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Looking to Christina and Britney for inspiration

Posted in ECB

With just hours to go until the London Marathon, it's fair to say my confidence has taken a massive dent.

When I last blogged I had just completed the Berkhamsted half-marathon in under two hours and was looking forward to upping my training in the weeks leading up to the big day.

Things, however, have not gone to plan.

The week after the half-marathon I did an 18-mile run and felt a pain in my left calf when I started running up a hill around the six-mile mark. I thought I could run it off so I did and completed the 18 miles.

The next morning I struggled getting out of bed and decided to go for a scan, which revealed a grade two tear in my soleus muscle. The doctor said I should have between three and six weeks off running - not ideal considering it was six weeks until the London Marathon.

I took three weeks off, had lots of treatment from England Women's physio Rachel Evans and got some advice from Nick Pierce, our chief medical officer.

I began my comeback with a three-mile run, which was fine, as was the five-mile run I did soon after. The next day I did a six-mile run and the calf was painful again. I haven't run since so those are the only three runs I have done in the last six weeks. My training has been restricted to being on a bike to keep my cardio-vascular fitness up.

It has dented my confidence. I had 12 weeks of really solid training and I was really pleased with how it was going.

I wanted to get under four-and-a-half hours but my new target is just to cross the finish line.

All the competitive juices will be flowing but everyone I have spoken to said to take it steadily, particularly the first half of the race, not to go too quickly at the start otherwise I will be struggling during the second half because I don't have the miles in my legs.

Hugh Morris

My fingers are firmly crossed and I am a lot more apprehensive than I was a few weeks ago, given that training was going well. But I am committed to running the London Marathon and will be on that starting line tomorrow.

I am really looking forward to sampling the atmosphere. Everyone I have spoken to that has run it said it's fantastic and really drags you along. I am not looking forward to the pain, especially as I am undercooked.

What has been a massive spur has been the amount of support I have had. More than 150 people have donated more than £10,000 - that's twice the amount I had hoped for. I am absolutely delighted about that and the money will go towards head and neck cancer research. It's a charity close to my heart so it means a lot that people would be so generous especially with times being tough.

There are a number of people at the ECB who are running the London Marathon so I am looking forward to swapping stories with them afterwards.

Alan Fordham is looking very lean and mean while Andrew Strauss blitzed around a half-marathon recently so he's going to be way ahead of me. Gordon Lord is doing his fifth London Marathon - I am hoping to be in his slipstream - and that of Sarah Bell, who ran the Paris Marathon last week. ECB website editor Chris Devine is running in a panda bear outfit.

I have run with music all the time so I'll have my iPhone with me. I downloaded '101 Running Songs' and have been listening to that. There is quite an eclectic mix on there, from Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears to the Zutons and Bon Jovi to Fat Boy Slim and Jamiroquai.

I won't have it on too loud though as I don't want to miss out on the atmosphere.

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