Well I did it, my first proper marathon -and in a respectable 4 hours and 46 minutes – really pleased.
After months of training and worrying about injuries, the day dawned. We traveled up a couple of days before and I was not sure that sightseeing around Edinburgh was the best race prep – along with the the weather forecast which didn’t look too grand with rain and 45 mph winds. At least it was fairly sunny as we set off at 8.30am to walk to the start, though that didn’t last very long – it started raining while waiting for the toilet.
Bin bag on and over to the start pen – I was in the purple pen which was the last wave to go off. After shivering for 20 mins or so we were slowly moved forward to the start line – and finally it was time to start running or speed walking in my case. It was very difficult to keep speed-walking when people were running past , but I knew I hadn’t trained to put in more that 6-7 miles running so if I started now I would never get round. I did a bit of jogging on the downhill sections though. We had a bit of sunshine and the showers at this stage just helped to keep us cool. By the time I saw Den at 10 miles I had run about2 miles and walked the rest and I felt good and was going well. At 13.1 miles I had done 3 miles of running and at 2 hrs 23 was on for under 5 hours. The course was really scenic along the coast, just around halfway I managed to avoid the toilet queues by a quick trip behind the bushes on the sanddunes. At 17 to 18 miles the course turns back and It was then that I realised just how strong that wind was, especially when the rain came with it! From 18 – 25 miles running straight into a headwind was pretty exhausting. By 19 miles I’d put in about 5 miles running and my plan was to try and run the last 6 miles. I tried but that ferocious wind meant at times it felt as if I was running in slow motion and putting in a lot of effort for about 10-11 minute miling! I managed about 5 miles having a break for a mile or so round 23-24 miles, mostly because my hamstrings were so sore. But it didn’t matter if I ran or walked it all hurt – just different muscles! It seemed as if everyone was suffering and about 70% of people were walking at various stages from about 20 miles on. At around 25 miles it was a bit more built up which helped take up some of the wind and managed a good pace when I knew the end was near and I had loads of support as I sprinted (sort of) for the finish. I was so happy to get to the end and collect my medal! My splits were pretty good too:
Unfortunately the organisation at the end could have been better and supporters could not get near the end to see their runners finish, and the screen that they were promised inside the reunion area to watch this was not working.
Overall, it was a lovely scenic course and though not flat was pleasantly undulating. There was plenty of support along the way, but also out on the coast there were sections where it was just the runners and that was nice as well!
I’ve raised about £350 for British Heart Foundation – if anyone would like to sponsor me you can still do this here