London - UK - MARATHON TRAINING - 22nd April 2018
Full Marathon Report
LONDON MARATHON REPORT – 22nd April 2018
My 8th full 42.2km Marathon and 3rd in just over 5 months
On 22nd April 2018 I ran my 3rd marathon in 5 months, the London marathon for MacMillen Cancer Support who help cancer suffers like my mum throughout there illness. I managed to raise over NZ$7000. This was my 8th marathon in 2 and a half years (with 1 year out from injury), 5th country and 4th continent on my quest to run around the world on every continent.
This was an extra special marathon as it was for my mum who has battled breast cancer 15 years ago and then last year was diagnosed with incurable secondary cancer in the bones which is managed with frequent infusions.
In November I ran the New York and Las Vegas marathons within a week of each other after recovering in just 3 months from serious injuries caused by a car in training in Orewa which put me on crutches for 3 months. I thought that was the hardest thing I had ever done but London was to prove harder.
It was the hottest London Marathon on record at 24.2 degrees which was 3 degrees more than the previous record of 21 degrees in 1996 and caught everyone out! We were all told by the organisers not to aim for personal bests because of the conditions and during the run I saw literally hundreds of people dropping like flies in 24 degree heat. Not only was it 24 degrees in the air but they also said the heat of runners and the concrete heat made it way higher than that on the road for us and they actually ran out of water. They had firemen hosing people down as we ran. Now that is a lot cooler than Cambodia when I ran nearly 2 years previous which was 33 degrees but I ran that a lot slower then as I was aware of the heat and it was also a different type of heat.
I also had bad flu which I contracted on the Monday before the marathon, food poisoning on the plane on the way and some bad knee and hip injuries sustained 3 weeks before hand in training and the long 17 hour and then 7 hours plane flights played even more havoc for the hip. Then I had to contend with the heat on marathon day as well as 42,000 people in quite narrow streets meaning I got held up most of the first half of the marathon which was not helpful to my time and ended up running 18 minutes slower than the New York Marathon in November. I had been running the fastest times of my life so this time I had trained for a 3.35 to 3.40 finish but finished 30 minutes later than that in 4.06 official time or 4.00.17 by my GPS as I ran 806 metres further wide round corners to avoid the crazy congestion the whole way! Lots of people had experienced that when I was talking to them with the extra distance. It was a case of do you run the blue line which marks the shortest way which everyone ran and at a slower pace than you want to run or do you run wide like I chose and run the risk of not only doing almost 1km more but the fact that 42.2km is to far anyway to do 43.06 like I did is ridiculous.
There were also other factors like I hit the first 15km dead on pace but struggled to keep it as the field was way to congested and had to spend so much energy dogging round people to the point it bottle necked and I ended up running 5.30 to 5.45 per km instead of 5.05 as planned purely because I could not get past the crowds of runners who had slowed due to the heat. By 25km I was done and the whole race fell apart from exhaustion and frustration and I was seriously lucky to finish.
I ran the entire way without a walk or stop and drank the most water during a marathon I have ever done before and also poured so much over my head and down my back to keep me going as I was so dizzy and on the brink or collapsing myself but had to keep going for mum.
However I finished it just and I literally mean just.
Eventually I got over the line with a quick sprint which was a bit silly and then nearly a collapse getting my medal. Luckily running for MacMillan Cancer Support was a lifesaver as I was lead by them into the Foreign Office next to Downing Street where they had been given a government building to use for their own personal 800 runners plus recovery center and a 30 to 45 min leg massage follower by pasta, sandwiches and whatever I wanted which meant my normal sickness that wipes me out the rest of the day pretty much didn't happen.The volunteers were amazing and made this difficult experience a lot more tolerable. They even gave my family grandstand finishing line seat tickets which mum and dad loved and got there early for the professionals finish and waited till I finished as well.
Even the best elite lady runner suffered and did a 10 min worse time than she went for. The men did not hit their target either. A lot of people I spoke to that normally finish in a time of 3.45 to 3.50 were between 30 mins to 1 hour over than so think I got off lightly with a 18 min slower time than New York.
I think that time puts into perspective how hard it was due to my training being very good and running the fastest I have ever run.
One of the photos is with me mum and dad at the MacMillan recovery center. I ran this for mum and her cancer so although I never give my medals up, I earnt this one for mum and told her I don't want it back for a very very long time!
Moving forward past this event, I was meant to do Rotorua 13 days after London but not only were my family worried about that, I think I was to as this took the most out of my body of any marathon I have ever done before and took a lot of recovery time. A chap who collapsed on sunday during the marathon actually died and he was 29 years old and did a marathon in Manchester 12 days earlier. Now I have done 2 in 7 days but not in this sort of conditions and did not think I would finish Rotorua so I postponed than one and did Taupo just over 3 months later in a personal best to make up for such a poor time in London.
This was also the first real time I wondered during the race why I am doing it and do I actually want to do any more but deciding that when your mind is mush is not a good idea. Anyone who knows me so knows I will forget about this and carry on but am getting a bit wiser to listening to my body and the family.