Having created an Instagram account solely to record my initial running progress to my first ever half marathon, it would be hard to comprehend how anyone could run a marathon without talking about it?
Below is a brilliant Youtube comedy, which i’m sure a lot of my running and non-running friends can relate to.
Having seen some of the posts on Social Media, i do think some have gone a bit extreme on what they post on their “journey”.
Maybe time to lighten up?
She ran a marathon without talking about it. Genius!
It was the end of January 2016, and i had already started training for my first Marathon at Brighton in April and was now attending my first group session/training organised by Cancer Research UK.
It was at this event that had two professional coaches from Running With Us, who told us at the very start of the session that “anyone can run a marathon”.
Naturally this caused quite a stir in the room. So they added some context that they could take everyone out of the training room and go out there and then and we would all complete 26.2 miles in a run, jog, walk, crawl. But we would all finish.
Having only recently completed a half marathon back in October, which took a lot out of me and i couldn’t walk properly for about a week, i thought how the hell am i going to do double that distance?!?
After now having completed 3 Marathons, i can now totally agree with Nick and Tom, Anyone can run a Marathon.
The training that we do is to ensure that we can run in what we may regard as a decent time and enjoy the race. How much training you do, is up to you, but you can run 26.2 miles!
Almost 40,000 runners will be taking on 26.2 miles or 42.2km ish.
Some say the best way to take on a marathon is to break it down to just two 10 mile runs with a 10km run at the end.
Last year i took part in a 10km race around central London, which was great fun. Not only did i get to run around some amazing landmarks in central London, i was also dressed as the Cancer Research UK shoe and filmed it all with my GoPro on a selfie stick.
Now before anyone starts shouting at me and telling me how amazing London Marathon is, i know it is amazing and have been there supporting the runners on a number of occasions.
But what stirred me to write this blog, was a number of comments I saw on social media as people are getting ready now for their London marathon, a number of comments were made, albeit prefaced with saying it’s possibly controversial, saying that they think London Marathon is overrated.
Apparently for this years London Marathon, over 250,000 people applied for a ballot place. That’s a lot!
Considering it is not the biggest marathon in the world, which is New York, that had approximately 90,000 applications for ballot places this year.
Why so many apply for London? Is it the chance of fame being on national TV? Is it for a challenge of a lifetime or raising money for a worthy charity/cause? Is it for bragging rights to say ‘i completed London Marathon’?
If it was to do a challenge by running a Marathon or raising money for a charity, there are dozens of Marathon races in UK and 100’s worldwide we can all enter by just paying and you’re in! No ballot, no waiting.
I saw one message that was asking how long the Paris Marathon ballot takes to notify people if they get a place, they were later shocked to find out that all they had to do was go online and pay for an automatic place.
I am very much looking forward to taking part in my first London Marathon in 2018, provided my qualifying time still applies from my second marathon last October in Frankfurt.
Completing any marathon is a tremendous achievement, so whether London Marathon is overrated or not, is a matter of opinion.
Brighton Marathon 2017 was to be my latest marathon following my epic Boston Qualifier run in Frankfurt last October. Only my third marathon and also my runniversary Marathon as it would of been April 2016 when i completed my first marathon in Brighton.
Having been training so hard since Christmas eve 2016, with some amazing races in January, February and March, i was expecting to put in another new PB for my Marathon and continue my amazing running journey.
Sadly, within the first few strides of the marathon, an injury that i picked up during the Reading Half marathon in March hadn’t fully cleared, so ran the whole race in absolute pain, with many occasions wanting to quit. But something kept me going.
The only way I describe yesterday’s race was like driving with a flat tyre. The engine and bodywork was in great condition, but one tyre had blown and just could not get any speed without damaging the car itself.
The race for me was one of two halves.
The first 0.2 miles and the second 26 miles.
Whilst I started off with the 3hr pacesetter, literally within yards I felt my back and leg pain.
That was plan A out the window!
By the time I reached the mass start at mile 1, I felt like quitting and wait to fight another day.
But something inside me was carrying me. My usual speed had completely gone and every time I tried to push the speed the pain intensified.
That was plan B was out the window!
Then the hills and heat was kicking in and it was just a case of enjoying the ride. The Met office predicted morning temperature of 10 degrees topping out at 14 degrees. How wrong it could be! The start temperature of race was almost 14 degrees and by mid-day it was 21 degrees!
It was so fabulous to see Bridget and Launa supporting and giving me a shout out and oh so many amazing supporters shouting out Go Guru!
At mile 15 I had a young guy fly past me and shout Go Grunners! He really did put a big smile on my face. Clearly he must of seen one or two of my YouTube VLOGs!
At this point the pain was killing me and was seriously now wanting to stop.
The heat and pain was almost making me want to cry, but again I felt something inside me willing me on!
Only 11 more miles to go!
I was stopping at every water station and drinking what seemed gallons of water!
The last 2 miles was incredible. Massive crowds cheering us all on and with the last stretch with finish line in sight the crowd erupted as I was passing so I had to break out a dance, as you do!
Crossing the finish line was such a joy, never did I know that I could endure so much pain for so long, but i did and the victory was mine!
Whilst I did not get a PB and was way off the expected time based on my training and recent half marathon race results, it matters not.
Injuries happen and we can’t control the weather, but what matters is how we overcome these hurdles in life.
Below is the VLOG i filmed of the race day, but be warned it contains swearing and me saying it how it is and totally raw.
Hope you enjoy, like and subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Since i started running only a short while ago, i believe i have now found my mission in life. I may be 55 and very soon 56, so it may sound a bit late in life, but better late than never, eh?
All i want to do in life now is to continue to travel the world, running marathons and inspire people to be the best they can be.
Since my first marathon VLOG, it was then that i realised what an amazing positive impact i have on peoples lives. Whether they be runners, or non-runners.
In the past 20 months of running, my races, the training, the people, the travel, i have learnt so much about life and want to share that with as many people as possible.
I want your help?
I want to inspire 1 million people to come run with me between now and when i take part in this years New York City Marathon.
New York Marathon will be my first ever Marathon Major and is a seriously big deal for me. THE biggest Major in the world with 50,000 runners. So what better way of celebrating running this marathon than also knowing that we inspired 1 million people to join in with me also and be virtually running New York Marathon with me!
Want to join in?
Tweet/message me on Instagram or Twitter @RunGuruRun or Like my Facebook page.
It’s not often i have been asked to appear on TV, but that’s what happened this week.
I will be appearing on Made In Birmingham sports round-up program on Monday 3rd April at 7pm GMT and will be talking about my running and my support for Hibbs Lupus Trust as part of the run up towards my next marathons at Brighton and New York.
Naturally i love talking about running and it’s great to talk about how i got started, the love i have for running and why i am supporting Hibbs Lupus Trust.
Whilst it may only be a local Midlands Channel, it will be available on live web stream on the link here, and also on catch up.
If you do live in the Midlands or have availability in your area for certain Freeview and Sky channels, it’s on the channel where BBC3 used to be. Make sense?
I have also set up my Just Giving page as part of my New York Marathon challenge, where you can make your generous donations for such a worthy cause.
In the recording studio with Gary James and John Hibbs
Holy frustrations, i have an injury to deal with literally weeks before my next big race, the Brighton Marathon on 9th April.
I’m sure it has happened for a reason, but right now i feel very frustrated that i can’t go out and run and feeling anxious about losing my race pace and the possibility of not being able to run the race at all.
But i remain optimistic with 11 days to go, that with the correct rest, some trips to physio and some swimming i will be race ready by Sunday 9th April.
How this happened is a series of events that all contributed to me falling off the rails.
Being so new to running, i still have a lot to learn. Freezing to death waiting for a race to start is not a good idea, which is what happened at Reading half Marathon last week. So much for the weather forecast!
I guess one BIG lesson for me right now is patience and i think i need a bucket load right now!