This coming May, Mum and I are taking part in the London MoonWalk. This is a marathon long walk through London, over night. This is one of many walks taking place to raise awareness and much needed funds for Breast Cancer research. It’s the first time we’ve taken part, so it shall certainly be an experience.
I wrote a bit more about the MoonWalk on my fundraising page here and I shall update you soon on how it went. Moving on from the MoonWalk, what I wanted to write about today was my experience competing in the London Marathon. Creating my fundraising page, starting my training and just preparing for the big day got me thinking back to the last time I did something like this. A few years ago I was very fortunate to gain a place in the London Marathon. I had managed to get to that stage in running where it had turned from being a chore and hard work to being pleasant and something I looked forward to doing. Crazy I know, but it can happen!
I was also at an advantage as I was going to be running along side two friends who had ran in the marathon before. Therefore they had the training and preparation experience which I lacked greatly.
My training consisted of 2 mid week runs at 3 miles each and then every Sunday morning I would gradually up my mileage. And that’s all there is to it. I started my marathon training in October and come March, it was getting slightly more tedious.
A month before the marathon I competed in the Oakley 20, a 20 mile run in Bedfordshire which was the absolute worst. The only pleasant part of the Oakley experience is the lovely hoodie you get for taking part. It was two laps and quite a serious run. The majority of runners were there for their marathon training. It was quiet and a lot of the time I found myself running completely on my own and there were no crowds for encouragement. It was just me and the road. My parents were fantastic and managed to pop up about 4 different times on the way round. They certainly had more fun than I did. But this run was an achievement though as it saw the end to my training. I wasn’t going to run anymore than twenty miles and I spent the next few weeks completing 10/15 mile runs before doing nothing for a whole week before the marathon. That was difficult. When you get to this stage it feels like if you don’t run then you will forget how to. Thankfully I didn’t.
The main day
I was feeling pretty nervous to be honest. Mainly because I absolutely loathed the Oakley 20 and threw up ..a lot.. afterwards. Still, I was also excited and couldn’t wait to get going.
The crowds at the event were incredible. There were people cheering and music playing for the whole 26 miles. I had my music with me, but my headphones stayed firmly around my neck as there was so much to take in. Again, my family managed to pop up about 3 or 4 times along the way which was great (and very impressive).
On telly it looks really difficult to run between the crowds of runners and to stick to a good running pace. When you are actually there, it’s not so bad. I managed to run the entire way, with just one stop at a portaloo when I saw there was no queue.
My target was to finish under 5 hours. For me it wasn’t about getting an amazing time, it was the entire experience. And my time was 4:48.59. The whole day was incredible and I would do it again in an instant.
As long as you manage to do the correct training before hand, it makes the actual run a doddle. Well, perhaps not a doddle, but much much easier!
I went from no running experience to running a blooming marathon! And that’s why this day will remain way at the top of my list of achievements.