A Marathon Virgin's Journey to the Virgin London Marathon
HELLO! The first thing to say is I DID IT!!!
With no real idea of what to expect from my first marathon, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Without doubt, the run was difficult at times, but I hid it well… As shown by this picture…
But every single second was AMAZING!
We were cheered on non stop by the thousands of spectators. People were standing clapping, constantly shouting runners’ names, handing out sweets, giving us evergy drinks and high fiving us as we ran past. This was something I definitely wasn’t expecting, and words cannot even explain how much this helped me.
I finished in 5 hours 48 minutes which wasn’t as quick as I’d hoped, but nevertheless leaves room for improvement next time (That’s right; there’ll be a next time!)
I got so excited by all the high fives that I ended up running more than 10 miles within the first hour, completely ignoring ‘pacing’. I carried on running until after the 17 mile mark at which point I decided my legs needed a break, and I needed a wee.
So I queue up for the portaloo and go in, expecting this to be a normal trip to a portaloo when I realise I’ve lost the ability to stand up using only my legs. After a few seconds I’d managed to drag myself out again and waddled down the steps to continue running.
Suddenly running seemed harder and my knee became very painful, but I carried on determined to reach the place my boyfriend and his family were standing. Apparently I looked a little broken when I got to the 22 mile mark, in contrast to my cheerful sprint past them at mile 13 but was NEARLY THERE!
There were live bands and music acts spaced along the entire route which was also incredible to see, and definitely helped me carry on!
Before I knew it, we were at the Mall and there was about 200m to go. I sprinted* overtaking a man with a giant tiger attached to his back. Simply put, words cannot explain the relief of crossing the finish line.
Then it was off to The Northumberland where I was given free food and a massage by CLIC Sargent; the charity I ran on behalf of. The masseuse seemed to not like me, as she bent me into very odd, painful positions.
After that we headed home, which involved many steps up and down the underground. And up and down some more.
Stairs were not my friend anymore, to give you an idea… the way I climbed them was described as “like a goblin” and it wasn’t comfortable! The good news is that I’d prepared myself for the worst and compared to some of the other gruelling challenges I’ve done, the pain wasn’t bad at all. WOOHOO!
The only way I’ve been able to descibe the feeling is having period pain in your legs. This probably doesn’t help guys understand, so I apologise.
The next morning I hobbled to the top of the stairs and proceeded to walk down, gently holding onto the banister. I learnt my lesson as I clung onto the banister for dear life, ending up on my face half way down the stairs.
A couple of days later I was all fine again, and raring to complete my next marathon, beating my time and perhaps even breaking a record! (Just need to decide which).
And so… onto the next mission!
You can still sponsor me: www.virginmoneygiving.com/hollyworthington
PS. If any woman out there is EVER confronted with the option of using a ‘female urinal’… run. You’ll never be prepared for what you will see in there.
With only 4 days to go until the London Marathon, I have some serious making up to do!
I’d originally promised regular blogs on my training etc. but didn’t find the time!
The ironic thing was that I became so ridiculously busy with work and a million other commitments that I was faced with the choice of either blogging about the marathon, or using every possible second to train for it… So I chose the training.
I’ve been cycling 8 miles a day and running around after toddlers Monday-Friday which is a workout on its own (but I won’t count that)
My training has been a little unorthodox so I’ll try my best to explain it:
I’ve been going for a couple of 5-10k runs a week, circuit training once or twice a week, the gym once a week. I’ve also been doing two 90 minute sessions of football a week and countless sit-ups wherever I find myself sitting down and not being judged.
At the gym I’ve been doing 9 miles on the treadmill, 10 miles on a bike, 20 mins on a cross-trainer, free weights, abs, followed by a 30 minute run/cool down on the treadmill.
(I’ll post again soon with the circuits I’ve been doing)
So far, a 17 mile run is the furthest I’ve gone, and it was actually reasonably pleasant (minus treading in dog poo!)
The London Marathon Expo opened today and I’ll be going along on Saturday to collect my running number, meet some amazing people and attend a ‘pasta party’ to name a few things… Exciting times!
I’m not really sure when/if nerves will properly kick in… Or the realisation I’m going to be running more than 26 miles surrounded by people dressed as gorillas and fairies.
Check this space!
Training is continuing, I’m cycling 7 miles a day as well as running for at least 5 hours a week depending on where I can find the time! Football training for 2 hours and a 90 minute game of football probably count in the weekly training somewhere too.
This month will see me getting a monthly gym membership so I have the extra incentive to exercise (and swim after achey-runs!) as well as going for one long run a week, no excuses!
With 49 days to go, I have £232 raised so far, and hope the donations continue to add up! CLIC Sargent really is a brilliant charity so I’m determined to raise as much as possible for them!
Check out the link :)
I’ll soon be posting my exercise routines and diet for those who’ve been asking
Speak to you all soon,
Disaster has struck!
Ironically, following my “I might restrict my diet in 2013 if progression is slow” comment… I was given no option but to go on a ridiculous diet.
Shortly after my 20th birthday I started feeling rough, but thought nothing of it so carried on as normal… then a few days later I began throwing up blood. Turns out I had a serious inflammation of the stomach lining, making it bleed. It was as glamorous as it sounds…
Following a few days of being attached to tubes and needles in hospital I was allowed home, but allowed to eat only baby food.
Effectively, I have the stomach of a baby at the moment, so I’m living on disgusting baby mush, and have lost 12lbs already in less than 3 weeks, despite not even doing any running.
Then to my horror I heard that the “baby food diet” is actually a known thing… I have to say that nobody in their right mind would try this. It is truly vile.
The good news is that I got to eat birthday cake before this happened, so I’m feeling reasonably smug.
Marathon training will continue again very soon, as it’s a constant worry that I’m losing the progress I’d been making in my running times.
But what can you do? Nobody said it was going to be easy! And I do love a challenge!
Hope everyone is well,
Keep an eye out for updates on Twitter
The charity I have chosen to run the London Marathon for is CLIC Sargent; a leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families.
CLIC Sargent provide clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. They are there from diagnosis onwards and aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and, in some cases, bereavement.
Having had family members both suffer from and overcome cancer, I have seen first-hand the difference that the right care and support can make. After reading about the work that CLIC Sargent do, I researched it further and instantly knew that this is the charity I would like to run on behalf of.
An example of how CLIC Sargent help is by providing a ‘Home from Home’ service; giving families free accommodation close to the specialist cancer hospitals their children are being treated in, enabling them to be there and support each other through every stage of cancer treatment.
They also provide CLIC Sargent Play Specialists; preparing children for treatment and helping them cope during their time in hospital through play and activities.
Not only do CLIC Sargent help children with cancer; they help young people maintain as normal a life as possible, providing valuable information, support, and help to get them back to school, college or work.
These are just a few of the reasons I have chosen to run the London Marathon on behalf of CLIC Sargent, and will post a video soon about the work they do.
In the meantime; you can click on the links for more information CLIC Sargent Website
The London Marathon will definitely be a test, as I’ve never even attempted a long run. I’ve done stupid things like cycling from John O’ Groats to Land’s End, a Spartan Race, and skydiving but I am in no doubt this will be the most challenging by far.
Not only that, I’ve heard toenails can fall off from running! Which I forbid from happening, may I add!
Working full time means it’s tricky to find the time to train but that is no excuse. I’m going out with a “Go hard or go home” mentality. After all, giving yourself no option but to succeed makes it impossible to fail.
I’ve never been one to watch what I eat, and live by the rule that you can eat whatever you want as long as you’re burning it off a bit. I’ll be continuing this way for now, although may change tactics in the New Year if I’m not seeing enough progression.
I’ll also be keeping a track on my weight to see what actually happens over 4 months of serious training. That could be an interesting one!
Won’t be long until the training begins!
Until next time,
My name’s Holly, I’m 19 and am far too easily inspired.
Watching the 2012 London Marathon, I thought to myself “that looks cool, I want to do that”… so I set a reminder on my phone for the day the ballot opened.
A few months later, my phone beeps… I sign up for the 2013 Virgin London Marathon.
Before I know it, I have a place in the ballot, which I then lose because of an internet page refusing to load.
Being determined to do something I don’t even know why I’m doing; I apply for place after place in the London Marathon to run for a number of different cancer charities.
Once again, I am told I have a place in the London Marathon (or three in fact!) so I choose to run for CLIC Sargent.
My running vest arrives in the post, and I crap myself.
That’s my Marathon story so far, and on this blog you can follow me as I no doubt go through highs and lows, eventually completing the Virgin London Marathon on the 21st April 2013.
It’s gonna be a good one!