The 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon is over and what a day it was! Thank you Bucherer UK & TAG Heuer for the amazing opportunity once again.
The race itself was incredibly tough, the hottest London marathon to date. A totally different experience to the previous year. I started so well in the early stages hitting 8 minutes per mile comfortably. After running 13miles (half a marathon) in 1 hour 40minutes I was confident I would meet my target time of 3 hours 30minutes.
Suddenly as I completed the 15th mile, my hamstring went! It was such an unfortunate incident. Without thinking I accelerated past a dehydrated runner swaying towards me, therefore pulling my hamstring due to sharp change of direction. I had no choice but to stop. Devastated!
However I didn't give up, I was determined to finish the race even if I had to walk the remainder 11 miles. I took plenty of fluids on board to rehydrate myself, soaked in the encouragement from the thousands watching, I dug deep and marched on.
It was BRUTAL! Despite the pain I managed to somehow run although it was more of a penguin waddle. To ensure I wouldn't cramp up, I ran for half a mile and rested the other half. I knew this was the only way I could finish.
The last 11 miles felt like a lifetime, but an experience ill never forget especially as I approached Big Ben knowing I was just a one mile away from the finish line.
Every fancy dress costume you could think of ran past me but I kept in good spirit and saw the funny side to the whole thing.
FINALLY! I was just metres away as the incredible
crowd applauded all the finishing runners. I've never felt so relieved in my life. An emotional finish as I took my last waddling steps to receive my medal. An experience I will never forget.
Getting a good night sleep the night before is essential, which means no screens (my phone or laptop) an hour or so before I am ready to hit the pillow. Nerves will always make sleeping tough but from previous experience I knew calming myself a good few hours before sleep is a must.
Using the alarm on my Connected Modular 45, I rose nice and early to have plenty of time to enjoy a great big bowl of porridge with banana, honey and berries. Slow releasing carbs are essential as you will need them to maintain your energy levels throughout the race. Not forgetting the fluids and electrolytes I drank to get myself fully hydrated.
Staying hydrated throughout the race is a must especially because it can get extremely hot. For future runners its important not to gulp and down water or other liquids as your belly gets full. This can shorten your time as you may find you’ll get a stitch, or even worse you may need the toilet. Instead slowly sip when necessary, also pouring water over your head to keep you body temperature cool. I drunk water and energy drinks during the race as the sugars gave me a much needed boost of energy.
Music for this race wasn't necessarily needed due to the amazing crowd, shouting encouragement from every direction. However if you prefer to listen to music and enjoy running to a beat then certainly find tunes that go with the pace of your run. I prefer to listen to very chilled music with lyrics but the beat most certainly has to match the rhythm and pace of my running.
For the first 15 miles My TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45mm ensured I kept at my 8 minute a mile goal. Having the connected modular 45mm on the wrist throughout training and on the day kept me focused and certainly pushed me to complete the marathon under five hours. It also allowed me to change the music if an unwanted song came on in the early stages of my race. Thanks for helping not to crack under pressure!
The atmosphere in London was sensational, it most definitely keeps you going especially when times are tough. I wasn't going to quit and knowing my family and friends were there to celebrate and support me every step of the way kept me motivated and determined to get over that finish line.
Once I got there, I couldn’t wait to rest and enjoy a big meal with my friends and family. It’s truly exhausting but what an incredible feeling once you get the job done!