In my fund raising attempt for my chosen charity Kids Kidney Research I have set a sweepstake for friends and family to guess my finish time in the London marathon, in order to help you with your guess I will be blogging on my training over the final weeks. https://elite-conditioning.co.uk/london-marathon-2013-fund-raiser/
Here I am purely setting the scene on my marathon journey so far…
The Sub 4-Hour Dream.
It’s August 2008 and I have just had my first child Bradley, I had put on 3 stone during pregnancy and really was desperate to lose weight so I signed up to run the London Marathon for a charity called REACH, whom support children with an upper limb deficiency as Bradley was born with 2 short fingers.
Although an aerobics instructor I didn’t start training till January 2009 and I ran once a week starting with 1 mile gradually building up to 18 miles a couple of weeks before the marathon.
In the April I completed my first marathon in 4 hour 29 mins, I only walked through a tunnel (where no one could see) and my pace was very even.
It was now August 2009 and I really wanted to ran another marathon but this time in under 4 hours, I signed up to run with Kids Kidney Research following my thrid child’s, Jayden, issues with his kidneys.
This time I would be more prepared, I would train harder and start my preparation earlier.
In the December I started my training with 1 mile once again, then with snow getting in the way of my training I fumbled along missing session after session and this time having to ‘jump’ my distances from 16 miles to 22 miles a few weeks before the marathon.
In the April I completed my second marathon in 4 hours 21 mins, I had completely blown it! I felt so good in the first half I ran a 1.50 split for the first half, only 2 minutes slower than my then Personal Best over a half marathon … the outcome? I hit the ‘wall’ that everyone talks about at mile 18, this resulted in me walking for 2 and half miles whilst I re-hydrated and ate fruit pastels! I did manage to get running again but by this stage my legs really struggled to move very fast at all.
I learnt 2 things the ‘wall’ doesn’t really exist if you a – prepare and b – pace yourself (I never hit a wall the first time around).
I continued to run regulary 3-4 times a week from then on and knew at some point in the future I would run the marathon one last time to reach my sub-4 hour dream.
It is December 2012, I have run every local half marathon going, my personal best has come down by nearly 5 minutes and I am ready for my next challenge. I contact Kids Kidney research and am placed on the waiting list for a charity place should someone drop out.
Finally mid-January I get the call I was waiting for, I have a place. I set myself a rigid training plan in-cooperating all my aerobic classes and 3 -4 runs a week including interval / speed training. I have learnt to finally except that my long slow runs need to be slow (at least 60-90secs below target marathon pace), its all about building the aerobic capacity, making the heart and muscles stronger, building stamina – this was the hardest thing to except but I am doing it and even after 20 mile runs I have no aches the next day.
It is now 6 weeks before the marathon, I haven’t missed a training run and am spot on plan, the process has been a gradual build up and I am now getting ready to run 22 miles first thing tomorrow. Motivation has at times been hard but with what I feel is my last attempt to run under 4 hours I will continue to get my butt out the door and run. It’s all about the dream!
Over the final weeks of my training I will continue to blog about my sub-4 hour journey. Keep running and achieve the unthinkable!