By Scott Mills
With the marathon edging ever closer, the 6am morning runs are now turning into 20 milers at 5am and with my nose running faster than Usain Bolt, the last few weeks have been hectic to say the least.
As I continue to try and balance my running and gym routine around my work/social life and other commitments, I can now confirm that contrary to recent rumours of my past blogs, somehow my life is currently more busier than Oxford Street at Christmas…or at least it seems!
During the last few weeks, my mileage has increased considerably, going from 18 miles to now regularly completing 20 mile treks to Putney.
Now whilst my body has adapted to upping my distance to 20 miles, I do find that having to work afterwards often turns me from Dopey in the Seven Dwarfs to Sleepy in the space of a few hours.
However, surprisingly it was one of the 18 mile runs that I completed a few weeks ago that brought the biggest struggle I have had to face since I started my training.
As I was due to record my longest distance yet, I was only half way up the A3 on the way to Putney when horror struck.
Gliding gracefully past the huge Tesco in Raynes Park, one that makes Hugh Hefner’s mansion look like a bungalow alongside the smell of Krispy Crème donuts caressing my nostrils, I started to feel a slight pain in my left calf muscle.
Progressing with caution, I tried to push the pain to the back of my mind to get through the pain barrier because I knew that if I experienced this on the 24th April, it is what I’d have to do but mainly it was because I hadn’t got my oyster card on me so I had no other way of getting back home.
Discovering that the cause of my pain was cramp was quite surprising due to the fact it felt like someone from Danny Dyer’s ‘Top Ten Deadliest men’ had lost his rag so decided to stab me repetitively in the leg.
Thankfully, I managed to complete the run even though I couldn’t walk properly for about two days afterwards!
Although that run seemed quite a negative experience, at least I got the chance to pop into Kingston Vale Cemetery to see where my grandparents lay to rest.
Unfortunately, I only had the pleasure of meeting my Granddad when I was a little nipper but my Nan had a big influence on my childhood when I was growing up so on her birthday I wanted to pop in to pay her a visit.
With the sun shining on a cold, frost-bitten morning with all the blossoming flowers surrounding the place, it really put in perspective for me that deep down the real reason I am putting myself through this pain and hard work, is not only to raise money for charity but also to make my family proud.
After reading the past few paragraphs, I apologise if you got more emotional than the time Mufasa died in Lion King, so I will get back to writing about my training.
Over the past couple of weeks my body is slowly starting to get used to covering 20 miles which puts me in a very good mentality going into the month of the race.
If my body can not only get used to running 20 miles comfortably but also recovering from it over the weeks to come, I feel I stand a good chance of not just completing the race but also perhaps having a chance of achieving a time that I would like.
Now it has been quite a difficult week for me, not because of my training but because sadly, this week has seen the end of my partnership with my red Adidas shoes that I was very fond of.
But for those of us who like to pretend that we are more influential than Ghandi with their wise words on social media, the quote of ‘when one door closes, another one opens’ in this case was pretty much spot on.
On Wednesday 23rd March 2016, a new romance was born between myself and a spanking brand new pair of black Asics running shoes at the ‘Run to Live’ running shop in Leatherhead.
Now at this stage I must point out that the customer service I received was one of the best I have ever experienced with the staff being really friendly and with them all being runners they gave me some great advice and even made me a cup of coffee that rivalled that of Starbucks!
However, what really stood out for me was being able to analyse the biomechanics of my running technique.
Through a computer, I could review footage of me running on a treadmill from my running gate right the way through to my foot and ankle movement when I was running to assess which shoe would benefit my technique.
In fact, I managed to find out that due to my slightly weaker oblique muscles when I was running my legs would swing across each other which was the main reason for the end of my foot to come off the floor last.
So as my mileage starts to increase over the coming weeks almost as much as the volume in my hair, it will be interesting to see if the new wheels can fill the huge void that my old trainers have left behind.
If you would like to sponsor me in order to help raise money for the charity ‘Get Kids Going!’ you can do so here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=ScottMills1