There have been many reasons why you haven’t seen many updates from myself since my first Parkrun back in June this year.
Sadly my beautiful mother suffered a stroke and passed away the following week.
For the past 5 months i have gone through many changes, which i had no control of whatsoever. Before the loss of my mother, i was already having to look for a new contract of work in a new location, all of which were having an impact on my training for only my second marathon since Brighton Marathon in April.
Frankfurt was to be my first ever big city marathon, this was a big deal for me.
The months of training we very enjoyable and often tough, especially getting up at 4am or 5am to complete my ‘short’ weekday training runs before getting into work. And as autumn approached the mornings were dark, which meant i needed to use a head torch to help me see where i’m going on footpaths and enable motorists to see me.
Over the summer months i had picked up a number of injuries to my feet, toes, achilles and left knee. The knee injury was caused by me falling off my bike, which meant i had a sharp pain on knee cap while training for the following 6 weeks. It seemed forever! One bump or bruise after another and also some back pains, which resulted in 3 visits to an osteopath, 2 visits to a sports physio and 2 podiatry appointments.
The second podiatry visit was where i had full foot and leg analysis to find one leg is longer than the other and both feet pronate, with one pronating 2 ways!
I wasn’t going to let any of this stop me, but instead, i embraced the changes needed. I was strengthening my glutes and learning to engage them whilst running, so putting less strain on other parts of my hips and legs.
So raceday arrived, Sunday 30th October, 2016 and it was very cold, for me, in the morning. Nonetheless perfect marathon conditions with virtually zero wind, clear blue skies and it warmed up to 12 degrees Celsius.
Whilst i had a clear race strategy with my coach at Running With Us, some things don’t often go to plan.
After about my third gel, i almost felt like throwing up and didn’t want to take anymore, but had the dilemma of my energy levels potentially dropping off. So i persisted with the gels.
Also, i knew i had to have a glass of water at each 5km point, but after the first 5km and having most of the content go all over my face, i had to stop and calmly drink my cup of water at every 5km point. Yes, it slowed me down, but i needed the water. It was also tough to get running again after each time i stopped. Maybe i need to train how to drink out of a cup whilst running?
I was determined to come in with a good time and made sure i did not look at my Garmin watch, i just ran to effort and listened to how my body felt. There were a number of points i was with some runners going at a 3:09 pace, but i could feel my legs saying slow down. So i did.
The last 10km was oh so tough and i dug deep and kept going. With 7 km to go, we were back in the final loop in Frankfurt downtown and at 40km was where some official pace setters with balloons of 3:14 passed, that was the moment i knew i had run a brilliant race, but had to finish strong.
I came in with a time of 3:15:44 and i was full of great joy and elation at the finish.
It was the race of my life and loved every kilometre and to all the people who cheered me on around the course, it was simply amazing.
With that finish time and my age, based on current qualification times, i now could qualify for the 6 World Marathon majors. Which with Frankfurt Marathon only being my second marathon, running for just a little over 16 months, for a non-athlete like myself, is nothing short of remarkable.
I really do have to pinch myself as i’m still thinking this is all a dream.
Below is my Frankfurt marathon race VLOG. It is raw and emotional. That’s my style and the only music you hear is me singing along to sound tracks along the route. I do hope you have enjoyed reading this and enjoy watching the VLOG and would love you to leave positive comments and subscribe to my YouTube channel.