Marathon number two is done! Only eight more of these bloody things to go..
We'll get to Saturday's race soon because Monday was crazy busy! After a Biomechanics assessment at uni in the morning (I got a 1st!), I was interviewed by Tom from Marathon Talk - you can listen/download the interview here. It is 40 minutes long so hopefully you will find it interesting..
It was the 6th birthday addition of the podcast, and needless to say my Twitter notifications went into meltdown! I acquired another 100+ followers in just over 24 hours and I also had lots of nice messages in the days that followed. I thought it might be nice for people currently suffering to see the kind of support that is out there, so I have collated some of them here.
Earlier on Monday I received a delivery from High5 who have sponsored me - as you can see it was quite the booty! I have enough energy gels, drinks, recovery shakes and bottles to last the whole of my challenge (and probably the next ten years) which helps me out enormously - thank you!
Still Monday here - I also got an email from British Athletics confirming my work for them providing Biomechanics Support at two events in February - the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix (featuring the London 2012 golden trio Mo Farah, Jess Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford) and the British Indoor Championships in Sheffield. As an aspiring Biomechanist, the opportunity to work with Olympic and World Champions is a golden opportunity (see what I did there) and I cannot wait to get stuck in!
More stuff happened on Monday too (I'm not joking - I told you it was a busy day) - I was approached by Ipswich Town Football Club to do some PR and media work for them for the rest of the season, which sounds like a cool opportunity.
Right let's skip the rest of the week and go straight to the marathon on Saturday. My participation was looking doubtful as my quad injury had flared up. My physio Will Dykes recommended skipping the race to focus on rehab. But I decided to just not run all week and instead do lots of cycling in the gym using one leg to build up some strength (so so boring) and it seemed to work.
The marathon was down in Dymchurch in Kent (yes I also had never heard of it). It was a low-key event and started at 8.30am, which meant leaving Suffolk at 4.45am. It gets better - the route involved running up and down a 2.6 mile stretch of concrete sea wall TEN TIMES which meant ten 180 degree U-turns! It was however pancake flat and we were greeted upon our arrival by an incredible sunrise!
Last week I said I was planning to run 2:55-2:59, but as is usually the case with me, that went out of the window pretty quickly - I just love a good race! The injury felt okay, I had tons of energy after five days off and it was also only the eighth time I have run this year. I got to halfway in 1:25, which meant the sub 3 was pretty much in the bag, barring any disasters, so with that in mind I decided I would ease off the pace a touch...but yes that also did not happen! I ended up getting to 20 miles in 2:09 and actually sped up over the second half. running a very slight negative split to finish 1st in 2:50:39. You can view all the stats here.
It was my eighth career marathon but the first time I'd ever run any race whilst listening to music. My Spotify was on shuffle, so it was a bit odd to have the likes of alt-J, The Moldy Peaches and Flight of the Conchords for company in the latter miles! My nutrition was spot on again (three orange High5 Isogels and some rhubarb & custard sweets) and my hydration was much better - no toilet stops needed. It was also the biggest medal I have ever seen!
Winning the race also increases the mystique around my "lucky" burgundy sweatshirt - It now has three consecutive race wins from three appearances so it will be kept under lock and key until marathon number three which takes place on Valentine's Day (how romantic), three weeks from today!
On the whole, life is very good.
I am running ten marathons to raise money for Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity. You can follow me on Twitter here, on Instagram here, or on Facebook here. You can also sponsor me via my Justgiving page here.