Alex Walls LONDON MARATHON 2015 – CLUB ENTRANT REVIEW
So going back to the Summer of 2010 I remember saying on completion of the Cork Marathon that I would never do another marathon again (Unless it was London) and by 2012 I found myself applying each year to get into London as I really wanted to find out what all the hype was about!
Then came the acceptance magazines to which I find out one of my best friends gets in and I don’t. As disappointing as the rejection is there was also a kind of sigh of relief as I know from past experience just how difficult the training process for a marathon can be. So the days went by and my friend started training towards her marathon goal and I went on eating Pork Pies and Boob Buns (Standard Office behaviour), and we find out that my name is one of six on the list for a club place with LincSquad. Upon finding out I’d been given a club place I was chuffed but at the same time massively nervous as it didn’t leave much time to get myself marathon fit and not let down my club!
So I battled through the Sunday runs (after doing little bits of cycling and running during the week) and really struggled with my legs. My stamina was fine I could go for hours but I kept finding that even when fuelling I just couldn’t keep myself going for the long distance and it all came flooding back to me just why I had vowed never to do the 26.2 miles again! Getting angry with your body for not being able to achieve what you want it to was perhaps the most frustrating element of training for me and with a few weeks to go I struggled to contemplate that I would even finish the race and was panicking that I’d let down myself, my family and my club.
My last two long runs before the marathon I dug deep and managed to get myself to the 16-18 mile mark which I knew was the point in the marathon that I was going to hit the wall, so in the week just before the marathon I calmed down, relaxed and just thought to myself that what happened was going to happen and I couldn’t change anything.
On the actual day of the marathon I pretty much went through my normal dietary routine pre-race and made sure I was well fuelled and watered. A lot of what I write down here is going to be advice and I would strongly urge anyone doing the marathon next year to wrap up warm!!! Having spent an hour or so in the starting area I made sure to keep my joggers and jacket on the last minute but I still had 10-15 minutes stood shivering in limited clothing (Should have listened to mums advise and taken a foil blanket in with me!)
Having said that it really didn’t take me long to warm up once the race had started and the atmosphere from start to finish was fantastic. I have done plenty of races in the past where the crowd seems to be bunched up in certain areas, however, the whole race route is lined with spectators from start to finish and there were definitely plenty of Jelly Babies to go round.
My favourite areas of the race were easily: The Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, Embankment/Big Ben & The Mall for the finish.
I managed to spot my partner and my parents three times during the run but I spent most of the race looking out for them as I didn’t know where they were planning on watching from, however, it sounded like they had a mini marathon of their own trying to get around London to the best vantage points.
I didn’t think I’d be as emotional completing the marathon this time round having done one once before. However, I think when you put your body under that much exhaustion it’s easy to get a little bit teary at the end.
All in all the race was fantastic and I had a great day from start to finish (Even the pain was worth it!)
My recommendations for anyone looking to do the race next year is to make sure you are wrapped up warm at all times and to make sure you get your name printed onto your vest!!! (I had to run alongside someone by the name Alex to get myself some motivation to keep going) And finally, Enjoy every moment of the atmosphere as I think you will struggle to beat the London crowds.
If anyone wants to ask any questions about the race or you want to know anything about my experience of London please let me know and I’ll be happy to help 🙂
Many thanks again for the Club place, Did my best to make the club proud 😀