I approached the race with a target of running 27 mins for each 5 mile split, with a charge at the end. It went to plan and I had decided to ease down through Canary Wharf, as the twists and sharp bends make it probably the hardest part of the course. I went through 15-20 fine and was in good shape, picking up from 20-21, then the splits say it all…I’d gone from 5:25 miling down to about 7:00.
The last 5 miles were nothing short of pure hell. My left calf was sore and every step felt like someone was stabbing me in the calf and Achilles with a knife. It was game over really…all hopes of a 2:22 time, even 2:24, even a PB (2:27:45) were gone. I got to mile 24 and just wanted to finish, at any pace. Then I came around, thought of the 2hr runs in the snow, the 100+ mile weeks, gritted my teeth and talked myself around to running a PB, and hobbling it out. I got to 400m to go and thought ‘No way can I run 26.2 miles for nothing…not manage a PB’. I managed to run a PB…just…running 2:27:34. The race initially was a disappointment. I was in better shape and can run faster, no doubt. However, I’m actually feeling really positive, even if my left calf is swollen like a balloon three days later and I probably can’t run for a good 2 weeks.
The most positive thing is I managed to ‘tough it out’ and held it together when I started to doubt myself. Plus, if someone had said to me 13 years ago when I first started running that I would finish 29th in the whole London Marathon, 8th in the national champs, when I was a chubby 40mins 10k runner, I would have thought they were crazy. I’d like to thank everyone at DAC who has helped me during that time.