The finish line and beyond

It’s taken some time to get to writing this post. Not because I was feeling lazy or didn’t want to make time to do it. More because I just didn’t know how articulate the emotion of finishing the London Marathon..... 

It was the hottest London Marathon on record and as ‘first marathons’ go I was pretty pleased with the outcome. 

There were moments of pure joy, smiles at randoms, unexpected surprise cheers from friends, Run Dem Crew’s mile 21, self-deprecating mental battles and lots (I mean LOTS) of water.

The best word I can use to explain running those 26.2 miles around the centre of London is  ‘Party’. It was like one big party celebrating the awesomeness of human spirit and physical endeavour. There was a underlying sense of togetherness, perhaps due to everyone moving in the same direction with the same goal. However for me the most amazing thing was seeing how everyone had their own story and motivation for being there. Something I personally found quite emotional. 

I must also explain the weird sense of emptiness during the weeks after. Born from the relentless, yet amazingly addictive, schedule and rhythm of the training program.  Who’d of thought that the early morning Saturday LSRs and three midweek runs would act as such a uncompromising yet promising anchor in an otherwise hectic work/life schedule. Needless to say, I really missed the structure of the training programme...... Something I’ve now replaced with pushing for a 10km best and experimenting with benefits of yoga. More on this in a few weeks (I promise).

So, if someone asks me the inevitable question ‘would you do another marathon?’.... my answer is a quite simple and unapologetic ‘yes’.  If someone asks me ‘why?’ .... be prepared for an unorganised rambling on health, nutrition, purpose, structure and celebration.

Finally, a huge thank you to all that donated to The Breast Cancer Haven. With your support my marathon campaign raised £4,000 + gift aid which is enough to help four women through the Haven’s programme. A truly humbling achievement. Thank you x  

 

 

 

 

London Marathon: Supporters on the day

Thank you so much for coming to cheer us on next Sunday at the London Marathon. It’ll be a bit like playing a running version of Where’s Wally, but even if you don’t get to see much of us on the course, it’s a brilliant day out and hopefully pretty inspiring too to see all those runners and their individual stories. Maybe we’ll be coming to cheer you on in 2019…!

We’ve put together a few tips for the day, but if you’ve got plans to go to different spots along the route, let us know so we can make sure to look out for you. AND, we’d love to buy you a drink afterwards – details for that at the end of the below info.

Robbie and Em xx


TRACKING US:
The Virgin London Marathon app is pretty nifty for tracking progress, but it has been known to crash on race day so best to download and load it with our race numbers before Sunday! 

Apple App: 
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/london-marathon-2018/id1225928174?mt=8

Google/Android App:
Search ‘London Marathon 2018’ in android App Store. 

Numbers:
Robbie: 40312
Emma: 17654

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:
We’ll put pictures up on social media on race day morning of us in our full kit too. Em will also have a headband on, which can help with spotting amid the sea of heads! (Image of vests at the bottom of this page).


WHERE TO WATCH FROM:
It’s up to you whether you want to find one spot towards the end and stay put, or bring your Oyster/contactless card to jump around different spots on the course via public transport (this is definitely the most fun!), but here’s a few places we can recommend:

Spot One:

BERMONDSEY (Mile 12) On the Jubilee Line (tube). Turn left when exiting tube station and walk along Jamaica Road as it’ll be crowded right outside the station.

NB: the Breast Cancer Haven have a cheer squad at mile 12 which you are also welcome to join. Turn right out of Bermondsey tube onto Jamaica Rd and look for the Sainsbury's Local (and lots of purple balloons).

*** If you want to see Mo Farah, make sure you are at Bermondsey by 10:45 am latest. We will be cruising through around 12:15 – wouldn’t want to show him up or anything – but there’s a Tesco about five mins from the tube to grab a snack to keep you going! ***

Spot Two:
We have two options here (quicker journey time but very busy with spectators vs. longer journey but quieter part of route):

1) MUDCHUTE (Mile 17)
TRAVEL: Bermondsey > Canary Wharf (Jubilee Line), then follow the signs to walk to Heron Quays DLR station. Heron Quays  > Mudchute DLR. (Approx 20mins, allow 30mins for congestion.) 

This is a quieter part of the route so finding somewhere to stand once you leave the DLR station should be simple. 

2) CANARY WHARF (Mile 18.5)
TRAVEL:  Bermondsey > Canary Wharf (Jubilee Line). Only 5 minutes journey time, but will be very busy and trickier to spot us.

Spot Three:

MONUMENT, LOWER THAMES STREET (Mile 23.5)
TRAVEL: Mudchute/Heron Quays DLR to Bank DLR, follow signs to walk to Monument station, then follow signs/marshals to the marathon route. 

This will be busier, but not as busy as the rest of the remaining route. We’d advise this is the last place to see us as the Embankment down to the finish can be chaotic!


POST-RACE DRINKS
Please let us buy you a much-needed drink or two at the Institute of Directors after the race! This is also where Breast Cancer Haven will be welcoming their runners.

TRAVEL: Monument Station > Embankment (District and Circle Line), then 15 min walk to IOD.
Address: 116 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ED When inside the building, head downstairs to the right hand side to find the Wine Bar.
https://www.iod.com/services/116-pall-mall

All being well, we should be waddling into the IOD by 3:45 p.m, but please head there whenever you are ready as we’ll have a tab running (with Mr Mark Evans acting as the Keeper of the Tab before we get there ) to welcome you in. 

 

 Look out for these!

Look out for these!

Marathon Training Update: One month to go!

    

Where to start?

It’s officially one month and three days until the London Marathon. Ohhhh crap.

With the half marathon distance of 13.1 milesnow complete, the training program has got to the stages of longer mileage. As the weekend LSRs (long slow runs)continue to increase in distance, I get a boost fromeach LSR becoming the furthest I’ve ever run. Luckily early April brings the ‘taper’ period, which means the longer runs get a little shorter. In the meantime, I’ll keep celebrating the blisters each Saturday...

Here’s some truth – there’s so much more to marathon training than I anticipated. For example, the question ofnutrition...

Did you know that energy canonly be stored by the human body to fuel you for a maximum of 16 to 18 miles? Me neither! And that IS a problem when you plan to run 26.2 miles. Beyond that, if you haven’t fuelled properly before and during a race, you risk ‘bonking’. And despite what you may think, nobody wants to ‘bonk’ in running (look it up, Mum).

Experimenting with eating before a long run is becoming quite fun. My training partner – also affectionally known as Em, my beautiful girlfriend, made it very clear that I needed to eat at least two hours before each LSR. That’s quite tricky when you plan to run at 7am on a Saturday. So my new Saturday morning routine consists of a 5am alarm to eat a peanut butter and banana bagel, while still horizontal in bed, then neck some water (not horizontally – I only made that mistake once) and go back to sleep.

Even more fun is that following the LSR, at circa 11am,we can legitimately have ‘second breakfast’! Pip and Merry (AKA Em and Robbie)are happy hobbits!

But, once second breakfast is over, the body feels pretty drained of energy and the legs ache. It’s time to inspect the sore bits and try to stay awake for the rest of the day.

Pasta on a Friday night to get those muscles nice and loaded with carbohydrates is another ritual we follow. Simple recipe from Em, cooked beautifully by Em, then destroyed by me and Em! Recipe will appear in another post.

There’s so much else to think about beyond finding time to run four times a week and one day of cross training –the right kit, proper hydration strategy, not to mention stretching androllering (my personal top two dislikes). I’ll write about that another time too – got a date with a foam roller now.

Basically, it’s goodbye social life, hello all the food and training... 🏃🏻‍♂️ 🏃🏻‍♀️ BUT, hopefully it will all be worth it and lots of money will be raised for the vital work being done at Breast Cancer Haven. Please donate here

PS....

I’m loving the use of Strava to track and engage with other runners. You can check out my actual run progress on Strava too... 

My Breast Cancer Story So Far...

My world was turned upside down by breast cancer when my mum was diagnosed in 2013. With Mum, the driving force of the family, going through the fight for her life, the whole family was shaken to its core. I committed to do all I can to support breast cancer care charities in the future, and running my first marathon is just one of the ways I am keeping this promise.

 

Please sponsor me here

One of these incredible charities is Breast Cancer Haven. At a Haven, they see you as a person, not just a patient; a person who deserves to be in control of her life, her treatment, her cancer journey. While the NHS provided incredible medical care for my mum, for which we will be forever grateful, I wish she had been able to access the sort of care provided by the Haven at the same time. 

Aside from the treatment there are so many worries to handle  – what about money? What about work? What should I eat? How will my partner cope? What about my kids? How do I look after my mental health?...  Breast Cancer Haven are there, and they will advise and support you. Mum has an incredible friendship circle who all rallied around when she was ill. Unfortunately, there are many people who don't have the same support network, and Breast Cancer Haven will be there for those men and women too. 

All the blisters, early Saturday morning training runs and ice baths will be so worth it when I toe the line with my Breast Cancer Haven vest on … I hope you can spare something to help me fundraise for this incredible charity, and contribute helping the 'person' not get lost whilst they are the 'patient'. 

Thank you x

My Just Giving Page

The Start Line...

The journey to a summer attempting to set a 10km personal best has begun.....

I went out this weekend to set a base level time and was 49mins EXACTLY. Easy enough to remember, I hope. The lesson learned straight away is that I set off far too quick for my legs! Stats called me out on that straight away. 

So now it's time to improve on that. Where to start? Food? Gym? Personal trainer? Running club? Hmmm... I'll comeback to that. 

A quick screen grab of the time below for all you 'if it's not on Strava, it didn't happen' folk  😉

 

 10km base level

10km base level

2017 Running Challenge

Challenge time. That's right, this is one of those health posts. I'll keep it short and sweet. 

 I want to know my absolute personal best for running 10km is within the next six months. 

 

Why am I telling you this? Well, fundamentally I see this blog being useful for two things:

1.) A handy way for me to record the things I'm doing and learning in life (I don't want to forget!) 

2.) Public accountability. That'll make me hit a few goals. I hope. 

So that said and my cards firmly on the table, there's no turning back now... where's my trainers?

 

 

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