Afternoon all - I's been to the hair cut shop...*swish* I've had my "natural highlights" seen to
Bookie - you are more than welcome!!
MrGFB plays the sax and bass, LMF plays keys, LMF, BGD and MrGFB all play guitar and we have 4 drumkits in our house (full kit, practice kit, electric kit and minature but fully playable kids kit) - wouldn't you love to be our neighbours! (I sing btw and can struggle along on a guitar)
And for no other reason than this is fun to watch....
Count me out of the band happy to be a roadie.
I can't sing at all and going to hen weekend thing for my future sis in law and we are doing a recording. Dreading it hope they don't make me sing.
It's in Edinburgh same weekend as the marathon was very temped to enter as I would be there but thought it might be considered bad form as no one else is a runner.
Haha, FBJB, I had that similar dilemma when I was at my friend's hen weekend at the same time as Coniston 14 which I REALLY wanted to do. Decided it was indeed bad form, but kind of wish I had done it now! Ah well, next year.
We got into London with plenty of time to get to race HQ. Navigating the trains was easy enough – it was just a case of following the lycra-clad crowd. We did have one potentially disastrous moment, narrowly averted by some kind-hearted runner who popped his head into the train carriage to tell everyone that they were on the wrong part of the train. Mass-dash to the front carriages and all was well
We arrived in Blackheath and were directed to follow the balloons – kind of unnecessary given the hordes of people walking to the start. We passed several lemons (I think that’s what the costumes were) and a clown, and made a beeline for a café to find last-minute tea (and sneaky use of their toilet).
I was in the blue start, pen 9. Whilst waiting for the start I was kept company by a banana, a camel, a rhino, a dog, a man wearing a bike, another wearing a Rubik’s cube, and a woman with a fantastic moustache. This all seemed perfectly normal.
It took about 15 minutes to cross the start line, but I entertained myself by perusing all of the discarded jackets and coats along the way and wondering what would happen to it all.
Within 100m of starting I felt something wet hit my back. I’m assuming someone had a last swig of Lucozade or a gel before slinging it to one side, and it splattered all up my neck. I was not a happy bunny! My neck and hair was very sticky, and the goo left what looked like a snail-trail up my arm. Not the start I had quite anticipated!
Anyhoo, I carried on running. I had a run/walk strategy that I hoped would see me through, and a vague desire to get sub-6hrs (completely arbitrary, but there you go!). This is where my amazing early-birthday present came in – a shiny new Garmin 910xt. It’s almost as big as my hand, and I have to wear a wristband underneath it to stop it rubbing at my wrist, but oh boy, I LOVE it. It beeped and vibrated for every run/walk segment, and gave me my times per mile so I could pace myself. I went off faster than planned, and missed the first couple of walk breaks because I was just too enthusiastic about it all, but I settled into a rhythm and obeyed the Garmin from about mile three.
In my head, I was breaking the race down into Parkruns. Eight and bit Parkruns – easy peasy! The first was great. I felt good, the atmosphere was amazing, the weather was beautiful (although a bit warm for running), and there was music blasting from pubs, houses, etc. all along the route. I was enjoying the different costumes, and marvelling at the choices some people had made. A Macmillan teacup called Richard was getting a lot of support, although how he could see where he was going was a mystery!
At around mile 6 I passed the 5hr pace setter and knew I’d completely messed up my pacing, despite the wonderfully reassuring bleep of the Garmin. I felt good though, and tried to convince myself that it was just time in the bank for slowing down later in the run (even though I knew that it was better to conserve energy earlier on – hopeful naivety is a lovely thing ). As I passed the pace-setter I heard a lady sidle up to him and say “Just in case you need it, I’ve got some jelly babies down my cleavage”. Now there’s an offer you don’t hear every day!
At about mile 8 I was overtaken by Uncle Bulgaria of Womble fame. I honestly can’t imagine how hot he must have been in his costume, but fair play to him, he was running well! I was also passed by Big Bird, and for several miles I spotted fluffy yellow feathers along the course which I think were moulting from his costume.
I got to the halfway point in my third best half marathon time (I’ve done four!) and from there on it was the furthest distance I’d ever run (not including the Grim Reaper, which was mostly walked). I was massively impressed seeing the speedy runners on their way back along the other side of the road – I think around the 22/23 mile mark. I just can’t imagine being able to run that distance that fast!
Getting to Mudchute was brilliant – I saw Caz handing out Jaffa cakes and I made a beeline straight for her. She got a sweaty hug whether she wanted one or not J Everyone got a sweaty hug, (Pabs got two for bringing me M&Ms) and Cake got a sweaty hug and a sweaty kiss. I set off again feeling a bit bouncier for having seen friendly faces, but at about mile 18 something painful happened in my knee. I stopped to stretch and a marshal came dashing over asking if I wanted a massage. I said yes in desperation, but I think he enjoyed it more than I did!
I tried running again, but the pain was building so I thought it best to walk. My watch kept buzzing to tell me to run, but I ignored it. I was in single-digit miles, so I was confident that I could finish although the sub-6hrs was seeming less likely. Up until then I’d been on for 5:45ish, but my pace had dropped. I told myself it didn’t matter and carried on. I was genuinely enjoying it still – The Proclaimers 500 Miles was blasting out from a pub, and the crowds were amazing. I honestly had no idea that the atmosphere would be so uplifting.
I somehow managed to miss Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament – I think by then my brain had completely melted. I did spot the London Eye, and had a moment where I looked up and thought “Ooh, it’s Big Ben!”, but then I put my head back down and kept walking. I was convinced by that point that the Garmin was faulty – how could I only have moved a few feet since I last checked? The ‘800m to go’ sign was a very welcome sight, although I think it was at least another mile before the ‘600m to go’ sign appeared
Coming up to the finish I spotted Cake in amongst the spectators – he followed me along as I went through the finish, and I stopped my Garmin – 6:00:21 Twenty-one seconds!! Gah!! I was very, very happy though. Very happy. I kept walking, picked up my medal, bag, etc. and finally met Cake for another sweaty hug (he was so sunburnt!!). I found the most comfortable patch of grass I’ve ever seen and laid down with my feet up against a wall. I probably would have stayed there all day
All in all it was the most excellent experience. I’ve dithered over entering a marathon so many times, and convinced myself that I wouldn’t be able to do it. My shins are bruised, my toenails may not make it until summer, and my knee doesn’t want me to move forwards. But I really truly loved it
Madbee think I'm going to do the 10k on the Saturday morning as there are still places.
I feel like Edinburgh is unfinished business as I did it a few years ago and went hairing of at the start and blew up at the end. So if you've not done it before watch out for the first 5 miles as they are down hill and it lulls you into a false sense of security. Well it did me anyway.
Bookie I love my Garmin for the same reasons bleeps are good.
I know about the marathon in Kielder Never been able to quite get there with travel but Bookie it's conpleately flat.
Oh and I used to be able to play the drum's and also used to be one of many organiser's for a local music festival so know how to be a sound tec/roadie if any good. I'm able to say 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 and swatch my botton if any good?
I'm in awe of my little Bookworm who can run a marathon on almost no training
You see, reading that race report almost makes me want to do a marathon. Great going Bookie!
Brilliant Bookie, well done! See you at Chester or Kielder (it isn't HILLY per se, just... undulating). Cake, I bet you'd enjoy the run-bike-run! It almost appealed to me, but then I remembered I hate cycling.
Great report Bookie...I love VLM , the crowds are incredible and the bands the whole way round brilliant!...all in all a great experience
I'm sticking to half marathons for the meantime (although I did think about entering the ballot again lol)
Can't run, won't run. ebay for new legs.
I read your FB race report yesterday Bookie.
I'm preferring swimbling at the moment.
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