This was my second attempt at a marathon after doing a rubbish London marathon back in 2005/6 (can't remember) on which it was safe to say I didn't put enough training in and ran a 4hr22!
So with this in mind, I wanted to put the training in and really go for it. Deciding to do a marathon again wasn't taken easily. It's not something that you can just go out and do off the back of no training and putting the required training in was going to be a big ask.
My training for this wasn't sufficient by any account. Going on holiday for two weeks and then moving house meant I lost more weekends than I could afford especially as I'd set out to target a sub 3 hour. The few runs I did get in were 18 milers and one just under 25. With this mind, I adjusted my target time to sub 3 and a half hours.
On getting to Edinburgh Saturday afternoon, I enjoyed a walk around and then watching the champions league final…..including extra time! I didn't change anything from what I'd done previously, ate the same and had a couple of pints.
At the hotel, I paid for a continental breakfast knowing they had Weetabix which again is what I always eat before races. I had packed some with the intention of having them in my room. Thankfully I didn't need to!
The hotel we stayed at was 5 minutes away from my start and meant I had plenty of time to make the start, the forecast was spot on…..rain! I didn't want it to be hot nor did I want rain so I was pretty happy when it stopped!
I was really nervous before the start which was a new feeling for me and I'd almost go as far to say I wasn't looking forward to what was coming.
My start was on London Street and started off at around 7 mile pace. I couldn't tell you when we merged with the other starters! After two miles, I decided to change my more reserved plan of steady away and thought 'let's go for it' not literally but I thought no point in turning up and not going for it! So for 18 miles I ran consistently around 6.45 – 7.15 (I think) and was happy and comfortable. My half time was 1.31 so I knew if I kept going I could be somewhere near 3 hours.
The route without a doubt isn't the most exciting and at times the support was a handful of people at best. I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes though as I felt I stayed pretty focused regardless.
Everything was going well until I hit 23 miles. My right knee started to give me pain at the front which wasn't going away. I didn't want to stop as I was already passing people who were walking and I knew it would be tough to get going again. The last few miles hurt and along with my knee, the soles of my feet were now aching! Seeing the funnel for the finish must have made me think 'one more push' but I didn't have it and cramped up in my right hamstring. A quick stretch and encouragement from the crowd got me going, and once around the final bend it was literally a limp home. Both my hamstrings and calves were ready to cramp up so I think I probably looked like I was shuffling my feet across the line.
On reflection, I'm still very happy with my time of 3:09:45, a PB, and know I did as best as I could.
Would I do another? I wanted my answer to be a no. However they still seems to be a part of me that tells me I could go faster so I'm thinking “Yes”, just not right now!