My goal was an optimistic 3.30, especially as a calf injury put my peak training into serious decline! However I thought I might at least get under 3.40. Did really well to half way mark.
At mile 15 though, the 8 min pacer flock trapped me. I got boxed in with some lovely runner behind kicking my heels! I nipped out and let them pass and my decline started.
At mile 17 I started to feel a bit stiff. But the crowds were great and having my name on my vest got me lots of encouraging support! Funnily enough I did notice that it always seems to be men who have to stop for pee breaks and its men who are nipping in and out of the loos too!
Have men really got weaker bladders (or is it all the manly ale they have to down the night before, when they are trying to convince everyone that they're just doing it for a laugh and don't care about their time).
I digress, at 21 miles I knew I wasnt going to make 3.35 even and - I gave up, thought sod it and yes I started to walk. Someone shouted my name though and I started up again.
Saw the end and tried to smile to the cameras - 3.41.50 my 'unofficial' finishing time. Its not over - a tall enthusiastic and obviously very happy with himself runner started to chat and offered me a 'shag', perhaps his eyesight wasnt good - I can't believe I looked my most attractive! I've got to say it was the last thing on my mind (is that another female/male difference?).
Trying to find your 'folk' at the end was a nightmare! Travel back to the hotel - got on the wrong train, then on the M40 got stuck because of an accident. So it was quite a long day.
I did the FLM in 2000 - when it felt brilliant and I loved it. Are ther really that many more runners - or what, because this time it felt very definately more crowded and it was difficult.
Although I didn't mind the weather, my fingers were numb at the end! Anyway, its not put me off - I'll be there next year - this time sustaining no training injuries beforehand AND planning the end escape better! Plan to do a marathon in September - where I'll try for my 3.30!