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3 Month Marathon Plan Summary

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

In summary, here was my marathon training diary from 2011. I kind of only planned the big distances, mainly basing them around and wanting to be able to run a distance of approx 20miles one month before the actual marathon date. Running is different for everyone, my only tip really is do try to get the big distance 2-3 hour runs done – the 10,16 and 20milers – they are tough and somewhat daunting, but try to keep relaxed, take it easy and just do them. You’ll look back and find them well worth it on the day. Looking back now, it’s amazing what you can actually do.

Date Distance / where Week
29 Dec 10km on Wimbledon Common 1
11 Jan slow 10km to get used to marathon pace 3
15 Jan 10.6 miles around Kingston Hill 3
21 Jan 10km Wimbledon Common 4
25 Jan 12.3miles Richmond Park 5
28 Jan 10km Wimbledon Common 5
1st Feb 16.5miles Epsom and back 6
7 Feb 10km Wimbledon Common 7
11 Feb 10km Wimbledon Common 7
14 Feb 9miles Wimbledon Common A3 night run 8
17 Feb 7.5miles Wimbledon Common windmill run  8
19 Feb 10miles Common All England Club run  8
22 Feb 5.5miles Westminster / London Bridge loop 9
25 Feb 30mins run ~ 6km 9
2 Mar 7miles Edge Hill run 10
8 Mar 14miles New Malden Krispy Kreme run 11
14 Mar 20miles Esher and back 12
21 Mar 7-8miles Common  13
30 Mar 16miles Epsom and back 14
13 April 9miles Common 16
17 April 26.4 miles MARATHON DAY  16

 

and here’s the blog itself…

Rainforest Trust send me London Marathon email!

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Got an email today from the Rainforest Trust about London Marathon places – "would you like to run it for us?" – they're some charity I ran a 5km round Battersea Park for (well my friend Dom and his wife Pip asked me if I'd like to run it and I said yes) and a 10km for them a couple of years ago round Finsbury Park. Anyways I replied and said Yes I'd be interested. Wonder what will happen now…:)

 

Rainforest Trust send me entry form and I finally email it back

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Well the Rainforest Trust sent me an entry form for the London Marathon. It contained quite a few scary questions like have you ever done this kind of thing before, have you collected money for charities before! Anyways after a phone call from them, I finally filled it in a couple of days later as best I can and sent it off.

Ran first 10km for a long time and ran into a friend!

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Despite not being (sure about) being accepted to run in the marathon yet, decided I had to get a bit fitter anyways and at least 'wake up my legs' so to speak, so went for a 10km run over the common. It's been a couple of months since my last run and probably a year since I ran a real 10k. Luckily as I'm blessed with supreme athleticism as well as good looks, I hoped I'd be able to cover the distance still. There was a light rain when I set out at about 3:30pm and wearing my finest track suit bottoms and green army cap I set out. By the time I got to the common it was getting rather dark. I happened to run past a couple holding hands and caught a sense of a glance from then, as it turned out, incredibly it was my friend Kathryn whom I hadn't seen in a while. I should point out it's more amazing she spotted me in that army hat than anything else, perhaps it was my distinctive running style of something. Anyways had a nice chat with her and caught up a bit…and after being inspired by that I finished the 10k in around about 50mins, which was surprising since it's been so long, even did a major sprint at the end.

When I got home, I had some food and with leg muscles starting to kick in, I immediately headed down David Lloyd (where I've conveniently signed up for their December £5 12 day membership) and happily made full use of their sauna, steam room and jacuzzi spa, to relieve my now 'woken up' legs! :P

Rainforest Trust give me a call

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

The Rainforest Trust gave me a quick call today and confirmed that I have a place in the London Marathon!! :)

I haven't officially said yes, as I've been contemplating putting it off until 2012 – you know what with the Olympics and everything. Also after Googling 'marathon in 3 months training' and reading that 'yes you could probably do it, but you probably won't be unable to walk for a month afterwards', I was somewhat concerned I'd need a few more weeks. Most regimes say you need 16-18 weeks instead of 12.

I sent an email to my running expert friend Nico who's run a couple of marathons now and will wait to see what he says…Nico replied asap, he's hoping to run a sub 3 hour this year and said he reckons I should be alright to finish it. thanks a lot Nico you've really helped me a lot on this one.

Training – Ran slow 10km over common

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Ran slow 10km in 1:06:12 to see if my legs could take the distance and a bit more and essentially not be entirely knackered the next day.

Hardest part was actually running slower than I wanted to. Usually I can cover 10km sub-50mins fairly comfortably, but I like to push myself and this is not a good idea when there's 3 times that distance to cover. Despite being dark I ran on the common ground, not only because it is nicer on my knees, but also there had been a lot of rain and there were tons of puddles and mud and so it forced me to slow things down a lot. Also the cars coming towards me on the road were a bit scary sometimes.

I'm fairly confident I could run at least 8 miles now at this kind of pace. I've also heard of people who run and then walk parts of the 26 miles distance and this is sounding more and more sensible to me. hmmmm.

10 miles – man, I like hills but that was ridiculous + longest run ever

Saturday, January 15th, 2011
Well I just ran for 2:07hours (around 10.6miles apparently)!! :)Unfortunately I got lost and ended up going the wrong way down a private road in the dark, hoping to end up on Coombe Lane but ended back on Kingston Hill and decided to stop after getting to New Malden for the sake of my own health and safety!!  I wanted to run 10miles and so I headed up to the common, heinously Richmond Park was closed. Here is the route I roughly took. Although pls note, at Tibbets corner I cut into the common and skirted round the back of the cemetery and through the playing fields back onto the main road where it forks up Kingston Hill – man that is one crazy hill esp after tons of other hills on the common! this may make my route slightly longer and certainly more punishing! I waited 5mins for the 131 bus then noticed there was a 152 which stops outside my house, so I devoured a quarter-pounder in New Malden McDonalds  and caught that back here.
 
 
Running notes: Am still experimenting with speed, today I perhaps stupidly pushed it quite a bit during the first 3 miles and when I going up the crazy Kingston Hill, as my knees preferred that. I didn't run the entire way though, at times I walked a short distance just to give my legs a bit of a rest, this is definitely the best combination at the moment. Will keep experimenting me thinks.

Rainforest Trust meeting – hmmm

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Well after an email on Monday from Matilda at the Rainforest Alliance, it turns out it could be a two way run-off between myself and a lady called Carol for a place in the marathon ;(

Anyways had a 'marathon meeting' with the Rainforest Alliance folks near Kentish Town tonight after a hectic day at work. Met a couple of guys doing the Brighton Marathon and the other 7 or so of us are doing the London. Matilda gave a nice presentation, didn't know Sting set this thing up, plus gave us some fund raising ideas.

UPDATE: Got a call from Matilda and was told that she had to draw straws between myself and Carol (she was a very nice lady and very enthusiastic + she'd done the Dublin marathon back in 1996) and she won the place. Must admit I'm wasn't entirely surprised, BUT Adam Brown at Save the Rhino does have a place for me an expects a call!

A PLACE AT LAST!! HOORAY! 10km to celebrate

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I finally have a confirmed Virgin London Marathon 2011 place at last! :) I phoned Adam Brown from Save The Rhino and he kindly gave me a place. I have to raise £1250 for them and any more over that target will go to the Rainforest Trust. I have to say that is less than the £1800 the Rainforest guys wanted me to raise so I'm not complaining one bit! On with the training then…

Ran 10km at reasonable pace on usual common route up to Tibbets Corner and back, tried listening to music this time, haven't done that for a while, but I was tired and felt like it, had to stop numerous times to sort out the headphone lead and trainers (may need new pair). Finished in about 52mins, hence lot faster than usual. Interested to see what my legs will be like tomorrow after pusing it a bit today.

Set Up JustGiving.com Page!

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Finally set up my JustGiving.com page so people can sponsor me and Save The Rhino direct! So pls sponsor me if you can :)

http://www.justgiving.com/James-Reed0

Another long run – nicer this time through Richmond Park

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Just back from another 'long' run of 2:02 hours – apparently about 12.3miles, which gives me hope that a half marathon is now within my grasp!

For once it was light, since I left at about 1:30pm, ran up to the common and took a detour through Richmond Park. I thought this would be more pleasant than running up Kingston Hill like last time, which was tough going, but even on the grass it wasn't that much easier, bit more green and less cars though. I was a bit disappointed not to see any deer or squirrels or even birds though :( though I did overtake a woman on a bicycle going up the rather steep hill there, lol, she overtook me on the way down and straight though. The Park also was a good option since it saved getting lost round the private estates of Kingston Hill like last time and made a nice run back into Raynes Park along Coombe Lane.

Legs aren't quite as tired as the last long run, seemed a bit more steady today, whereas I pushed it quite a bit at the start last time, am sure I could've (just about) made another mile or so, then I'd have hit the milestone of the teens! :P

Click here to see a 'rough' route map of today. I did cut down Chase Alley which Google doesn't know about.

Another 10km

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Me running in leafy SW19Clocked up another 10km today, 51mins run time, at steady pace, including leap-frogging over posts during half-way stage, finished with a bit of a sprint. Happy cos did this despite having a touch of the sniffles.

UPDATE: woke up and legs pretty much normal, recovery times must be speeding up, felt like could prob run another 10km today, but due to being so wanted by all and sundry, didn't, prob for best as will help get over this cold better. Ah well will wait til next week now

Planned and done 16.5mile route to Epsom and back!!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Sheesh! just back from 16.5 mile run to Epsom and back, man that was a long way!  took 3:30hrs but had a break at Epsom to re-fuel with surprisingly excellent Boots Energy bar + bottle of Gatorade (only rehydration drink that has no artificial sweetners[evil aspartme], flavours or colours) + there were so many flippin hills it was nuts ;( Think I must've subconsciously planned route with as much hills as possible, was like fell-running at points. Still Nonsuch Park was very pleasant despite the mud and I've cycled the route and driven it numerous times and it's one I like. Down London Road, waving at where the Sarah and the Rose live :P then past Modern Park (where used to hang out and do stupid things as a teenager ) then onto North Cheam and eventually Epsom.

Fitness Note: Legs/self haven't felt this way since I used to play tennis with Wiltshire, Georgi and co for 6 hours a day back in the sun of 2006!!

Now munching on pasta + ham, tomorrow going to be interesting!

Planned route 16.5miles click below – slightly different really cos got lost in Nonsuch Park and took Cheam Road in Ewell village by accident, better route anyways.

http://tinyurl.com/68jw2pc

Brand new trainers!…22 miles this week

Monday, February 7th, 2011

New trainers Nike Pegasus +27'sBought some new trainers on Friday from Blacks. Nike Air Pegasus +27's. Was getting a bit concerned with my dual pair of Nike Air Max Internationals – on both of them, the right one seemed to be playing my foot up, mind you, I've had the things for 3+ years, so was probably wear or something, amazing the air bubbles have lasted really tbh. Chose the Pegasus' after reading that they "cater for the more neutral runner or even slightly under-pronating runner", but most importantly they were a cool green colour!

Trialed them in a 10km up the common and back, took it moderate pace this time, incredibly light shoe, thought the Air Max's were light, but these are even more so, also seem to fit my feet and running style better(so far) and was surprisingly faster than last time by about a minute.

10km up common then bit of tennis

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Ran another approx 10km in nice new trainers(bit dirty now, but they really are very good) via a slightly different route up the torturous and steep Edge Hill, to Tibbets corner up then back down via Wimbledon town centre to buy a 6 pack of Gatorade(jog back home holding them was fun),  got back and felt remarkably well, so ended up playing some tennis with top man Roger T.

9miles in the dark dark forest

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Clocked up another 8-9miles up and around the common. Due to work, left as it was getting dusk and got to the A3 as full darkness ensued, the route I'd chosen meant I had to cut across the rugby ground and through the common. As it was dark, legged it through the forest pretty quick, hoping to avoid any dangerous vampire-rabbits, were-badgers or whatever else comes out at night up there, sure was very grateful for the full moon, meant could actually see the way, lit up the trees most eerily though. without the moon may well have detoured! 1:23mins or so. Was a nice run, legs felt pretty good too.

Click here for route map

A brisk 7miles past the Windmill

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Another day another ~7.5 miles, wanted to run for an hour or so and edited my standard 10km common route to go via the Windmill for a change. Went early afternoon (~12:45pm) and the sun was out, this the first time I wish I'd been wearing shorts or a t-shirt instead of jogging bottoms and a t-shirt/top, sweated a lot in first 25mins getting used to hotter temperature but was fine in the end. Finished last mile very strongly, felt like coulda run another 7 after a 10min break! :P

Click here for route map
 

Most convoluted 10 miles EVER!

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

So it's Saturday night, I've just played a bit of tennis, I've got to get to Dham's last night out at Suburban and Curry Royale just after 8pm, so what do I do? I go for a 10 mile run πŸ™‚ took about 1:40hrs and was a most convoluted route up the steep Edge Hill and even past the All England Club. It was a surprisingly nice day (despite being dark) and temperature to run. Have to say after the run, the curry went down very well! Here is the route:

http://tinyurl.com/5sj5pu4


Ran with a London Marathon Winner!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

1983 London Marathon Winner - Mike GrattonTonight I got to run round the sights of the capital city with a London Marathon Winner! 1983 London Marathon Winner 'Mike Gratton' in fact. oh 1983 you say, well this guy ran the Marathon in 2:09hrs!!! that's faster than the elite Brit runners run today, pretty good, no?! :) Save the Rhino had most excellently organised this run with Mike for us and it was brilliant – about 12 of us turned up inc Adam who'd set it all up, though he refrained from running with us cos he had to 'look after our stuff' hehe. We met in a gym in London Bridge and after Mike showed us how to warm up properly, we did about a 5.5mile circuit from London Bridge up and over Westminster Bridge and back to London Bridge where we started. A bunch of the guys sped off ahead of us at the start and were obviously aiming for a quick run, but a group of 4 of us hanged back so we could chat to Mike, plus we were prob lot slower than the guys ahead, am not going for 2:09hrs this yr, perhaps next ;). There were a couple of other girls too, but they went the wrong way down an alley half way and somehow ended up a bit behind us. Mike gave us some running tips and told us stuff about his training back in day – lots of repeated 400m's sprints etc!! It was a very nice run, taking in Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, the Wheel, glimpse of St.Pauls etc running over the Thames was cool too, pollution didn't seem too bad either. We finished with a drink and a superb pasta meal in the bar next to the gym. Mike gave us some very useful and interesting running tips. It was good to meet some other Save the Rhino guys too, really nice bunch, cheers Tristan and the girls for running with me :) and Thanks so much Mike for a very inspiring night.
Check out 2:09Events which Mike runs – they do fun events like a marathon run over three days between vineyards in the South of France, yes lots of wine too!

Couple of shortish runs

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Had a couple of very busy weeks, so only managed to get in one short 30mins run last Friday (25th Feb) and a 7 miler tonight. Up the very steep Edge Hill and up to Tibbet's Corner and back down the hill via Murray Road.
 

14 miles via Krispy Kreme – saying hi numerous times to Roger T and ending with hi to Kiwi Jo!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Ran 14 miles. Set off, said hi to Roger Tagholm outside his house on the way to the common and Tibbet's Corner, up over Kingston Hill round to New Malden, Cambridge Road, all the way to the roundabout, down Burlington Lane passing the Krispy Kreme doughnut place (a particular highlight of this run) into Raynes Park and back to Wimbledon. Was pretty easy going and surprisingly quicker than expected, wanted to crack 2:05mins and ended up having to run all over the shop at the end, saw Roger T again couple of times as I did a loop of Dundonald Park, he was a bit stunned I think to see me still runnning nearly 2hrs later πŸ™‚ then into Wimbledon finishing outside Queens Road Church in the end. Funnily ran into tennis star Kiwi Jo as I walked back into Wimbledon from there, so if you want to know what I'm like after a 14mile run and high on a sea of endomorphins, just ask her hehe πŸ˜‰

Click here for roughly the route <did run down Chase Alley but not on Google Maps!>

Longest Run In History – The Esher 20miles!

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Me in Esher carpark after runing about 9 milesWhoosh!! 20miles to Esher and back. Due to work and other 'commitments' haven't had a chance to do quite as much running as I wanted, but when I heard Ben & Laura were doing an 18miles on Saturday, thought it was time to step things up, to put the Nike's to the road and what better run than to go to my favourite place Esher and back! Set off towards Raynes Park via Chase Alley, then to Kingston via Coombe lane, along the one way system to the river, along the left side (partly along the nice park toepath bit by the Thames) until Thames Ditton and then into Esher. Past Esher Common and into the town, turn left at the pub where the Rachel and I used to go sometimes, down that road, then all the way to the West End Common area carpark. I'd set off late afternoon and it was pitch dark by the time I reached here, lol, but here's a fine photo from it. After that headed back into Esher, bought a Lemon + spring water drink and couldn't resist the special offer rice puddings on sale! ironically Mike Gratton had recommended eating these, so had good excuse πŸ™‚ I'd started combining running for say 40mins then walking a tiny bit and running again and at this half way point, I devoured the rice pudding whilst briskly walking along and then set off again in the direction of Hampton Court this time. Finally got there, despite not really knowing the way and it being very dark and then followed the wall back to Kingston. Over the bridge into the town centre, past the phone boxes, fighting fatigue I powered onwards up Coombe Hill and Coombe lane into Raynes Park and back to Wimbledon and home!! it was a strange feeling having run that kind of distance in 3:47hrs! and strangely to be honest it wasn't that bad, the 16.5mile a few weeks ago over all them hills seemed a LOT tougher, man that was tough, perhaps near my limit. Anyways as the park was closed, wandered into the tennis club to stretch things out (legs needed a lot of stretching out!). Mike Knepsl casually asked me where I'd been, oh just ran to Esher and back, yeah about 20miles I replied, you don't do things by halves do you he said, was very funny.

Well that's pretty much the biggest run I'm doing until the marathon itself ticked off! πŸ™‚

UPDATE: Stair walking the next day was great fun (read:bit of a mission), legs took about 3-4 days to recover properly.

Click here for approx route map

7-8 more miles on the common

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Clocked up another 7-8 miles, pushing it a bit esp at the start, up the notoriously steep Edge Hill and around past the infamous rival Westside Tennis Club and then the new Michelin star chef'd Fox & Grapes then onto the common and to Tibbets corner and back, sprinting to the end πŸ™‚ About an 1:08hrs or so.

Click here to see rough route map

Once more unto the Epsom 16 mile run…

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Due to lots and lots of work and tiredness, didn't get a chance to do much running for about a week and a half. With the Marathon a few weeks away now, decided I need a proper training run and what better than to do the Epsom 16 mile again!! in case I didn't make it clear, that first Epsom run (~16.5miles) was the toughest run I've ever done, perhaps the toughest exercise I've ever done, think I hit the proverbial wall due to all the hills esp Hillcross Avenue at the end. I remember there was pretty much nothing left in the tank as I staggered across Kingston Road from Mostyn on to Dundonald Park to stretch down. ANYWAYS, this time was slightly different!! I paced the run a lot better, I found myself at Epsom in about 1:10hrs about 5mins quicker than last time. I bought a Lemon Spring water drink and a Muller rice pudding, ate that and jogged back. The uphill out of town past that X pub was still a bit of a slog, but I got out of there and found Malden Road from Cheam village to be nothing like the never-ending nightmare it had been the first time. Heading back to Morden and then Beverly Roundabout and Hillcross Avenue also wasn't as bad, found myself counting the hills and while being careful it wasn't too bad. Getting to Merton Park I actually sped up and even finished with a sprint down Mostyn Road! there seemed a lot left in the tank, which was very surprising. Wandered down to the tennis club to stretch down. Took about 3:25hrs(or 3:30hrs can't remember) which was also a good 20mins quicker than last time.

Here's the route map: http://tinyurl.com/68jw2pc

New Trainers – Penultimate Run – 9miles over the common

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

New Balances 858sDespite the success of the Epsom run I seemed to have bruised my knee, that's why I've been resting the past week and a half, yes, yes I know the marathon's only on Sunday, but I haven't had much choice. Tried to go for a run other day and couldn't, seems to also be something to do with my trainers. Thought I need a new pair, so did the 'wet test' on my feet and seems my arch is fine and should be able to wear any trainer at all really, so bit confused. As I was driving through East Sheen the other day saw the shop Up & Running, so yday went there with John from the tennis club and ended up doing the Gait Analysis thing, whereby the video you running on a treadmill and pick a good pair of trainers for you, have to say the staff guy was excellent. Apparently my old trainers weren't great for my ankles and I ended up buying a pair of New Balance 858's – it was either them or a pair of Brooks, which also seemed good.

ANYWAYS, minor mistake on that. They are good trainers, I think for shorter runs, but they seem a little bit too big for me and cause me to run on my heel instead of my toes, which is my usual running style. I ran about 9 miles up to Tibbets corner as usual, to the Richmond Park corner and then back into the common by the rugby ground and back into Wimbledon and back home down Ridgeway Place and round Dundonald Park couple of times and home, BUT I WAS SHATTERED! it was mental. running on my heels/mid-foot style in the New Balances, which were also significantly heavier than the Nikes, must take a lot more energy and gave my calves a big workout, when I stopped, I realised there was NO WAY I'd be able to cover 26miles using those trainers as 9miles was hitting my limit! BUT WHAT TO DO??? the marathon is on Sunday, I've no option to run in my old trainers, least I should be able to complete the distance, perhaps I'll just take painkillers and walk  oh well.

London Marathon Expo at ExCeL in docklands

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Iwan Thomas and meAttended the most excellent London Marathon Expo at the Excel exhibition centre in the docklands to pick up my marathon number, IPCO tag and to eat pasta at the Pasta Party! turned out to be rather good, lots of running equipment / food / holiday / foreign marathon exhibitors. Saw Mike Gratton the 1983 London Marathon winner again and met Iwan Thomas (the blonde/ginger guy who’s the British 400m record holder). The Pasta Party wasn’t quite what I expected, very nice meal, but not a huge amount of pasta tbh lol.

Bought a Β£5 Runners World belt bag to carry gels and carbo-energy bars when running + ended up buying a couple of SIS GO carbo energy bars (apple & blackcurrent + chocolate/orange) and a CLIF BLOKS gel bar + oh and some socks.  Well actually ended up buying some rather expensive Falke RU4 Cushion running socks and then bought an even more expensive pair of Sky Run X-Socks, after this guy told me some European Olympic team use them or something, apparently they wick the sweat from your feet to your heel, have to admit these X-Socks did sound pretty incredible. Yesterday I bought some gel Sof Sole Massaging Gel insoles for my trainers and a couple of pairs of twin skin Hilly socks from Blacks that are meant to prevent blisters. Well this is kinda desperate times folks, it’s 26miles on Sunday.

P.S. Since yday and the trainers trouble, flippin heck the nerves have been kicking in.

Me and Mike Gratton Excel Expo 2011 marathon winner? :)

London Marathon Running Times/Stats

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Copy/pasted from Virgin London Marathon 2011 results page.

race info, start time 9:45am

participant

name Reed, James (GBR)
club Β 
runner no 46685
category 18-39
Est.Finish

finish details

place (M/W) 16975
place (ag) 9270
place (overall) 23787
finish time 05:01:20

splits

Split time diff min/km km/h
5K 00:34:28 34:28 06:54 8.71
10K 01:10:10 35:42 07:09 8.40
15K 01:46:36 36:26 07:18 8.23
20K 02:24:36 38:00 07:36 7.89
HALF 02:32:36 08:00 07:19 8.22
25K 03:02:01 29:25 07:33 7.96
30K 03:39:03 37:02 07:25 8.10
35K 04:16:13 37:10 07:26 8.07
40K 04:49:23 33:10 06:39 9.04
finish time 05:01:20 11:57 05:27 11.02

Β 

RAN THE LONDON MARATHON!!

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

TOOK 5hours right on, well 5:01:20 to be precise!! whoop whoop πŸ™‚

Me at London Marathon start - Greenwich Park

Looking concerned at the start! πŸ™‚

To Your Marks
Woke up wide awake and somewhat hyper at 5:15am, but forced myself to lay in bed trying to rest and got up at 6:40am just after my alarm went off. Had my Shreddies, but was too nerve-racking to eat the eggs and bacon I’d cooked the night before, so only ate bit of the eggs and made sandwiches. Caught Wimbledon to Waterloo train, along with loads of other marathoners and we then took the packed Waterloo East train to Greenwich station.

Wandering through Greenwich Park at 8:30am to the marathon area was quite a sight with the thousands of other runners all getting ready with their red Virgin London Marathon kit bags and brightly coloured shirts. As it was so warm I took off the bright red Β£3 top I’d bought from TK Max the day before (they suggest buying a cheap top to throw away if it’s a cold start) and showing off my running number of 46685 walked into the runners area to be greeted by Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.

Virgin London Marathon 2011Still a bit tired, sat in the park listening to the funny Geordi announcer guy and ate my egg/bacon sandwiches + some crisps and Muller Rice pudding πŸ™‚ before noticing it was getting very close to 9:45am. So following a bunch of runners, I walked through a fence opening to the start line queue. Looking around, downing a Gatorade, I seemed to be surrounded by this bunch of very fit 3:30hr club athletes:Pwell except for the guy in the big furry outfit a few metres behind me:)

The race started and off we went, took about 10mins to cross the starting line and was very exciting and great feeling from the start.

Wanted to pace myself with about 10 or 11minute miles, which I stuck to rather well. Got overtaken by millions of people for the first few miles, including Horny Paul the Rhino, but this didn’t really concern me as I had an idea I’d catch up with many of them later on, which I indeed did, including poor Horny Paul the Rhino just before 21miles where upon he looked rather hot , tired and bedraggled (massive respect to him). Fellow Save the Rhino runner Dave Curnick also said hi on the way πŸ™‚

London Marathon - running over Tower Bridge 12.5miles stage

Running over Tower Bridge 12.5miles

Running The Race
Words cannot describe how good the crowd were – their cheers really do keep you going, they give you motivation like nothing else. Also just knowing your friends are out there is a great boost. What is awesome too is that for the first 12 miles or so the roads are a bit more open and the thousands of people lining the route and cheering are just wonderful. Tons of kids/randoms hold their hands out and you can slap them a high or low five as you go past. Thanks to them all hugely. Big thanks to Terry too for telling me to put my name on my shirt, as you run along people sometimes shout your name and again it just keeps you going like you wouldn’t believe.

Seeing my friend Ben Hall at Surrey Quays 8.5miles in and his shout of ‘James Reed’ and then again at Tower Bridge and again at 21 miles was off the planet, mate that was someting else. Also the Rachel + Gina shouting like maniacs along with dad and his rhino placards and the rest of the family at 11.5mile mark in Bermondsey ruled and then on the Embankment, so good, so surprising and so enlivening.

The live music played along the way and the loud speaker music is also MASSIVE help, so good of the clubs/pubs/people to do that. Put it this way at one point, we’re talking about 22miles, they were playing Jump Around and I actually jumped past them it was so energizing, yeah at 22miles, lol.

The mile markers really do help too, really did find myself counting them down. Found the worst mile was mile 15, you’re a bit past half way and the going is starting to get tougher, it’s less populated, plus it was on somewhat of a hilly area and I desperately wanted to hit 16 (prob cos of the Epsom run). Once you hit 16 you know it’s two miles til 18 and once there it’s only 8 miles to go which should be possible, even walking.

The weather was warm, sunny and hot at points, nice suntan in the end, but cool enough to run (officially described start as ‘perfect conditions’) but I must’ve literally drunk about 10litres of water, I had countless bottles of water + lucuzade sports drinks handed out on the way and must’ve just sweated it out. The sports gels were also incredible. I’ve never tried a sports gel (liquid carbohydrates + glucose) before but they had Lucuzade gel stations at 14miles and 22miles, so I tried them and the result was remarkable, just seemed to propel you along.I also carried one of them(third taken at 23miles + at 24miles) and a couple of carbo-bars with me(consumed at 9 and 18 miles) which helped push me onwards.

Me at London Marathon Finish

At the finish 26miles 385yards

Crossing The Finish Line
Whereas many say they can’t feel their legs the last 6 miles, I actually picked up speed during the last 3 miles(seriously surprised at my own fitness), I mean I was properly running it, hitting 11kmph apparently. Meant I overtook hundreds of people, including some really old ;) and some really in-trouble runners and Sprinted over the finish line!

Received my medal, goodie bag and got one of those silver foil capes I’ve wanted pretty much my whole life and was one of the main reasons I did this thing:P Then hanged out with the Save the Rhino team, thanks so much Adam and Lucy you guys are the best, had a leg massage from two very nice blondes and was met and greeted by the old folks, Gina, Stephen, the Rachel, Ben, Henry, Jackie and the QRC bunch. I waited until the last Rhino came in (about 7:30hrs, a lady who’d run the Brighton marathon the week before!) and then headed to Wagamamas for a chicken Katzu curry. The finale being a pint of Guinness with Mr.Hall in Wetherspoons in Wimbledon! Zzz

Other Highlights Of The Race

  • My running battle/war with none other than Mickey Mouse! the pesky mouse kept repeatedly running fast, overtaking me, then slowing down a bit and so I’d overtake him, then the menacing mouse would do the same again and I couldn’t do anything cos the crowd loved him and kept shouting “Mickey!” all the time!
  • Being chased by a tiger, he was very funny
  • Racing a couple of Elvis’s
  • Being well overtaken by Dino the dinosaur and the Flintstones, then seeing them doing some interview later on.
  • Seeing the guy in the green Tinkerbell fairy outfit who was kicking a football all the way
  • Seeing the two firemen walking at about 12miles in FULL UNIFORM + BOOTS, they must’ve been ahead of me by a good way until then! wow!
  • The Knights in full armour jogging past me at points.
  • Txting facebook and friends “At 24miles!” when gone through the tunnel at 24 miles πŸ™‚
  • Seeing a big hairy Lion right at the end
  • Watching the Rhinos come in – wo those guys are crazily brave running in those things!
  • Lots of other moments…

I have to say the whole thing was organised extremely well from start to finish and All in all was a brilliant brilliant day!

Finally thanks again to super runner + running expert Nico, all credit to him for telling me to run this thing in the first place!

Marathon finished wearing the cape

Always wanted one of those capes! πŸ™‚

And so my London Marathon 2011 training blog warms down to a close, thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Click here to see my race results


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