My 2004 London Marathon

Time: 3:44

My Name is Julia, I have run London twice before with a personal best of 3.31. So the aim from last year (after a rest) was to run 3.14.59 - a big aim, but I have been told realistic .

In August last year I started training with the fast lads at Accrington Road Runners. Started doing speed sessions, gave up smoking and got my head down to the task in hand.

In December I had a 2 pb's and felt excited when Runner's World came out with the training plans. Followed it to a T.

Then came a chance of going to Florida, and I asked a few people who have 50 or so marathons under their belts how it would fit in with flying back last Thursday. Fine, no probs, they said; the rest will do you good. So off i went with my family  to Florida. Great hols. A bit of running, home a day, then down to London.

Didn't feel nervous, felt great, knew what I was letting myself in for. At the green start plenty of toilets for us ladies, bin bag on, off we went. Went through 6 miles in 42 mins, felt great full on energy. Bin bag came off, the rain ebbed away and so did my legs. I Knew at 10 miles I was in trouble and that my goal was disappearing. Half way 1hr 42, and I was in real trouble - that's when I made the decision to walk... 1st time ever in a race.

The crowd were great, really kept my mind focused. I did make it in 3.44. The relief to finish was enormous. I cried, every one of those last 13 miles was painful. The last 2k took me 14mins (How slow is that).

Will I be back for more: Never say never!!!!!

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