2018 the year I ran my first marathon, the London Marathon! What an opportunity! I never ever thought that I would run a marathon but I did!
The year started with a parkrun, New Year’s Day, up and out early to drive 20 miles to the closest one on that day. Luckily I didn’t drink too much alcohol the night before, it was just a late night! My husband and I drove to Norwich as my local parkrun wasn’t on, Catton Park parkrun was mostly on grass that was quite muddy which made it completely different to what I’m used to but that’s not a bad thing as it was just for fun and the best way to start the year.
So January was the start of serious training, 4 months to be marathon ready. I don’t like winter so going out running in the cold and rain was definitely challenging but I had a goal. I needed to run at least four or five times a week. Which I mostly did making sure I did one long run a week gradually increasing the distance.
I only had one race booked before the marathon, The London Winter Run, I ran it the year before and really enjoyed it so decided to do it again. It was only 10k at the beginning of February so I could incorporate it into my training.
London Winter Run a good race and a good time
Training carried on going well, apart from at the beginning of March when the weather became difficult. It snowed! We don’t usually get much of the white stuff so this was a lot. I don’t have the correct footwear for snow so there was no way I could run outside, I also don’t like to drive in it either, so the gym was a no no too. So I had a week off. As soon as the snow was gone I was back on it running four or five times a week. I managed to run a distance up to 35km, just under 4 hours of running the streets alone just me and my music but I loved it. If I weren’t ready now then I never would be.
I tapered for two weeks, preparing myself for my biggest challenge ever. I was so excited and nervous even when I went to the London Expo the Wednesday before race day to pick my number up, this was real, that’s all I could think! My husband and my parents accompanied me to the expo and we had a great day out. The weather in London was pretty hot and sunny and race day was predicted to be very warm too which wouldn’t be good, five hours of running in the sun and heat isn’t a good mix! Especially when most of your training is done in the cold and rain. I bought a cap at the expo as I thought I’d need it on race day if it was going to be that hot, I needed something to keep the sun off my face. My last training run I wore it to make sure I was comfy running in a hat.
Sunday 22nd April 2018, a day I will never forget, I ran the London Marathon. I still can’t believe I did it. It is the most amazing thing to have ever done. The runners, the crowds, the support are all out of this world, I was on a high the whole way round. Yes I was extremely nervous and yes it hurt but it was so worth it to have experienced the London marathon. I ran it in 5 hours 6 minutes 46 seconds and I am so proud of myself. It was the hottest London marathon on record at 24 degrees Celsius and full sunshine throughout. For some of you that might not be that hot but for those that live in the UK, you’ll know that we don’t get temperatures like that too often and as I trained throughout the winter with temperatures more like freezing or one or two degrees above, I certainly wasn’t prepared for that kind of heat!
I don’t think any other race will ever beat the feeling I had when I completed the London Marathon, it was quite overwhelming and very emotional. It was my first marathon, I’d never ran 26.2 miles before and didn’t know whether I’d do it again but it was the most amazing feeling ever!