THE last week has been quite a nervy one for me as I edged closer to my first 15 mile run as the London marathon draws ever nearer.
I have done long distance running before but I've never attempted anything beyond a half marathon (13.1miles) so I knew it was a mental thing in my head getting me panicky!
If I couldn't do 15 miles then how was I ever going to get around 26.2 in April?
I also had a week off running just 10 days ago because of shin splints, so the prospect of further injury also crept in.
I rang my mum last night for a pep talk and it gave me a bit more confidence that I could do it, but even if I couldn't I still had nine weeks.
That's what parents are for right?
So I got myself ready for bed and tucked up before 10pm, set the alarm clock for 6am, so I could do the proper prep for my run in the morning.
For me, today, Sunday, has been a massive day. Not only did I want to complete my 15 miles unscathed, but my football team, Nottingham Forest were playing a top of the table clash on Sky, so I needed to get home to watch that too.
I woke before my alarm, at 5.30am in fact, got up, had my breakfast and then waited for it to digest.
At 7.45am I ate a banana and a protein bar and headed out the door.
And the next 2.16.13 were the most comfortable running hours I have ever had.
I couldn't believe how fine I felt. Before I knew it I had looped my way down the A65 past Endmoor and Crooklands to the roundabout and was darting back towards Barrows Green.
How had I managed to run 10 miles in less than 1 hour 30?
This astonished me, but even more so the fact I felt like I had plenty more in the tank.
So I kept going at the same pace, waiting for 'the wall' but I reached Oxenholme, looped around the train station and was soon in full flow as I hit the 13.1 mile mark.
And I glanced at my watch to see 1.56.23 - this was my fastest half marathon distance - and a new PB for that distance.
I had anticipated a 3-hour run to complete my 15 miles, despite hoping for 2 hours 30.
So here I was in the crazy position of having an hour, or really half an hour in the bag for my final two miles.
The adrenaline started to kick in and I went awash with cold. I told myself not to get too carried away as I still had two miles to run and having already been out in the pouring rain for two hours, I didn't want my body to get colder.
So I pulled myself together and maintained my speed as I passed Lakes Leisure and 14 miles.
Yes, 28 minutes in the bag to finish my last mile!
At this point I eased up, there was no point injuring myself as 2.30 was the aim - and my final mile was mainly uphill.
But just 13 minutes later I had looped a couple of estates and passed my 15 mile mark.
I stopped the clock at 2.16.13 - just over 9 minute miles - super!
I was in shock that a) I had ran the complete distance b) I had completed the run 1 minute per mile than anticipated and c) I felt fine that I just needed to add another 11 miles to get around England's capital in nine weeks time.
I allowed a rush of adrenaline to kick in as I cooled down and walked back to my house and strangely I had so much energy.
It was a real high point for me in my training and now I am convinced I can make it to London, but I won't be getting complacent.
Today, Sunday, was also the first outing for my Epilepsy Society vest - the one I will wear on race day! - and it returned relatively unscatched too, apart from being completely soaked through.
So now I am looking to my first 10 mile race in Maryport in two weeks, before the next hurdle, an 18 mile run in about four weeks time.
I can't wait though. I have passed the halfway mark in my training and now I can see the finish line.
Before that though I also have my 70s and 80s fancy dress night in Kendal - on Friday, March 4th, from 7.30pm.
The fancy dress party is at The Park Nightclub in Parkside Road and tickets are available from Sandylands Spar and also from myself, tel, 07792685508.
I hope you can all make it to support me, but if not, log on to http://www.justgiving.com/paddyslondonmarathon and make a contribution.
For information on the Epilepsy Society please visit http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk I am very excited about my run now in case you can't tell and I hope you continue to follow my progress as I edge towards the big day!
For those that are interested, Forest did my proud with a battling 1-1 draw to stay in the promotion hunt, so it has been a good day, but now I'm tired and should be in bed before 9pm!