(This was at 5.5 miles - wasn't looking so sprightly at 23 !!)
...Jointly most amazing was the army of volunteers from water and lucozade stations to marshals to first aid to well everything you could possibly think of... equally amazing was the crowd of supporters cheering you on and lining literally every step of the enormously long and winding 26.2 miles from Greenwich to Buckingham Palace taking in some of the most scenic sights of London as well as the privilege of passing through residential areas festive for the occasion, their occupants of all ages outside their houses proffering hands to touch, jelly babies, slices of fresh orange, and somehow managing to keep on cheering, as 37,000 plus runners dressed in anything from minimal lycra to rhinoceros hides and other more extreme outfits (some were running surrounded by full size go karts and took up rather a lot of space!), filed past at a range of paces between sprinting and walking. Utterly Amazing! And an enormous thank you to every one of those cheery cheerersl!
At times and especially between miles 21 and 24 when the inevitable “what am I doing here” feelings crept in I did feel a bit like a caged animal must, but since the only way was forward putting one foot in front of the other which is actually all that’s involved, eventually, most of us got there in the end! (And I’m very proud of my finishing spurt from mile 24 to the finish and that I broke the 5 hour time barrier I’d always secretly hoped to beat!)
After all the pre-weekend concerns about my lingering chest infection and fear of turning it to pneumonia again I must single out Clare and Laurie for sharing their own experiences of pre-event nerves causing psychosomatic symptoms, my wonderful husband for his calm “let’s take it a stage at a time” philosophy, and my spiritual and sensitive sister for the amazing orange colour remedy about which I’m happy to share more information with anybody who’s interested, but I’m sure that “courage” was what I needed and it seems that “fire” somehow provided it! To all the family, friends and colleagues who sent extra special wishes and congratulations by Facebook, email, text, whatsapp and whatever other media (there are so many!) I’m also enormously grateful – especially the kind people who said don’t worry if you can’t do it, everybody knows you deserve the money you’ve raised by the training you’ve already done...but I’m SO glad I was able to do it on the day in the end!
Since fellow 2015 London Marathon Runner Chris Evans set such a good example being back on Station for his Breakfast this morning I did manage to hobble to my own desk by about 10 am but have to confess to being less productive today than usual! So this update is rather late in the day too...
...and so finally, thank you so much to all who’ve supported my Marathon Effort for the wonderful Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington – and to anybody else who’d like to contribute now I’ve actually completed my task, my Oakhaven Giving page is still open! Lots of small amounts add up and I may still make my target, which in its own small way will help Oakhaven to continue its wonderful work.
Oakhaven needs more than £3million each year of which 85% has to be fundraised. Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington provides much needed support and palliative care to local people facing death from terminal illness, and to their families. Cancer strikes the young, middle aged and old, often apparently indiscriminately, mercilessly attacking people who should still have most of their lives ahead of them, including parents of young children, wonderful people in the prime of life, and some who are themselves caring for a partner or elderly relative. I'm especially pleased to support Oakhaven this year because its Coates Centre has recently opened as a new drop in centre for the wider community. The Coates Centre supports people who have been bereaved or who have illnesses including dementia or care for someone who does - all people who need support, information and company. It also provides activities ranging from complementary therapies and informational talks to cooking classes. See Inside the Coates Centre here. I’m a member of the Lymington Dementia Action Group, and passionate about our mission to help the increasing number of people affected by dementia to find the support they need when life becomes bewildering, as it did for my own parents a few years ago.
Jane's Training Diary for London Marathon 2015
Diary Entry 13: 21 April - the Queen's Birthday
Just got back what will probably be final training run (5 miles, very hot weather!) and was greeted back by the first baby donkey of the year...very inquisitive about Clare who was on bike instead of foot owing to a knee injury, I meanwhile am recovering from another chest infection... but now am mustering all positive vibes possible, ready to go and register at ExCel on Friday!
Thank you to everybody who supported the Great Lymington Scramble last week at the Sea Water Baths in glorious evening sunshine, and the Raffle is still open so if you'd like tickets and the prizes are FANTASTIC, please get in touch by email, phone, facebook, whatever... Tom and I will make the draw some time after we get back from THE MARATHON!!! (We will publish in advance when we're going to do this, it'll probably be Tues 5 May at 6pm at Stanwell House Hotel but this is to be confirmed...)
Diary Entry 12: 8 April: Tom (Penman - who's also running for Oakhaven) and I ran together - or rather I ran as fast as I could while he kind of jogged relaxedly beside me, running ahead to open gates for me and staying behind to close them then casually catching up then slowing again to my pace! We got back in practically pitch dark! Felt good though...
iary Entry 11: 2 April 2015: Well finally we did it! 20 miles! This afternoon for four long hours around our usual lanes, just adding in a couple of extra loops we actually ran 20.5 miles! It wasn't a great time to be on the main Bucklers Hard/Beaulieu road at 4.45 pm with an unbelievable number of speeding cars racing past us presumably having just left work at the Marina, bit scary but we made it home safe and sound. Exhausted, but encouraged.
Diary Entry 10: 21 March 2015: Unfortunately we had to postpone our 20 miles yesterday, both Clare and I feeling a bit under the weather. I'm away next week so have rescheduled for just before Easter which should be JUST in time (you're not meant to do long distance in the final weeks leading up to the big event!). However I did manage a fast 5 miles this morning in Saturday Sunshine and felt good!
Diary Entry 9: 13 March 2015: On target, with 18 miles clocked up today. It was really really hard. And so LONG! Despite copious jelly babies, lucozade sport, and weather kind to us again. Average minutes/mile when actually running nearly down to 11 which is not bad (got slower and slower!)...but did "stop the clock" for comfort breaks!
Diary Entry 8: 6 March 2015: Finally caught up with where we were before Christmas and hopefully on track now... ran 16 miles for the first time ever! Same kind of route as last week, it's more interesting than running in the Inclosures, more to look at and take your mind off it. And, once again we (Clare and I) were blessed with perfect weather. Speed still not great but improving a little. Also, after last week's experience we're carrying jelly babies, wine gums and chocolate - small amounts of which taken at regular intervals, definitely helped!
Diary Entry 7: 27 February 2015: Been steadily increasing distance, but not speed - getting rid of this bug is a long haul. Anyway, managed 14 miles today - along the back lanes from East Boldre to Baileys Hard and along the River to Bucklers Hard, St Leonards, Park Shore, Sowley, Tanners Lane (including down to the beach!), East End - on a beautiful sunny morning. We were flagging on the last stretch up through East Boldre having had nothing to eat or drink so Clare ran ahead and begged biscuits on the doorstep of a surprised friend who thinks we're batty anyway...and the little pieces of biscuit got us home!
A very nice gesture was made today today - Crystals of Lymington gave me the large tins I needed to cook the lasagnes for my "fund raising" birthday party - how kind! Really appreciate that...
Diary Entry 6: 3 February 2015: After pneumonia at Christmas it's been a long haul back to reasonable lung capacity! But I am planning to start my training seriously again this week, and hoping very much that all my earlier training will help me get swiftly back up to speed. Watch this space!
Diary Entry 5: Friday 12 December:
We had targeted to run 15 miles today and we achieved it. I am really really pleased, and extremely grateful to Clare for her continuing support, it would have been so easy to bottle out especially given the gales and torrential rain earlier in the morning. When we set off soon after 8.0, it was windy still but the Inclosures sheltered us on our route Hatchet- Furzey - Ladycross - Standing Hat - up towards Lyndhurst to make a bit more of a loop to Denny then back to Ladycross and reverse of outbound route home. It's easy in there to get confused with exactly where you are...we're looking for alternative routes now for longer runs, with more varied scenery!
Previously - I didn't report but we also competed on Sunday 30 November in a 10 miles race on Hayling Island. The picture on the left is from that run.
We accidentally started amongst the front runners which made us run much faster at the beginning than we meant to, and although we dropped back a lot, we still achieved an average of 9.5 minutes/miles which was really encouraging. (Flat terrain, little wind, coldish weather - perfect conditions really.)
I'm remembering to do the stretch exercises straight after long runs now, and believe this is helping. No significant problems to report. Also Lindsey's recommended peanut butter sandwiches are the perfect after-run pick me up!
Diary Entry 4: Friday 14 and Friday 21 November: Friday morning has become the time set aside for my “long” training run; my current goal is to run 15 miles on 12 December, ie before Christmas because that feels like a psychological mark in the sand – or rather the track! The last two Fridays Clare and I have run exactly the same route but we’ve run the circuit in each direction so it felt different! We’ve estimated the route to be 11.5 miles and we were faster the second time so progress is being made.
It’s so brilliant to have a training buddy, we chat the whole way round which makes time go faster. It's also giving my dog fantastic exercise. (She went to say hello to the pig in the photo, the pig was a bit nonplussed and moved off!) Anyway I am very pleased with progress so far and beginning to believe I can do this.
Meanwhile I’ve also had a meeting with another friend Lindsay Coyle who runs stretch and body conditioning classes locally - see link here to her Lindsay's stretch class. Lindsay has impressed upon me the importance of stretching after my runs, which I’ve never really done! (And I’ve had to give up my regular Pilates class with Caroline Stephens because of lack of time.) Lindsay has now put it really clearly to me: if I look after my muscles, my muscles will in turn look after my joints. It’s timely because I’d been feeling a niggling pain in the inside of first my left then my right knee. She’s given me a list of key stretches which I am now ensuring I do after the long run especially.
Diary Entry 3: Friday 31 October 2014. It was a long and lonely but not at all unpleasant road on my own this morning with my training buddy Clare away for half term with her children. Self motivation was necessary to get started, but I cannot complain about cold or wet on what they're saying is turning into the warmest Hallowe'en on record. I ran steadily for one hour and ten minutes without a single walking step which by my calculations (usual average on road approx 10 minute miles) means I probably ran about 7 miles. Oh! It's a long way to go to 26.2!! But gradually does it... we're going to do another 10 mile competitive event on 30 November, and maybe try get to about 12 mile runs in training before Christmas.
Meanwhile my colleague John Carratt is shooting the "SeeInside" virtual tour of the Oakhaven Hospice Coates Centre next week, once it's live I'll share the tour here so you can all see what it's like inside and start to spread the word to all who are ill - the Coates Centre with its welcoming staff, is there to serve them all - with a host of activities on offer as well as just a warm and comforting listening ear when needed.
Diary Entry 2: 22 October 2014. Last Sunday 19th, on a fine morning after LOTS of rain previous couple of days, Clare and I took part in the New Forest Stinger (!) Race - a 10 mile run across the open forest. Lots of mud, roots, streams, across a beautiful part of the forest starting at Ocknell just north of Stoney Cross, under the A31 and a big circuit up hill and down dale, through woods, along ridges with great views. It was organised by Totton Running Club and they did it brilliantly - the route clearly signed even with coloured tape tied on overhanging branches...smiling marshals stationed frequently giving encouraging words to us all...water stops just when you needed them - a privilege to be able to run in such a beautiful place where alone we'd have got totally lost!
Obviously we were near the back but not last - Clare could have been much further ahead had she wished but she's a real true buddy and stuck with me even when I had to walk up some of the steeper hills. Maybe looking at the pics we don't look tired enough and should have tried harder?! But it felt like a proper milestone and I still have quite a lot of sore bits on Wednesday!
Diary Entry 1 - 10 October 2014. First serious training run, starting 8 am, with Clare who has volunteered to be my training partner (she’s also competed in marathons and triathlons). We intend to train mainly on the forest which will be much gentler on joints and will exercise our dogs too, but today we decided to run (dogless) on the road, partly to run in my new road trainers and also because I need to get used to road running for obvious reasons (26 miles of road in April).
We didn’t look carefully enough at the sky before setting off on an apparently sunny morning and within 5 minutes were drenched. The roads were slippery, the traffic even on rural back roads was relatively rush hour. But the scenery’s always a reward because of where we live, and the beach at the far end of our journey was a treat with Rainbow in one direction and Solent Spectacle in the other. We haven’t downloaded distance and speed apps for our phones yet but based on time running, and approximation from the OS map afterwards, we reckon we ran about 9 miles. A bit stiff this evening...but not a bad start!