Building the miles back up :) x

I had my place confirmed for the Virgin Money London Marathon earlier this year, while the wonderful memory of crossing the finish line on the Mall, was still over-riding the horrible memory of the pain at around mile 25! I’ve also done a half marathon this year – which was not fun, but again the memory of the actual running disappears quite quickly to be replaced by the great feeling of accomplishment.

So I am again on the training treadmill (- although I don’t like treadmills, so I am using the roads again). I took it easy over the summer months as it was simply too bloney hot to run! Since then I have concentrated on shorter distances and have managed to knock a couple of minutes off my mile pace and can run a six mile course in more than 15 minutes less than I could a year ago. However, I am only back to running six miles, a bit of a way off the marathon distance I need to complete again!

I’ve also signed up for some shorter competitive events to aid my training, starting with the GIAAC cross country events, and am hoping to do another half marathon later this year or very early next year.

I am fundraising again for the British Red Cross and have a few events planned to support the charity.

All support gratefully received and thanks to my running friends – especially those who slow down to let me run alongside them! x

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My Marathon; Part 3 :) x

I’m not sure when the marathon became harder work but the first half was relatively easy – and really good fun! I had my head down and was focused going into miles 14,15,16…but I really needed a wee and was growing increasingly frustrated by having to run around people. The road actually bottlenecked at one water stop but I’m not sure which one. Having to stop running because you can’t move, albeit very briefly, is not fun when you are running a marathon! I put the ipod on at around this point to try and focus my mind so my legs could follow – the people running around me were even treated to me singing along at times 🙂 A bit of Vanilla Ice definitely slipped out at around mile 19 :).

Possibly my favourite part of the marathon was running through an underpass, where it suddenly went very quiet, the crowds were left above ground so the cheering was muffled and it was oh so quiet but then there was a rumbling sound and as I ran through the underpass I realised it was a steel drum band and it sounded amazing as you got closer! Running on I was still needing the loo but every toilet block I passed had a massive queue outside I refused to let myself waste ten minutes waiting in line. I wasn’t drinking too much, maybe a couple of mouthfuls every second or third mile but it was warm so I didn’t want to cut down on my drinks. I was stll having to run around people – at one point running on the pavement so I could get past people, but also getting elbowed in the shoulder and arm as I tried to weave inbetween groups. I seemed to be overtaking walking rhinos constantly…

As I hit mile 21 I saw a loo without a queue so quick popped in and then off I went again – powering towards mile 22 where I was expecting to see my family. By this point the road they were stood on previously, the mile 13 point, had been cleared so I didn’t know where they’d be so was scanning both sides of the road looking for the big Guernsey flag. I gave up after a while and presumed they’d gone straight to the end as the roads were so busy with spectators by now.

Mile 23 was my mental challenge, as I had already run this far and I was expecting the next bit to be relatively easy. By this point though I knew it wasn’t going to be easy! The final lucozade checkpoint was manned by celebrity sports men – but I didn’t know this until days later when I watched a video of it. I ran through another underpass with big balloons with things written on like ‘pain is fleeting’, ‘glory is forever’ etc I read each one and thought ‘I can do this’….just moments later though I slowed to a walk briefly, for all of about five seconds before resuming running – which probably wasn’t much quicker to be honest. I then spotted the big Guernsey flag at around mile 24 and ran over – giving my dad a high five, waving at my Aunty Jane for a photo and running on again. The last two miles were tough but mainly because my garmin said I had hit 26 miles when I had only just run through the 25 mile barrier…..that was quite tough mentally as I knew I had another mile to go still! The road almost bottlenecked again where there was a sign saying 800yards to go – that was very frustrating as by then my legs wanted to stop again but I wanted to run the full way towards Buckingham Palace and up the Mall. By this point it didn’t matter who was cheering me on, I was fighting a mental battle to keep going. I can remember thinking ‘never again’ and just wanting to be finished so I would never have to run again – ever. I still wasn’t actually tired, but my body just didn’t want to run any further. I never actually hit the ‘wall’ but it was tough toward the end.

As I turned up the Mall I wanted to do a sprint finish, but there was no chance. I had my Guernsey flag in hand but didn’t bother waving it as I couldn’t see any cameras – but apparently I was seen on tv crossing the line. That was a briliant moment – first they cut my chip off my trainer then a lady gave me my medal, which took my by surprise for some reason. I could have kissed her!

I went straight to get my bag back and wanted to get out of the runners area sas quickly as possible so I could go and meet my family, but it took quite a while to get through. I  think I may have seen the guy who died after finishing, on the floor. If it wasn’t him, it was another guy who looked very similar also being given medical help. Whoever it was, it was a reminder of how much effort everyone had put in to run the marathon and how much pressure it puts everyones’ body under.

When I got out and finally found the hotel where the British Red Cross had its reception I got a cheer as I walked in, and the offer of a shower and a massage. I didn’t want either though – if I had stopped to have either I may not have moved again, and I was flying home in just a few hours! I had a quick catch up with my aunt, uncle and cousins and my friend then we had to make a move to Gatwick. I wasn’t in any pain, I was just beginning to seize up a bit as I hadn’t  stretched enough. When we got on to the plane home there were about six other runners, all in their kit with their medals on so I wasn’t the only person to go straight home!

I was on such a high when I got home that I didn’t go to sleep until gone 1am. I had a lot of messages to read through and reply to. Loads of people have been getting in touch which is so nice.

I was expecting to wake up on Monday morning in some pain but as it happened, my legs were a bit stiff and that was it. It did take a couple of days for that to ease off but I have finished the marathon with no injuries, and very little muscle pain afterwards, so the training must have all paid off!

A few days on, I am already planning my next race….I have a few goals, including getting my half marathon time to under two hours. Maybe, one day 🙂 x

My Marathon; Part 2 :) x

Up early, showered, dressed and eating breakfast surrounded by other people all in running gear was how my marathon day started. Some of the other runners at my hotel really looked the part – others, like me, were blatant marathon virgins. All eating our porridge, all probably wondering how we get to the start line (despite having read the final instructions about ten thousand times).

I was ready to go at 8am, looking the least photo ready ever, on a day when I knew photos would be taken, and not necessarilly at flattering times! Quick few photos with the family, brandishing their big Guernsey flag and I was off.

Heading to the tube station I spotted one other red marathon kit bag – on the platform there was about 15, on the tube there were about thirty and on the next train that was all I could see – just red bags carried by runners, everywhere. At least I knew I was going the right way! We all got off at Greenwich and walked towards the start line. All the cafes and pubs I passed had offers on for the marathon, clearly expecting a lot of passing traffic.

At my designated red start zone I had just checked my bag in when I ran into Clare, another Guernsey runner, so we headed to the start line together, after a quick loo stop. We were both in pen 9 – the furthest back, so we knew we wouldn’t be starting any time near ten am when the race actually started. There seemed to be loads of people, hundreds, possibly thousands behind us though and we were waiting excitedly to get going. As ten am passed, and we walked towards the start line we were getting more and more excited – then as we got to the start we realised something, there was no one behind us! Everyone behind us must have walked around us quicker than we were walking, as we were now at the very back of the marathon. About thirty five thousand people were ahead of us! We didn’t care though – it was 10.27 and we ran over the start line and got going!

It all felt very surreal at this point. We were barely over the line before people were cheering us on – we were overtaken by a man dressed in a Minion outfit, and there was a life sized tiger running ahead of us too. People were already queuing for the loo at mile one and people were walking! We were overtaking people as we ran at a fairly fast but very comfortable pace – chatting and enjoying the moment. And it was fun! It really was at this point, I wasn’t really taking anything in and it still seems very surreal – but we were running the London Marathon and the miles were starting to drop away. The first few seemed to pass very quickly – not that quickly though, just an average of ten minute miles – but every step of the way the crowds were cheering us all on, children were holding out their hands for high fives, there was music from bands or djs everywhere and peope in pyjamas toasting us with champage. The minion was still alongside us and a womble was ahead of us – but we did overtake them pretty quickly! Those first few miles really seemed to fly by, but I was running only slightly faster than I have in my training runs – completing six miles in one hour and seven minutes and missing my target of doing the half in two hours by about twenty minutes. The course was so busy it was difficult to run at times. We  were having to dodge slower runners and walkers constantly – going around people, squeezing through gaps, slowing down to file through and so on. We were trying to stick to the blue line which marks the exact 26.2 mile course, but by mile 3 my garmin was already beeping each mile through slightly before we ran through the official distance markers.

The crowds were there the whole way – absolutely heaving at times and thinner at others. I have no recollection of running past the Cutty Sark at all but remember passing through mile 11 as Clare was looking out for a friend there, before looking for her family at mile 12. At that point we were separated as she looked for them while I kept going to see my family at mile 13 – which really did seem like it was just around the corner. Going over Tower Bridge was not as I’d expected – I had been told it was very loud, but the whole route had been loud so this was no different. Plus I was just wanting to get to mile 13! First I spotted the British Red Cross cheer zone who all gave me a massive shout as I went past in my charity tshirt – then I saw the Guernsey flag and ran over, kissed Megan and grabbed some jelly babies and shouted that I had started at 10.27 (incase they thought I was being reallllly slow!) That gave me a boost and I picked up a bit of pace and kept moving on through the mid section of the marathon – although seeing other ‘normal’ runners coming back the other way past the 22-mile point was a bit disheartening!

My Marathon; Part 1 :) x

This is going to be in random memory diary form – mainly because I want to remember it 🙂 x

Flying over to London on Friday 11th April was exciting enough, as the plan for that day was to register for the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon, something I never thought I would be doing. I did that at around 6.30 that evening at the Excel Centre and it was a great way to start the weekend. No queues or rushing, I just walked in and went straight to my zone, gave them my number and ID and got my shirt number, bag and bag number and then went to get my running chip. That was it – all over within minutes, but now – like hundreds of others in that place – I had the few things I needed to run the marathon. If I lost any I wouldn’t be able to run so I was holding on to them tight as I went for a look around the exhibition.

That is when I realised how little I know about the science of running. You could spend a fortune on proper serious running gear there – some fashion stuff too, but anything and everything vaguely linked with running. There were some stands for the charities too, some official Marathon stalls and others with people giving advice etc. In the next room was a stage with presentations on and I watched the race director talk everyone through the course…even on a time lapse video it looks a long way!

I hadn’t eaten since midday by this point and was aware I was burning my fuel supplies so grabbing a sandwich and water I headed back to the train to go back to my hotel where dinner was booked. Sitting down to eat dinner a short while later I wanted to carb up so had a bread based starter and pasta. I could hardly eat though. The food was lovely – possibly too rich, but I think the adrenalin was running so fast already that my appetite was waning. I was also getting a bad headache and knew I hadn’t drunk enough water. Starting the marathon dehydrated was obviously not in the grand plan!

Out of my ‘cheer team’ I had my dad, Maria and Megan with me at this point – so while Megan coloured we read through all of the ‘final instructions’ and the spectator guides and made a rough plan for Sunday. With a million spectators expected – plus other people milling around London – the marathon route was going to be busy.

Saturday was spent  ‘relaxing’ by going to the London Dungeons – along with the rest of London it seemed! It was fun though and then my sister Emma turned up (not at the Dungeons, she is not that scary…) and my friend Sarah came to say hi too. Another carb laden meal was planned and we found a great, almost self-service, pasta and pizza restaurant – where you could have ordered as much as you wanted. Again, I wasn’t massively hungry  but enough salad to feed four people and a big bowl of pasta later and I was pretty full. Back at the hotel I needed to get everything ready – shirt number and Guernsey flag were pinned to my running shirt, chip attached to my shoe, bag number stuck on, bag packed, clothes laid out etc. Despite planning an early night it was around half eleven by the time I had finished reading the final instructions (again) and settled down to go to sleep. I had woken up at 5am that morning so I expected the same again – but instead I woke up at 3.

The alarm was set to go off at 6.15 for my London Marathon day 🙂 x

 

So excited! x

After descending into panic just over a week ago – I have totally come out the other side and am now possibly a bit too excited about running the London Marathon this weekend and need to calm down!

I have finished work for a few days – having been sent off with a goodie bag, presented by Mike – but blatantly put together by the amazing Brandi (sorry Mike!). Jelly babies, energy gels, a running vest, vaseline and deodrant…it will all come in very handy this weekend! My card from work is up on the shelf with a card which arrived today from my lovely friend Vicky. Once this marathon is out the way I will find the time to see her – two busy working mums with one running a marathon means some things slip, but one of these days we will see each other! I also have a supportive post card from Stuart Hardie a local running guru which is actually what helped pull me out of my slump last week.

After reaching my fundraising target with a wonderful afternoon surrounded by 60 tipsy ladies at the weekend, I have had one less thing to worry about. A couple of really good short runs this week and managing to sleep slightly more than usual means I am ready to go. I must chill out a bit though – I want to set off from that start line nice and slow, keeping to my usual slow but steady pace the whole way around. If I can do an average of 11 minute miles the whole way around I will be very happy. Anything less will be amazing and if I go over and take longer than planned I won’t mind – I am already enjoying the build up so the atmosphere on the day will be great whatever time I clock.

Now everything is kind of done – all I have left to do is register for the Marathon and then run it.

It sounds simple eh? x

Hitting my sponsorship target :) x

I am so pleased and proud that I have hit my £2,000 sponsorship target for running the Virgin London Marathon for the British Red Cross. When I applied to run the marathon I had to commit to raising a certain amount of money and although I hoped people would be generous I have been overwhelmed by how generous.

I didn’t start off pushing for sponsorship too much as big events including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines meant lots of people were already giving loads of money to charity but despite that my total was creeping up. I started planning a fundraising event for the Grand National weekend, which being just one weekend before the Marathon was a real gamble incase it didn’t pay off – but it did! It took lots of planning but one afternoon raised £882.42! Plus another £82 from a sweepstake my Aunty Anne organised to find out how long people think I will take to run the marathon! My event was relatively small, attended by just 60 ladies, and athough most were family, friends and colleagues there were a few people there I didn’t know – which was really nice, as they had bought their tickets to come along without even knowing me. The staff at Christies where I hosted the afternoon were brilliant – so very helpful, and everyone who donated raffle prizes was so generous. Tracy who came to take photos and Paul who did the bets all added to the atmosphere too. I think everyone enjoyed it – everyone I have spoken to said they did, and I really had a good time. It was good to relax with everyone – although I am looking forward to seeing everyone again post marathon so I can enjoy a drink too!

Here is a link to some pictures from the Grand National Ladies’ Afternoon supporting the British Red Cross:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.696583360399055.1073742007.423337451056982&type=1

My fundraising event took me to within seventeen pounds of my target – but in just a couple of days so many more people have sponsored me that I am now past my target and have about another £100 cash to pay in! I am so pleased and will run the marathon with my head held high (to start with anyway!) knowing that I have raised more than I pledged for the British Red Cross.

All I can say is – thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored me, no matter how small or how big your donation I really appreciate every single penny. More importantly, it is all going directly to the British Red Cross and will help the people who really need it.

For more information on the British Red Cross go to http://www.redcross.org.uk/

My sponsorship page is at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=LauraClayton

Panicking Excitedly! :) x

I have to admit I let the nerves get the better of me for a few days. Another ‘bad’ run really knocked my confidence – just two weeks before the 2014 Virgin London Marathon and I descended into a panic mode for a while. That is why I hadn’t updated my blog last week as I couldn’t easily explain how I was feeling.

BUT – I am coming out the other side of that now! It is very scary to think that in just ten days time I will be standing amongst tens of thousands of other runners at the start of the most famous race in the world but I am very privileged to have the opportunity and I am going to make the most of it and relish every minute. The British Red Cross gave me a place to run for the charity and I have a duty to do my best to honour all of my sponsors and I also want to enjoy it.

I have had the benefit of some lovely words of support and even more expert advice today and I am taking it all onboard. It is amazing how many people take the time to send a kind email or write a note and post it through the door, or deliver some goodies to work. Thank you to everyone who has done just that – you will never know how much it has helped! x

I know exactly why all of my so called ‘bad’ runs have been bad – and its all come down to the preparation so the focus for the next week is mainly to rest up – apparently Paul Radcliffe slept 12 hours a night so I may just skip work to sleep some more! (I Hope Mike, Amber and the rest of the Island FM peeps don’t mind!). I am going to relax for my final few short runs – just an 8 miler this weekend and then it is time! Lots of good healthy carb laden food to enjoy too.

I have an afternoon of fun with 60 ladies this weekend – where collectively they will help me massively with my fundraising. Then on Sunday I will be tracking some fellow Guernsey marathon runners doing the Manchester Marathon….then in one week it’ll be my go! I am as ready as I will ever be so bring it on! x

Charity starts at home….and continues everywhere! :) x

Today I had a wonderful afternoon hosting an event for Saffrey Champness called ’50 Shades of Earl Grey; A Darker Blend’. It raised thousands of pounds for Clic Sargent and left a couple of hundred women very happy with their purchases in the ‘indulgence area’ as well as their raffle prizes and some even took home members of One Direction (cardboard life size versions!).

In just under two weeks I am hosting my own event – raising money for my chosen charity, the British Red Cross. Already people have been very generous with 60 tickets being snapped up quickly and lots of companies and individuals willingly donating some lovely gifts for the raffle.

There’re lots of other similar events going on and lots of indidivuals doing their own personal challenges to raise money too. Lots of other people from Guernsey are doing the London Marathon aswell – raising money for things ranging from the Anthony Nolan Trust (Martine Ellis) to the British Lung Foundation (Clare Stone).

It is amazing to think how generous people are – as individuals, groups and work places. Collectively the London Marathon runners from Guernsey in 2014 will bank thousands and thousands of pounds for charity – and that is definitely worth the months of training to run 26.2 miles!

My training is continuing to go well – I am starting to taper down now – which I must admit I have been looking forward to for a week or two! I was on a massive high after my 23 mile run two weeks ago and I know it will be hard to beat that feeling, so I don’t want to do something wrong and risk a similarly good run on the 13th April. My last long run was yesterday – 3 weeks before the marathon, when I did 19 miles with another Marathon entrant, Melanie. We did almost a full lap of the island – starting at Manor Stores in St Martin’s and ending at my home near the Bridge. The weather was definitely a ‘ mixed bag’ – rain, hail, wind, sunshine – if it had snowed we wouldn’t have been surprised! We averaged just over ten minute miles and kept running the entire time – except for two wee breaks and a quick pitstop so I could buy a drink at Vazon. The legs were feeling quite sluggish for a lot of the run and my hips were very tight by L’ancresse – then my back started to hurt along North Side as we headed to our end point. All in all though nothing to worry about as I am fine today – my ankles hurt more from wearing heels for an afternoon! I am seeing my physio – Paul at Equilibrium on Tuesday so he can give my legs a good rub before a couple more ‘shorter runs’ and then possibly 15 at the weekend.

I am still working out a few things for the big day including what to wear, what to eat in the days before and on the morning and also what to carry as I am running. The actual running side of it I am probably as prepared as I can be at this stage – although there are things I could and should have done in the months prior to this point. All in all – with three weeks to go I am confident I will RUN the whole London Marathon, and I will raise AT LEAST two thousand pounds for the British Red Cross. I think I may even raise more than that – all thanks to my generous family, friends, work colleagues, friends of friends, work colleagues of friends and relatives and listeners 🙂 x

Mental strength vs Legs

I have been buzzing all week after last Sunday’s fantastic 23 mile run. Although it was hard, slow and painful I am still so pleased that I ran that whole distance and in a good-for-me time. I knew that following that was going to be tough – mainly because I didn’t want to have a bad run and undo all of the good work and positive vibes from last weekend. That may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy though!

I struggled to fit in many short runs again this week – that makes it three weeks in a row that illness (my daughter, then I, then my daughter again) and busy times at work have left me with little time to run – but I was still detemined to get out there today and put some miles in. I was advised to do a shorter run so I wanted to do 15, but I knew before setting off that I was going to find it hard. I did a few things wrong this week in my preparation for a long run – mainly not carb-loading. Last week I ate almost nothing but pasta for four days before attempting a long run – while this last few days I haven’t eaten any pasta. I also woke up this morning with a teeny tiny but very painful blister on the back of my right heel. I have no idea where it came from but walking to work I definitely felt it. Finishing work almost five hours later I wasn’t really in the mood to go running but I did.

My route today was probably not ideal for this stage of training. I essentially wanted to run along the north coast and then back – something which I don’t like doing anyway as I find it quite tough mentally knowing I have to run back on myself. To make the miles up I followed the outer coastal path all the way from Bordeaux to the Pulias pond. It is still very rocky after the storms and much more up and down than I have noticed before. It made running quite tricky at times as I couldn’t set a good pace for myself and my ankles and knees were taking a battering. Round the back of the tip the path has almost disappeared entirely but an off-road cyclist made it through and so did I!

By the time I got around to near Ronez I was feeling very stiff and sore and I was only about 9 miles in. I turned around to head back – quite pleased I wasn’t sticking to the exact outer coast on the way back. It was pretty tough though – I think it was tougher than running the same route last week, even though I had run much further a week ago! By the time I got home I was pretty disappointed, but only with myself. At this stage of my training it is all mind over matter and I am letting my mind win. I have to run much further, and I know I can, so I will…

The plan for this week is a few short runs, lots of squatting and sit ups at home to boost my strength a bit, and I am going to eat as much pasta as I can physically face. Come Saturday morning I will be running 20 miles – like it or not I will be doing it.

I am also putting the finishing touches to an event I am hosting to help my fundraising for the British Red Cross. That is the weekend before the London Marathon to mark the Grand National and I am really looking forward to leaving my trainers at home and getting dressed up with 60 lovely ladies.

If anyone else would like to contribute to my fundraising you can at virginmoneygiving.com/LauraClayton

🙂 xxx

23 miles done and feeling on top of the world :) x

At the moment, I feel brilliant – still buzzing from running a distance I never thought possible, so this may be more like a diary to ensure I don’t forget it 🙂 x

I was quite ill last week – and I don’t ‘do’ being ill. I had to have a few days off work and was unable to do a couple of short runs I had planned, which I was worried would affect my training with just five weeks to go.

I also had a pre planned check up with the doctor to ensure I am medically fit enough to run a marathon (which I am apparently) and also a physio appointment where I got a great massage and learned my legs muscles are, not surprisingly, very tight from all of the running.

So with the positive and negatives of this week combined, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from my planned 23 mile run today. I started carb loading on Thursday – I have eaten more pasta than I thought possible (but still don’t think it was actually enough!) and stocked up on energy gels, sweets, a new running bag, a new sports bra, and charged up my ipod and phone to ensure this one run was properly timed for once.

I met up with my running group this morning – led by Stuart Mosely as usual, a guy who is encouraging many of us marathon virgins in our training, while aiming for a PB in his latest 26.2 mile challenge. We all gathered on Northside – some people had run from the west coast to meet us, others were doing the same as me and running the whole way around the island, a couple were doing a ‘quick ten miler’! We all had our own personal targets and off we went. Six of us stuck together all the way to the top of the Val de Terres. And yes, I ran up that bl00dy hill! Well, almost – the last corner defeated me – but still – I ran up the bl00dy Val de Terres. Never ever again mind you!

The benefit of running with some seasoned long distance runners is that they had arranged some water stops along the way and we needed it as it became quite warm quite quickly.

Heading from the airport way down to the Imperial we had a good pace going, perhaps a bit slower than we would have liked but we were all chatting as we settled into the longest run yet. I think talking helped me keep my breathing steady today so I may have to talk to some unsuspecting runners on race day!

The west coast was hot today – a few breezy bits, but the sun was shining and the beaches looked fab. Loads of cyclists were around – in particular the Sarah Groves Foundation riders went past looking great in their matching shirts, and definitely giving a reason to pause for thought. Earlier, my uncle Paul and cousin Stephanie had gone past too – giving me the first cheer of the day to spur me on. It all definitely helps!

By the time I hit 16 miles (around Port Soif if memory serves) I was aching and feeling heavy footed and stiff but I kept going and the miles kept falling away, albeit increasingly slowly.

At 19.6 miles I stopped to walk for a bit – I walked for about 30 seconds before realising I was still hurting so may as well keep running! Luckily soon after that my Aunty Anne came past and got me a bottle of water, giving me a boost for the last two miles. The last mile was definitely the longest though – my god Bordeaux to northside chippy is a long way sometimes!!! When I got to my intended end point my phone app was only saying 22.79 miles though so I kept going anyway! Mentally I had to hit bang on 23 so I ran to the other side of the Bridge and stopped by the London House pub. Even better was seeing Stuart there – he had been looking out for me towards the end and met me with a bottle of water.

Running with a group has been a big help so far – even if I tend to drop back and run by myself at my own pace when the distance gets quite lengthy. It is good to see other people developing and sharing hints and tips. My next few runs may be alone though as I won’t be running such a long distance again. I may do a 20 mile run or possibly just 18, and then it will be time to taper down for the big day five weeks today. It is coming round quickly – but I think I have time to work on my fitness too. I did the 23 miles today in 4 hours and 22 minutes – which is faster than I thought I would. I would like to do the full marathon in 5 hours, so I was aiming for 5 today hoping I can improve on that time on the 13th April.

For the first time I finished my long run this week feeling really confident that I will complete the London Marathon – and hoping I will actually run the whole 26.2 miles too. It will all come down to conditions on the day but I think I can do this now 🙂 xxx