Well, that didn’t go to plan – London Marathon 2015

After the thrill of running my first marathon in London last year, I was over the moon to get a ballot place for this year. I had enjoyed it so much last year, I wanted to do it all over again, and faster. I had an added bonus, that my running buddy Kate (AKA Chicken) also got a place. I had grand plans, and started the training back in January. I wasn’t so daunted with the mileage this year, as I knew I could complete a marathon.


Myself and Kate at the start of London 2015. It was cold a wet, hence the bin bags!

Training went OK, but having moved house, being in a completely new area, I did struggle with some of the mid-week runs in the dark alone, but generally the long runs had gone well. Last year, I only managed one long run of 18.6 miles, but this year I competed 2 x 20 milers and an 18 miler, so I was sure I was going to be able to get a PB. How wrong could I be!

After my final 20 miler, 3 weeks before London, I felt like I lost my motivation. I really found it hard to get out for the runs, even though they were not too far. When I did get out, they just felt SO hard. I convinced myself it was just taper madness. Then, the week prior to London, I got really bad knee pain. It kept twinging and hurt to go up stairs, but when I ran on it, after 2 minutes the pain had gone completely – It must be taper madness.

I had an awesome day at the expo, and couldn’t wait for Sunday to arrive, but mentally, I didn’t feel I was as prepared as I should have been. I knew I wasn’t as confident about it as I should have been. Maybe that is why it didn’t go to plan!??

Last year, I felt like the marathon passed me by, and there are sections I just can’t remember, so this year I wanted to take it all in. So here is mine and Kate’s race! We took selfies at every mile marker, and I’ve tried to give you a glimpse in to what I was thinking!

Mile 1 – Wow, its cold! I can’t believe I am doing this again.

London Marathon 2015 - Mile 1

Mile 1 – Not so good at the selfie, so just got Kate’s eye!

Mile 2 – Kate runs off to the toilet, and I feel a little worried that might be the end of our race together. I run slowly down the side of the road, she told me to stay on, and was relieved when she appeared again.


Mile 2 – Almost got both of us in!

Mile 3 – This feels good, and the pace is comfortable. Told Chicken about last year, when I took a video of myself and Lauren at this point, saying ‘OMG we are running the London Marathon!


Mile 3 – Getting better at the selfie, we even got another person in!

Mile 4 – KNEE PAIN STRUCK – the same pain that I had experienced the week before. This isn’t supposed to happen. I’ll run it off, I’ll be fine.


Mile 4

Mile 5 – STILL KNEE PAIN! What if this means I can’t complete it? This is too early to be suffering! The song ‘county road’ blares out. My daughter sings this lots, and it made me think of her. Tears well up!


Mile 5 – I think this is a pretty good picture!

Mile 6 – Slow down. Try different ways to run to help alleviate the knee pain.


Mile 6

Mile 7 – Knee pain comes and goes now, but it does feel like it’s easing. Phone battery dies, so Kate has to take over the selfies!


Mile 7 – Photo bombed by Rach!

Mile 8 – Ok, the pain has gone and I can run ok, but I feel more tired then I should for this section of the race.


Mile 8 – My battery had gone flat, so Kate’s first attempt at the selfie.

 Mile 9 – FOOT PAIN! I have orthotics in my trainers, and it felt as though they had moved, and every time my foot landed, it was as though I was stepping on a stone.


Mile 9

Mile 10 – My right foot is very sore, and this is hurting.


Mile 10

Mile 11 – I met MNDA runner Andrew, we shared a running hug. He was looking really strong. Last year, I met him on Tower Bridge. He asked how I was doing, and I think I responded with ‘not good‘.


Mile 11

Mile 12 – Last year, I was so surprised how Tower Bridge just appeared, so this year I knew it was on its way. We were also looking for Kate’s husband, as he was just before Tower Bridge. I spotted him! We ran past, but just before we crossed, I had to stop to loosen my laces on my sore foot. I told Kate to carry on. I was gutted we didn’t cross Tower Bridge together, as I remember how special it was last year. I made sure that I spotted Denise Lewis this year, and as exited the bridge, I was really concentrating on the fact that my foot hurt. My name was shouted. When I turned around I saw my cousin Katie. I felt confused, should I stop? But then I’ll never catch Kate up?


Mile 12

Mile 13 – I was so glad when I saw Kate, she had slowed down and walked so I could catch her for the Mile 13 selfie. We took the picture and I tried to run – my foot was SO painful.


Mile 13 – The smiles have gone!

Mile 14 – After some more walking, and attempting to run, I told Kate that I thought I’d fractured my foot! I told her to go on, but she stayed with me saying, we will finish, we will just run/walk.


Mile 14 – Smile or a grimace?

Mile 15 – Even walking was uncomfortable! I was really not enjoying it, and this made me feel worse, as I knew there were so many people who would have loved to be where I was!


Mile 15 – Not happy

Mile 16 – I just wanted it to be over!


Mile 16 – I think I’ve had enough!

Mile 17 – This is where I saw my family last year, and gave my daughter the biggest hug! When I saw that same point this year, I had to fight really hard not to cry! Why was it all going wrong? Just before mile 18, my cousin jumped out of the crowd, and I just cried! She walked with us for a little while, telling me that I was doing fine and it would be over soon.


Mile 17

Mile 18 – It doesn’t matter how old you are, when things are going wrong you just want your mum, and that’s the one person I thought about lots during this mile.


Mile 18

Mile 19 – Canary Wharf is always loud, and I knew that the RMR cheering point was there, so I tried running some more, and for the first time my foot pain started to ease, but the running was hard and I had little energy.


Mile 19

Mile 20 – I just need to keep going, as I knew the MNDA cheer point was at mile 21. My hands had started to swell, and I had to remove my sweat band. My body was not enjoying this race!


Mile 20 – Another grimace?

Mile 21 – I was so happy to see the MNDA cheer point. Some of the people who had run last year were there, and the hugs I got really boosted me, but I remember telling them all, I’m hating this, It’s so hard!


Mile 21

Mile 22 – 25 I just had to grit my teeth. I felt like I could do a little more running, well it was more like shuffling. The crowd must have seen the pain in my face and were calling my name. I felt embarrassed as I was walking! I was relieved when we got in to the tunnel, no one could see me walking. I shuffled as much as I could down the embankment and towards the Mall


Mile 22


Mile 23


Mile 24


Mile 25

Mile 26 & .2 – I shuffled towards the finish line, told Kate that she had no choice, we were finishing #handinhand


365 yards to go!



I cried at the end, I was so disappointed that it had gone so wrong and had been so hard. I apologised to Kate and thanked her for staying with me. I really don’t think I would have made it around without her. I said NEVER again, but as you can imagine I have changed my mind already. My name will be in the ballot when it opens on May 4th!


The bling

I kind of thought that my knee and foot would be really sore Sunday night/ Monday, but they haven’t been. This has made me feel worse. Did I make them up?

So, Sunday wasn’t my day, and maybe it will be the kick up the backside that I need to address my nutrition and strength and conditioning to make me stronger. But I did raise over £700 for MNDA, so thank you to Nuun, Graze box and tribesports for donating prizes, and to everyone that sponsored me.

If you ran London, how did your race go?

LondonMarathon Expo

Yesterday, I headed down to London, to the Expo, to register and collect my number. I felt a little sad dropping my daughter at pre-school, as she is not going to be at the marathon this year. I told her to look out for me on the TV. She’ll never see me, but at least she can be inspired by the 1000’s of people running.


Mile 17 at last years London Marathon

I enjoyed the Expo so much last year, so was really looking forward to it, and it never disappointed! Registration is straight forward, with really helpful, cheerful staff. Once registered, you head into the Expo, which is runners Heaven!



So many people in the same place, that all share the same passion as you! I knew it would be easy to spend a fortune, so I went with a plan!

I wanted another T-Shirt for my daughter. Runderwear,  as I had heard such great things about them via Twitter. There has been such a buzz about the product for the last month or so.

A Tribesports top. And then to take part in as much of the free promo/social media opportunities.

I will always run for my Dad, and support MNDA. One day a cure will be found, so people have the chance to fight it.


This was my estimate of my finishing time!

The t-shirt quality for my daughter wasn’t the same as last year, but I think they have made them cheaper to purchase, so more accessible for everyone. And to be honest, after marathon week, I feel a bit embarrassed when she wears it!


No pressure!

Runderwear had a special offer on,  so I bought 2 pairs for £25. The staff were lovely. Really knowledgeable, very friendly and extremely helpful. I had a 10 minute run to do yesterday, so I tried them out straight away. Wow! I will do a full report on them soon, but I can definitely see why everyone is raving about them!

I went to say hi, and thank you to Tribesports for their raffle donation. Their kit is also amazing. The material is so soft and I love that the colours aren’t the usual pink for women. Unfortunately, they didn’t have my size top left, but they gave me a discount code to use online, so I am heading to their website (although that worries me as it could mean more than a T shirt!)

Whilst walking around, I also saw Dame Kelly Holmes and had my picture taken with her.


Dame Kelly Holmes

I left the Expo tired, but totally pumped for Sunday. I just hope the weather forecast is wrong. I don’t mind running in rain, I just think it will spoil the party for the spectators.

If you are running Sunday, Good Luck. If you are spectating, let me know where, so I can look out for you.

You can still donate here

Well that’s that then….

I have finished my main bulk of training for this years London Marathon with another 20 miler. My first long run with my cousin Katie (she blogs over at Running with Ghost) which was great. She took me off to explore here hometown. It included some off-road, canal paths and road running. My legs felt ok up until about 17 miles, then at that point, I just wanted it to be over! I am putting that down to having run 18 miles the week before – if not London may be quite tough! ?

I am now officially in to taper. There are only three weeks to go, and now its Maraonia time. Time to regret all the strength training that I didn’t do, the weight that I didn’t lose and the stretches that I didn’t do enough of!

I have completed more long runs this year, but still have doubts about completing the race. Last year I did 1 run of 18.6 miles 2 weeks prior, but this year I have managed 2 x 20 miles and an 18, so I should be ok. I say ‘should,’ as a marathon is a VERY long way, and you just don’t know how you are going to feel on the day.

Everyone looks forward to taper, but the extra time on your hands makes you WORRY! Last year it was ,what if I can’t finish it? What if I hit ‘the wall’? What if I haven’t trained hard enough? What if….? Second time round, I am still having the ‘What ifs! I worry that I may not enjoy it as much as last year, the weather was lovely, I met some amazing people, I actually enjoyed the running and I got the time that I had trained for! What if I get my pacing wrong? What if I don’t get a PB? What if I just don’t feel like it on race day? Ok enough with the ‘what ifs’…

Let’s think about the things I can control. So, three weeks to go so what can I do?

  • Eat well.
  • Hydrate well.
  • Sleep lots.
  • Stretch and foam roll lots.
  • Familiarise myself with race day and going  to the expo – travel times, book train tickets, check kit etc.
  • I’d really like to get familiar with what my marathon pace feels like. I’m sure I should already know this, but as I’ve explained in previous posts, I am rubbish at pacing!

I have been thinking about what inspired me to run marathons. I know that I have written about it on the blog before – here and here, but I also wrote it for a Guardian witness article too, check it out here. I also have another exciting competition to launch, so be sure to check back soon, and get involved.

So, any wise words to help me during taper? How do you stay positive and over come the ‘What ifs’?

Week 11 of training

Last week, after my 20 miles on Sunday, I decided to have a drop back week. I felt my body needed some extra rest. I planned two easy runs in the week and then 13 miles at the weekend. 

Easy weeks, I’ve found out now, are much harder than normal training weeks! I found it really hard to motivate myself to run, and ended up doing both my mid week runs on the treadmill, at a very slow pace and not very far!!

I wasn’t running too far or fast, yet was so hungry all the time! I even got tweet of the week in the #extramile newsletter! 


I was lucky that I had arranged to meet one of my fellow #TeamMND runners from last years marathon, to complete my long run. If I’d had to do it on my own, I think I would have struggled. Psychologically I kept think ‘oh, it’s only 13 miles!’ I felt ok whilst running, but after I felt shocking- so tired, heavy legged, niggles everywhere!

I even had the joy of meeting a Dalek whilst running on Sunday!  


So, on to Week 12 I go. It’s getting so close now. Hope everyone’s training is going well!


Be careful what you wish for!


I was visiting the in-laws in Scotland, and was looking forward to getting some of my runs in whilst there. I have been visiting Dundee for a long time now and have discovered some great routes. I love running by water, so along the River Tay is ideal.

Where I live now, I consider fairly hilly, and I know routes along the River Tay that are flat!! So I couldn’t wait!

On the plan, a 45 min recovery run was scheduled. When I looked out of my hotel window and the sun was out!! Woop woop!


I walked to the river, headed round the corner of the last building and straight in to WIND!! Omg it was windy. My first mile and a half was into the wind! For every step I took forward, I felt like I was blown back 2!! I couldn’t wait to turn around and have the wind behind me!! It was SO hard, I actually think I missed the hills!!!!

After this experience, it concerns me that heavy rain and wind is forecast for Brighton half this weekend!! Anyone else toeing the line on Sunday?


Week 6 – London Marathon Training


Away at the moment, so just a quick update from last week!

Monday – rest

Tuesday – was supposed to do 40 minutes, but only managed 20 on the treadmill before work! (Husband was away!!)

Wednesday – speed work – 10 minutes warm up, 60 secs fast, 2 minutes jog x 8, 10 minutes cool down. Couldn’t wait to check speed when I got home!! Legs felt like lead, so wasn’t expecting anything fast!! Didn’t set Garmin up correctly, so have no idea of pace as it didn’t track distance! Doh!

Thursday – rest

Friday – tempo run. Completed on treadmill, 10 minutes warm up, 5 min tempo, 5 mins steady x3, 10 minutes cool down. Completed tempo sections at 9.30 pace, so happy with that.

Saturday – rest.

Sunday – Long run – 10 miles. Really wasn’t up for it, legs felt heavy until about 5 miles in. Wanted to give up every minute up until about 7 miles, then at 9 miles, couldn’t wait for it to be over!! But done and dusted. One to week 7!

Some sponsorship money started to come in this week, so that was very exciting and motivating!


Week 7 will end with Brighton half. Anyone else collecting bling this weekend?