Monthly Archives: April 2015

What I Learned About Running the London Marathon – Post Match Analysis

mara

I have run the London Marathon and I loved it! If you have a hankering then you should certainly do it – honestly it was great fun – mainly.

OK do you want the blow by blow? Got a couple of hours? Ha ha no I would not do that to you but I will do a few bullet points just so I don’t forget what an amazing day I had. Here is what I have learned about running the London Marathon.

  • Blackheath can be a very very cold place indeed
  • Walking within a huge crowd to the beat of a drum towards your inevitable fate feels like being a tribute in the Hunger Games – you will feel sick.
  • The pubs of south London with their pint drinking crowds and pub landlord karaoke are hilarious and 1 of my favourite memories – a once – a twice – a 3 time a laideeeeee
  • At Cutty Sark your world is fabulous – you are having the best fun ever – you are going to do this every year! (It is mile 6 – you haven’t run very far)
  • Seeing people you know, loved ones, other runners – it is fabulous – don’t underestimate your role as a supporter.
  • The crowd noise coming up to Tower Bridge gives you a glimpse into the world of the Roman gladiators – addictive – until you get killed obviously.
  • Running away from Central London towards the Isle of Dogs isn’t as bad as you think.
  • Canary Wharf is mobbed! And where did all those buildings come from – it’s like the opening credits of Dallas down there.
  • At 19 miles this marathon lark feels very do-able – almost routine – easy innit?
  • At mile 20 – Hmm goes on a bit doesn’t it?
  • Mile 22 – Why are these ****ing bastards walking? Put some effort in fat boy – get out of my way – I am still trying to run you **** (v. similar to the bit in childbirth where you swear a lot, it means it is nearly over)
  • In the Blackfriars Tunnel Taylor Swift is Shaking it Off – good for her.
  • London’s landmarks are laid out before you – The Wheel, Big Ben – you don’t give a stuff.
  • Birdcage Walk – the severe pain that has appeared in your buttock starts to move into your lower back – baby will soon be here.
  • Turning the corner into the Mall everything falls away and you peg it to the end – hurray! You are met in your hour of triumph by no one in particular.

So there it is. Just a few thanks – to my long suffering family who put up with the whole thing and didn’t steal my beetroot juice – to boot camp Annie who understood that you MUST strength train to complete a marathon – to everyone who donated to CRY and the Tom and Claire fund – you raised nearly a thousand pounds which is simply stunning!!!!!!!

It really is a great day out if you fancy it?

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My marathon blog – no funny business….

I am ready for the London Marathon.

There I’ve said it. But I really don’t want to jinx anything and I now know why footballers are so superstitious – you really can’t take anything for granted. I have done 2 x 18 mile long runs and have no intention of going any further thanks – not until April 26th anyway. The weather is a bit kinder now and running has become a pleasure again – I shall keep it all ticking over nicely for the next 3 weeks but no funny business and no heroics. Physically all is well I think. I am often tired and frequently hungry but neither sleeping nor eating has ever been a problem for me – I love them both!

I have been thinking a lot about those difficult moments that are bound to come during the race and how I will deal with them. I used a mantra on my last 18 miler towards the end – which was, “I’ve got this” – which is quite a reassuring thing to say to yourself – I think I will use it when I go into the Blackfriars Tunnel which has proved such a low point for so many people.

It comes at around mile 20 when the balance of your mind can go a bit weird so it has to be respected. If I can train myself to see that tunnel as a positive thing – the beginning of the big finish, then all may yet be well.  I will say “Ah, here we are at the tunnel – I’ve got this” and off I go. That is the plan. Of course my natural inclination will be to say “Dear God what fresh hell is this” and fall to the ground sobbing – but that is not going to happen.

The race up to that point is through some rather uninspiring suburbs, the Isle of Dogs and round Canary Wharf – so I really need to appreciate the full glory of running through central London – past all those lovely landmarks – when I get the chance.

Teenager no 2  has helped me make a playlist – which I hope I will have the energy to put on at some point – full of uplifting tunes I love and also some of HER favourites, which will make me smile and think of my family – the only time Emo and Disco Funk will appear on the same list I suspect. My Chemical Romance plays Chic – there might be a market for it….  Usually I listen to the Archers omnibus on my long runs and I often talk back to the character as I go – “ooh nooo Dayvid – yer can’t sell the farm!” but I can’t see that going down too well on the 26th.

So there we go – from the hysteria of receiving my place in the post, to injury scares and painful sessions on the black spiky roller – its nearly time to get on that train to Greenwich – or is it Blackheath? Where did I put those instructions again…. –