Better late than never right!?
It’s taken so long to get this recap up, so I do apologise- but it has been a very busy few weeks! I’m actually properly working at my new job now, which is ace (I even received my first pay cheque the other day, very welcome indeed), plus school and Chika-issues (she’s up for sale and I am more than a little bit gutted, but more on that another day).
But anyway! Remember 2 weeks-and-a-bit-ago, when I ran Brighton marathon!?
My mum and I drove up on Friday, so we had the whole of Saturday to settle and chill and relax and watch the Grand National and be Brighton tourists. We were super at that last job!
We hit up the pier, I spent all my money on some crazy upside down ride (£5 – for one ride. Not cool) – though instead of screaming in terror, I had hysterical laughter. As you do. We also went to The Lanes, which has loads of little quirky shops and a few vegan cafe places. Vegan food – a tofu-miso sandwich for me – and cute shops = happy campers. The evening was spent carb loading and watching The Voice / Britain’s Got Talent, and not sleeping. Grrr.
My alarm went off at 6am on Sunday and I practically bounced out of bed! I was so excited!!
5k splits written on my arm in black marker pen. And also note my immense biceps. I should be a body builder with those guns.
I was feeling really positive and confident. I’d seen my coach at the expo, and she was full of cheer and really pumped me up. The start was only a 20-30 minute walk away, so were out of the door by 7ish, and headed on over along with a few other runners. I spent 40mins in line for the toilets, and then at about 8.40, I left my mum and went into my corral.
I was shaking so much – partly cold, partly excited, partly absolutely freakin’ terrified. I put my headphones in and listened to some music to try and zone out whilst we were all waiting. Weirdly, the corral was the only time I ever listened to music – I didn’t need to listen to it once during the rest of the race.
And then, bang on 9am, the gun went off!
Mile 1 – 8.34 Slightly slower than goal pace because of all the crowds (18,000 people) and the fact that it was all uphill!
Mile 2- 8.05 Wheeeee! I feel great!
Mile 3- 8.06 I am awesome. (*hello MAMMA! I didn’t expect to see you so soon!)
Mile 4 – 8.07 I’m going to WIN the marathon.
Mile 5 – 8.05 The officials won’t even be at the finish when I arrive, I’m that fast. (*HELLO MAMMA again!)
Mile 6 – 8.07 Man. 20 miles to go.
Mile 7 – 8.06 Maybe I should slow down…? I’m not at goal pace….
Mile 8 – 8.13 Much better. Those pacers in front of me are HOT. I think I’ll follow them for a bit.
Mile 9 – 8.16 Goal pace: owned.
Mile 10 – 8.13 Cruisin’.
Mile 11 – 8.22 I really, really need to pee. Like, I really really really do. I don’t think I can hold on for 15 more miles!
Mile 12 – 8.57 <—— this mile INCLUDED a pee break in one of the portaloos! I pee fast, I run fast to make up the time. I also knock small children out of the way to get into the portaloo (true story).
Mile 13 – 8.12 Halfway, wahey! (*Hello step brother who spotted me and shouted my name! And hello Dave from Vegan Runners who I also spotted!)
My mum snapped that picture of the end of the course, before all the runners arrived. You can just about see the pier in the distance [not the bigger thing nearer, it's the bit further away], which was where the finish was…about 3 miles away!
Mile 14 – 8.16 My chest really, really hurts – I want to be sick / it feels like there’s a brick in my chest blocking everything. I’m going to have to slow down Weirdly, I wasn’t out of breath and my legs weren’t tired – it literally felt like a brick or a bubble was in my chest, and it was so painful! It was the same feeling I’ve had loads of times towards the end of strenuous long runs & at the Brighton half in February. Weird.
Mile 15 – 8.21 Conscious decision made: slow pace to 8.25.
Mile 16 – 8.23 My gosh this part of the course is dull.
Mile 17 – 8.22 Clif Chomps + me do. not. mix.
Mile 18 – 8.29 Oi! Why is my pace slower!?
That is me about .5 mile from the finish line! Being hotly pursued by three men….
Mile 19 – 8.27 SPEED UP WOMAN.
Mile 20 – 8.29 GET A GRIP.
Mile 21 – 8.34 Okay….NO slower than 8.40!
Mile 22 – 8.38 eck. This is hard, I’m tired, I hurt.
Mile 23 – 8.39 I’m still tired, and I still really hurt. I can see the finish….THREE MILES AWAY.
Mile 24 – 8.53 30 second walk.
Mile 25 – 9.02 30 second walk.
Mile 26 – 8.54 SPEED THE EFF UP, YOU’RE ALMOST HOME! EVERYTHING HURTS. I F****** HATE MARATHONS.
.2 – 8.31 pace FINISH FINISH FINISH FINISH……
Total: 26.36 miles, 8.25 average pace
As soon as I crossed the finish line, I burst into tears. I was SO happy, relieved, and exhausted – just overwhelmed with emotion! I walked slowly over to find my mum, but by the time I found her, I felt quite sick. We found a bit of concrete, and I sat on the edge, wrapped in my foil blanket. I nibbled the corner from a Clif bar from the goodie bag, and immediately just wanted to be sick, so my mum made a pillow using her rucksack, and I lay down for 10mins. After that, I felt much better!
I ate the rest of my Clif bar, and a banana about 30mins later as we were trying to make our way out of the finishing area. We had to walk back into the centre of Brighton anyway, and so made a 2min detour to go back to the lovely vegan cafe for lunch. I had a carton of strawberry soya milk and the delicious tofu-miso sandwich again. I had to eat it in tiny bites because I still felt pretty queasy! But, I did feel so happy and awesome sitting there with my medal:
Nothing compares to that post-amazing-run feeling!!
I was just so thrilled with my final time – 3hr42. I know I ran a pretty crap race, tactics wise (ie the second half was much slower than the first, and I probably went out a bit fast), and I didn’t quite make my golden time – 3.35. I did get my silver though – 3hr45, so I’m thrilled. Looking back, I couldn’t have gone any faster, given how my chest felt. I wish more than anything I knew why I keep getting that horrible feeling, because I really can’t describe how sh!t it is, and it’s ruined a lot of runs for me! Gah. If anyone has a theory, please share!!
This race meant so much to me though – I was so gutted with my Marine Corps in 2010 time (4h53 – 30mins slower than the goal); just hugely disappointed in myself. But I knocked 1hr11 off of that time, which I think is pretty cool! I’ve certainly redeemed myself :p
My mum is freaking awesome! I’m so grateful she came with me and cheered me on; she’s been an incredible support for this whole marathon journey
So, what next?
Well..I’ve got Edinburgh marathon on May 27th (my birthday!), less than 4 weeks away!! I ran 13 miles last Sunday, in horrific rainy, windy weather, and I’m planning 15-16 this Sunday, then 18 or so, then a 10, then the marathon. I’m not aiming to PB at Edinburgh, I just want to have a good time, no pressure. Chester – this October – will be my PB attempt!
I’ve been taking running easy – after Brighton, I had 3 days off totally, then did a few shorter runs and then an 8 on the Sunday after the marathon. I’m being very careful – on Thursday last week, my shins hurt (first time since before the marathon), so I stopped the run halfway through, walked home (in a gale!), and had 2 days off. On Sunday, I was good as new for my 13 miler!! I’m such a wise runner now : – D
Anyway..that was Brighton! I thoroughly recommend the race, if you’re looking for a spring mary..great course and very well organised. I’m already entered for next year!!!