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.
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.
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 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 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 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 6 – Slow down. Try different ways to run to help alleviate the knee pain.
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 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 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 10 – My right foot is very sore, and this is hurting.
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 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 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 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 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 16 – I just wanted it to be over!
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 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 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 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 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 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 26 & .2 – I shuffled towards the finish line, told Kate that she had no choice, we were finishing #handinhand
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!
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?