5 weeks to go….

Wow, it seems like a long time since I last blogged, and double wow for the fact it is now only 5 weeks until the Virgin Money London Marathon. I have moments of feeling nervous, and some feeling excited, but really I don’t think that I have totally accepted that I will be running a marathon in less than 5 weeks time! Eeeek!

Work is busy and tiring as always and my husband was away for a couple of days, so I have missed a few runs – my Jantasic score is slowly going down!

Since my last blog, I ran a 12.5 miles LR last weekend, which was my first solo run in a while. The weather was lovely, so I put in my headphones and actually really enjoyed it. I averaged 10.22mm and felt pretty happy with that.

I missed a run in the week, as I was just shattered! I managed a 3 miles recovery run and a 5 and a half mile run mid week. This weekends long run was going to incorporate the Milton Keynes Half. This was one of the first half marathons I booked this year, and I was running it with my cousin Katie.


My plan was to completed 4 miles before the race, so my total mileage would be up to 17 miles. I stayed with my mum the night before the race, and on Saturday I felt quite apprehensive about running my longest run to date.

I arrived at Xscape nice and early and headed off for my 4 miles. I hadn’t planned it too well and wasn’t sure where I was going. I headed in to Campbell Park, to be met with hills! Going down was fine, but I knew I had to get back up. Even though it was 9 o’clock in the morning, I had to stop and remove my layers. My lack of planning meant that I only ran 3 miles, before ending up back near the start. Desperate for a loo stop, I decided to head to the start, and complete the additional mile after the race. (Yeah, as if that was going to happen!)

This race was a real family affair, as not only was I running it with my cousin, my aunty, mum, brother and niece and nephew were all there to support! We set off a little after the 10.35 start time, but the build up to the race was pretty easy. I didn’t use the baggage facility, and I used the many portaloos very early, so didn’t have to queue.

I have never run with my cousin before, and it was her first half marathon, so the pacing at the start was hard, I didn’t want to hold her back, but I didn’t want for us to start to quickly and struggle at the end! Well I had an epic fail. I could sense that my cousin was faster than me, but instead of just letting her go, I increased my speed. we completed mile 1 in 9.43, mile 2, 9.40 and mile 3 9.56!

After some dodgy maths, Katie realised that she had to up her pace if she was to get anywhere near the 2 hour mark that she wanted, and left me for dust at mile 6. There was my competitive part of me that was desperate to stay with her, but she was just too fast! There was my sensible part of me, that thought, now i can settle into a comfortable pace and clock up the miles. Whatever I did, it wasn’t comfortable. I had to slog out those last miles, getting slower and slower. Beating myself up, why wasn’t I fitter? Why hand’t I lost any weight? Why had i not controlled my diet better? The insults to myself went on… I tried using the mantra ‘Because every step you took, was so much harder’, and although this worked a little, it also made me quite emotional thinking about my dad.

I have to admit that I did stop and walk twice! I do worry that mentally I could talk myself out of the marathon, and that I am not strong enough to fight through the tough times. (And I’m sure there will be plenty during the 26.2 miles!)

I finally finished in 2 hours 13 – A personal worst (PW)! I could have cried when I saw my mum, it had just felt so tough, and I keep wondering where I am going to find the other 10 miles from on race day.

When I checked my Garmin, my average pace was 10.19mm, so there is a part of me that thinks I should be so hard on myself, but getting a PW hurts. I am now wondering if trying to do long runs as part of races is such a good idea!

My cousin on the other hand, ran a stormer, and completed her first half marathon strongly in 2 hours 5. I am certain she will get a sub 2 soon, as this course was not the best, with lots of twists and turns and a killer hill at the end!


Review of MK Festival of Running


Easy parking, Fairly casual, easy start. Great weather. A 5K and 10K race too. Great support at start and end. Announcer shouting your name as you crossed the finish line. A video of you finishing. Running with my cousin. My family supporting mr


Not really a festival, just 3 race distances. Killer hill at end, and crossing cattle grids! Lots of areas on course with no supporters. At the end of the race, there was no race bag, just a medal that doesn’t even say what distance you did, and some water. (I can’t be totally sure I did not miss the bag!!??) Not all roads were traffic free, and there were a few near misses with on coming traffic.


I have to remember that a bad run, doesn’t make me a bad runner, and that I still have 5 weeks to get my head down. So, onwards and upwards.

How is everyone’s training going?

www.justgiving.com/dennismurphy1949  #MNDA

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