I think it’s fair to say I went into this year’s London Marathon with a very different mindset to 2016. I wasn’t ill, I was enjoying a very rare week off work, and with a few more marathons under my belt, I was less stressed about the run, and excited to be back at such a well supported race.
I headed down a few days early for London, and spent a lovely couple of days with the delightful Steph. We relaxed in the sunshine, went for a couple of shakeout runs and a divine sunny lido swim, and generally caught up on life, which was just the tonic after a few tough weeks in A&E. We also went for a picnic in Richmond with the wonderful Rhianon. Sunshine, snacks and ultra babes- the best combination!
So by the time I headed over to Cat’s for a couple of days I was just where I needed to be: relaxed and starting to tan, with rested legs and a belly full of carbs. I got to catch up on ultra star Cat‘s latest running adventures, and navigate my way across London for a speedy expo visit. In, number collected, freebies from my faves at West Lab Salts, some new shorts aaaaand out. No hanging about!
I also got to finally visit Franco Manca in Putney for carb loading, and it did NOT disappoint. Worth running 26.2 miles for!
Race day eventually dawned, and rather than nerves, I felt pretty calm. I knew it was going to be a warm one, so I planned to set off at PB pace and see how it went (after all, I ran a PB in fairly hot weather in Paris last April), but was prepared to reassess at 10K. Bag drop, pre race loo stop and sunscreen all sorted, I even managed a chill and a chat with the lovely Drewbies in the green start.
I set off, and after meeting Insta pal Sarah in the start pen, I cruised through to 10K at PB pace, on target for sub 3:40. I could tell though, that it wasn’t sustainable. My whole head felt like it was on fire, but my body felt strangely cold, and my quads were already starting to feel pretty heavy. So nothing ventured, nothing gained- I tried PB pace on for size but I wasn’t ready for it in the warm weather after a cold winter. No shame in that.
So I eased my foot off the gas, and enjoyed the rest of the race. The sunny weather brought out seemingly everyone in London cheering, and the crowd support was superb. It carried me over Tower Bridge to halfway in 1:50, and I think my face says it all!
The second half felt much harder than the first, but with my eye off the clock, I really didn’t mind slowing down, but still wanted to finish in under 4 hours. At mile 19, I had a walk through the water station, some electrolytes and water, and a wee, and then trucked on and got it done.
3:54:58 on the clock, damage limitation complete and a sunny run through the best marathon crowds in the world. Job done. Now time for a bit of triathlon, and then marathon PB, I’m coming for you in the autumn. #BQorbust?