I’m definitely tired though and my motivation to go out and run all the miles has naturally dipped. My next marathon (yes, I always have another in the pipeline…) is the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon (again). This is in December so I have a good few weeks before I need to ramp up the miles again.
I ran 14 miles the Sunday after the marathon with Kyle, which was probably unwise. I ran it because I’ve been enjoying running with Kyle while he trains for the London Marathon (beginning of October) and to be honest I just wanted to enjoy another long run with him before his training finishes. He’s decided it’s unlikely he’ll run another marathon anytime soon because he hasn’t enjoyed the training that much, which is fair enough. So after the marathon I’ll be running solo again.
His training has gone amazingly, despite his feelings towards it. I’m sure he’ll be absolutely amazing at the marathon and I look forward to supporting him in a couple of weeks.
I’m now enjoying some downtime though in terms of mileage. I’ve been increasing my strength sessions which will help build back some strength up and hopefully keep my injury free. This has sort of fallen to the wayside while my mileage has been higher. Training for a marathon with a little one is a tough juggle!
Anyway onto my latest adidas haul… it’s probably quite obvious, but I’m a big fan of their clothing for running and training. I’ve tried many of their clothes over the past year and I honestly can’t fault them. I recently got another haul of items and as always it was such a success. I just find their items of such good quality and in general just look awesome.
I’ll mention their sports bras again because I’ve been wearing them for ages and can assure that they last many washes. I have two of their Ultimate Bras, one in white and one in black. They’re super comfy and just go perfectly with anything I want to wear on top. They also don’t have those annoying little cup inserts. It’s just one piece of material.
As someone still breastfeeding (14 months strong!) I find the support to be perfect for running as well. OK so I don’t have ginormous boobs, but they’re definitely requiring more support than the piddly crop tops I was wearing pre-pregnancy. Running without proper support is not pleasant now!
I also love adidas shorts. Whether they’re tight fitting more cycling short style or looser fitting more traditional running shorts. I have a pair of their 4 Inch Shorts in blue and they’re a dream.
They don’t ride up, they give a lovely silhouette to my body and the colour is just gorgeous. Normally I’d stick to black but I’m so glad I went with a colour instead. My running belt sits nicely on them and, for me, they’re a great length – not tooooo short but short enough.
I also got a pair of looser shorts, the Handball Training Shorts, which aren’t normally my style but I thought I’d try something different.
They’re like a combination of tight and loose if that makes sense. A nice thick width of a waist band that sits on your waist and then loose-fitting legs.
Both shorts are great for running.
Now a pair of shorts that might not be the best for running but it great for lounging around the house in are these bad boys, the Adicolor Essentials French Terry Shorts. These are so comfortable and so easy to wear I struggle to not put them on all week for working from home! They’re super soft and cosy, perfect for the coming winter. Checkout their tracksuits and loungewear for more of this kind of chilled vibe. Ideal for the coming colder months.
How do you train after a big race?
Do you enjoy running with other people?
**Full Disclaimer: I was sent these items from adidas for free. All opinions are my own honest ones.**
The New Forest Marathon was my 26th marathon (though I have actually run the marathon distance 28 times but they’re unofficial).
I did this race a few years ago and was looking forward to it. I normally predominately do road marathons, so it was nice to a “semi-trail” one. I say semi-trail because a lot of it is still on road and the non-road bits are on compacted trail so realistically it’s not that off-roady. You wouldn’t need trail shoes for this race.
Sarah, Kyle’s mum, looked after Isaac the night before and came to ours for 7.30am to drop him off and join us. This was really handy because it meant I got a decent night’s sleep the night before. I do have to wake up in the middle of the night though to pump as I’m still breastfeeding Isaac so it’s not perfect but definitely easier.
I fed Isaac and got my porridge together and then we were off. It was about 40ish minutes away and the race started at 9.30am. The traffic to get into the race village is a little heavy but we got there with enough time for me to go for a quick wee and do the warmup.
Then we were off! Sarah and Kyle were going to try and see me during the race but I wasn’t banking on it. It’s a tricky course to spectate unless you drive or cycle around. Spoiler alert: they couldn’t find a way to see me. It was just impossible. But it didn’t stop me thinking “I might see them soon” as I was running which, while ultimately disappointing as I never saw them, was a nice motivator.
I felt very swept away with the first mile, looking at my watch and seeing 7:20s and thinking wooah there this is not sustainable. I’m not in the mindset to GO GO GO. This race was more just about enjoying it and seeing what I could do with the level of effort I want to put in. I pretty much say this about every race so I know I’m a bit of broken record by now! But that’s just how I like to run and do marathons. And I do wonder because I don’t go for a time every time I enjoy them more and can do more of them as I’m not rinsed at the end every time.
Anyway I pulled back the pace a bit and let people fly past me. Marathons are a long way and I wanted to relax a bit more early on. The first 10 miles went by without much to report. The scenery was beautiful. Gigantic trees (apparently weighing around 104 tonnes!) and gorgeous views. It was very peaceful. The marshals were really supportive and happy, so that was great.
The race organisers had said the change of course meant it was now “fast and flat”. Well between 8-9 miles it was certainly not flat! There was a slow incline up to Rhinestone House (which was beautiful) that seemed to suck the life from me. And at different points during the race I would be really questioning their “fast and flat” description. Maybe compared to last year! It certainly isn’t hilly but I wouldn’t describe it as flat. Occasionally bumpy.
I got to mile 10 and decided to put a podcast on. Recently I haven’t felt the need to listen to anything during marathons. I quite like the freedom of just running with the surrounding sounds. Sometimes listening to things during the race can put you in a little bubble away from the race atmosphere. However I was starting to feel a bit bored and the idea of 16 more miles was weighing heavily on my brain.
Don’t get me wrong, the views are beautiful and the marshals lovely, but I needed something to take my mind off the task at hand. So I popped one on and just zoned out.
It was getting really warm now, and humid. I hadn’t got anything with me because I knew there were enough water stations and from about halfway I started stopping at the water stations. Like literally stopping and getting a cup or two of water to drink. They were using paper cups (yay for sustainability!) and I didn’t’ want to try and run and drink because I was getting very thirsty and I knew I wouldn’t take in enough otherwise.
After halfway my mood started to sink. I was mentally struggling. Maybe it was the humidity or maybe it was just one of those days, but I found my pace dropping a bit. It just felt really hard, and finding it hard made me feel demotivated. I’ve run marathons before! I’ve done solid training! What’s going on! But this is why the marathon is so challenging, anything can happen and it doesn’t matter how many you’ve done. It’s still a long way and you’re only human.
I needed a wee as well and I couldn’t see any toilets on the course so I decided to duck into a bush. In doing that I put my foot straight into a soggy bog… ah wonderful. I had my wee and then got back mile 19. This was amazing! I’d somehow glazed over a mile. I can’t tell you what this did to my mood.
Now I was in a whole different head space. Suddenly the end was in sight – I could absolutely do this. I switched the podcast to music and BOOM I was good to go. It was like someone had injected lightening up my bum.
It’s crazy how suddenly my body didn’t feel so tired and demotivated as before. When I got to 20 miles I was feeling in a great place. Knowing I had only 10k to go – I could definitely do this. It helped that there was a great downhill at mile 21. My legs ached and were tired, of course, but I knew I could push through to the end.
I definitely could have had an easier time at the end had I just kept the pace nice and chilled but after I had started getting faster I was like “well I can’t slow down now!”. So I had to ride that pain train. I passed a few people who cheered me on which was nice and the supporters on the route were lovely. I tried to keep a smile on my face as much as I could because, ages ago, I remember reading about fooling your body into thinking everything was OK if you smiled (don’t quote me on that research, ha!). But also it encourages supporters to give you a big cheer so that was nice.
We had now joined the half marathoners which meant a bit of weaving in and out of runners. This involved more concentration that just head down pushing forward. Finally we got to the race village and I could see the finish line. I put some more welly into it and got going. My legs were BURNING. The finish line had a good crowd of supporters lined up along it so that was amazing. They were all cheering and that hugely helped. I saw Kyle and he shouted me on too.
As I almost got to the end I started to feel a little sick, probably due to the effort I was exerting, and I suddenly got a big whiff of a burger van nearby and I honestly thought I was going to throw up! Luckily, thank god, I didn’t. Whew!
My time was 3:24:37. I am SO over the moon as I really thought my race was nosediving in the middle. I actually thought I’d be closer to 3:30+ than a sub 3:30. I’m really really pleased. Especially for a race that I had zero expectations for. It’s one of my faster times (6th fastest in actual fact).
It’s a little annoying that it isn’t a full 26.2 miles on my watch but I’m assuming that’s because of the trees and satellites. I had the same issue last time, and that was a different course. Hey ho!
I met someone I knew from Instagram and we had a nice chat, so that was cool, and then I found Kyle, Isaac and Sarah. Ahh it was so lovely to be reunited and have a cuddle with my little man!
Apparently he’d had a great time enjoying crawling about the place, eating ice cream and spending time with his Nana (and dad of course!). A big thank you to them 🙂 I’m very lucky to have such patient and supportive family who are happy to come and join me when I do my races.
So all in all, a tough but enjoyable day. I’m glad I got myself out of my funny headspace mid-way through the race and finished with a smile on my face. Though my legs were certainly feeling more achy than I’d anticipated!
Do you prefer trail or road races?
Have you had a race where you’ve dipped but then brought it back later?
I‘ve previously done this race a few years ago when I was pacing my friend Mike to get a sub-4 hour marathon (we missed the goal, but had a great race regardless).
I’ve been training for this race for about 12 weeks or so and feel like I’m in good shape. Not PB shape or anywhere close, but hopefully looking for a comfortable race where I can maybe push the pace a bit to see what I can do. Apparently they’ve changed the course from last time and it’s “fast and flat”. Well we will see! It definitely wasn’t fast and flat when I ran it last time.
My training has gone really well. Kyle has also been marathon training as he has a place for the October London Marathon. We’ve gone on lots of long runs together which has been really nice. I do love a solo long run listening to my favourite podcasts but I love running with Kyle as well, even if he’s a little grumpy about it 😉 It has meant though a lot of planning with regards to Isaac.
Normally once a week Isaac goes to either my mum’s or Kyle’s mum overnight over the weekend and we use that time wisely for us getting out the next morning to get our run done. Though sometimes we’ve had to tag team parenting and do our runs separately.
We’ve also had a few trips which have meant juggling around. For example, we went to Cardiff for a weekend a few weeks ago. I wanted to show Kyle around where I went to university (I did psychology there) and we also had a fun Pizza 10k race on the Sunday.
After a lovely Saturday moseying around and eating everything in sight (love that they have a Mrs Potts Chocolate House in Cardiff now!), we decided to run 10 miles Sunday morning before the race so we could get our 16 mile long run done. As the race didn’t start until 10.30am we had stacks of time beforehand.
Our 10 miles was lovely. We got to see more of the city and I could really show Kyle around. Though I did manage to trip over in Cardiff Bay and cut my knee open! It was a bit of a bloody mess but thankfully I was OK to continue running, though it did look a bit of a state.
We got to the Pizza 10k in enough time to get it cleaned up by the first aid team and then we were off.
It was a great race doing two laps around Bute Park – a park I knew so well from my time at university. I felt really strong and managed to push the pace quite a bit. I even managed to nab second female!
For this training cycle I’ve managed to do two 18 milers, a 17 miler and a few 16 milers. I never really go over 18 miles as I generally find that’s enough for me. I’ve been running three 10ks during the week, a parkrun and then the long run Sunday. Some of the runs have been with the running buggy and that’s hugely helped my strength.
My strength training has actually fallen to the wayside a bit as time has just run out. I know it’s not a great thing to miss as it’s how I try and stay uninjured, but life happens. I’ve been managing once a week, which is better than nothing. I do about 5 minutes worth of resistance band training while I wait for my porridge in the microwave which works my glutes. Usually before each run I do this too. In my eyes it’s about consistency and what you can squeeze in. Little and often helps massively.
The lead-up to the Southampton Marathon was far from ideal.
We’d had a week of poor sleep as poor Isaac had gotten a cold from nursery and I therefore now had a cold too.
I can’t believe how quickly Isaac became ill after literally his first couple of days in nursery! I had been warned that illnesses would crop up quickly after he’d start but I didn’t realise it would literally be the day after. Poor little man was so snotty and had such a cough. We tested negative for COVID so that was good!
We’ve also recently stopped Isaac going to the Nana’s each week overnight. We made this decision because what with him going to nursery twice a week and then seeing both Nanas on the other two days, it felt like our Isaac time had diminished so much. As much as I loved having that night of sleep and lie-in the next day, it felt wrong him going away somewhere else again in the week.
So this all entailed me not feeling particularly fresh. But I had no time goals or great expectations for the marathon so I thought I might as well see what happens.
Kyle drove Isaac and I to Southampton while I ate my three pieces of toast.
We parked and walked over to the race village where we met Kyle’s mum, his sister, his brother and his brother’s girlfriend – the support crew! My parents were sadly suffering from a sickness bug so couldn’t come.
After a quick wee, I headed to the start. It was a bit nippy and windy but otherwise a lovely sunny morning.
It felt very odd to be in such proximity with so many people and someone joked had COVID even happened. This is the first time I’ve been in such a crowd – the other races I’ve done haven’t been quite as busy or packed at the start.
And then we were off! It felt really exciting and I couldn’t help but have a big grin on my face. The crowds of supporters really upped the atmosphere and I felt so buzzed. I let the bustle of runners carry me along and the first mile flew by in a blur. There were loads of people around me and I just remember thinking how much I love a big race, especially a big marathon.
Then we got to Itchen Bridge, the first of the major hills. It’s such a long grind up that bridge but the support along it was great. The wind was against us as well so it was hard going. I decided to take my mind off it by simply counting to 100. Amazingly this really worked! As I got to 100 I’d reached the top and was then heading back down, which was obviously far easier.
From Itchen Bridge you do a little loop down by the water and I saw some of my running club friends which was lovely. And then it was back towards Itchen Bridge again for the 2nd of the four times I’d have to run over it. I counted again as I ran over it and it worked nicely once more.
As I ran down the other side I spotted my lovely supporters and they gave me a big cheer which boosted me along. As I continued on, I knew my next major milestone would be the football stadium so I looked forward to that.
Running through the stadium was fun. It was spongy underfoot as they’d put some kind of turf down to protect the ground and I felt very springy as I ran across. My pace was still quite consistent and I felt pretty good.
Then we were off towards Bitterne. I remembered parts of this from the two times I’d run the half but knew that the route had changed a little. In the back of my mind I was praying that the big hill around mile 11 wouldn’t be there…
We ran along the river and again it was just so lovely how many people were out supporting. Loads of people giving out Jelly Babies, water and even offering to spray you with a hose as we passed houses.
I didn’t feel too hot at this point but I’d started to take on more water. A few sips here and there at each aid station. The drinks were these weird plastic bag things that required a bit of navigation to get to work and you were in danger of being aggressively squirted if you weren’t careful!
Sadly there were more hills to come even before the potential mile 11 hill. As we climbed a particularly long incline I heard a pacer say that there was only one more hill after this one. Ah OK then yes mile 11 hill was likely still to come!
The hills on the course were quite tough, I won’t lie. And mile 11 was no different. I just used my counting technique which helped. It also helped not really minding too much about pace. I would of course slow down going up the hill but I found I made it up on the downhill so it all evened out.
As we got nearer and nearer towards the finish, running along part of the Southampton parkrun, the crowds were getting more excited. They were yelling at us that we were almost there and not long now. Of course this was true for the half marthoners, but not for the marathoners! We still had to do this all again.
A slightly depressing part of the course was that the marathoners had to run literally down the finish line and then right before we went over the line we turned left to go again for another lap. It was a little bit frustrating!
Now we were on to the second lap and I knew exactly what was to come. I quite like this about a two lapper. The first lap is all about taking it all in, and the second lap you’re just ticking off the sights you’ve seen before.
But now the course was far more empty. No more half marathoners crowding the field. The supporters were few and far between now as the bulk of the race was over. It suddenly became a little bit like a ghost town at times.
I saw Kyle and Co. again which was lovely and they peppered me on nicely.
What was nice though was that the supporters and marshals that were there all cheered you on pretty much individually. I got a lot of “Go Anna!” which was really nice and encouraging.
Itchen Bridge the 3rd and 4th time came and went, though a lot harder this time. No longer did my count to 100 get me up the hill, it was more like 160. And now there was limited shade from the wind as the field was so empty.
But do you know what? I was still having a great time. I was far more hot now and each time I went past a water station I grabbed a water and kept it with me so I could sip as I went. I definitely needed it now! I was also so pleased I’d worn my sunglasses.
I got to mile 18 and remember distinctly thinking “ahh I love marathons”. I know that might sound a bit twee but honestly I do love them. Yes they’re so hard, long and boring at times but I was just in my little zone ticking off the miles enjoying myself. I had my headphones with me to listen to some music but I didn’t actually fancy it at all. I was quite happy with my own thoughts and the sounds from outside.
As I got to around three miles to go I decided to push on a little bit harder. I actually caught up with a guy I’ve known for a while and we swapped hellos. Then we just sorted of stayed in step with each other.
We didn’t chat – we were both too tired and in our own little worlds. But when he edged further on I pushed myself to keep up, and likewise for him. So in the end I we were really pushing the pace to the end. Far quicker than I think I would have had I been on my own that’s for certain!
The finish line sprint was amazing. The crowds were really thick here (including my family) and everyone was bashing on the barriers and cheering so the atmosphere was electric and ridiculously loud.
I properly sprinted to the end – faster than I’ve probably done for the majority of my marathons! But I was loving it.
My time was 3:30:08, which I am SO pleased about considering I had no time goals in mind. It was a lot faster than I’d intended.
Am I sad I didn’t dip under 3:30? Of course 😉 But no, seriously, I’m so happy and honestly don’t think I could have given anymore in that sprint.
Then I met up with my family and enjoyed a lovely roast dinner later in the day.
I am honestly so happy with how the Southampton Marathon went and really only have happy memories from the day. I just ran at such a consistent pace and never felt like I was over-reaching (until perhaps the last couple of miles which were definitely a hard push!). it just further reminded me of how much I love a pressure-free marathon.
In short, hilly, hot, windy but thoroughly enjoyable!
I wont lie, the desire to blog has been very low. Time is very precious right now and when I have a few moments to spare I don’t really fancy blogging. I do a lot of updates on Instagram but it’s just not the same as having a bit of a ramble on here. And what better time to have a little ramble than post marathon! My favourite blogs to write are race recaps and I love to keep the memories of the race, while they’re fresh, alive on here (even if no one cares or no one reads!).
I came back to running after 12 weeks of giving birth to Isaac and I did it sensibly, but I also did it with the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon in the back of my mind too. From starting running to that race it was about 12 weeks… which could be doable for an “easier” paced marathon. A marathon that I really enjoy for its festive and fun atmosphere, it’s literally on my doorstep, just before Christmas and one that isn’t about PB attempts (at least for me).
My comeback to running went well – nothing felt off, my pelvic floor held out and I slowly built up the miles. I hope one day to write a bit more about this journey but for now the Sparks Notes is that I built the long runs up, did supplementary strength training to keep my body strong and just ran consistently 3-4 times a week.
I’d managed to (gently) coerce my good friend, Mike, to run the marathon too. We’ve run another marathon together before – the New Forest marathon – when I tried to help him get a sub-4 hour. This time though it wasn’t about me pacing him, just about us running together enjoying the race and each other’s company. I wasn’t aiming for any sort of fast time and Mike just wanted to get round, which sounded perfect as that would roughly be around an “easier” pace for me considering the long runs I’d managed to do beforehand.
I had a Papa Johns pizza and some chicken wings (sage and onion festive flavoured – they were incredible!) the night before. And my usual porridge in the morning. Kyle’s lovely mum had Isaac the night before so we could get a good night’s sleep before the race, which was just so helpful! He’s waking 2-3 times a night still… So Sarah came over in the morning with Isaac and to drive down with us to the start.
It was so so lovely. Kyle’s mum, sister and brother were coming to support Mike and I as well as my parents. It was really lovely of them and it meant so much to us to have those cheers throughout the race. I’m very lucky to be part of a family who are so supportive.
Yes it wasn’t a goal race but it was my first race post baby. The Portsmouth Coastal isn’t a big race in terms of numbers (less than 1,000?) and while the marshalls are incredible there isn’t a huge amount of consistent support round the course. So knowing we’d see my family 4 times around the course was such a boost.
I met Mike down at the start area about ten minutes before the start. I had a quick pre-race pee and then we were off. The weather was fantastic. No noticeable wind. Not too cold. No rain. It was perfect.
For the first seven miles (before we first saw my family) Mike and I had a nice relaxed start, chatting away and catching up on life. The miles flew by! We also saw a few people we knew from Hedge End Running Club as well as some other familiar faces. It’s such a local race that you just see so many people, which is great.
The annoying bit where you run across the shingles wasn’t too bad. There hadn’t even been a bottleneck to get onto it like there had been the two times I’d run it before. So it was just a quick amble across – try not to break your ankles! – and we were done. Whew.
We did go a little too quick perhaps as we bumped into people we knew and without realising we were speeding up. We all laughed and realised this could be problematic and that none of us wanted to go too speedy! So we slowed down again. It’s always dangerous during a marathon to go too quickly at the start because you feel so good. You’re so fresh and the miles haven’t really hit you yet. But it’s a long race and you have to be cautious because you have literally hours to go!
I was feeling really good though. Nice and comfortable and like I said the miles seemed to fly by. Suddenly we were at Farlington Marshes where our support crew were waiting. We got a big cheer which was lovely, Mike picked up his Lucozade which Kyle was holding for him (handy having supporters for this!) and we were on our way again. Isaac was having a nap in the car so I didn’t see him then, but he was in excellent hands of course.
The course had slightly changed from the previous races but it was still mostly familiar to me and I’m sure I bored Mike to tears with “when I ran this a few years ago…” conversations we had. I’m a broken record!
Both Mike and I were feeling good and enjoying ourselves. The miles were ticking off and around 10 miles (I think) we started seeing the front runners of the marathon heading back. Wow!! We cheered them along – it’s amazing how fast they were! I love and out and back race because you get to see the faster runners coming back and it helps pass the time.
We passed the Lambrook pub where my family and I were actually going to go for lunch after the race. It was funny to think in a few hours it’d all be over and I’d be sat eating a big carvery there later.
Mike and I got to around 11 miles where there’s always a festive aid station (shots of port, cups of mulled wine, mine pies and Jaffa cakes) and where the next location our supporters would be. The last time I ran this I was waving so much and paying too much attention to the cheering that I almost ran into a bollard (a hilarious video was of course captured). As I ran past them this time my dad shouted “mind the bollard!”. Haha I definitely saw it this time!
As the route had slightly changed, we wouldn’t be running too much further on. The turnaround would come sooner. This was a nice thing to do because previously it used to be quite a long run out at this point and the route was quite samey with the terrain and scenery not changing too much. It sort of goes a bit off road (not crazy off road, just on compacted trail and away from the traffic etc.). I needed a wee at this point so was on the lookout for a well concealed bush. Thankfully I saw a fork in the road and ran off there to do my business. A few people shouted I was going the wrong way but I said nature calls and they laughed.
I’d told Mike to keep running so now was the job to catch up with him again. I felt a bit uncharitable picking up speed and overtaking people and (they must have wondered what the hell I was doing suddenly sprinting along). It was also tough going to suddenly be trying to run a lot faster than I had been before, but it wasn’t too long before I’d caught Mike back up and could settle back into a more reasonably chilled pace (and catch my breath!).
Eventually we reached the turnaround point and headed back the way we’d come… all 13.1 miles of it. I love this point of the race because now you know exactly what you’re in for. The route does slightly change from what we ran to begin with but it’s basically the same (we avoid the shingles this time because the tide will have come in).
I sent Kyle a quick voice note on my phone to ask him for some Vaseline as I could feel a bit of chafing happening but as we got to the cheer spot we couldn’t see them. Then suddenly across the road I saw Kyle and his brother Zack race over shouting that they didn’t realise the turnaround was quicker this year haha! Thankfully he had the Vaseline and threw it over to me as I waited for them to cross the road and told Mike to go ahead. Then I had to catch him up again.
As we got to about 16 miles Mike started to slow down a little. But we were still going a nice clip and were in good spirits. We had another annoying bit of shingle which wasn’t nearly as fun to cross this time with all those miles in our legs!
At mile 19 we saw my family again and they gave us a lovely cheer. I gave Isaac a quick kiss as he was now awake. It was just so lovely to see him mid-race. Something I would never have dreamed about in a million years!
And then we were off back towards Southsea seafront. Things were getting trickier now. We were starting to slow down more and more now. I wanted to keep Mike’s spirits up so kept talking rubbish to him (which I’m sure he really appreciated…) and hopefully helped him. We stopped at an aid station and I decided to risk it and have a mulled wine. It’s Christmas why not eh! It was delicious.
The changes in terrain as we headed over some grasslands didn’t help Mike’s twinges that he was starting to feel in his quads. I wish I could have helped him but there’s nothing really you can do but keep encouraging. Our pace wasn’t descending too badly and we were still trucking along so this was good.
I needed another wee and knew there was a toilet ahead so I told Mike I’d dash in and catch him up. And now we were on the Southsea prom, just one long stretch to the finish along the waterfront. We had slowed a bit more now and Mike needed to do some run walking to help with his painful quads. I knew he felt frustrated and just wanted to get to the end now.
Mike said he was happy though as this had happened a lot later in the marathon than he thought and we were actually on for a faster time than he’d expected. We literally had only a couple of miles left and despite the long straight dragging out in front of us, we’d be done soon.
We saw my family again right at the end and we got ourselves together and ran to the finish. Ahh it felt so good! My time was 4:13:19.
Despite Mike’s painful legs, he said he was really happy with the race and the time we’d done. I think we’d both expected to be around 4.30 so to be so much faster was a happy surprise. Our intention was never to smash out a fast time or go for a sub-4 but to get so close to his PB (around 4:08) this was such a decent result!
Myself, I was so chuffed. Yes I’ve run faster marathons but I’ve never run a marathon after a baby and to feel so strong all the way through has given me such confidence. To know I can do the distance again and not break has made be very happy indeed. I can’t wait to see what I can do in another marathon now.
I got reunited with my little man which was just lovely. Though he had been fed by my family while I was running, I did need to feed him myself as my boobs were quite full now! So I sat on the grass and fed him while I enjoyed a post-marathon glow 😊
After doing some post race celebrations and chats with Mike, we headed off for our carvery. It was delicious. Nothing like a gigantic plate of roast dinner to refuel after a marathon eh!
So in a nutshell, I’m SO pleased with how this race went. I had a fantastic time running with Mike. He’s a great person to run with and it’s such a festive fun race before Christmas you can’t help but enjojy yourself. I mean obviously it’s still 26.2 miles, but for me during this race they just seem to fly by as it’s so varied and enjoyable. And of course, a huge thank you to my incredible family who just made the race so much more amazing by being there for us. I feel so warm and fuzzy 🙂