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London Marathon 2016 – I love this race!

I always look forward to writing this post, and then sit down to re-live the day and find it so hard. There are just NO words to describe running the London Marathon. It’s the marathon of all marathons (how can I say that, when I have only ever run London???) but I know it’s the one all runners want to experience at least once and I think it’s amazing!

I was slightly nervous this year, as last year had been so bad, I felt this was make or break in terms of whether I liked marathons and if I would want to do more!??! I had written my bronze, silver and gold goals here, but in all of them I had put the most important thing, was to enjoy it. Last year, I was so negative and felt so bad for not enjoying it; There were thousands of people who would have loved to have swapped places with me.

This year, I was enjoying it regardless, and this started well, by having the most amazing time at the expo. I decided to stay over in London the night before and that in itself was a comedy of errors! I couldn’t find the hotel even though Siri was directing me, I ended up ordering a Uber taxi to be driven about 200m! My porridge exploded in the hotel microwave in the morning; I had planned the journey from the hotel numerous times before the day and the estimated time had always said 21 minutes, well that was until I checked it one final time on the morning of the marathon. It now read 51 minutes, cue panic stations! Yep, you guessed it, it took 21 minutes and I was there nice and early!

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Norma No Mates!

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Taken an extra poncho in Cardiff came in handy!

We had sorted to meet members of #TeamMND prior to the start for a team photo. Meeting meant that we could all support each other, offer last-minute advice and reassurance. It also meant I got to experience the start with people, which always makes it much more fun. I made my way to the red start with Rob, Chris and Alex; this was all new territory for me, as I have always been blue start in previous years.

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I think the man behind may think I smell!!!!

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#TeamMND

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#TeamMND

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The Red Start is HUGE. The organisation is, as always, spot on and the bag drop and toilet visit was really quick and easy. I was in pen 9, which felt like it was right at the back, so I did try to weave myself forward a little. I loved all the costumes, and took the opportunity to take some selfies!

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The closest I’ll ever get to a 3:15 pacer! I think I was supposed to be looking tired, instead I look like I’m saluting them!

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How good is this Paddington Bear!

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This guy could not see out the front!!!!

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It took 25 minutes to get to cross the start line, and then we were off. The first 3 miles was unfamiliar to me, and I was surprised how much quieter the route is compared to blue, and it was a bit hilly. I didn’t remember blue being hilly? I tried desperately to start slowly and be sensible, but I still went off a little too fast. It was quite difficult to pace, as it was busy and I seemed to be with a slower paced group, so I think I weaved a little and picked up the speed too much once I saw a gap!

At mile 3, when we joined with the green and blue start, I was surprised at how few people there was on the other side of the road. I then remembered the head start that they had had, I’m sure at the back of blue start still only took about 10 minutes to get over the start line.

Around 3 miles, I also realised that I was going too fast, so made more of a conscious effort to slow my pace. I started chatting to anyone and everyone around me. I was loving running this event again! I remember saying to another runners, I must look stupid, I just can’t stop smiling! I was running comfortably and looking forward to Cutty Sark.

The noise and route around Cutty Sark is unbelievable – the crowds are 4/5 people deep, and the name shouts and support is awesome. I didn’t think it was possible, but my smile grew even more!

After Cutty Sark, I looked forward to Tower Bridge, but was surprised to hear and see members of my running club through this section. I can’t quite describe the boost it gives you to see friends!

Thanks Andy for this picture, I think it shows just how much I was enjoying this event.

Thanks Andy for this picture, I think it shows just how much I was enjoying running.

I spotted an MNDA runner and started to chat to her just before Tower Bridge, I had spoken to so many MNDA runners, but I knew that we were approaching Tower Bridge, so we stuck together and experienced it together. Tower Bridge, you are special!

As you exit Tower Bridge, you come to the section where the speedies are on the other side, about 10 miles ahead of you! I love watching them and shouting encouragement. I almost forget that I am running too!

My next focus was Mile 19, as I knew the Run Mummy Run support crew where there. I was starting to feel tired, by now, so loved the hug that I received from the group, they really boosted me to keep going.

Mile 21 is always special too. The MNDA cheer point is there, but before that Run Dem Crew support there too, so it is always very noisy and encouraging.

By mile 22, I was starting to slow. My legs were heavy and I thought about walking. At the expo, I had picked up a band that said ‘Tomorrow I will have no regrets’ and I kept repeating this to myself. I reasoned with myself that I could only walk through the tunnel just before mile 24 if I needed too. I picked up Lucozade just before the tunnel, so decided I needed to walk and take on some drink, I stretched a bit too, as my quads were sore.

As soon as I exited the tunnel, I started running again, well shuffling is probably a better description. I knew I was soon to be seeing my husband and daughter and I didn’t want them to see me walking! Trying to spot them in the crowd between 24 and 25 really took my mind off how much my legs wanted to stop. When I spotted them I felt the emotion come and the kiss from my daughter gave me the boost that I needed to get to the finish. When I turned at Big Ben, the 4:45 pacers edge ahead of me. I repeated ‘No regrets’, and with that I picked up the pace to ensure that I finished ahead of them. Another MNDA runner, Adam, was walking and we only had about 1KM to go, so I encouraged him and we ran the last section together. Every time I cross the finish line, I expect floods of tears, but they don’t come and this time was no different. I was just so relieved to have finished and even though it was tough, I had loved it.

As I walked towards baggage and tried to process what I had just done, I spotted John Major. I did a double take as no-one else around had really noticed and he waved! Rather bizarre!

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I wonder if John Major will be putting his name in the ballot for next year?

I am happy to report that I hit my Gold target,sub 4:45 and to enjoyed it. I actually finished in a time of 4:42:26, a 15 minute PB and I LOVED IT! 

London Marathon bling

I will certainly be putting my name in the ballot on the 2nd May! Anyone else?

 

 

#TeamMND - London Marathon 2014

#VMLM2016 training – week 15

So taper began with a bang! Well not so much a bang, but an ouch. I left the house as normal on Monday to head to work, and my knee gave way. I then experienced some pain, when walking! ARRGHHHHH I have had a similar pain before, but I don’t really remember how long it took to recover and/or what caused it!

So like any sane person, I put it down to ‘Maranoia’ and went training!

Monday – I attempted training, but to be honest I did more walking than running, and when I was running, I could feel a little discomfort in my knee. It just felt weak and I wasn’t running normally. I also felt shattered and had NO energy at all!

Tuesday – Rest. Some foam rolling and stretching.

Wednesday – My knee felt better walking, but I really didn’t want to chance it, so I skipped my run tonight. It was exactly 2 years ago today that I ran my first marathon, so I did enjoy reliving some of the photo’s from London 2014!

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Thursday – Club were doing hills today, so I thought maybe I would go out alone and try a little run. Just after this thought I stepped up the step and my knee twinged, so I took another rest day! 🙁

Friday – Another Rest Day – I am going crazy! I really want to run. I am not good at resting!

Saturday – I decided to go out and test the knee today. I hadn’t felt it twinge for a while, and I SO needed to run. Well let me clarify, I hadn’t felt it twinge, until I realised how cold it was outside, so went back inside to get my jacket prior to my run. Yep, you guessed it, every step I took I could feel my knee! This is really bad timing! As any sane person would – well runner would, I still went on my run.

Original I had planned to do 5 miles, but with the twinges I changed this to a 5k. I wore my watch, but didn’t look at it once. After a mile, I stopped and stretched, just to on the safe side. Whilst I was running, my knee felt fine. I couldn’t feel any twinges, but I did find the run hard work. It’s ridiculous how taper makes you feel like you haven’t completed any training! I could have completed a longer run, but the weather was awful and I thought it was better to see how the knee reacted to the run. I came home and stretched/foam rolled lots. I felt so many aches and pains in my legs. I just don’t understand it. Have a got serious ‘Maranoia”?

Knee testing run

I had to reward myself with chocolate milkshake!!

If you have you want to catch up on how my training has been, up until this point. Have a look here; Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12, Week 13, Week 14

 

#VMLM2016 training – week 14

So taper time is finally here, and I am SO ready for it! Well that was until I looked at my plan and it still said 15 miles for this weekend! That’s not much of a rest!

Monday – 3 mile recovery run. I was away, so I was lucky enough to complete this by the sea. I was surprised how good my legs felt. They got a little heavy towards the end, but I was still able to stick to a 10:20 pace!

 

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – 8 mile run. I love being on school holidays as running during the day is lovely. I had arranged to meet a friend at 1:30pm after looking at the weather, so you can imagine my dread when an absolutely down pour occurred at 1:00pm! I pulled out my long sleeve running top, my gloves and my rain jacket and took my grumpy face outside to meet my friend! It was cold, and I couldn’t believe the difference from the weather at the weekend. We both felt quite tired, so decided to take it as a slow jog. Yep, that was our plan, but in reality we worked quite hard, and actually I was really pleased with the pace.
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Thursday – 500’s at club. My legs were SO heavy. I could really feel all the miles in my legs! It was supposed to be run at 5k pace, but I really didn’t have that in me. I think my 500’s were run at around 8:50 pace and that was a hard enough.

Friday – Sports massage – I was so looking forward to this. Surprisingly, my sports masseur said how good my legs felt. They were tight from all the miles, but there wasn’t any real niggles, so that was good news.

Saturday – My plan said 15 miles for today – so much for TAPER!! I really wasn’t feeling this, I tried to think of every excuse to cut it short or not to go, but luckily I had arranged to meet some of my RunMND friends, so there was no way out. The first 3 miles were hard as always, trying to find a rhythm, but the route we took was lovely so it helped take me mind off the running.

Gorgeous running route


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After about mile 6, I started to feel comfortable – it takes me so long to warm up now! We ran at quite a pace, so I must say I was ready for it to be over around mile 13. It didn’t feel quite like the taper I have experienced in the past, but I’m glad I got it done. Surely, taper can start for real now!

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Sunday – Rest day

I love this time of year, as marathon season is in full flow now. Manchester today, Brighton next week and then London the following week 😀 Good luck to everyone running.

Donate here: www.virginmoneygiving.com/ruthwebb10

Are you running a marathon this year? If you have run marathons, which one is your favourite? Or which one is on your bucket list? 

 

#VMLM2016 training – Week 13

No club sessions at all this week, which I didn’t like 🙁 School holidays are amazing, obviously, I would say that being a teacher, but being out of routine is not so nice.

Monday – Most of my team mates ran the local 10K today, but after my weekends half marathon  I decided to opt for a nice easy 5 miles. I also looked at the weather forecast, and made my run later on in the day, when the sun was out. After Cardiff Half, I couldn’t face another wet and windy run!

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 6 miles easy. The weather was gorgeous today, and I really enjoyed my run. As it is school holidays, I could run in the morning, which I really like.

Thursday – Rest – although I did walk around London, so my legs did feel like they had a workout!

Friday – I felt really guilty for not running yesterday (a family day out was just more important) so I went out for a little 2 mile run. We are staying away from home, so I got to explore a little section of South Croydon!

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Kingston Breakfast Run 20 miles. My last long run, before the big one 🙂 It was a gorgeous day, I paced it well and I’m really glad it’s over!! I will put together a write-up very soon.

AT LAST it’s taper time, and I am so ready for it! There were so many races this weekend, I love this time of year! So well done if you ran. Let me know which races you did, just comment below! 

#VMLM2016 training – Week 12

Monday – Mile repeats at club. My legs were heavy from the weekends 20 miles, so these were completed at a steady pace, and to be honest the pace slowed considerably as the reps progressed.

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Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 8 miles steady run. I still felt the miles in my legs, and I constantly remind myself that I am training on tired legs. The run felt quite tough, but when finished I realised that  we had pushed the pace quite a bit, so I was happy with it.

Thursday – Drills at club. Lots of our club are running the local 10K on Easter Monday, so this was a light session. We completed some running drills, squats and light running. Probably just what I needed and lots of fun. I also had the best post delivery today too.

Friday – Rest – travelled to Cardiff Expo to collect my running number.

Saturday – IAAF Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships 🙂 It was amazing, and a full race report will be posted very soon.

Sunday – Rest.

Anyone else #runtheworlds ?