Session Time: 30 minutes
Distance Covered: 3.5 miles
Total Time: 11 Hours 48 minutes
Total Distance Covered: 59.2 miles
So yesterday was the big day.
The day so many people were waiting for.
Anticipation was high.
It was the London Marathon.
And no. I wasn’t running in it (although a few people thought I was!)
I might be a bit bonkers, but I’m not quite crazy enough to do a marathon with only 2 months of training from a complete standing start (close, but no cigar!)
But I was watching…
…and wondering (aloud!) what on earth I was thinking when I signed up for this.
For those of you who aren’t local, yesterday was a gorgeous day. There were blue skies, the sun was shining…it was perfect…
…as long as you weren’t running a marathon.
It was a scorcher and it was obvious from watching the race that it was a struggle for a lot of people.
But it didn’t stop them.
It was amazing to watch.
There was the guy in the giant Nurse costume (I believe his name was Rob), John Farnworth the guy doing keep ups with a football all the way around, the smurf, the guy with a giant tiger on his back, the guy running with a washing machine on his back (YES, a WASHING MACHINE ON HIS BACK!!!)…and way more mankinis than should ever be allowed.
Even just the regular people running their way around London were inspiring.
(Special mention goes out to Charlotte, doing her first ever marathon for diabetes UK – well done, I knew you could do it!! 🙂 )
Just imagining the sense of achievement and pride they must have felt when crossing the finish line was all I needed to give me a kick up the bum (or a whack with the spatula) this morning and push myself that bit further on today’s party session.
So party we did.
We got up, grabbed our kit and hit the streets.
…and today spurred on by the marathon runners we decided to go a different route.
So we set off, and headed for the countryside.
It sounded like a great idea – running through the fields on a spring morning. Perfect.
…except if the fields are full of rapeseed in full bloom and you suffer with hay fever.
Well the panting Labrador was more the wheezy Labrador today…
And I’m not going to lie – it was tough.
But we kept going.
(Sidebar – my immediate thought to this experience was that it would be better for us to run a different route in the morning so as not to flare up my hay fever and asthma…but on further thought it actually occurred to me that if we carry on with this route and I get used to running in these conditions then when I do the race it should actually be a little easier…so the plan is to stick with it).
Having got to the other side of the fields, it was on to the next nemesis.
When considering our potential alternative routes we discussed this one and I was initially a little hesitant as there is a significant hill (which we would be doing in the upwards direction!) but training buddy was insistent…so we went for it.
…and I’m so glad we did.
I managed to find my rhythm a little earlier today and had whole periods where I had my stride, things were going well and I actually got to just enjoy the experience for a bit (something those of you who know me well will never have expected to hear!)
Knowing the hill was looming there was a little part of me that thought it might be better to have a little walk beforehand, just to make sure that I could do it easily…but there was a bigger part of me that having seen the race yesterday said “don’t be ridiculous…just keep going!”
Sidebar – the other thing that I really learned from watching the marathon yesterday was to really focus a bit more on my body while I’m running. I’ve been trying hard to focus on pulling up, breathing well, where my foot is hitting the ground etc, but the thing that really struck me yesterday was something that seemed very simple. It came to me when I was watching the front runners for the women’s race. For a while the Russian Liliya Shobukhova was out in front with a good pace. But what struck me about watching her was just how uncomfortable she looked. Her neck and shoulders seemed almost solid. But it was working – so hey, who am I to criticise?! But then something interesting happened. All of a sudden the Kenyan Mary Keitany started pulling ahead…further…and further…and further. What struck me was not how far and fast she pulled ahead (though it was very impressive!) It was just how relaxed and comfortable she looked. It seemed easy, it seemed natural and her neck and shoulders were loose and relaxed. This was probably the single biggest thing that I took from watching the race – do EVERYTHING you can to stay as comfortable as you can! 🙂
Anyway, learnings from Mary firmly in my mind, I relaxed my shoulders, and kept on running, down the first hill, along the road, all the way up the second hill and halfway to the rec.
In one go.
I was a VERY happy bunny.
With VERY wobbly legs!
So, we kept on going, across the rec, halfway across the nature reserve….and then it happened.
I twisted my ankle.
Heading down to one of the gates, my foot slipped and next thing I know it hurt.
Quite a lot.
So we stopped, we stretched and all seemed ok so we kept going.
We had a little walk to get the ankle going and then jogged all the way back – and the last little stint we even picked it up to a proper run!! Woo hoo!!
I felt FANTASTIC!
Celebrated with a couple of happy dances outside the house, and then a bounce on the rebounder in the back garden.
We’re definitely back on track.
The only downside is that for some reason this evening my ankle has decided to complete the delayed reaction to the incident this morning so I’ve spent the last couple of hours with my foot raised and ankle on ice.
Fingers crossed it’s just in sympathy for all the runners around the UK who must have very achy legs and very sore feet but very proud grins tonight…
…because a little blip like this is most definitely not going to stop my upward climb to a marathon medal of my own!! 🙂
Another step closer x