I’ve always thought of myself as a low-maintenance woman. I’m in awe of women who sit on the tube with a bulging make-up bag and apply it expertly, but I wouldn’t know what to do with most of the contents. I’ve hardly worn lipstick since my wedding day, when nearly all the photos show me chewing it off. I had my eyebrows done and ‘coloured in’ last year in the eyebrow bar across the road from my work, but the result was so ferocious I have never been back. I have a long-term relationship with eyeliner and mascara that is not going to end any time soon, but that’s as far as my beauty routine goes.
But my creaking body seems to need an increasing amount of maintenance to keep it going through marathon training. A stressed TFL muscle needs a regular routine of glute strengthening exercises, and I seem to end most days side-stepping across my bedroom with a theraband around my feet much to Jonny’s amusement. Tense calves need agonising minutes on the foam roller every day. In addition, I’ve got lymphoedema in my arm so I’m religiously following the exercise routine I got from The Haven in the hope that it will make a difference. Gone are the days when I would run as much as I liked and rarely stretch. It’s hard to know how much of these ailments are due to the treatment I had, and how much is down to age, but I do feel like my body isn’t as resilient as it used to be. Still, on a beautiful day like today I’m glad to still be able to run 20 miles, even though it was bitingly cold in the wind and I got slower and slower towards the end. It’s less than a month to the Palestine Marathon and although my training hasn’t been as consistent as I would have liked, I think I’m just about ready. (Famous last words.)