There are two things in this life that terrify me: bananas and feeling/being sick. One of those fears I overcame and the other I didn’t.
It’s no great secret that I have struggled with the training for this marathon. When you add in a new place you don’t know well, not knowing many people to run with, having two jobs (one of which is busy and new), being a company director, having a previous life to sort out – any kind of marathon training is virtually impossible.
I haven’t enjoyed the lead up to this marathon much either. The training for Brighton involved beautiful runs along the beach and runs out in the countryside, not a bypass!
BUT London is a once in a lifetime marathon and I was so fortunate to be given the opportunity to run I was going to give it everything I had, in spite of picking up ITB strain and glute pain 2 weeks before.
I stayed up in London the night before with a friend of mine who was also running where I was treated to fajitas, a comfy bed, copious amounts of delicious banana cake and a lift to the station.
I’d been feeling quite tired, my leg was stiff and I was a bit apprehensive beforehand, but having someone to chat with before the race was great, Zoe went off to her insanely quick pen (3:15-3:30) and I headed back to my pen (4:15-4:30). I knew a few people from my running club would be the same pen, but I didn’t spot anyone until just after we got started. So what a lovely surprise when I bumped into Tony!?! What a treat to have someone as positive as him to run with! My strategy was to start quite slowly and save any energy in the legs for later on when it gets tough. I started to feel twinges in my legs from about mile 8, which got me feeling quite worried to start with, but actually they started to go after about 10 miles and I was starting to feel quite comfortable, if a little hot. Tony and I chatted for the next 5 or 6 miles and I started to feel really jaded in myself and as if I was going to vomit. My heart was racing and I felt ‘wrong’. I had to stop for a little while and get some salts on board so I ate a few salted cashews and off I went again.
Between miles 19 and 21 I walk/jogged a bit as the running was making my feel really quite ill and I had a lump in my throat. I just wanted the whole ordeal to be over, but the crowd support was wonderful – ‘come on Sian – you can do it’ brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart. I called and sent a text to Rich and told him how ill I was feeling and he said to just take it easy and not go for a time so that’s what I did. At mile 22 I decided to suck it up and push on. My legs were feeling good, my stomach wasn’t and it took every ounce of strength for me to keep going.
All that time I had worried about my legs and didn’t even think about how I would actually feel in myself.
- Hanging out with Zoe at the start.
- Crowd support was epic! I felt like everyone in the crowd was a friend looking out for me.
- Seeing the legend that is Sami at mile 8!!
- Running 17-odd miles with the lovely Tony.
- Superb organisation – like a well-oiled machine.
- The phenomenal support I had from Adidas UK and the lovely guys at Speed Communications. Thank you! x
- Showers along the route – awesome!
- No blisters and feet in one piece – loved my Adidas Boosts!
- Having to duck and dive, and lose my rhythm because of congestion.
- The heat and the lack of a breeze (I forget how stuffy cities can be).
- Feeling sick when my legs were feeling good.
- I hate sweets of any nature (well, at least for a month).
I finished in 5:08 – still a PB by 12 minutes. I am counting the days until my legs are able to get faster again and start working towards my goal of a 1:50 half marathon.
Will this be my last marathon? Probably – I went out on a high though! :-)
Thanks to Zoe for a place to stay, Sami for the hug at mile 8, Tony for running with me and taking the fab pictures, Adidas for providing my kit and my place, David and Harry at Speed Communications for being fab, and Ben from Full Potential for his support! And well done to everyone who took part and all the marvelous supporters – you rock! x