Let me say before we get started, things have been very, very busy. And when something had to go this summer, it was training….marathon training. Marathon training, which apparently is very useful, if you’re planning on running a marathon.
So you get it…..I hadn’t trained.
Here we go – York Marathon Race Run Down.
I have previous with York Marathon. In 2016, after doing the training I might add, I hit the wall at 19 miles and spent the last 7 miles crying, watching my target of 4.45 slip away. I finished in 5 hours and 6 minutes. I had gone off too fast and not stuck to my plan. It was a rookie’s mistake and I knew better.
This year my mistake was to attempt the marathon on the back of only one long run, which was only 12 miles. But being a Yorkshire lass, and having paid my entrance fee, I was damn well going to get my money’s worth. And If time spent on the course is value for money, I was one of the richest ladies alive. Saying that, not training and knowing you’re going to just bimble round meant that I could at least enjoy a cheeky glass of vino the day before, and obviously, a huge slice of cake.
The morning of the marathon came, and it was time to line up. My goal was now to ‘run’ for as long as I could, and then to see what happened. I knew I had to slow it down in order to get as many miles as possible at a pace marginally quicker than speed walking. I managed 10, then 13, then I was at the start of the switch back at 16 miles….still running!! I met loads of people on the way, some like me, slogging it out, others were really cheerful. You know the type, annoyingly happy and really enjoying themselves, smiling, and all I could think was ‘If I’d trained for this run, I would be able to overtake you…but I can’t’. Fortunately, they overtook me instead.
During the switchback I was having some serious conversations with myself. My knees hurt, my hips hurt, I had managed to run much further than in my training and I was chuffed with that, but the wheels were starting to come off. I tried to convince myself of the many benefits of dropping out. These included getting to the pub quicker, increased likelihood of being able to walk in the morning, going for some lunch, and it would be nice for Steve to not have to stand in the cold rainy weather. Yes, I am always thinking of others.
At 19 miles I discussed this with Steve as we walked together. Through the tears I justified my many, many reasons for not continuing. He didn’t buy it one bit. And by the time I’d got through my tear stained excuses he said ‘Well, we’re at 20 miles now, you’ve only got a 10k to go’.
So I did. It was painful, and I had to walk parts of the last 6 miles, and I got a bit emotional as I passed the brass band playing in the rain, the supporters still out cheering us on, and all the marshals who must have been freezing, but still clapped and whooped as we came into the last 5k. Through the villages, passed the pubs, and finally, that hill. You know the one. I was determined to run the last mile. And suddenly, there was the finish line, and not a moment too soon. I was cold, soaked through, and in a lot of pain, but I had done it. And I was very pleased. I managed 5 hours and 22 minutes. See, I got my money’s worth.
I didn’t make it to the pub that night, and I couldn’t walk the next day, but it did make me think, if I actually did some training, maybe I can achieve 4.45 for a marathon. Good job I’ve already entered Manchester in the Spring.
By Tracy Foreman