As I sit here writing this I’m now officially ‘a marathon runner’. Its hard to believe really considering on May 3rd of this year I lined up for my first ever half marathon having also thought that was unachievable. But I’ve managed it and got 1 out of the way. I would have posted this yesterday but to be honest I felt like I had been hit by a train.. and that’s no understatement. Anyways.. to give you a recap and perhaps make you laugh at my misfortune here’s the story.
As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog postings I had a wedding to attend the day I was travelling up to Hull for the first marathon. The wedding was at 2.30 so the plan was to take all our stuff with us and head straight up to Hull afterwards. The mrs applied her fake tan, the little one had a new dress and I got suited and booted.. On schedule we set off to the wedding about 1.15pm for the 45 minute journey.. plenty of time. No problems.. Now my best friend is a mate from our university days.. not many of us have stayed in touch and no one else I knew that well was attending.. So after 45 mins or so we hear the familiar “you have arrived” from the sat nav.. hang on.. where the hell are we? After double checking the post code I had been given a few times and finding it was correct we began searching for the church on google.. entered the post code on the sat nav.. and away we went.. 10 mins before we were due to be there.. not good by this point.. “you have arrived” we heard again.. We definitely hadn’t as we stayed at nothing but open road..
Fast forward an hour, stress, a few arguments (to put it lightly) and we were heading for Hull.. all dressed up but definitely with somewhere to go.. just not a wedding! Once we got to Hull.. by this point my mate was a married man and had his phone handy to take my call.. his iPhone autocorrected his postcode and switched the last two letters.. nightmare. Either that or he didn’t want us there.. I haven’t figured out which yet! So there we were in Hull and so were my mum, step dad, brother and his girlfriend. Along with my mother and father in law who were on their way. It was great to feel I had such great support and something which definitely helped me through.
So there I was the morning of the race.. walking to the start line with my wife, daughter and my brother.. when suddenly dawned on me I’d left my race number in my hotel room! No panic.. my brother ran back and grabbed it.. Phew. So after some stretching (not enough I may add on reflection) and purchasing a bottle of water (stupidly I didn’t buy any water the night before and had to keep filling up the tiny hotel room glasses!) I was off.. safe in the knowledge that Id see everyone anytime after 1pm. The race started at 9 and I was aiming for around a 4hour time.. Probably more 4.15 / 4.30..which I’d have been happy with.
The race was very difficult.. like nothing I’ve experienced in training. I didn’t take any energy gels as I normally do. I had ran out of the brand I use and didn’t want to risk feeling sick during the event. A safe option I thought but definitely something that affected me.. I found myself after about 10 miles really struggling. My legs were incredibly heavy and I felt like I was literally dragging myself to each water station.
I must say though the support from the public and anyone watching was fantastic.. the race numbers had our names on so it was really great personal vocal support and it did help massively. So did all the Jaffa cakes and jelly babies on offer! But besides that it was tough. Not being able to listen to music played a massive part in the struggle and it will be the same again this weekend with the same rule. However with all my family there with encouragement at mile 18 I persevered and got round the course.. and a nice chat with a Scottish guy who I ran with whilst crossing the Humber bridge. He did however leave me when I stopped to stretch! The most important thing is I did it though.. and all for a great cause.. however I’m only 1/3 of the way there. I do have this nice medal in my collection now though..
A family meal followed along with the nice drive home which my wife mastered as I sat in the passenger seat trying to keep my legs active. My daughter kept her self occupied in the back with her iPhone as all 13 year olds do.. and a nap too.. I jumped on the exercise bike as soon as I got in the door to try and keep the blood flowing. This was followed up yesterday with a Kneipp Arnica Muscle Bath and some ice packs which have helped take the edge off and some intense stretching but I’m still only about 60% at the moment.. which probably isn’t too surprising all things considered. With only 4 full days to go until the next marathon the pressure really is on to get myself back to a good physical condition. Any tips anyone? My plan was more ice packs, more stretching, more carbs and 30 min on the exercise bike tomorrow and Thursday and then just a short walk to take in the scenery bath has to offer on Sunday. Luckily this weekend we have rented an apartment and are heading down Friday night.. so no stress the day before! If I can get my body back right then I’m confident I can do better this weekend as I wasn’t particularly out of breath by mile 26 I just couldn’t move too good! With my other brother and my aunt and uncle heading down to support there’s again good reason to do a good job and I’m sure I will..
Ben Edwards, Marathon runner.. who ever would have thought….
Bath Two Tunnels Marathon.. I’m on my way.