I always like to write few final words on race week before a marathon – it consolidates thoughts in my mind, and signs me off almost, ready to focus on running. I share my running and training adventures via my blog, the good and the bad, and I always try to be open about how running truly feels for me.
The London Marathon has given me some of my most treasured life memories; from running my first London Marathon and first ever marathon in 2015 at the age of 23, to supporting my inspirational friend overcome some of the toughest challenges life can present to earn her own London Marathon medal in 2016, and then finally achieving my first sub 4-hour marathon in 2017 – I will never forget any of it. This year I want to add to these memories; both my friend/running buddy and I have a place in the event, and I cannot wait to be able to share the day with her – it feels like a missing piece of my London Marathon experiences so far.
Memories aside, I obviously do have a time in mind, and I have been vocal about wanting to run a sub 3:45 marathon. It is a time which would stand me a chance of getting a Good For Age (GFA) entry into next year’s London Marathon event. It would not be a guaranteed spot, as it has been announced this week that a GFA time now no longer gives you a certain race place. However the time is also part of my wider running picture. I have dreams to run the prestigious Boston Marathon, for which I virtually need a 3:30 marathon time in order to qualify for the race. Therefore, I want to keep gradually chipping away at my marathon time (my PB currently stands at 3:48) to slowly build up to feeling capable of reaching this achievement.
My training has gone well, and my recent race performances and training run times suggest I am improving as a runner. If I am honest with myself, I think I am capable of running under the 3:45 mark. For me that’s the scary thing; knowing you possess the ability to do something, and potentially having to handle the disappointment if you don’t make the mark. One of the biggest factors which seems will play a part on race day is the weather - the forecast is currently very warm, conditions which I have not trained in at all. I will have to be sensible, and as much as I want that PB, I also want to safely finish the race.
I cannot control the weather, but I have been able to control my preparation, and those of you who follow my blog regularly will know I have given everything to my training; running is a massive part of my life (my friends might even argue it is my life!) and I will stand on that start line knowing I could not have given any more over the last 16 weeks. Regardless of my time, I intend to cross the finish line on Sunday feeling the same; that I could give no more.
Running marathons is not just about finish times though, it is an unforgettable experience, and I will make sure I embrace all that London has to offer whilst I run. I also love marathon training (more evidence I am a little mad!) and one of the things I miss most after a race is both the training focus and the ridiculously long Sunday runs with my friend; for me the miles and conversation are a mix of therapy, fun, friendship and achievement, which is hard to get from much else. This will not be my last marathon of course, so I am trying not to feel too sad as race day nears that my journey to the London Marathon 2018 will in fact be over relatively soon – I can’t keep training forever! To say I am about to undertake my 6th marathon makes me proud though, I think I almost forget the dedication it requires to train for marathons as it has become such an integral part of my life.
I will finish by saying a massive 'thank you' to all those who have supported me throughout my marathon training; especially to my running buddy, friend and fellow London Marathoner, Colette, who features endlessly in this blog (sorry!) and is literally my running and life rock – thank you for always being there. I am also sending a massive 'Good Luck' message to all other London Marathon runners - I hope you enjoy every moment of this special race and lets hope the weather is kind to us!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...