Marathon four – St George’s Day marathon
Not the best of weeks before this one. Needed to get out on the bike but it was too grim so opted for a 30mile turbo session. Had planned to have an easy week but remembered I’d entered into the Darent Valley 10k, and somehow did a course PB. Fell over on my bike as I couldn’t clip out fast enough, I was stationary at the time and went into a rock wall which bruised my hand and wrist. Plus the new quick commute on the bike was actually proving quite tiring. I went for a lunch time walk in the wrong trainers and had to urgently nurse two blisters in the hope they’d recover. Wearing road bike shoes for the commute was not a clever idea of they were just putting more pressure on the blisters. Plus I still did Tuesday night run club with the blisters, probably not the best idea!
With antiseptic spray and cream the blisters were recovering but not 100% so I opted for Compeeds in the hope they’d give some form of protection. Getting my kit ready I couldn’t for the life of me find my red cap so had a emergency visit to Bluewater to get a new one – the poltergeist is definitely back!
I left for work on the Friday and headed straight down to the coast stopping at Ashford for some pasta a Pizza Express, well burnt pasta anyway! Random! Once in the Premier Inn I kept my mind occupied with sewing buttons on my Quest For The Vest tops and painting St George’s flag on my nails.
The day had arrived, the sun was out, thank goodness. We started out and everything was fine until we turned around and straight into the wind, a cold strong head wind for 2.5 miles… It was thought going but i kept my head down and ran through. Thankfully at the turn point it became a tail wind. I made a conscious effort to take in the sites, we were on the coast after all. It was quite eerie seeing the weather out on the horizon, the weather being rain clouds. For lap two the weather turn, a biting wind with rain and hail straight into the face. I’m glad I made an emergency cap purchase as it provided some protection a least. By lap three the head wind was zapping my energy so it was about mile 12 that I resorted to walking into the wind, the new plan was to then to run back with the tail wind.
I noticed that I wasn’t the only one using the walk run tactic by this point. I think when it’s conditions like this I’m thankful of the laps as the table of goodies is a great treat at the end of each lap. I was considering getting the iShuffle out at one point to try and drown out the wind but I carried on without music having now strangely got use the sound of my own voice and demons!
I can say I was thankful as I headed out for the final lap as my legs were aching. It was a few 100 hundred metres to the final turn point that I’d worked out if I could summon up enough strength and push it a bit I could come in under 5 and half hours. Having mentally thrown out any kind of chance of a ‘good’ time for my first flat marathon I thought let’s give it a shot. I took a gel to give me the little boost I need and I started to run, albeit slowly, to get the legs back in motion. As the headwind became the tailwind, and the great feeling of only 2 and a half miles to go. I felt great, everything considered. The time crazily flew by and before I knew it my watch had clocked 26 miles and I was flying down the finishing straight. Somehow my fastest mile was my last mile, and I scooped a PB by 2 mins. Now that I’m happy with. Here’s to reaching a third of the way through the twelve marathons.
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Also published on Medium.