For regular readers of this blog, you will know I am a fan of Tribesports kit. Last year, they generously donated a £50 voucher for me to raffle, to help raise funds for MNDA.
I first came across their kit, when they were link to Marathon Talk Jantastic programme. Katie and myself used to rival each other all the way through the programme, so when I needed to buy her a present, it was a no brainer to buy her a Jantastic top.
Katie modelling her new top, and I managed to catch her with flying feet 🙂
I was very impressed with the quality of the top, and it was not long after I bought a couple of their long sleeve running tops, and to be honest, I have pretty much lived in them all winter. The are lightweight, comfortable, long and warm. They also come in some really pretty colours too!
They are now involved with the Parkrun community, and I know it’s not going to be long before I purchase one of their Parkrun t-shirts; you can even have them personalised to your home park run!
So, why am I telling you all this? They recently sent me a referral code through, so if anyone is looking for new kit and have not shopped at Tribesports before, you can get 20% off your first order and I get £10 gifted to me for introducing a new customer. Please feel free to share and happy shopping.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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
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!
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.
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!
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.