds in weight and my urine was very dark (but not red as in my previous long run) and my legs were cramping but I'd been drinking sufficient fluids. What the hell was going on? I haven't cramped in months. Was that white froth actually salt from my sweat? I can't imagine that I'd sweated enough to cause all that damage. I'm still puzzled and not a little worried as I don't understand what went wrong and until I do I might screw up the actual marathon. If I feel as bad after fifteen miles on the actual event then I'm in for a horrific time as that's when the climbing starts. Knowing the route as I do now I'm not sure that I could finish if I felt as bad as I did on Sunday.
Now my legs ache too much to run so I've lost a few days a irreplaceable training. I might try a bike ride tomorrow. I know this was never going to be easy but I could do without this especially at this time.