There should be a law banning all decisions made at a Prosecco fuelled works Christmas do, particularly decisions that would go on to include a lot of sweat, pain, a little blood and running gels! With just under a week to go until race day you would expect the A-Z team training to be completed with all in tip top condition: Some are in peak physical form having done just the right amount of training, some have over trained and now need to nurse their bodies back to health and some, well, just haven’t.
Kieran finally got the go ahead from the Osteopath (following his very nasty self inflicted injury) to start his A-Z team training in July but had planned to have run a 10km and a half marathon by then. With free time still in short supply and the race looming ever closer, early mornings or late evening runs became the norm with the latter providing excellent excuses for missing programmes like The Great British Bake Off on catch up TV. One late night 16 mile run ended with Kieran a shivering wreck vomiting in the shower following Phil’s helpful recommendation for using running gels.
Steve too did his best to sabotage Kieran’s progress by organising a sprint session up and down the Bournemouth Promenade without any kind of warm-up period first. This only managed to ruin one of Kieran’s hamstrings. However, it must be noted that the timing of the injury did coincide with the only real hill on the course. His future involvement in the race is now in jeopardy although he can now be seen practicing long distance hopping.
Phil has probably been the keenest and most impressive A-Z team training member. From day 1 he fully immersed himself in the world of running blogs, energy food and warm-up techniques and would usually be found at work studying the latest bit of technical data on socks. He announced very early on that he would be following a recently downloaded app on his phone which told him when to run, eat and sleep and before long he was achieving impressive distances even running to work on the odd occasion. Most mornings he would announce; ‘I did 7 miles last night’ or ‘I did 11 miles last night’, but this soon changed to ‘my foot hurts’ or ‘my knee hurts’ as various bits of Phil’s body that he didn’t even know he had started to ache. All signs that the youngest member of the group was maybe starting to realise that running this many miles wasn’t easy, even for someone who still looks 12.
Caroline has maintained a steady, sensible approach to training. Her initial role as captain and monitor of the A-Z team training program had now morphed into team mum, casting a concerned eye over the more eager members of the team as they went about doing 17 mile runs and pulling hamstrings. Being the most experienced marathon runner in the team (2), Caroline looks to be in perfect shape to peak on race day providing the whole race takes place on a treadmill. She gleefully exclaimed that she achieved 12 miles in 2 hours but refused to admit if this included using the pause button for a lie down half way through. During the recent team bonding session on Bournemouth promenade Caroline assumed the role of photographer, claiming that this didn’t fit in with her training schedule and instead got some great photos of the pier and some sand.
Steve’s training has largely been done in secrecy, the only thing that he would regularly divulge was how long he spent chasing after the Whippet and sometimes the Greyhound. Steve assures us that these are names he’s given his much younger and much faster running buddies and won’t confess what his nickname was. Once the other members of the team had explained in detail how to post into the newly formed Facebook group Steve thought it necessary to upload some very alarming photos of the effects of distance running on his body. His alleged times are impressive and he should be on for an early finish which is ideal as he has offered to host the post race BBQ.
The team are well on their way to raising over £1000 for the 3 very worthwhile chosen charities, London Air Ambulance, joining Jack and The Chartwell Cancer Trust. There is still time to make a donation and the team wish to thank everyone for their very generous support.