It seemed fitting that the the longest run of my life was preceded by what felt like the longest week of my life.
As this blog could go on a while I will split into two parts – the longest week and the longest run.
After being a volunteer sweeper on the local 10k and reassured that my knee was OK to run the marathon on and so no deferral required I was planning my taper week and the variety of carbs I could consume from sweet potato, polenta, corn bread, porridge, pasta of all shapes, jacket potatoes, mashed potatoes, sushi, noodles and enough garlic bread to fumigate a forrest.
Whilst working from home on Monday I had one eye on social media and started to see raw unedited footage of Boston coming in. It was sickening, gut wrenching and impossible to watch. I followed updates on Twitter and had many US friends update me as they seemed to be much better informed than UK news, I suppose many were actually there or near by.
The London Marathon organisers were swift to act and reassure London runners that security would be increased and were reviewing policing BUT the race would go on. Along with 37,000 other anxious runners we received 2 to 3 emails a day for the rest of the week keeping us informed and updates on security, travel and marks of respect that would be shown for Boston – 30 seconds silence at the start and a black ribbon for all runners and volunteers. Also VLM would donate £2 for every finisher on race day to the Boston victims fund.
I had a totally rubbish run on Tuesday, only 5k but felt like 30k, I was sweaty, breathless, uncomfortable and grumpy – very unlike me but think it was more in the mind and my reflection on yesterdays horrific events.
Karen and I already had train tickets for Wednesday to go to the Expo in London, it just happened to be the same day as Lady Thatchers funeral so we took the view that London would be one of the safest places with all the extra police and security. The expo was huge and full of shopping bargains and marathons to tempt you to sign up for later this year or next.
The Expo was opened by David Weir although we didn’t get there until later he was very generous with his time and signed my race pack and answered a most important question so I could justify to my husband why my carbon TT bike is still living in the dinning room – David where do you keep your racing chairs, in a garage or the house ? – In the house of course 🙂
Thursdays 2 mile run felt so much better than my rubbish run on Tuesday. Met a few friends on route who passed on good luck messages and also given a tenner for British Heart foundation 🙂
Plus got a hug & kiss from my postman !
Friday was ‘packing’ which meant laying all my running stuff out on the spare bed to make sure I didn’t forget anything and had something for all weathers from arm warmers to suntan cream. My hydration and nutrition caused the most bulk and weight – but oh so important.
Saturday lunchtime hubby and I were dropped off at the station and headed up to London, all very relaxed and no bags left or lost, just one moment when I turned the air blue in Charing Cross station as a fellow passenger stood on my big toe. Ouch that brought tears to my eyes and flashes of panic as I hopped on the spot before taking my shoe off to see if any serious damage. Luckily not, so a quick rub and a quick dash to a different platform as our initial train was cancelled so had to go via London Bridge distracted me from my toe pain.
The Holiday Inn Bexley was great and all prepared for runners, a mountain of bananas and coffee available in the lounge for all, a buffet dinner with more carbs and oddly brussels sprouts & baked beans ?! I had an untroubled solid nights sleep then woke up to a frosty morning and a porridge breakfast before we got the bus to the start…. onto the Longest Run of my life Part 2
150 miles in the shoes but I did wash the countryside muck off them for the big city ! Socks my usual pair Balego but worn twice before & washed ready for race day 🙂
The masseur at expo said I had pretty feet for a marathon runner !
I still do. Never has a single blister, bruise, black toe nail at all 🙂 Good shoes & socks work.
Hope those runners and socks had been broken in. They look like new. Looking forward to Part 2!