28th April 2019
This is it the official photograph from the Virgin London Marathon 2019. Six months of training and as you can see from the look on my face the sheer elation of collecting the medal in front of Buckingham Palace was a moment I will never forget.
Queuing up at Red Start I had to admit there was a moment I asked myself, ‘Why am I doing this’. The giant task ahead of me did seem totally daunting. I had a mantra that got me through, I have done the training, I have got this, I have done the training, I have got this, over and over to myself.
The claxon went off and the race began, for the first few miles, the crowds were small and spaced out, but loud with their cheering. I ran with the group around me which was quicker than I had trained, at mile three the Red start merged with the runners from the Green start which slowed the field.
Mile 6 I was happy to settle into my stride and at 10K I was on target with a 1 hour steady pace.
Mile 7 Running up to the magnificent sight of the Cutty Sark and seeing the crowds cheering was a real highlight for me.
Mile 8/9 was my first point of contact with some very dear friends and family who worked as hard as I did criss-crossing over London and managing to catch me at four points. I can’t describe the lift it gives runners when there are friends and family on the route. They made such a difference, spurring me on the next meeting.
Mile 12.5 Tower Bridge was another highlight, I had been told how brilliant it is to see the bridge looming and the crowds, and I was not disappointed. The wall of sound was amazing, I stopped for a few moments taking it in. Looking to my right though I could see the fast runners who were already on their 22nd mile, made me realise how much further I had to go!
Mile 13.1 (Halfway) I was happy with 2 hours 20, a few minutes off my best half marathon time of 2.14 minutes. All was going to plan and I was very pleased with the progress.
Mile 17 This is where the wheels came off, stomach cramps meant I couldn’t run for a mile so drinking lots of water and walking as fast as I could until the cramps wore off. I had trained with so many different gels and snacks trying to find one that didn’t cause cramps and I hoped I found a solution but alas, I didn’t.
Mile 18 I really had to have a good talk with myself because I knew that the stomach cramps had put an end to the under 5 hour marathon that I hoped for and this was hampering my enjoyment of the event. So I decided to keep my head up and take in the sights and sounds of the race and move toward the finish line.
Mile 23 Seeing Tower Bridge again and realising I only had three and a bit miles to go gave me the push I needed.
Mile 25 Seeing the family one last time before the end bought a rush of emotion that I could not control, their encouragement and faith I could do it bought tears to my eyes.
Mile 26 Running down Embankment seeing the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben knowing only round this corner I would see Buckingham Palace was a heady feeling.
Mile 26.2 Wow, just wow, I ran towards the finish line and going through my head was, ‘I have just run the Virgin London Marathon, I am running on the same road Sir Mo and Eliud Kipchoge had been on earlier in the day!’ What a moment.
Collecting the medal there are no words to describe, tears, pride and gratitude my body got me through. Above all the patience and love of my family and friends for helping me achieve this moment. Thank you to all my colleagues, clients friend and family who help me raised £3.232.20 for Action for Children .
I’m very proud and shocked to be able to officially call myself a ‘Marathoner‘ – this day will live with me as a highlight for the rest of my life.
26th April 2019
It is nearly here. The bib was collected yesterday. My training plan for the last few days is in hand. And the weather looks good for running! Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this epic ‘journey’. I know that phrase is overused but it really has been a journey and I wanted to share a few of my highs and lows ahead of the Big Day.
How hard is it?
Harder than I expected. But equally more enjoyable than I expected which has been a real added bonus. When I saw the training schedule 16 weeks ago it read as another language and the time I needed to devote to the task was daunting. My first concern was how to fit it in in around having a new puppy, work and family. To all our surprise my family have also enjoyed the ride of and have lived the highs and lows with me. Meeting me at the end of the runs and discovering new areas together. Milo, the puppy, on the other hand has been quite jealous of all the miles I am clocking up without him!
The Positive Affect on work
How will it affect Chiltern Relocation was also a huge concern, however fitting in the runs at lunchtime or after work has been easier than I thought. I have discovered new areas and others in greater detail through runners eyes. We are lucky to have a wealth of varying terrain in the Chilterns which is ideal for runners whether it is through the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or along the huge variety of riverside paths. It has also given me the time to think and plan the direction of the business, what’s working and how we can improve further. My ‘off-site’ work brainstorming runs have been very picturesque as I have run and planned!
Running through the changing seasons has been a joy. From the lows of hail, rain and wind to seeing the start of spring has got to be a highlight. Also the positive comments and waves from passers-by or fellow runners has given me a huge lift and of course all my family, friends and clients who have taken an interest and supported me on the ‘journey’ has been fantastic – thank you. Finally knowing this crazy challenge has and will continue to make a difference by raising money and awareness for disadvantaged children for Action for Children
Box fresh Brook Brothers running shoes
First ever 10K in Richmond Park pre Christmas
Ankle trouble needed strapping (4 weeks off training)
Sprained wrist (fell over a hidden root in woods
High Viz vest for dark evening runs
Burns Night Fundraiser
Cake sale Fundraiser
Wine and Mini eggs got me though some tough runs
Relief at being 100% of target £2500 phew!
Very very wet hail stone run
Wonder Woman outfit arrived
Countdown to Marathon app
My running buddy Helen after Windsor 20 miles
Action for Children vest
Lovely sunny 18 mile run along River Thames
Finishers medal from Vitality Big Half in London
Stash of medals collected on the journey.
My Just Giving link is here