Beacon of Redness (BOR) - it's The Yorkshire Marathon! (TYM)

Beacon of Redness (BOR) - it's The Yorkshire Marathon! (TYM)

Good morning one and all. :) I hope this fine morning finds you well and that if you raced or ran yesterday, that you're not aching too much.

I was going to write this last night when I got home after the aforementioned marathon but I was just exhausted and doubted my ability to string a cohesive sentence together, let alone a full Race Report and Debrief! (RRD) Plus, I also think I needed some time for it all to sink in; it was quite the occasion.

First off, the race itself is great; brilliantly organised, marshalled and just great to participate in. The route was a little to rural for a city lover such as myself but that is in no way a criticism; I knew before I entered it that it was largely rural but I'm all for trying new things and race experiences. You have to, don't you, as it keeps things fresh and interesting. The support on the course was really good too and had everything from a high-fiving priest to an Elvis-alike rockin' the PA system at Stamford Bridge. It was an occasion to behold, truly.

Rewinding a bit now though to the build-up to this race, which was hardly ideal and had left me at numerous points wondering if actually running the thing is going to be a good idea. Many of you here know about my run-in with anaemia and other setbacks along the way, which put the brakes on the training occasionally. I think I got about three months or so of solid training in, which is okay but not as much as I'd have liked; it meant that I wasn't able to 'hold' a distance for consecutive weeks, doing, say, two or three weeks at a new higher distance (19 miles, for example) and then progressing on. It really was a case of increasing each week, which in itself has its own risks and downsides. But, we work with what we have at the time, and that's what I had to work with. Then came the taper, which I discovered I strongly dislike and experienced quite a few of the 'Taper Crazies' that you often hear about. I was a bit of a nightmare during it, so to anyone I might have annoyed during this period, I thoroughly apologise! The main issue during this period was my appetite; all through my training, even when running 40 miles per week, I never experienced anything like it. During taper, my appetite went through the roof. I ate ALL THE FOODS. All of them. I was just starving, all the time, which I certainly wasn't expecting at all. That settled in the last couple of days before the race but by then I was so stuffed and felt so sluggish that I probably was beyond eating any more whatsoever.

Lots of doubts going into this race, least of all having never ran any further than twenty-one miles. That particular run, conducted at the pace I wanted to race at, was a success. However, as we find out shortly, race day is very, very different. Those who know me know that whilst not the most experienced runner ever, by a long way, I've got a decent bit of experience behind me, have completed three half marathons and numerous 10Ks and was ready, and looking forward to the step-up to the full marathon. It's quite some distance, it really is and one you only really appreciate when you're actually undertaking it. It presents its own unique challenges, both physical and mental and I'm really not too sure, even now, which of those two challenges is the most difficult to overcome.

Let's get on with it then, shall we? On to race morning. I left Sheffield on the Saturday, late afternoon as there was no sightseeing involved, just the train up to York, straight to the hotel and then a Very Early Night. (VEN) I was quite alarmed at first as my room looked onto the street and there was a pub nearby, with lots of rowdy people outside, watching the rugby. "Jeez, I can't put up with a night of this nonsense; I might ask to move" were my initial thoughts. I hate to cause a fuss but I don't want to be kept awake all night either. As it turns out, the noise abated as the night went on and after a while it was silent. Thank goodness for that. After what was actually a really good night's sleep, the alarm went off at 0513 and it was time to get up and get ready. My kit was all laid out as I did it all the night before; number pinned to my top and everything neatly ready for the morning.

All that was left to do was to boil the kettle for my porridge pot. I don't really use kettles, because I don't drink tea or coffee. So, you can imagine my surprise, and horror, at the room being filled by the noise of what appeared to be a Boeing 747 at takeoff. It wouldn't have been quite so bad if it wasn't before 0530 on a Sunday morning and I really didn't want to wake next door up. Or the entire floor. How can one small appliance make quite so much of a din?! It couldn't boil fast enough; I was glaring at it the entire time, expecting the Noise Police at the door at any moment. Finally it finished its takeoff roll and the water was ready; about time too. Breakfast nommed, kit on and it's time to check-out and head out into the cool York Early Morning Air. (EMA)

Travel to the event village is by means of shuttle bus, specially set on for the occasion. I was one of the first on the bus already at the stop, but twenty minutes later we were still taking on passengers but it was no big deal as there was plenty of time yet. Bus suitably full and we were off. About three minutes into the journey there was a warning buzzer being emitted from the cab. The supervisor stood next to the driver leaned forward, had a shufty and announced, "it's probably just the temperature again". Probably? Just? Okaaayyyyy then.... It then ceased (the buzzing, not the bus) and then came on again as we got to the event village, which was at York University.

Once there it was off to the bag drop and then to meet up with my friend Tracy for a short while; she was also running this race but had travelled up on the morning in question with a couple of friends who were also running today. After a brief chat and a Good Luck Hug, (GLH) it was time to head off to the start, via the toilets. Four of them; I drink a lot of water, remember. There were plenty of toilets for this race. Loads of them, all over the place, which makes a nice change at a race. Still though, with over half an hour of standing about at the start, invariably you need to use the facilities again just as the start commences.

The starting pens filled up quickly; the warm-up passed without major injury (always flailing) and soon the music stopped and it was time for a minute's applause, in tribute to David Colley, the poor guy who died while participating in the Great North Run recently: A very moving tribute it was too and I felt a deep sadness during it. He was due to be participating in the race; indeed, two of his daughters were running in the race today. I always worry about this, incidentally. I know it's taboo among runners and something that isn't widely discussed but I always, usually two or three days before a race, start to worry about briefly. We know the risks involved and hope nothing untoward happens but sadly it occasionally does. The minute's applause was a lovely way of honouring and remembering a fellow runner.

I love races; doesn't matter what distance the race is, but there's always a sense of togetherness and belonging. No matter what experience level the other runners are at, no matter what event it is, we're all in this thing together and the encouragement of fellow runners and the spectators is just fantastic and speaking from my own point of view, on of the reasons I enjoy doing races quite so much. There's just nothing like it, especially when your name is on your bib (or your top) and spectators and marshals use it to personally encourage you; makes you feel like a superstar for the day!

The race got underway in good time and soon I was over the timing mat and off. Actually running a marathon. A full marathon and never did I ever think I'd find myself doing that! At the start, Harry Gration, who Yorkshire-folk will know off of BBC's local news programme, Look North, was starting the race and giving out high-fives. Really nice to see him there; he was also running today, participating in the Yorkshire Ten Mile (YTM) race which starts just after the marathon runners depart, which our very own Turn Turtle is also running. Great of them to incorporate the two distances like that and really adds to the atmosphere of race day. Talking of atmosphere, the weather was.... sunny! Even had my shades on today. In all honesty I'd have preferred it foggy and spooky like last year's race was but ah well, bright and sunny it was.

Underway now then and things, so far, feel good. I have a plan in mind and I'm sticking to it. Out into the city first, away from the university, running past a road where one of our customers is that I deliver to for work. Through the city walls and into York city centre. Some of the streets here are narrow, cobbly and bollardy which slows things down a little but I'm not complaining. Up past the Minster, which is always a fine sight, and then out toward the countryside. Again, much like the Belfast HM, things are a little bit of a blur later on, but I'll remember what I can, although it may not all be in the correct order! The first few miles pass by fine and without problem or incident. As per my plan I speed up a bit after the first five miles and therein lay part of the problem, I think. Perhaps I should have extended my steady miles until a lot later. Ah well, it's all a learning curve, this marathon business! After a while we pass the High Fiving Priest (HFP) whom I got a high-five from, which made me smile for a good long while.

Along the way I passed a good few amusing signs. At just gone mile eight there was a sign which read "ONLY 8.4 PARKRUNS TO GO!" and I genuinely wasn't sure whether that was meant to be motivational or not! Plenty of other funny and motivating signs en-route but at this moment just can't think of any of them. Still plodding on and over the 10K timing mat and still feeling fine. More miles pass without any problem and despite not being the biggest fan of rural surroundings, I'm quite enjoying it all really. The 20K and halfway timing mats again, pass without any bother. There are toilets at frequent intervals here too, by the way and I'd been fighting the urge for a Scheduled Urination Stop (SUS) for some considerable time but just gone 10 miles, 10.41, I seem to recall it was, I was away behind a hedge to use Nature's Lavatory for a Quick Pee Stop. (QPS) All along the route people were doing this, some in discreet locations like I did, but others just brazenly open in front of everyone but hey, we're all runners here!

It's approaching Stamford Bridge, and between about miles 15-16 where things start to get.... interesting. For some reason, I start to feel physically sick, with a really strange tummy. This part of the route is a mini out-and-back, a two-way route where we go down one round, spin around and head back up, against runners still coming down, the first of two along the route. This is where MC Elvis is on the mic. And the crowd support is enormous.

Please God don't let me throw up here in front of everyone.

Please, please God don't let me chuck up on Elvis.

Don't Hurl on my Blue Suede Shoes.

This feeling continues and I ease off the pace, as that seems to help it. A bit. In we go to mile 18 and then the unthinkable happens. All training, as often we do when putting many miles in, I'd had many aches and niggles; ankles were one, knees the other, and of course, the left calf, which was one big source of worry, but mainly the knees, of late. What hadn't caused any problems, at all, at any point or juncture, were my hamstrings. So, at mile 18, just before we enter into the second, longer two-way route and gradual incline (by the way, there was 377 feet of elevation gain on this race; so much for "fast and flat"!) my left hamstring thought, seemingly:

"you know what would be a reight jape? If I weer to go TWANG now. Right now. See how you like them apples, marathon man!"

And so it did. And I didn't like them apples at all. So, alongside feeling that:

A, I've a goat in my tummy trying to eat its way out,

B, I've eased into the quicker pace a bit too early and made a bit of a balls of pacing, and,

C, I'm only at mile 18 of a 26.2 mile race,

I've now got this bloody thing to deal with. It forced me into an immediate walk as alongside it going TWANG, it seized up. An attempt at stretching was quickly abandoned as a bad job as there was nothing to hold onto, so I walked a bit, before attempted running again. No go. So, another bit of a walk and then strangely all seemed fine again so off I went running again, albeit at a much slower pace. There, waving away, coming toward me on the other side was my good friend Tracy, who was looking a lot fresher than certainly I was feeling and it was such a boost to see her. She, later, after we met up at the finish, described my complexion as "a beacon of redness" which is where the title of this post came from.

Around mile 19 I saw the rather incredible poster that TT had very, very kindly made for myself and Tomas. TT has kindly popped it in a post, which I've yet to reply to as I'm still catching up with everything from yesterday but bear with me and I'll be on it as the day goes on. Here's the post in question: and believe me, seeing that was an incredible boost! I do believe I may have briefly greeted one of TT's crew too, but unsure if it was your husband or not, TT. But how motivational it was seeing the poster and a massive thank you thank you thank you once more for it; it made the race and was so touching to see. Never had a poster at a race before and certainly nothing that elaborate!

The next few miles were dictated by my hamstring. The tummy was on/off a bit, but the hamstring would chuck a wobbly every now and again, prompting a bit of a walk. Not really anything I can do about it; better to walk when necessary rather than try pushing through and tear the thing and need the ambulance. During one of these walks I got chatting to a chap named Phil from Doncaster who was having a similar issue. As were many others, quite a number of people were liming, clutching body parts and walking along but we were still in the game, still heading toward that finish. I felt drained too. I remember at around mile 23 thinking I'd totally ran out of energy but didn't dare take any food on board; I hadn't taken any on since about mile 16 (perhaps where the tummy issues stemmed from, but again, I hadn't experienced any problems in training or on any other race) and was feeling it now. I remember, vividly recalling, at mile 23: "I am never EVER doing this again!" (Of course, I will do another marathon but at the time it's so unpleasant that you never want to again, briefly!) Everything hurt. And I was shattered. But still able to run, gently, along.

Last little walk came about a mile from the end. Worked a bit of energy up, hamstring felt better although I'd taken some Jelly babies on from some kind spectators and my tummy wasn't happy in the slightest, but I had energy so I started running and just pushed through all the discomfort. No sodding way was I giving up after coming so far. The din of the finish line music, the Yorkshire Marathon banners, the 500m flags, the finish line is in touching distance!

At 100m I chuck all caution through the window and put in the best sprint I can muster, arms aloft at crossing the line.

I've done it. I've just finished a marathon. A full marathon. The whole thing. And to my astonishment too, I came in under four hours, which was the goal all along, even with the issues and walks I had to do. Chip time was 3.58.21. Thrilled with that, truly. Not a clue how I managed that, but manage it somehow I did.

The Chocolate Milk Protein (CMP) drink from the goodie bag lasted all of seven seconds, as did the Mars Bar. The medal. Oh the medal, just look at it! So pink, so me! The finisher's shirt is pretty cool too.

I mindlessly wander off to the bag drop after sitting exhausted at the finish for a while, to get a text from my friend Tracy who'd just finished and was even more emotional than I was. Found her and the Finish Line Hug (FLH) was the greatest of comforts.

So, there it is, my first marathon completed and what an experience it was. An amazing race, really, and one I'd recommend to others. A great occasion. And a reminder that no matter how well you plan, you can still be surprised by something you never expected, on the day, but it's how you deal with it that counts. I've learnt so much from this experience and have taken so much on board for the next marathon, and indeed, the 50K ultra in March, among which:

1, train slowly: slow the long runs down

2, don't be so fixated on time and pace

3, GO OUT EASY! For longer than I first think might be necessary

4, above all else, enjoy the experience and when things get tough, as they will do, remember this is about the enjoyment and experience.

Oh, and

5, it's the first attempt. It's a learning curve; be proud of the achievement.

And you know what? I am. Every single step of it. There's things I'll change for the next marathon outing but what happened happened yesterday and I like to think I dealt with it all as well as the circumstances allowed. Hope everyone else racing yesterday did well; I'll get caught up properly later. Thanks everyone for your continued support and encouragement.

I don't think the hamstring is badly injured, as I;m sure I'd not have been able to carry on in the way I did, if it was, but it'll get a couple of days longer, at least, of rest now, before a Tentative Recovery Run. (TRR) Other things are achy and stiff too, as to be expected, but overall the feeling is of pride and accomplishment. Overwhelmingly so.

EDIT: GC linky:

Thanks for reading, y'all! :-)

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91 Replies

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  • Great race report Steve! I was there with ya! Yeah right, he says! LOL

    I felt your pain, I really did. You must have been really worried about your guts and the ham string. What a worry! Good that you had your supporters though, you need those so bad when the going gets tough, and TT's husband and poster will really have given you a boost. Good too that the crowd was supportive. It won't always be thus, unfortunately.

    I don't like the men peeing everywhere though. Yuk! Use the damned lavs! At my one and only half marathon runners were told plainly not to do it it. We is a bit more refined ovver t' border! LOL

    I trust you're resting up now. That ham string will need some love in the coming days, and weeks maybe. Food wise, get some healthy eats in, if you've not already done so, which you should have being as you're a good planner! Ha ha No, I'm not nagging! I'm just thinking about your iron levels. Very depleted now I imagine

    By the way, nearly forgot, I love the medal!!!!!! Cor, it's bloomin lovely!

    I can picture you shusshing that kettle! Ha ha ha ha Did you consider putting it in the wardrobe or putting a pillow over it? Tee hee Can't stop tittering now

  • Hi MissW, and thank you! :)

    Sadly, you're right; not all races are as well supported as this one. I've fallen lucky with support at races really; this one was superb, and with personal support too. The Belfast HM was great too, as was the Brighton HM; that had great support but I've participated in races that haven't had quite that level of support and it really really makes a big difference, when the going starts getting though, when someone cheers you along. Really does mean the world, especially when things start to look grim, as they did at points yesterday. Really grim! Had its good points too of course but it's the bad ones that test so much of your strengths, as you know!

    I really should have used one of the many toilets on the route but at the very least I did isolate myself behind a Sodding Great Hedge (SGH) when I went; not everyone chose to do so. Felt sorry for the spectators when people did it in the vicinity of them!

    Yes, I feel quite tired and lethargic but am perking up now. Been taking the iron tablets and so on, with the race yesterday as it was bound to deplete my iron levels. Been eating well too, yes, and resting. I think the hamstring may need extra rest and attention. I'll give it a lil recovery run this week once everything settles down a bit, see what sort of state it's in. Took today off work in order to rest. I know you're not nagging, worry not! :)

    The medal is exceptional. Really love it and the colour of it really matches that of the Belfast medal. The pair of them will make a good running tattoo, I think, as both races mean a lot to me, and it's something I've been considering a lot lately. Hmmmm........! :D

    Oh that bloody kettle! Couldn't believe it! I did consider putting a pillow around it but knowing my luck I'd wind up burning the hotel down. It was immovable too as it was integrated into the table. You sort of slot the kettle, as you would any cordless kettle, onto the stand/power point, but that's actually fixed to the table unit and can't be moved. Felt so bad about starting the thing up at that time on a Sunday morning but needs must and all that!

    Thanks again, MissW! :)

  • Well done again, Steve. Even more so upon hearing about how tough it was for you towards the end. It shows true grit and determination to get through a situation like that, you did so well! We are all so proud of you! xx

  • 'Ey up Caz! :)

    Thank you so much. :) It really was really tough towards the end there; felt awful in parts but I simply had to get through it. I couldn't put all that training in, and all the effort on the day, and not do it! Thank you, that really is so kind! xx

  • Steve, that's fantastic. I'm in awe of you. The thing that I can't get my head around is that with all those issues to contend with, you did the thing in under 4 hours. A FULL marathon. I did my first half yesterday and was chuffed with my 2:12, and I didn't stop at all. Four hours for a FULL marathon.

    Kudos, my namesake, much kudos.

    Brilliant writeup (BWU) too!

    I can't remotely imagine running a full marathon.

  • you say that now.... you'll fancy a full mara soon I am sure!

  • Hi Steve! :) (Great name! :D )

    Thank you, that's really kind. I concur with Wristy, I'm sure you'll start to fancy a full marathon soon and the more you run and the more confident you get, the more you believe you can do it. I never ever though I'd be able to do it but I did it. Very Well Done (VWD) again on your HM; that is a really good time; congratulations, something to be really really proud of! :)

    Yesterday was tough, really tough and I assure you I felt it, none of it was easy, especially toward the end and I'm as staggered as anyone else at the time, I wasn't expecting that at all!

    Thanks again, Steve, and again, don't write that full marathon off just yet. Running has that amazing way of surprising you and showing you that anything is possible!

    Hope you're recovering nicely after yesterday!

  • Thanks for your encouragement. As the day's worn on, I've felt less achy and physically tired, and my toe's feeling less painful. I'm feeling generally tired though. Weird, after the HM I didn't really feel very hungry the rest of the day, though I had a reasonable dinner in the evening. Thinking about it, I wonder if the 2300 or so calories I burned were partly or largely supplied from the preloading over the previous few days, or should I have eaten more yesterday?

    I hope you're feeling ok today. It certainly sounds like it was a dig-deep day for you yesterday!

  • Glad to hear you're feeling less achy now, Steve, and that the toe is easing too. Could have been so much worse though, that; could easily have been a full-on pile-up, so well done on avoiding that. A bruised and painful toe is better than broken goodness knows what after pile-up carnage!

    That's normal, mate; I usually don't feel too hungry until the day after a big run or race. Even now, I'm not too hungry after yesterday, as like you, I did a hell of a lot of pre-loading. As long as you ate a reasonable dinner yesterday then you'll be fine. The hunger will kick-in soon. It's happened to me days after a big race before now. Usually the day after but a couple of days later isn't unheard of either. You'll be rungry soon enough, just you watch!

    I'm feeling a lot better today, thank you. Still quite achy and sore but that's to be expected. Dig deep? I was wondering at one point where the nearest JCB could be located! :D

  • I'm physically and mentally drained just reading about it โ˜บ

    What an amazing achievement. Many congratulations.

    Thanks for sharing such a fab write up!

  • Thank you very kindly! :)

    It's my pleasure, so glad you enjoyed it. I hoped to write the kind of post that would take you all along on the race with me; glad it had that effect!

    Thanks again! :)

  • A fantastic write up to befit a fantastic achievement. Just amazing! Sub 4 is the stuff of dreams to many and you're there already. In years to come you will refer to yourself as a sub-4 marathon runner! Well done!

  • Thanks, Wristy! :)

    It took some doing but am more than happy with myself and how it all went, despite all the things that occurred along the way. It's astonishing the things that can happen in the space of 26 and a bit miles!

    Thanks again, I really appreciate it. :)

  • Absolutely awesome report! A marathon read. Marathon monster CONGRATULATIONS on it all - the prep, the perceived angst, the race 'eve', the exquisitely fine detail of all the sights across all the miles, and the non-stop energy which produced this report! You are inspirational!!

    Total respect! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  • Thank you, LMS! :)

    That really is so kind and honestly, makes it all worthwhile. If I can help inspire just one person to get out there, or to take an event on, or just keep running, then I've done my job. Thanks very very much, it's massively appreciated! :)

  • Well done Steve! I don't know much about marathons but your post actually had me laughing out loud. Sounds like you had a fantastic day and hope your managing to relax today - you have definitely deserved it! X

  • Thank you, New Runner! :)

    Really glad you enjoyed it. Hope it helps with motivation on your W3R1 tomorrow!

    Relaxation is going well today though I'm back at work tomorrow, though for now I really am well rested. Needed it, definitely!

    Thanks again, and good luck tomorrow! x

  • Cor ! I am in total awe ,there are not enough words in the dictionary to describe how totally amazing this is ! :-)

    Congratulations Miles, I just cannot imagine how tough it is to complete a Marathon. I did 7k yesterday and I was shattered and I remember thinking " Blimey, could I do this x 6 ???? " Errr.... No ! :-)

    Fantastic write up, its as if we were there with you , you brought it all to life and made it real.

    I am so glad you got a pink medal too. A fitting tribute , its sooo you ! :-)

    Brilliant, amazing, fabulous stuff and thankyou so much for sharing it with us , that mustve taken AGES to write ! :-)

    Hope that hamstring recovers soon , you can have a nice rest now . It must be such a relief that you have completed it and that time is just insane !

    Well done ! :-) xxx

  • 'Ey up, Popster! :)

    The marathon really is quite some achievement but it's an awful lot for the body to absorb. I think perhaps that's why the advice is to only do one, two at a push, per year! I tell you, it's given me a much greater appreciation for the HM distance! Well done on your 7K, by the way; hope you enjoyed it!

    Glad you enjoyed the Race Report. It's so good to know people enjoy them and take something from them. I like writing them (though yes, it did take most of the morning to do so!) and I'm glad people enjoy reading them.

    So pleased with the medal; again, it's pink. That's my third pinky medal now; they must have known I was coming! :D

    Yes, it's a relief to know the first marathon is now done, and I now know what the experience is like; I can take the lessons away from that one and apply them to the next one and hopefully have a much better time of things, but it's how we learn, I guess!

    Thanks once more, Pops, that really is so kind of you! :) xxx

  • That is one amazing read and an even more amazing achievement. I was gripped from start to finish. Fantastic job! And what a pace! You did amazingly well even when the odds were against you. Hope your hamstring (and all your other aches) are soon gone and forgotten about in the haze of your glorious achievement.! Lovely, bling, lovely t-shirt, lovely post.

    Congratulations! :D

  • Thank you, Hilbean! :)

    It was a great occasion really and though it had its downsides and bad points, it had good ones too and it was all well worth it and I feel so proud of myself and my achievement. I'm sure the aches will go in time and some of them are easing a little now, thankfully, other may take a bit longer but all things considered, I'm not too bad really and things could always be worse!

    Thanks once again, and thank you for reading; glad you enjoyed it! :)

  • What an awesome achievement! I'm extremely impressed, since I only noticed recently that you have only been running a few months more than me. I will NEVER EVER contemplate a marathon. 10k is my absolute limit, so I am in extra awe of you brave folks who go for The Big One (TBO).

    Well done matey x

  • Thank you, Use It! :)

    Brave or stupid, not entirely sure what it is yet, maybe a little of both! :D Yes, only started running on the 31st March last year, that was the date of my C25k W1R1 and it sort of snowballed from there really.

    Thanks very much, it really does mean a lot and I appreciate the kind words. :) x

  • Really well done (RWD). That is just a fantastic achievement. Inspirational Sir. I take my hat off to you. And what a race report, I was with you every step of the way as I read your post. So what's next? Or should I let you recover before asking you that question! :-)

  • Thank you, Mims! :) That's really kind.

    No no, ask away! I usually have something else on the horizon, keeps me motivated and plodding on forward. Well this coming Saturday I'm doing a night walk with my friend who ran the marathon yesterday; it's HM distance (there's 10K and HM distance) and is strictly a walk, no running involved. But I know the route and know tharrrr be hills! So I'm really looking forward to that. Then, providing me and my hamstring feel up to it, it's home to bed for a few hours and then out to this: I ran it last year and although not my usual thing (don't normally do trail races) it makes a nice change, but again, that depends on how my recovery is going, really. If I do that it'll be a steady trot round, definitely not racing it.

    Next big race will be at the end of March next year; doing a 50K ultra. Along a canal towpath so it's all nice and flat. Then, body willing, it's the Brighton Marathon three weeks after. Needless to say, the ultra will be taken very, very, very steadily indeed!

    Bet you wish you'd never asked now! :D

    Thanks again, Mims. :)

  • Sounds like you have many wonderful things on the horizon to keep you motivated, good for you! :-)

    (50k ultra?! Wowee!!!!)

  • Brilliant report ! Well done. Thanks also for the tips at the end which are useful whether you train for half or full marathon - I still find it so difficult to slow the long runs down....

  • Thanks, Dagshar! :)

    It sounds silly, I know, but you'll know what I mean, but slowing long runs down is so hard. I always struggle with it. I'm getting better at it, but as yesterday proved, not ***THAT*** good! I definitely think it helps though, especially if there's a lot of mileage going on as it does take the strain off a little bit.

    Another tip would be just to believe in yourself. It's easy to doubt, especially when things start going badly wrong, but a positive mindset really does help.

    Thanks again!

  • I always try and make sure I don't start off too fast even on a park run (although aiming for a more consistent pace there now) and a 10k race. the problem is that a lot of my events are quite small local ones (maybe 200-250 starters or even less), so this quickly leaves you very close to the back of the field. of course that's not a problem, bearing in mind that I haven't been doing this for long, but it can be demotivating and certainly doesn't encourage taking it easy. I think I need to try a bigger event some time!

  • That's understandable; I'd be the same too. Races are very much a personal preference sort of thing. Some people like smaller, local races with a field of fewer starters, but I'm in the other camp: I really, really love events with thousands of runners and feel more comfortable in that sort of race environment. I think the first 10K I did had about 800 runners and that was the smallest event I've participated in, other than the Parkrun and I really prefer the bigger events with greater support and more runners.

    Definitely give a bigger event a go some time if you can; I really think you'll enjoy it! :)

  • Loved reading your report MY. Sounds as if it was really tough in places so all the more kudos to you for completing - and with a great time too! Shows real Yorkshire grit!

  • Thanks, Ully! :)

    You're right there - the Yorkshire Grit (does sound a bit like a real ale that, dunnit?!) definitely came in handy yesterday as it was very much required! Pleased with things though, despite all that. :)

  • I haven't been on this site for many, many months but could not hold back from reading your post. Very well done Steve on the race and completing your first marathon in a sub 4 hours too, that's amazing. Thank you for a very interesting and enjoyable recap post on your adventure. I'm certain there will be more marathons to come but what a journey you have had already - Couch to Marathon in what, is it less than 18 months, incredible. Well done young man ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  • Thank you, OG; hope you're well. Nice to see you again! :)

    Yes, it's been quite a journey so far. It's had its ups and downs but has been really worth it. Undoubtedly yes; despite my thinking, at the time, that I'll never do one again, I absolutely will. :D

    Thanks once more; really is so kind of you, and it's greatly appreciated. :)

  • Miles, Miles what an absolutely fabulous post and what an awe inspiring read it was. I love your posts as you describe everything so graphically ("Don't hurl on my blue suede shoes". Ha ha) and capture the little moments as well as the big ones. That is an epic time especially so dealing with all those little mishaps. I am thrilled for you.

    Fab photos too and more pink! The bling is clearly made just for you.

    Thank you so much for sharing and many, many congratulations on your first marathon. You are an inspiration.

  • Hey there, Princess. :)

    That was probably the point of most concern, with my upset tummy, throwing up all over Elvis, but thankfully it didn't happen. He was in the middle of the road with his mic and there we were on both sides of him as it was a two-way route at that point, and then both sides were flanked by spectators so if I had been taken by an Unfortunate Vomiting Emergency (UVE) there would have been very few places I could have gone for refuge. I mean, I think people would have understood, but still!

    Thank you very, very much; really appreciate the kind words! :)

  • Fantastic race report and massive congratulations on your first (of many ) marathons! Such an inspiration to all of us setting out on this running journey. Enjoy a few days rest now, basking in the glory and showing off your medal.๐Ÿ˜€


  • Thank you, Sandra! Such nice words, thank you. I've had my medal on all day!

  • Ey up OG!!!!!! I hope you're keeping well shug!

    You back to running or not? How did it go with the plantar f.?

  • Plantar Fasciitis! Stop swearing! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚

  • Hello MissWobble I nearly missed your question, sorry. Yes I'm back running up to 10K these days and even doing the odd parkrun!!! Not fast, in fact snail pace but I have to listen to my gammy foot which really took a battering last year with PF. They were on the verge of operating but I pushed hard on the exercises, bought molded orthotics and after 10 months of being on the injury bench was back out there. Took a long time to build up any distance and at my age the speed that I had will never return but I'm just so pleased to still be running. long may it continue. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜„

  • What a brilliant race report Steve/Miles. So vivid, and witty. I was tracking you and Tomas yesterday - logged on for your last three miles and thought 'just a parkrun now'! I wondered what you were feeling at that point - exhaustion, elation - and now I know! It really is a huge achievement, a full marathon. In another league. Congratulations. And sub 4hr - superb.

  • Thank you Turbo! So good to know I was being tracked and spurred on from afar; extra motivation!

    It was mainly exhaustion but in the back of my mind there were the thoughts of "I'm actually going to do this!" so a combination of both.

    Thanks again - and thanks for the tracking and the support! ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ

  • OOps, me again. Miles, I meant to ask, did you run the race in your Kinvara's????????

  • Yes, MissW, I did, the white pair I got the other month, that now have 236 miles on them!

    I've got another pair now actually, an orange pair of Kinvara 6s, the new model. Only tried them on up to now, not worn them on a run as I still have a new pair of 5s with only 17 miles on, that I'm breaking in, but they're there in the queue.

    How are you getting on with your Kinvaras?

  • I wear Kinvaras too and love them. But one of mine now as a hole in the upper (my fault- I wore them on a trail run) . I am going to treat myself to some new ones. Is the 6 an improvement? (Apparently holes appearing in the top mesh of the Kinvara 5's is not uncommon)

  • What a fantastic race report for a fantastic achievement! Great time (even greater considering the injury). Very well done. Hope the hamstring gets better quickly.

  • Thanks Beth! Again, a big well done again to your brilliant efforts yesterday! ๐Ÿƒ

    Hopefully the hamstring will just be one of those things, though I think I'll get it checked out as I could do without that happening again!

    Thanks again, Beth! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Fantastic report Steve, and a fantastic performance. I know I'll never run a marathon, although I'd love to, but through your report I could feel the emotion of your run. Bravo sir, bravo.

    All the best, Steve.

  • Hey up, 5KOB! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Never say never; anything's possible!

    Thank you though, glad you enjoyed the report! Hope your running is going well! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    All the best to you too ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • You did so well, great time and thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely report for us. I can mentally see you going round the route as I read it as I used to live in that neck of the woods and have driven round those roads many times. it must of been so hard at times but thankfully you were able to dig deep. What a Fantasic achievement, well done.

  • Thanks, RFC! Glad you enjoyed the report. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    They're nice roads, aren't they, especially in the autumn sun. I know part of the route through work, but not all of it. It was a great race, I really enjoyed it.

    Thank you, I'm really proud of it. ๐Ÿ˜Š ๐Ÿƒ

  • That's amazing - how you managed that time with all that going on I don't know. I hope you make a quick recovery - and I quite agree about kettles. Hairdryers can be as bad at the crack of dawn.

    A massive well done.

  • Hey up, AR. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Nobody's more surprised than me about my time; nothing short of miraculous really, given all that was going on at the time.

    Recovery seems to be going okay; got my hamstring taped up and looking at doing my recovery run on Wednesday, so I'll see how that goes.

    The kettle was absurdly loud. The hairdryer was whisper quiet compared to the kettle, although compared to that kettle, a helicopter ๐Ÿš would be considered quiet!

    Thanks, AR!

  • I am still more used to reading birth reports than race reports... but quite honestly the parallels are all there in this one! Congratulations... and I hope all the twanging is a one-off.

  • Hey there, Google! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Why, thank you! And yes, me too. Never happened before and I'll be very happy if it never happens again! Hopefully it'll ease now and won't trouble me again. *crosses fingers*

  • Blimmin fantastic write up, I was in your corner the whole way. What an amazing achievement! Xx

  • Thank you Sparky; glad you enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ˜Š It really is, I'm so proud of the achievement! xx

  • I tried, twice, to read your report earlier only to be rudely interrupted by phones and other work related stuff.

    Excellent write-up on what sounds like a great event. I am delighted for you that you just about managed to shrug off the setbacks, the hamstring thing must have been a nightmare, to get to the finish and in a time which most of us could only dream of.

    Your description of the signs and placards reminded me of something that I forgot to relay from my HM last week when a guy was holding up a sign not far from the start which simply said "Don't sh!t yourself" :)

    From your Garmin linky it's clear that you were absolutely motoring along until the medical issues cropped up which I guess raises the question as to how fast you think you could have gone without them?

    Awesome effort MY, hat's off to you.

  • Thank you, Mr D! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    How dare work interrupt your reading about running! ๐Ÿ˜„ It was, the hamstring problems, it was a nightmare. I had horrible visions of having to pack the lot in but thankfully I managed to get my way through it, somehow.

    I do like these funny signs at races; I just wish I could remember all the signs I see! That one you saw is great ๐Ÿ˜‚ and very wise words as well, I'd say!

    The medical issues were quote unfortunate; I was pressing on a bit and why I achieved the time I did despite it all, as I'd built up a decent cushion of time, but maybe I was going a little too fast really which is something I'll address in the next one - hold a steadier pace for a bit longer at the start!

    Thank you, Mr D, very kind words. Tempted by a marathon yourself? ๐Ÿƒ

  • Actually, I signed up for Brighton in a moment of madness back in May.

    It seemed like a good idea at the time (famous last words) but I must admit to having serious reservations about it now. It was my first HM race simulation run five or six weeks ago that made i sink in just how far 26 miles/42 kilometers really is!

    I have only been running for 7 months and I do wonder whether I have bitten off more, for now at least, than I can chew.

  • I'm in Brighton too, MrD. You'll be absolutely fine. My advice would be to start a training plan around November time, December at the latest, and just gently see how you get on. As the winter months pass, you'll find your confidence and ability builds and should be fine for Brighton. It's a daunting distance right enough and there are setbacks along the way (!) but it's perfectly possible!

  • There was a sign at an Ironman event which read 'Still Married? You didn't train hard enough'

  • Congrats MY ๐ŸŽ‰ Amazing time....I take it your stomach is feeling better now, I felt queasy for 30mins after finishing my HM, I think it's the depletion of reserves that does it. Loving the pink medal (reminds me I need to get a run done in Oct to get my pink VR Millie's trust medal ๐Ÿ˜ณ) Has the pink peril been replaced with a purple one? I remember drooling over that watch at the time I wanted to buy one but couldn't justify the extra bits until I was sure I was going to keep running. Happy running always ๐Ÿƒ

  • Hello LF! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜Š Yes, tummy a good deal better now, but aches still continuing on for a little while yet. Yes, that and all the jiggling around, which can't help!

    The medal is great! I really love it loads. I'm seriously contemplating a tattoo of it, along with the Belfast medal, as both are pink in some way and will go well together. Hope you get your run in! Hope the house situation has improved somewhat?

    Yes, I have a Forerunner 620, I'm really happy with it. She's called Millicent - Millie for short. Been eyeing up a new Garmin yourself?

    Happy running to you too. Always. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŽ€

  • I was drooling over Millie before I got my pinkie, the amount I'm running at the moment I definitely can't justify one! House situation seems to be moving again after a bad stall (2 1/2 weeks of not being able to get hold of the sellers according to their crap estate agent) Been spending my running night tonight painting the hubby's old bedroom in preparation for my nephew and in laws arriving from New Zealand (pretty exciting!)

    Oh and my sneaky Dad text me today, he wanted his chip time for the Yorkshire marathon! He hadn't told a sole other than my mum he was running it! Super proud, 4:22:29 and 36 in the over 60's classification ๐Ÿ˜„

    Not a fan of tattoos myself but my sis has many, I think those two medals would look good and certainly suit you, we want a piccy if you do get it done ๐Ÿ˜Ž


  • When you've moved and you're running a lot again, you can get that Fancy New Garmin! (FNG) Those estate agents sound atrocious! Not able to get hold of the sellers? Where the hell were they, the moon?! ๐ŸŒ• Glad to hear it's moving again now though. ๐Ÿ˜Š How long are your nephew and in-laws over for? Bet that'll be great, having them over! Sorry the decorating took up your running night though!

    Oh wow!!! A massive well done to your dad! That's a fantastic time; he must be so proud! As must you! Hmmmm, next one's a full year away. Tempted to follow in your dad's (and mine! ๐Ÿ˜„) footsteps next year.........? ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿƒ

    Definitely! Going to email pics of the medals to the tattooist tomorrow. Was thinking my left forearm, medals and ribbons. ๐ŸŽ€ I have seven tattoos already, another won't hurt! ๐Ÿ˜„

  • In laws are here for around 2 weeks and will be here in 2 weeks time ๐Ÿ˜„ Very proud of my Dad but I still don't want to run another HM again let alone attempt a marathon, I'm still scarred from the training and race day last time and it's been over a year! Plan to work back up to 10ks again once everything has settled, hopefully I won't need to go back to W1 R1 ๐Ÿ˜ณ ๐Ÿƒ

  • Super report Steve. Especially as I know every inch of that route. I used to ride much of it on my horse centuries ago while training for endurance rides. I ran just over 1/3rd of it yesterday and it really was a walk in the park compared with what you did. Why on earth do I feel tempted to try it?

  • Hello TT!

    Well done to you! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿƒ

    The route was really good; if you do take the marathon onon, knowing the route will be a big advantage to you.

    It's a tough old slog but I'm sure you'll be more than capable of it! Your home marathon, it will be amazing if you are able to do it!

  • Would you believe it? Next year's Yorkshire marathon is the same weekend as The Kona Ironman World Championships and its a tough call between a Yorkshire October and a Hawaii summer but I think loyalty to my son will have to override my own selfish interests ;-)

    I do have a plan B however which involves a September marathon. But let's get the Leeds Half Marathon in May under my belt first. Are you running that next year?

  • Hmmmmmmm, might have to be the Hawaii summer then, but I imagine it to be a Really Close Call! (RCC)

    Exciting! Got a September marathon in mind? The Hull Marathon is in September. Been eyeing it up myself. Not as big and glossy as Yorkshire and it has a few hills chucked in but I fancy running across the Humber Bridge. I'll see though, not made my mind up yet, about which autumn marathon to do next year.

    I do fancy Leeds but it is just after my two spring races so I'll have to see how I feel after those first. I was supposed to run it this year but was sadly in the middle of my anaemia and calf issues so had to miss it. My friend ran it though and enjoyed it. The Sheffield Half is great if you want a big challenge; it's in April and starts off with Simply Enormous Hills. (SEH) I believe, on memory, it's about five miles or something of serious hills to start off with!

  • I was scanning through the spring HM's tonight and after reading about the hills skimmed straight on past Sheffield to Leeds. In September, the Humberside marathon might have been be an option except that I hate heights and don't even like driving over the Humber Bridge. In fact I have a rather more sophisticated and cosmopolitan city in mind (sorry Hull!)

  • Liking the Kinvaras! Not run any distance in them yet though.

  • They're lovely, aren't they? So lightweight, but supportive too!

  • Fabulous, just fabulous, Sweetie - both your run and the epic race description (ERD)

    Many months ago I suggested that you should think about writing a book about your journey from newbie to marathon runner, and having just read this awesome post, I'm even more convinced that you could carve out a nice little career for yourself as a writer. I'm sure if you collated your posts from here and from Connect, you'd have enough material to tell a very inspirational and often very funny story about the highs and lows of learning to run. Any running magazine worth reading would snap you up as a columnist, I'm convinced of it.

    Once again, many congratulations of your heroic and massive achievement. Hope your aches, pains and, of course, hamstrings recover quickly. Take care m'dear xxx

  • Awww, GM, thanks so much! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜Š That really is very kind. I'd love to be able to do that, write for a running magazine, and perhaps even a book. I do enjoy writing, I just don't do as much as I'd like to! It's definitely something I will consider though, so thank you so much!

    Thank you once again for the kind words. I'm starting to recover now, I think. The body really does take a hammering, doing something like that. Still sore and achy but heading in the right direction I think. Still can't get over the fact I ran a mmarathon!!! Me; I couldn't run a tap just over eighteen months ago! xxx

  • Hey Steve that's a great list of tags there! ๐Ÿ˜†

    Congratulations I always believed in you and your running abilities even when you didn't! It's been a right old journey of ups and downs with those ailments trying to trip you up, but you made it! And what an eventful run it was. I'm SO Pleased for You and happy that you got a shiny pink medal, just perfect for your 1st marathon! CONGRATULATIONS to you my friend ๐Ÿ˜†xxx A GWU(Great Write Up)

  • Thank youuuuuuuuuuuuu, Ali Wighter! ๐Ÿ˜†

    Those tags tell a story in themselves, don't they?! ๐Ÿ˜‚

    You did believe in me, thank you so much. There were times, as you know, when I doubted (and had the occasional - okay, frequent! -) meltdown but you were right, I could do it. Believing in yourself is so important in a race, it's just not always easy. The mental and psychological challenges of a race are often tougher than the physical ones, I've found.

    Yes, so happy with my Shiny Pink Medal! (SPM)

    Thank youuuuu! xxx

  • One of the best signs I ever saw was " Shortcuts ยฃ5 , this way " :-) xxx

  • That was at the Leeds 10K, wasn't it, Pops?! I saw that! xxx

  • Ha ha Yes it was !!!!

    Not that I was tempted to use it of course Well, maybe if no one was looking , good job I didnt , I wouldve been rumbled :-D xxx

  • Huge congratulations M-Y, a fantastic time, great report and so brave for just coping with all the little issues. Onwards and upwards, are you doing LWR again in2016??

  • Sorry for my late reading of your post Steve, life has been a bit hectic, although not as hectic as yours! Absolutely great post and a fantastic achievement in spite of everything you have had to deal with, you did it! and you smashed it! You are a star MY, well done! x :-) Oh and I agree with AM- your stories would be an absolute inspiration to many many people ;-)

  • Wow! What a great achievement!!!!! You have every right to be proud.

  • You have a gift for making it come alive mate. What a journey, what a race, what a race report. Congratulations again with the amazing result (under 4 hours despite an injury, wow!) and thank you for the great write up.

    How is hamstring doing now a few days later? Hope it has had some tlc and that it has decided to be kinder to its human :)

  • What can I say....Fantastic :)

  • Fantastic report, fantastic time. Very well done x

  • Message for OG Soz for putting it here Miles!

    Oh flipping eck! I really hope that you can stay injury free. The exercises have to be endured don't they. I must say I'm getting into the routine of them and I reckon I'll still be doing them even when I get signed off by the physio as I know they're doing me good and building my legs up. You might not be as fast as you were before but it still feel good to be out there running doesn't it. We're still getting the exercise and the benefit of being out there running, which is better than medicine I reckon. Hope you do too x

  • Absolutely fantastic report!!! Well done :)

  • Wow that is truly amazing!!!๐Ÿ‘๐ŸฝA marathon is an amazing achievement and you managed to keep going through tummy problems, hamstring that is true grit and determination. I would have cried and called the other half to scrape me off the floor, so truly well done.

    Thank you for writing these reports as I am sure it takes you a while but we all do love reading them and appreciate it very much!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Lovely bling and its PINK!!

    Do i spot a new garmin?! Snap i have the same one!!!


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