Thursday, 26 April 2012

London Marathon 2012

So, Sunday April 22nd had finally arrived - the day of the London Marathon!!

I had had a good 16 weeks of training in the build up to the marathon - with only one week and a half going a bit wrong in January with a sprained ankle, but after that I managed to get in a good 13-14 weeks of training, including 1 x 18 mile, 3 x 20 milers and 1 x 22 miler. I was really grateful to have the other CAAC marathon girls to train with, which really helped for the Wednesday evening longer runs, which were made so much easier with the company. The 22 miler from N Berwick back to Edinburgh with Susan and Fiona was also a great run, as were the long runs I did with Porty runner Gareth, which really helped.
Mum at the PCUK cheering point
Mile 9 - still looking fresh
I was ready and raring to go on Sunday morning and was pleased to see that the weather Gods were with us. Somehow I managed to bump into Jillian Hogg in one of the many queues for the porta-loos before the start. (I wasn't brave enough to try the female urinals) so it was great to see a friendly face. I headed off to pen 3 in the blue start. Before I knew it we were off...I headed over the matt and started my watch. The first mile was sooo crowded. I was feeling a bit disheartened as the time was slipping away and I got stuck behind other runners. It didn't help matters when we merged with the red and green starts later on. I went through the first mile in well over 8mins - not the 7:25 I was hoping for! As a consequence I think I got a bit overexcited once it opened up and the following miles were 7:04 and 6:57 - oops!! I was feeling good though and dragged my average pace back to 3:15 pace. I thought I would give 3:15 a go, and just see if I could do it. I didn't want to finish the race fresh, I wanted to know I'd given it my all! I went through half marathon in 1:38 so was not far off target. It was great to have supporters at mile 9, and then my charity and parents at miles 13 and 22, as well as my London friends jumping around so I could see them again at mile 19 and then at 25! A real boost! I started to feel 'a bit tired' at around mile 15, which concerned me, as I hoped I would be ok till at least mile 20. Perhaps I had gone off to fast early on! I went through the usual ups and downs of marathon running - feeling great one moment, and terrible the next. At times I just closed my eyes and concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. A particularly poignant moment came as I approached Canary Wharf and could see a fellow PCUK runner with 'for Mum' emblazoned on the back of his vest. I felt a wave of emotion come over me and I sped up to reach him. I gave him a friendly pat on the back and told him well done. We ran alongside one another for a moment before carrying on.
Finished - at the hotel with my medal

Me and Marc with poster made by Julia
 The last few miles were tough, and to be honest I don't really remember much about them. The last 800m however are memorable, turning the corner to see the finish at the end of the mall. I crossed the line in 3hr24min12sec - totally elated! Even better I raised over £1000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, thanks so much to everyone for your sponsorship - really appreciate it!


Dean said...

Well done Jo, a great run and raising lots of money for a worth charity.

Dean and Gillian

Ian Goudie said...

Well done, good report and excellent time! Shame I didn't see you in pen 3.