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?

Good timing or not….

I seem to be really struggling to find my running mojo! Not the best time for it to disappear, when I have 7 days until I run my second marathon!

I ran 20 miles on Good Friday (3rd April) and was so glad that meant taper time. Little did I know, that during taper, I would lose my mojo!!

I ran twice during the following week, but neither felt particularly comfortable! I then missed my long run last weekend, as I was away enjoying family celebrations. I decided that I would write it off and just pick up my weekly runs.

Monday came and went, and I thought about running, but it didn’t happen. I thought some more about it on Tuesday,and again it didn’t happen. On Wednesday I was determined to run!Not because I wanted too, but I felt I should. I got changed in to my kit, and then delayed, delayed and eventually went on the treadmill. It FELT horrible. I did 15 minutes, and gave up. It felt so hard, and I just couldn’t be bothered!

Thursday night, I got in to bed at 8pm and got up at 7am the next morning. I didn’t sleep ALL that time, but I just felt shattered.

I was awake early yesterday, so I decided to go for a run! I can’t say I wanted too, but I knew I needed too. It was a lovely morning, although a little chilly, and I believed that, if I headed out before I could think about it, I couldn’t back out.


Early morning view

I ran 5.8 miles, and wanted to stop occasionally , but I really WANTED it to feel so much easier! I tried running at marathon pace, but that hurt more! Not because it was too fast, but too slow and my legs hurt more when I tried to slow down. I didn’t seem to have a comfortable running style either! Why is this happening NOW? Please just let it be the joy of taper!

I have definitely completed more long runs this year, but somehow, I feel less prepared! I think this week, there will need to be A LOT of mental preparation!!

I am super excited to be going to the Expo on Friday. Last year, I met Michael Owen!

IMG_0210 Wonder if I can beat that this year? Think it would need to be Paula Radcliffe!!

Who would you most like to meet at the expo?

The Dreadmill….


Excuse the mess of the garage!!!!

I always refer to it as the dreadmill, but I’m actually feeling this is a little harsh. This week, it has saved me. With the weather being so cold, I’ve not been feeling too great and having an easy week on the plan, I’ve headed to the treadmill for my last 2 runs. Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather be heading outside, but when needs must my trusty treadmill is not so bad!

Competition time…. Nuun hydration tablets

COMPETITION ALERT!! Wahooooo – who doesn’t love the chance of winning a prize!

I always feel a little guilty when trying to raise sponsorship money for events, as it always seems to be the same people who I ask – Friends and family. To try to combat this problem, I have been busy contacting lots of companies asking them to donate prizes. The lovely people at Nuun have donated a variety of flavoured hydration electrolyte tablets, a water bottle and a sample of body glide.


Win all of this – worth around £50

I have been using the tablets since reading about them on Leah’s blog. I like the fact that they are sugar-free, carb-free and each tablet is under 6 calories. They are light, refreshing tablets that you add to water. Click here to read more about Nuun

I am not great at drinking enough water! I never really feel thirsty and can sometimes go hours without drinking. I have been making a conscious effort to drink more during the day, and  I find that when I have added Nuun to my drink bottle, I do drink more! My personal favourite is the tri berry flavour, but there are lots of different flavours to try!

So, how do you win the prize, I hear you asking!? Frequent readers of my blog (hello Mum, Sarah and Becky!) will know that my amazing father died in 2010 from Motor Neurone Disease. It devastated our family, not only losing him, but seeing him suffer too. The disease is awful, and once diagnosed is a death sentence, as there is no cure! It attacks a person’s body, leaving them helpless and weak. Even after all these years, I still find it hard to write about, so if you would like to know more about it, please click here, and read Mark’s blog. He is living with the disease.

So, back to the competition! I would like to raise more awareness and funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, so if you follow my blog, I will enter your name into the competition. If you donate money to my fundraising page (click here to go through to the page) for every £1 you donate, I will enter your name twice. It’s a bit little like buying a raffle ticket for 50p! I’m hoping everyone is following this, but just incase, an example. If person A, follows my blog, that’s one entry, they then go and donate £2, that’s another 4 entries! Person A’s name will then appear in the random name generator 5 times, giving them more chance of winning. Hope that makes sense! (If not, drop me a comment below and I’ll answer any questions)

The competition will run until Sunday 21st February and I will notify the winner on Sunday 22nd. As I have to post the prize to the winner, the competition is only open to people in the UK. Good Luck, and please share, as the money could go towards helping find a cure for people suffering with MND.