April 18, 2014
If you missed it, part one is here
I think the next time I came to a landmark, it was Cutty Sark, I thought that would have been bigger, unless I was just going really fast, and just flashed by it…I must admit that I didn’t see many landmarks, or much of London at all, but one thing that did impress me was Tower Bridge. Absolutely amazing, twice as good as the Venetian Rialto bridge!! I think that was about 12 miles, and I was still banging out the miles comfortably at sub 8’s. I had stuck to my plan with the energy gels, take one every 6 miles, two down, and two left.
I was running toward I think the 15 mile marker when the leaders came back on the other side of the road. That gave me something else to think about. I guessed the pace they would have been running, and worked out that it must have been a 5 mile loop. I was just about right cos when I came round that way I was approaching 20 or 21, I think. One of the only other spots I remember, was like running along our quayside, but with real big buildings either side. I guessed that was Canary Wharf. (I’m guessing the big buildings are the reason for the Garmin track going mad on Canary Wharf – either that or Brian decided to go for a bit of a wander mid run…)
At this sort of distance I am now starting to think of people, wonder what Linda’s doing, hope Ruth is having a good run, my mate said she would be thinking about me…wonder if she was (I was), Adrian was running this afternoon wonder if he is preparing properly for it? It’s amazing what goes through yer mind, where’s Ruth, she usually controls my run at this point – why am I having to do it myself? I was reading the supportive texts from last night over and over in my head. This is the real deal though, it’s what I have trained for so get these thoughts out your head and get concentrating, but alas I have always had a poor attention/retention span!
I do recall seeing the Gherkin, and the Shard, but no idea where they were. One of the things that surprised me, I didn’t see the Houses of Parliament, or Big Ben, and when I saw Buckingham Palace, for a split second, it didn’t look anything like I had expected, much smaller. Anyway, I digress. I ran the first 20 miles or so fairly comfortably, I was taking a bit water at most stations, and using my gels wisely, but at one point the station I passed was a lucozade station, and I really needed some energy. I took a drink and promptly spit it out, I just cannot understand when there is a race, why would you give the runners a fizzy drink???
I remember running around the loop, and down on the other side of the road, and feeling sorry for the people who were just walking down the other side, on their way out. At least I was heading back in. When I reached 21 miles, I stopped counting them up, and started counting the miles that were left to do. That seemed to make it a bit easier. The 26th mile marker wasn’t marked as such, that one said 385 yards left, or something like that. I still didn’t have anything left for the remainder. My quads in my right leg cramped, but with less than a lap of the track to go, I wasn’t going to walk, that was one of my targets…got to run the whole distance!
Anyway, I got through the race, and was happy to be ok at the end, I had my photo taken, and collected my goody bag. I had been told whatever I did, I had to drink what was in the goody bag, it would help me. I did, but didn’t want to. Hey, but guess who the first person I bumped into was at the end, yep Ruth, looking fresh as a daisy, and absolutely buzzing.
I think she had enjoyed it more than me, but then we were doing it for different reasons. We stayed together with her mate Sally until I was sure I was ok, and then collected my bag, and we separated.
We were both travelling back at different times and with different modes of transport. I rang Keith, and arranged to meet him, and then the journey home began.
This has taken a long time to write, but it is long, also I didn’t really know if I had enjoyed it at first. I needed to know what I thought of it before I tried to write about it. Now the pain has gone, I think I will try to get a number in the lottery, and if unsuccessful, if nobody at the club wants our number, I may just ask again. ;).
Well that is the story of my weekend, looking back I think I enjoyed it. Every one of us ran well, even me considering my mental barrier over the last month, even the youngsters ran well, with two firsts in the age groups, Lydia and Kate, so well done to them as well. I already have a plan for a couple of races this year, Redcar will be my next half marathon I would think.
So that is the end of my blog, the preparation trials and tribulations of marathon training sessions through to the completion. Thanks to all the helpers and training partners, and thanks for the interest shown in the club etc. I hope you have enjoyed reading it.
…and with that I am signing off, thank you and good night.
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Earlier diary entries can be seen here.
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