This time last week I was an hour and a half in to an event I’d been training toward since December. Every day I’d run, eat or rest to make sure I was in the best place to achieve the best I could on race day!! Every day I thought about the event with anticipation and some days anxiety, other days with dread and doom and most days excitement about the possibilities. The championship start with supposably posh loos and free coffee (all a long lost relic of past championship starts, now just an enclosed area with a tent, a few more porta loos and a warm up area) and every day I was motivated to do what I needed to do.
Last week I was up at 5am and dressed by 5:15. I had been awake since about 4. I ate my breakfast which was a croissant and the hotels instant porridge which was minging and then as a replacement a bowl of their version of Special K. After breakfast I followed my marathon guide (not as in actual guide for visually impaired) also my coach and chosen life partner Douggie Doug Doug on to the DLR (Docklands light railway) and on route to Blackheath – the blue and champs start. We were there before 8:00am and I said my goodbyes, and there I was just me (several other runners) but I felt like it was just me, just me and the marathon.
There I was – I headed straight to the tent in the corner – lifted my top up to reveal my key to that exclusive area to the marshalls (my number) and there I was in the championship enclosure of the London Marathon. Underwhelmed by banks of porta loos, I headed for the tent dithering with adrenalin and cold as I went. Well the tent was absolutely underwhelming too!! Water and energy drinks available to all and that’s it. I found a spot which turned out to be right next to an old club mate who was chilling in her corner on her plastic mat (as the ground was slightly damp) all set up for focus and calm. I on the other hand made a snap decision to sit on my hoody which I’d brought to change in to later as I was totally un prepared and expecting a much more grand waiting area and I tried to chill to. However by the time my friend and person who told me all about how cool the champs start was (15 years ago when she was last there) arrived. I was still dithering with nervous adrenalin. A short warm up soon helped and a few loo visits later I was heading for the start line. Hoody launched to the side joining the array of coloured garments flying overhead. Count down from space
The start of the finale of 16 weeks training had begun, the first stage of the performance was fabulous and an encore would have been fab, alas the dreaded lull of miles 17,18,19 was tough but as if from nowhere the brain fired and a shot of motivation headed to the legs and I produced strong finishing performance resulting in a very happy runner who had a very happy time!!
and that was it all done_____________________________________________
Well first of all it was off to the pub where my fellow club mates were hiding – literally! I didn’t see another one of them there. I’m a newbie in this club so I may not of recognised most them out of their running kit. Then I had a nut roast, roast dinner and replenished the energy stores before heading back to the hotel to eat my pick a mix reward.
Running wise, well I got another championship qualifier this time a real bonifide one, my previous one I found out 2 days before London marathon was slightly (very) dubious. It
Manchester marathon where I qualified for London championship place in 2015 was a short course by 385 yds (the point 2) for 3 years!!!
Given the guaranteed entry (as long as I don’t miss the time slot) it seems rude not to. B&B booked for next year and a target of as close to that 3 as possible. On the way there, hardwork, more training an Autumn marathon and other training races too, ticking off mini goals along the way
I hope to see you on the journey Cx