After the 20 mile race last Sunday, it’s finally time for me to reduce the mileage in the final three weeks before the big day. All the really hard work is done and now I can sit back and really get nervous!

And to be honest, I’m pretty knackered and this taper hasn’t come soon enough. I’ve stuck fairly rigidly to my plan, with a few minor glitches and adaptations. I’ve worked hard and seen progress – a PB at half marathon distance and 10-minue improvement between my first 20-miler and the second.

But it has come at a price. I have turned down invitations or left early so I was fresh for training the next day. I drove and stayed sober at a hen do (it was in a gin bar – that was a tough night!). I turned down a night out with friends that I knew would get messy.

I’m lucky to only work four days a week at the moment and so my long runs have usually been when the kids are at school. This means I haven’t sacrificed too much family time. But I haven’t got as much done round the house – the spare room still needs clearing out, the garden is looking a bit neglected and there is a vast amount of old paperwork that needs shredding.

Has it all been worth it? Hell, yes! I have ran 22 miles non-stop. Every time I write that I feel smiley and proud. I am confident I can run that extra four point two and cross the finish line in Manchester. I’m running strong and enjoying it. Bring it on Manchester – I’m ready for you!