The day had arrived, I had been dreading with a wash of excitement, and it’s funny how I hadn’t realised how much it had taken over my being!
In the last 4 days, I couldn’t think of anything else! Good job we were having a new kitchen fitted to take my mind off things!
I have got quite a normal routine now when going on a long run, the only difference with this one is that I get to eat breakfast before I go out, so I'm up at 5.30, tea, breakfast and then checking once, twice then a third time that I have everything I need!
Just before I left Felix came down stairs, he is normally the only one up with me in the mornings! He’s such good company for a 5 yr old! Just as I was leaving, he asked whether I was going to win today? I explained, as he was coming up to watch, that I won’t win but I will win by finishing and raising all this money for the charity! And although he didn’t grasp the concept of me not winning, he then went on and to ask “will you try your best? And hand on heart and a lump in my throat, I said I would!
I'm off on the 7.08 to Londinium to win the London marathon…ish!
Travels go really well, and always amazes me the amount of kitbags gaining in qty as we stop at stations en route, were all here for the same reason, same nerves, anticipation, excitement…everyone giving the newbies tips and advice, the only semi-worthwhile tip I could think of was don’t go off too fast! Pace, pace and pace again! But its so difficult, you get so carried away in the moment! That will come back to haunt me I know!
Got across to Greenwich and to the Red Start, same as last year, so I knew what to expect!
Met with a school friend, who was running for the 1st time, Clare, she and her friend, who she had trained all winter with, had been split up and her friend was on the blue start, so it was nice to catch up, albeit briefly!
And so off to the start, pen 4 I'm in this year, and already I’m nervous as the talent in this pen looks immense, coupled with the 3.30 runners marker (guys that run with a sign to pace you).
I'm in the pen, then need the loo, off out the pen, join the queue, and back in the pen..
And we are off, I started ok, I had 2 targets in mind, sub 4 hrs, or worst case, beat last year 4.13,
So I know I have to run worse case scenario 9 min miles, which is more or less my normal pace….but for how long does the A) Tendon stay pain free B) fitness hold out.
I have everything planned, drink water regularly, little amounts, energy drinks x 2 10 and 20 miles, and energy gels at every 5 miles.
The first 5 miles went past very normally, no real problems, after 5 miles I guestimate I was 90 seconds down to sub 4hrs, but didn’t want to give too much too early happy to stay with that pace, all felt comfortable.
10 miles and all going well still, my ankle felt thick which made me feel apprehensive, but still just a couple of minutes down, on sub 4hr.
Truth be told, I got a bit bored at this stage, and lost concentration then that lead to me feeling tired. All of a sudden Felix’s question sprang to mind, and that certainly got me going….
I was looking forward to halfway for obvious reasons, but also because my Brother Paul was going to be there, and judging by how I felt I could do with a friendly face….he would have been delighted to see me, as I him, but it wasn’t to be, over the bridge (London) I go and I am close to the left, but at mile 15 going onto the Isle of Dogs I realise I missed him, I hear my phone ring, and I know damn well who it is!
At about 15 miles I can see my time starting to slip, but I felt so strong at the pace I was going, I really didn’t want to speed up and burn out, I still had 10 miles to go, and am feeling very aware of my ankle, but its ok!
I am taking showers on course, dousing myself in water and drinking little and very often…I felt ok!
It was certainly warming up!
20-25 seem to drag, at 25 I know I have all my children to see, Feralyn, Her Aunt (Ganty) brother and sister in law.
My quads/glutes I don’t know (the muscles at the top fronts of your thigh’s) really started to cease up and tighten, I had read an article that it isn’t soft to stop and stretch as this is what they will need! Well I pulled over so to speak, pulled my foot to by bum to stretch, well my leg went in to a massive cramp…well that won’t work, so I squat down as if looking at an 18 footer on a green,(which I would miss) and just bounce a little to stretch…boy it felt really good!
My time for sub 4 hours had gone and I realised that, but I was still on track to beat last year, and let’s face it 4 weeks ago, I couldn’t run 6 miles without pain!
On I go, grinding out mile after mile, it’s at this point you really need support, and it was phenomenal, due to the great weather, a huge turnout, an impressive number of spectators egging cheering you on!
The embankment is fantastic, running down there I felt strong, my ankle had just stayed feeling thick./tight since mile 10, no better, no worse, my family are just 1.5 miles up the road, I'm sure I actually speeded up!
Embankment station, London Eye, Cleopatra’s Needle, and I see them, all my little lot waving, cheering clapping…an absolute tonic! I don’t stop this year, time is against me, and even at this point I'm convinced I'm in under last years’ time!
Houses of Parliament and up birdcage walk, its tight…I know it is…a bloody chicken comes flying up the inside, to huge applause from the crowds, he’s having a ball, while some of us are giving it our all!
I think it’s the 0.2 of a mile I hadn’t worked out, the 26 miles was no problem( as such), I crossed the line in 4.15, just 90 seconds over last year!
Between you and me I was gutted, I picked up my medal, and burst in to tears, bloody emotional things marathons you know, all I could think about was what Felix had asked me….Will I try my best?
And I think I did him proud!....bloody annoyed about missing my times though!
Theres always next year! I'm still running!
Thanks for reading!