I first ran the London marathon 8 years ago in 2005 to mark my fortieth year. I thought at this point of my life, that I had not accomplished much, (raising a child on my own for a few years, rebuilding my life after a divorce, changing my career, remarrying and having little madam clearly did not count as accomplishments!). Being a relative newcomer to running I followed The Non-Runners Marathon training plan, this is a brilliant book and I read this the summer before I entered the race, it made me believe I could do it. I did do it and must admit enjoyed it too! Time 4.:37.
In 2007 the kind people at FLM gave me a ballot place. This time I trained following a Runners World plan. This was the hottest year on record for the London Marathon, 22.2 degrees. I can confirm that it was hot. Along the embankment I remember thinking never again this is horrid. Time 4:30
VLM gave me a place this year as they HAD to, they had turned me down since my 2008 entry, I have a fine selection of reject jacket and fleeces! This time I am following a BUPA intermediate training plan. (see above) What has changed since my first one? I am older, Flora became Virgin, I am 9 years older, I work full-time, I am older. What time am I aiming for? Well this fluctuates from finishing to ………….. Who knows? What I do know now and did not know then is that Marathon 1 and 2 were actually not bad times. Madam says ‘don’t worry Mum, just don’t walk and finish, that’s all that matters’ also I found this in another of my many running books and will try to pack it for the 21st
‘By getting to the starting line, you’ve already place yourself in the top echelon of athletes. You may not be in the top-tier of that race, but as a long distant athlete, you are fitter, better trained and more disciplined than 99 per cent of the population who have ever lived. Remind yourself of that when you start to obsess about your pace or finish time’
I will try, I will finish, I will try to enjoy!
After a bad long run I recently came home and told hubby ‘a la Steve Redgrave’ that if I mention marathons again he should shoot me. However between you and me I will always enter VLM just in case. As to other Marathons (there are others you know) I don’t think so unless of course I can find one to run on my 50th birthday, but this is a secret as I can’t be certain that hubby has not purchased a gun recently!