Tag Archives: London Marathon

The day before

I ma writing this blog post mainly so I remember how I am feeling…… slightly on edge, stressed, excited, nervous, worried……all of those things and more. I cannot really relax and am wondering what an earth I have done….I know that tomorrow it will all be OK but today??? Not so.

I have done lots of distraction type activities that can also come under getting prepared e.g. painting nails:

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(A huge thank you to my wonderful friend nnotsogranny).

I have also painted my toenails in preparation for the day after where open toed shoes will no doubt be the only option! My tag is on my shoe, my label on my bag and some essentials packed. Then I have been on social media and made a little film šŸ™‚

Devices are all being charged fully to ensure that nothing fails on me during the big day. I am, of course also eating and drinking well (chocolate and biscuits count right?) to ensure I have the energy for it all.

I really want this day to be over but to go on forever all at the same time. One thing that I have noticed is that I feel different to how I felt beforeĀ the otherĀ long runs. I am not worried that I cannot do it because I know that I can. I am just dazed by the whole thing. It seems to be everywhere, on the radio, TV, everyone I meet wishes me luck.

The local support from family and friendsĀ is amazing. Yesterday I had a big donation toĀ my fundraising pageĀ which brought me to tears. The worst thing is, that I don’t know who it is from so I cannot even tell them how much it has meant to me. I am humbled by everyone’s generosity and kindness.

This time tomorrow it will all be over, I cannot decide if I will be excited,Ā relieved or sad.

 

 

The awful Taper

I cannot work out if I am sticking my head in the sand and avoiding running or embracing it full on. The mileage has reduced and the running has got harder. I am supposed to have more time on my hands, except I haven’t. I am buried in the cyber world of the computer, searching like a maniac for……I don’t really know.

To put it concisely….I am out of sorts.

I cannot believe that in a week I will be running the London Marathon.

The running has been happening but it feels hard. My legs feel heavy and it is all a bit of an effort.Ā The idea of running 26.2 miles is unthinkable despite knowing that I have am probably fitter than I have ever been. I also feel like I could sleep forever and I am constantly feeling as if I am going to get a cold.

Oh the joys of the taper! Tomorrow I have my last long run of 6 miles. Then that is it.

Once I had competed the Oakley 20,Ā 3 weeks before the marathon, I knew that physically, there was not a lot more that I could do to prepare my body anymore. Training takes 3 weeks to benefit your body so no last-minute cramming (despite theĀ monstrous urges).

I have instead turned my attention to all spending:)

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I love a bit of post.

One day this week I received my one in a million t-shirt. (This year the 1 millionth person to run London Marathon will cross the finish line and everyone who has run it since the start can get a t-shirt with their finishing number on.) I also received my magnetic race pins that say ” I completed the London Marathon”. I love magnets as they don’t put holes through all my best t-shirts and hold running bibs firmly in place. Of course I had to get some for my running partners too. As you can see the company not only sent them through really quickly but also gave me a lovely hand written note. Now I call that brilliant customer service. (For anyone interested the company is called Pinrace. No I have not been paid.)

When it comes to races, I always have to have my nails painted and London is always a special race. My friend last year did my nails for me and has again volunteered. I recently saw on Facebook some ideas for nails and so went hunting online for transfers:

I found these and look forward to getting them on my nails.

This weekend I have been researching shoes to wear for after the marathon as well as gels and things to take with me to help me get around in the first place.

Anything to keep my mind off what I am doing!

Virgin London Marathon – the Expo

It has taken me this long to process it. It was one of the hardest but most amazing things I have done. I still cannot believe I managed to do it! The first thing that struck me about the marathon is how much hype there is about it. It was all over the media. You could hardly turn the radio or TV on without it being mentioned somewhere. That in turn meant that everyone was asking me whether I was ready and wishing me luck. Amazing but it did mean that there was very little time to forget that it was happening.

The first big thing that we had to do was to go down and collect the race number the week before the race. I went with my friend who, lucky for me was also running the marathon this year. As we were travelling down on the day, my friend and I went down on the Wednesday. This was the first day that it hit me. I was going to run (well shuffle) the London marathon.

This is where you get your number from.

This is where you get your number from.

As Wednesday was the first day it was open it was really nice and quiet. No queues! Well organised though.

No expense spared!

No expense spared! This is where we went next – to go and get our timing chips.

As it was the 35th anniversary we were going to be able to keep these timing chips. They were a special edition.

The wording says ready for my

The wording says Ready for my greatest run ever. How true this was.

We then wandered around the rest of the expo –Ā  a range of stalls with people trying to get us to buy things or enter into more races. I managed to buy myself a pair of running leggings but otherwise was very restrained. šŸ™‚

There were also some motivational talks about what to expect and how to deal with race day.

There were also some motivational talks about what to expect and how to deal with race day.

Finally there were some amazing facts about the marathon.

Finally there were some amazing facts about the marathon.

A few that I can remember:

It is the biggest single fundraiser in the world.

It is shown on the TV in over 100 countries.

The percentage of women runners has gradually increased over the years.

There are 36, 000 people running the marathon this year.

Most of the places are charity places.

I came home really excited and more than ready to do this!

 

 

Just look how far I have come!

Have I told you that I am running the London Marathon? I thought so šŸ˜‰ It is now approaching very fast. In fact 2 weeks today. (eek!)

This is it. The medal that I shall be getting. How awesome is that?

Today has been one of those days where I have realised how amazing the journey has been and just how far I have come. I would go so far as to say that Sunday the 25th April will (hopefully) be the end of a journey of at least 7 years and probably more. I knew it would be emotional but that doesn’t really cover it. I would go so far as to say that I am a completely different person.

I have been very lucky for many reasons:

1.Initially I was very lucky to find the people who helped me overcome the worst of post natal depressionĀ  (maybe they found me!) My health visitor was amazing, supporting me and finding the help that I needed. One of these people was a former sufferer herself who gave me a lot of her time. Again a truly amazing individual who without, I would not be where I am today. This lovely lady also encouraged me to take up knitting again which has truly been a life line.

2. I was lucky enough to get a ballet place for the London Marathon on my first ever attempt. I decided that if I was going to do this then I wanted to use the opportunity to raise some money. My decision was pivotal in so many ways . It gave me the opportunity to share my experiences about my post natal depression to a wider audience and hopefully help other people to remove to seek help .

3. I wasn’t well enough to run the marathon last year so had to defer, which may not appear to be good at first. It was very hard at the time but a year later and I can see the benefits of this:

a) I have been able to ‘socialize’ with an amazing group of people through Facebook. These people are truly amazing. They are all running for MIND and have their own stories to tell. They have made me laugh and cry but above all have been amazingly inspirational. I am going to miss these people.

 

 

 

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b) Through this group I have found the strength to come off my medication. It is early days but their stories and experiences have convinced me that I have got the strength and can do it.

4. I am happy with who I am and I no longer worry what other people think. This is a truly amazing feeling for me who spent a lot of my life being sorry and trying to conform to what I thought other people were like.

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The journey has been hard. There have been times, even this year when I thought I wouldn’t be able to run the marathon due to health reasons (asthma). I do know that I am going to find the 26.2 miles really, really, really tough going. I will however do it whether I have to walk, shuffle or crawl around. When the times get hard I will remember why I am doing it and where it has allowed me to get to. I am and will always be very grateful for the opportunities the whole experience that I have been lucky enough to have.

Should you wish to donate then this is the link. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Knitnrun4sanity

I also have a competition going. For minimum donation of Ā£4 if I have to post, Ā£2 if not to go towards Mind. Guess how long it will take me to run the London marathon. The winner will receive a bespoke bracelet like the one below in any colour you choose. Times range from 3 hours to 6 hours and 22 mins (each hour has .12, .24, .36 and .48). Simply donate on my page http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Knitnrun4sanity and let me know the time you would like.Ā 

bracelet

 

 

 

Thank you and …….sorry.

I have been completely overwhelmed by all your supportive comments regarding my last post. Thank you, as without you all I would never have managed it. Trying not to be sensationalist, without you all, I would never have got to where I am today. The weekend would not have happened.

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I would also like to thank everyone that has sponsored me. I am amazed.

But…….here is the bad news………

I am unable to run the marathon on Sunday.

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I feel that I am letting everyone down but my wonderful doctor (who was so brilliant when I was suffering from PND) has advised me that it may not be the most sensible thing to do seeing how poorly I have been this past month (+).

I am really, really gutted but deep down know that it is the right thing. My training has not really gone as planned and I am not nearly as fit as I would have liked to be before running a marathon. Simply put, my health has to come first. I have seen enough people collapsed at the side of the road during half marathons to know that you cannot take any run lightly.

Luckily I can defer my place until next year.

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Yep, I can do it all again next year, the running in the dark, the long races, the boring posts….. My husband is delighted! (but is obviously very supportive at the same time ;)) The money that I have raised in sponsorship can be forwarded onto next year too. I am going to use this year as a spring-board for next year. I am going to take this opportunity to raise even more money for this brilliant cause that I have chosen. I will learn from things that I felt went wrong for me this year and hopefully reach this point, next year, stronger than ever.

So sorry to let you all down but the journey does not finish here – we are simply half way along the road.

 

Mind – My Way To say Thank You

It is one month to go until the London Marathon. I always had the intention of raising money for a charity. I had even decided which charity it would be, but had not got around to doing anything about it.

I have now. The charity that I am running for is Mind:

Mind - Mind has been speaking out for better mental health for 60 years and is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. At Mind, we work for a better life for everyone with experience of mental or emotional distress.Weā€™re Mind, the mental health charity. We believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. Weā€™re here for you. Today. Now. Whether youā€™re stressed, depressed or in crisis. Weā€™ll listen, give support and advice, and fight your corner.

In today’s world more and more of us are affected by some type of mental illness, whether it is themselves, a family member or a friend. After the birth of my children I suffered from Post Natal Depression. It was a horrible time and I honestly didn’t believe that I would ever get any better. I was lucky. I did.

It took me a long time to actually come to terms with it and admit that it was a problem I had. When I was signed off sick I was worried about what my employer would think, that it would remain on my records and effect my working life for ever more. In the end I was persuadedĀ  to stop working for a while to concentrate on me and my family.

My Name is …….. and I suffered from Post Natal Depression

I threw everything that I could at it and, slowly began to recover. As I did so I spoke to others, telling them that I had suffered from PND. Their response was amazing. Most said that they had no idea – I had hidden it well (as most people do) and suffered at home, with my family the only witnesses. The other was how often others said something along the lines of

yes I had that too!

Talking about it

It is my belief that the more we talk about it (any form of mental illness) then the less stigma there will be and the easier it will be for people to seek and get help. I was one of the lucky ones. I have made a full recovery and feel better now than I have for a long time. I learnt a lot through my journey.

Thank you

Raising money for Mind is my way of saying thank you to the people who helped me. It gives me a chance to share my experience, and hopefully be one tiny step to ‘normalising’ mental health a bit.

Should you wish to support me then you can sponsor me be following this link. I have no minimum amount of money to raise – anything I get will be a bonus to me and the charity. Every penny will help me to drag myself through the difficult times that I know I will go through on Sunday 13th April as I attempt to get around 26.2 miles.

Thank you. xxx

So How Did the Half Go?

I have a new PW! (personal worst for a half marathon:() Last Sunday was the third Cambridge marathon. The weather was in complete contrast with last year (hottest day of the year compared to snow), the event was almost as well organised as ever (a small grumble about the bus) and the medal was as amazing as ever.

It is nice and chunky with real weight to it.

It is nice and chunky with real weight to it.

Excuses

I have loads:

1. It was too hot.

2. I am not used to running and drinking (hence stitch).

3. I am not used to taking gels.

4. I was not recovered enough.

See? Loads. I am very disappointed with my performance but, in reality, is probably exactly what I should have expected. I set out at my normal ‘easy pace of 9.30 but was really struggling by mile 8. I went out too fast :(.

All lined up for the start in the sunshine.

All lined up for the start in the sunshine.

Questions, questions

Equally hard as the race itself was the day after when everyone was asking me how I did. I was almost embarrassed to tell people. I felt that I had not lived up to their expectations and therefore had failed. This is really silly as most people would not really think much of the time – finishing is an achievement and this is something that I am finding it very hard to remember.

At the end of the day I had ‘run’ a half marathon and was in one piece at the end, something that I was really gratefulĀ  for as there were many people collapsed along the route. Something that is not something that you want to see.

Looking forward

The marathon is obviously coming closer and I have a 20 mile race booked for 2 weeks. Will I be fit? I really am not sure. I keep thinking that I am going to just go and enjoy them although Sunday has indicated that I may not be able to do this. I have just looked up about deferring the London and have found that I can do this right up to the day before. I am a bit loath to do this in case I get an injury next year which would be game over but it is a good fall back. Between now and then I am going to do what I can in training and hope that I can increase my fitness levels enough to be happy with my efforts.

I started well yesterday doing an ‘easy’ 5 miles which ended up being at an average pace faster than the half the day before! As long as I feel well I am going to do 11miles on Wednesday and see how I feel.Ā  I have rested today as I have been on a school trip (exhausting) and have now got a bit of a croaky voice :(.

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I am going to try to be positive (and realistic) šŸ™‚