The Last 26.2 Miles Were the Easiest (or: York Marathon Report)

The Last 26.2 Miles Were the Easiest (or: York Marathon Report)

It's customary to put pen to paper and jot down a few notes about highlights and lowlights of recent races, and those of you who know me know that I've got a bit of verbal diahorrea when it comes to these things. So bear with me, and feel free to turn the pages without reading, there won't be a quiz at the end!

On Sunday just gone I had to great pleasure of running the York Marathon, but, as the title suggests, the Marathon itself was just the dot of the i (the decoration on the cupcake, the crown on the princes' head, the leaper on the Jag, the culmination of) of the project that turned into 5 months training. The Jane Tomlinson people who arrange the York Marathon also arranges a number of 10k races across the North East, and they sell a package deal called "the ultimate challenge" consisting of 4 x 10k plus the Marathon.

Miles_Yonder has already done a great job of describing the race itself, and there's no way I can match his ability to make the route come alive. So I will in case focus my attention on what it took to train for this fantastic event.

Oh, and the picture, if it shows up, shows plan v actuals, with the red line being the plan and the blue bars being actual weekly mileage. It's quite easy to spot where it all went wrong.

I had studied several different "plans", read a couple of books, and eventually created my very own custom made just-for-me plan loosely based on Hal Higdon's Novice-1 marathon plan, adapted to also include the 4 shorter races, that I gave the grand name 6-2-26 (as in progressing from being able to run 6 miles to eventually hitting 26). I even wrote the distance for each week's longest run down on a piece of paper that lived right next to my work computer for the next 5 months. And this turned out to be sufficient; I knew I wanted a total of four runs per week, with the combined distance of the three shorter being roughly the same as the long weekend run, and with the long run distance generally increasing by a mile per week, I added one km to one of the mid week runs one week and two km to another the next week, and that way it all sort of added up and evened out.

At first I was very motivated and strict with myself. And I had a great time. After having written the plan down, I immediately cheated and made the long run of week 1 into a 10 miler even though the plan only called for 8. I wanted to be ahead of the curve, have a bit of contingency, I wanted to prove that I was on top of things and wanted to give myself reassurance that if for whatever reason I should need to take a week out of the plan later later on, then I would still be on track.

Although the long run of week 1 was ambitious, the shorter runs were all 5 or 6 km, so they fitted nicely into a lunch break. As I had the 10k races to think about, I dedicated one of the mid week runs to be a tempo run to get faster, and this kept things fun. It's very motivating to beat a PB, and with the discipline and increasing distances, I got several of them over the first few weeks.

In week 4 there was a gorgeous run on the Yorkshire moors near Scarborough. We were caravaning, and I took a couple of hours out of Saturday morning to run up and down some steep hills, and noticed in my running diary "This one will stay in my memory for a long time as the prettiest route I have run ever. Through a valley carved by a meandering river, a few sleepy villages, a couple of steep hills, along buttercup covered fields with cows and sheep and occasionally a view over the ocean in the distance. It was simply gorgeous. " Life was good. I was doing great.

A few weeks later I was running 15 along the river Ouse from south of York to where we had parked the caravan to the North. Another glorious run, and even though the last miles were hard going through waist high weeds, it was still one of those great runs that left me feeling strong and well trained and optimistic.

Towards the end of July things had changed. It wasn't fun any more. The nice short 5 km lunch time runs had turned into 5 miles for the shortest and getting close to 10 for the longer ones, meaning that with post run stretches, shower, and a bit to eat it simply didn't fit into an hour. I'm lucky that I work from home and can flex my time, so as long as I made up the time nobody had a problem with me taking longer lunch breaks, but work was becoming increasingly busy, and it was harder and harder to find the time. I started to postpone the lunchtime run until after work (like, I imagine, the vast majority of people do), and as things continued to get busier, they got postponed till the next day, and till the next day again. When August rolled around, I had started to skip entire weeks, and then frantically trying to make up the lost ground in a single run.

Week 12 nearly didn't happen. I had skipped the long run of week 11, and all the mid week runs. So I decided in my wisdom that best motivator would be a nice 17 miles on the small country roads. I took a half day off from work and set off on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. You don't lose much fitness during a week, don't worry, it'll be fine, I told my self. Bl**dy B*llocks to me! It was bloody awful, and I limped home swearing that I'd never ever lace up a pair of running shoes. Never ever again!

In week 13 I decided I had now magically caught up now, everything was going to be fine. And as I was going on holiday at the end of the week, I brought trainers and all the running paraphanelia. First stop of the holiday was Bremen in Germany where I set out on a 19 miler through the city, along the river, past a huge football stadium, crossing the river on a dam used by a power company, through gorgeous greenery and back to the mainland on a 90 seconds ferry (ain't seen no rules saying you can't take the ferry when you go for a run!) and back to my hotel via their exposition centre. This was just what my spirits needed, for although I was limping and hurting at the end, it had been a glorious experience.

Small non running related side story here. When I arrived in Bremen I had parked my car at the far corner of a huge parking space outside the exposition centre. Next morning when I turned up to get the car the entire huge parking space had been turned into a giant flea market. Row after row of neatly arranged car boots and sausage stalls and bric and brac and more sausages and beers and Germans having a jolly good time. My car was in the third row from the back, neatly lined up with the stalls. Oooops. Quick walk through the flea market confirmed my fears. There was absolutely no way it would be possible to drive out until the market was over. Meanwhile my mum was waiting for me in 300 miles away in Denmark, and the stall holder I asked said the market would finish around 3. Or when they ran out of sausages. Or maybe they'd carry on a little longer, since it was such a beautiful day, and actually he wasn't quite sure what the plan was. Double oops. And words that don't belong in a race report! I did eventually find a chap with a hi viz jacket, and sure, he knew about my car. The one with English license plates, right? Oh yes, they had noticed it thank you very much. Would I like my car now? Well, yes, I would be grateful if it would be possible, please and thank you, but I totally understood that I was a dumpkopf for getting myself into this horrible mess, and many apologies for my broken German, but my old mutti in Denmark was waiting, etc, etc, etc. He was a right star. Got a couple of his co-hi-viz-jacket-wearers to help, and within 5 minutes I had a small group of people spreading the stalls like Moses spread the Red Sea, and I could drive slowly out of there and back home. Phew! And prost to German flea market guards!

Anyway, back to the Marathon training. Next weekend I was still aching, and it was hot (as in 28 degrees), and my attempt of a 12 miler got changed to a 8 miler and then after the first 2 miles I stopped, turned around and walked back. Too much. Way too much.

Three more weeks followed of almost no running, and definitely not enough to fit an ambitious Marathon training plan. I was despondent. Tried half heartedly and gave up full heartedly. Early September I had made up my mind. This bloody Marathon was stupid, it was sucking all the joy out of my running, and it was too much like hard work, and I had had it, bwaaah mwaaaahhh!!!

Then on a Friday evening I got thinking while having a glass of wine (wine is always good for that). There's a cut off of 7 hours. I can walk comfortably at 5 km/h, so that's 20 km in 4 hours. So if I could just manage the first half of the race in three hours, then it wouldn't matter how knackered and despondent I was, as I could just walk. So the next morning I went out to run 2 km, walk 500 m, run 2 km, walk 500 m, rinse, repeat for 20 km.

That also hurt. Badly. And the 500 m walks became 1 km walks which then became 1,500 m walks towards the end. I wasn't a happy bunny when I came home, but there was still a few weeks left, so I thought if only I could carry on this run/walk stuff, then I might actually be able to manage the distance. I downloaded Jeff Galloway's book to read about how the "proper" galloway technique is, and learnt that it's meant to be short distance runs and short distance walks, rather than the somewhat large intervals I had chosen. Well, run 2 km and walk 500 m means walking 20% of the distance, and the same can be done by running 400 m and walking 100 m. So that became my new target. Did it for each of the runs during the week, and also for a 15 mile thing on the weekend. It still hurt, and I was still knackered, but it hurt less, and that helped a lot with the motivation.

Then the following week we went on our holiday to Teesdale. For those who don't know, Teesdale is absolutely stunning, not least because of the hills. They look so pretty, and the meandering rivers at the bottom of them are lovely, but the roads are all either uphill or significantly uphill or bloody steep uphill. Well, except for the downhill sections which tends to be almost non existing, and when they do exist they're as steep as a lift in an office building. But never mind, off I went, backpack with water and gels and jacket and map and compass (I have a lot of respect for the moors), and nearly five hours and 22 miles later I finished feeling super optimistic and motivated again. Boy oh boy, I had missed that feeling!

The notes from the run includes "Absolutely gorgeous route with glorious views most of the way. As well as the best Mother Nature had to offer, I also saw a shepherd on a quad bike. First he overtook me with two dogs on the "backseat", and then a few miles later he was stopped and whistling while the dogs were working a herd of sheep. It was quite impressive to watch. At Grassholme there were 12 sailboats out cruising around and across the lake. Beautiful. Pictoresque villages, and friendly drivers who had time to nod and wave to a runner. All in all, this one will be added to my list of truly memorable runs. Enjoyed it a lot, and ended it feeling strong and confident. Exactly what the doctor ordered for a final long run."

From here on it was all downhill, but in the positive, good manner. I enjoyed the three weeks taper, ticked off the runs on my mental list - last half marathon distance, last 8 miler, last 5 miler, last 3 miler, last 2 miler, last run...

And then (after much ado and many, many words) came the cherry on the cake, the dot on the i, the blister on the foot and the crown on the princess' head. The big M on Sunday the 11th.

The organisation was meticulous, and everything just ran super smoothly. From the park-and-run busses taking many of us from a nearby airfield to the event village at York University, to the super friendly marshalls who seemed to be wherever you look, great spectators, great entertainment, great weather, marvellous route, even the porta loos were plentiful and not particularly smelly. What more can you wish for?

Doing a Galloway felt strange at the beginning. When we got underway I ran 400 m and then stopped to walk 100m, then ran 400 and walked 100m. Before long we were going through York city centre and past the Minster, loads of people lining the roads to cheer everybody on, and I must admit that I felt like a bit of a cheat for walking. You see, I could read their mind. They were at the beginning of a marathon route, and there comes a bloke who's walking already. How on earth will he manage to complete the route if he can't even run the first mile?! So I became self conscious and avoided eye contact while I was walking but enjoyed the cheering while running. After a few intervalts it dawned on me that nobody gives a damn, so I stopped worrying and just enjoyed the rhythm of run/walk/run/walk.

The 10k marker came up when I'd been going for an hour 15 minutes, and a quick calculation told me that this would mean finishing in about 5:15. But of course I would slow down later on, so who knows how long it would take, but it was encouraging that I was making good progress at least at the beginning. Almost before I realised it, I was at the half way marker, and the watch said 2:35, so that would mean finishing in 5:10, but of course, I would slow down later, etc. But the strange thing is that I didn't. I got tired, sure, and it got to be harder and harder to get myself running again after a walking break, but I kept surprising myself by keeping the same pace for the 400 m running intervals despite not focusing on speed at all, the only thing that mattered was to just run 400 m at a time at whatever pace felt comfortable. It just so happened that comfortable was between 6 and 6:30 min/km consistently. So when the finish line came up, I was mighty pleased and surprised to having made it in 5:09:15.

There's such a huge amount of positive, and also some negative, experiences over the last five months, but looking back at it, I am very happy that I managed to find the stubbornness to carry on. The feeling at the end, those first 30 seconds after crossing the finishing line, "I just ran a Marathon, I bloody did it" were just magical. Then came a strange emptiness, some tears and a weird empty feeling. Call it a mini meltdown. But after that, once the memories all started to come back, it was simply amazing!

Worst thing about it? The relentless increase in weekly distance and weekly time spent running. Week after week after week, with the plan seemingly endless, and the only hope being that maybe it would hurt a little bit less next week than it had this week, and maybe somehow magically all the frustrations would turn into something resembling fitness.

Best thing? The last 26.2 miles. All the miles had magically transformed my legs and created something resembling fitness, and while it was hard work, the last 26.2 miles were a joyfull experience from the beginning to the finish.

56 Replies

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  • Absolutely Fantastic Tomas !!! Hats off to you , the training sounds so relentless and tough !

    Congratulations to you , you did it . You crossed that start line and the finish line whether by running , run / walk , walk/ run . Job completed !

    Absolutely Marvellous !!! :-) xxx

  • Thank you very much Pug. It was relentless at times, but also absolutely gorgeous at others. Definitely a journey I'm happy to have been on :)

  • That is fantastic Tomas. So well done. I didn't realise you were 'Jeffing' it like me. I have to admit though that your account of all the hours training you have to put in has rather cooled my enthusiasm for doing the full Monty next year. I sort of knew it in theory but reading about the boredom endured and the commitment needed makes me doubt I can maintain that discipline. Are you going to have another go next year or try a different route? Anyway, very, very well done once again. Sorry we just missed cheering you on. You were too quick for us!

    PS I do think the shorter more frequent walk intervals make a huge difference. I've seen it explained somewhere in terms of lactic acid build up or glycogen depletion or both. Can't really remember the technicalities but it convinced me at the time and it certainly seemed to improve both our performances on Sunday!

  • I've read the same re the difference in the intervals, so I think you're absolutely right. And my limited experimentation confirmed that the shorter and more frequent intervals worked way better for me.

    I'm sorry if I have put you off a Marathon, that was the last thing I wanted to do. Yes, there's a whole lot of hard slug where it just feels overwhelmning, but there are also a lot of stunning experiences that you can't have any other way. I've found that I totally love a long run somewhere I've never been before - it's as beautiful as a long hike, but has that extra bit that the running gives. So if you want to give it a go, why not try?

    As for next year... I'm signed up to the Copenhagen Marathon in May 2016, so yep, I'm crazy enough to want to go again. Several things I will change this time around though as I intend to learn my lessons.

    Congrats again with the brilliant race on Sunday, and thank you sooo much for the banner, that was absolutely brilliant!

  • I won't be able to do the Yorkshire marathon next year as I have a date in Hawaii that weekend as an Ironman supporter! However I intend to do a half marathon in the spring and am putting in for the lottery for the Berlin marathon which opens next week. If I happen to get lucky I'll have no option but to train for it will I? Have fun in Copenhagen, I think abroad is the way to go. Some people take golf holidays. We hard core people take running holidays!

  • Going to see the REAL ironman, oh wow, that will be such a great experience tt. I hope you'll have a blast - and I imagine that Hawaii will be gorgeous even when there's no hardcore exercising going on. But wow, enjoy it!

    Well done for the decision to go for a HM and for Berlin. And you're right, if you get the place then that will be a nice carrot to dangle in front of yourself as you carry on with the training. And you've already proven last Sunday that you can train hard and reap the benefits of it.

  • Didn't skip any pages and think I could even make a good go of a quiz - a pleasure to read. Thanks for the vicarious Teesdale run, and BLOODY WELL DONE!

  • Thank you tea fairy, and yes, Teesdale was gorgeous. I also think it worked great in that it gave me some hill experience (and thus strengthened some muscles that hadn't previouisly been worked so hard) while the frequent walks made it totally doable. It's definitely not the last time I'll be up on the moors running around ;)

  • Oh wow, what a story. As a week 4 student of the course, I am in awe. Very well done on your perseverance and congratulations on finishing. It is posts like yours that inspire me to keep going.

  • Thank you very much Sandy. And I hope you do keep going. The programme can lead to sooooo many great experiences. I started the programme in March '14, and it was one of the best things I've ever done.

  • Great read - Congratulations on your perseverance

  • Thank you very much ancientrunner. I think perseverance is a good word :)

  • Tomas you are a bl**dy marvel. That training sounds horrendous and loads of people would have given up at the first hiccup. But your perseverance and guts carried you through and you did it! It's a massive achievement and you can be rightly proud.

    Thank you for your fab description. You did it!

  • Thank you so much IP. Sorry it it came out sounding horrendous, for while it was pretty horrendous at times, it was also wonderful and amazing at others.

  • Aw Tomas, I loved reading that, a fantastic post and a fantastic achievement! Well done you, you should be feeling very proud. You've run a marathon, you've run a marathon! x :-)

  • Hi no-excuse, yes, indeed... that's what I kept repeating to myself back at the finish line. And you know what? It feels great ;-)

  • Brilliant run and report :-) I really think that although the actual race is wonderful to complete, especially a full marathon, its the months of training that should be celebrated as well.. those long runs on your own when no one is cheering you on... the injuries and self-doubt that all have to be overcome in readiness for the big day.

    So BIG well done!!!

  • Thank you very much Andy. And you're right, it is important to celebrate the long months of training, be it for a 10k, a HM or a full marathon. The final race really is just the icing on the cake.

  • What an amazing achievement. Hearing all about the training makes me realise even more what a truly fantastic challenge it is.

    You completed a whole bloomin marathon!!!!

    Brilliant write up - thanks for sharing โ˜บ

  • Thank you goonkeepgoing. You're right, it is a challenge. But it's also a wonderful experience (although maybe a teeny tiny bit like the wonderful experience it is to stop bashing your head against a wall *lol*)

  • Many congratulations tomas, the dedication and commitment was relentless and it was lovely for you to quote your running diary and that you had had some of your best runs ever during the build up. I think many of us even following lesser programmes suffered the same downturn at times. be totally proud of what you have achieved- I hope the note by the side of your desk now says 26.2

  • Thank you c4ts, that's very kind of you. And you know what, I hadn't gotten around to update the note, but it now does say 26.2. with a red circle around! And I think you're totally right, there are exactly the same challenges and ups/downs in any training programme. Maybe it's the joy of overcoming obstacles that makes it so fun to be a runner...

  • Well done Tomas! I think you're report highlights the sheer ruddy hard work that has to go in before the big day. The relentless, grind, the slog, the sheer tedium of it. They say it takes four months to get ready! I'm still not sure I ever want to do one myself but take my hat off to you for having the guts to tackle it. Definitely not for the faint hearted.

    Bet you're ready for a good rest now!

  • Thank you very much Miss W. Had it not been for your early encouragements back when I joined the programme and you were the voice of experience and wisdom, I'd never have gotten to this point. So thank you!

    And as for the rest... oh yeah, resting is wonderful and I am sooo enjoying a few days off my feet.

  • Congratulations and very well done. I love your write up, being an old Yorkshire girl from Whitby myself I can mentally see a lot of the places you were training in and yes I know a lot the hills, i miss the scenery. It took me a long time to allow myself to run / walk for my longer runs but my body just responds to it, I don't think I would go back. You did a marathon I have such respect for that, happy recovery.

  • Thank you very much RFC, and so far the recovery is indeed a happy one. Didn't know you were from Whitby, what a glorious part of Yorkshire, although you certainly have some killer hills up there. Maybe I can add them to my training in a few years time, but for now Scarbourough and Teesdale is sufficient *lol*

  • Congrats Tomas! Looks like I missed half of the drama on Garmin due to my inactivity, hats off for your perseverance, unfortunately for me it's that sheer slog to get the miles in that's put me off ever running a HM again (and the bad run on race day itself despite the great final long run) so I have massive respect for you doing a Marathon ๐ŸŽ‰ Here's to more good runs whatever the distance or method ๐Ÿƒ

  • Thank you very much dear. There might have been some drama on Garmin, but it starts to pale quickly. It's a shame that you had such a bad run on your HM, but I think it's important to find out what makes running "fun" for each of us, and then do some of that. I'm tremendously glad about what I've learnt through the last half year, and the walk/run is here to stay!

  • What a journey you have been on. Those entries from your running journal sound fantastic. I wonder if I should keep one. Lovely to look back on I imagine. And really well done on your achievement. Not many people can say they have completed a marathon.

  • Hi Mimsickle, oh I encourage you to do so. Sometimes it's just a few notes (Achilles aching again, but at least my right leg is fine), and other times it's a longer description of what I saw. It was the diary that made me realise just how long I had been suffering from an aching Achilles tendon, so I went to see a physio who has been treating me for the last 4 months. Had I not kept the diary, I don't think I would have realised the warning signs, and I would probably having ended up seriously injuring myself instead.

    Plus, it's fun to read back over the positives and smile with the good memories again ;)

  • Very well done Tomas. you've had your ups and downs in that marathon training journey but stuck at it and did SO well, a brilliant result i would say! and your own personlised banner too! CONGRATULATIONS!!

  • Thank you very much Aliboo. and yes, the banner, that was absolutely fantastic!

  • What a beautiful read Tomas, I enjoyed every single word!

    Congratulations!!!

  • Thank you very much Pigvi.

  • That really is a great report. We rarely get to hear about the blood sweat and tears bit. I LOVED your German car park story ! Very well done for completing the marathon, that really is something to be incredibly proud of. Have you made me want to do one ? NO !

  • Thank you henpen. And yes, that car park story is definitely one of those ones that becomes more and more enjoyable each time I tell it. When standing there and struggling to find the words "fun" was not the one I was looking for *lol*.

  • Fantastic write up Tomas. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it all, and it has certainly confirmed to me that I have absolutely zero desire to tackle a marathon!

    I can only admire your honesty and your grit and determination.

    Well done sir!

  • Thank you Ullyrunner, that's kind of you. And I think it's important to do the kind of running we each enjoy, it has to be a personal journey and it has to be fun (at least at some level), otherwise we'll end up as couch potatoes again. So if it has added just an ounce to the determination to leave the marathon craziness aside, then I'm glad :)

  • Congratulations again Tomas, you are a legend! xx

  • Awwww, thank you Spikey :)

  • Thank you so much Tomas for a wonderful read. Not only did you do fantastically on those last 26.2 miles it was a real journey through the highs and lows of training to get there. Loved reading it and in spite of the lows the wonderful highs you had have me once again looking to do more than my HM next year. What a fantastic journey. Well done you! :D

  • Oh I hope you will, hilbean. Having seen what you're capable of on GC, I think you would enjoy it. And I would absolutely love to read the descriptions of your runs :)

  • Thanks for the vote of confidence Tomas! ;)

  • Shhh... don't tell anyone, but I'm thinking about it too...BB's fault, he told me there's no way I can/could run that far...and I don't think it's reverse pyschology either.

  • Mum's the word! But don't believe him! If you can run up that hill in France in that heat you can do anything!

    Don't tell anyone but I've pre-registered for the Snowdon Trail marathon. Still gives me the chance to opt out though ;)

  • I'm beginning to wish I'd left that hill alone, my knee has started complaining...

  • Oh no, that sucks! :( Hope it's just a niggle that will quickly go away xx

  • Oh sorry to hear about the knee. Hopefully it's just a niggle. Fingers (and knees!) crossed.

  • Had a look at the Snowdon Trail Marathon. Wow, that is HARDCORE, Hils! Looks gorgeous though. I would love to try that on, maybe in 2017. Looking forward to follow your training for that.

  • Well I looked at it and got excited and scared all at the same time. Was just thinking at least I'm close enough to try and do sections of it before deciding for real. Notice they saved the best until last! I keep getting suckered in to looking at Ultras too if only because of the beautiful places they pass through. Really liked the look of Hadrian's Wall but I'm really not up to that! Stupid looking really seeing as I haven't even done a HM yet :\

  • Wonderful report that, Tomas. I'm sat here in some godforsaken industrial estate in Croydon awaiting being unloaded and your report really entertained me during my long wait.

    First off, your debacle in the market had me chuckling away; you poor thing! I suppose you can laugh at it now but at the time I imagine it wasn't so funny. But then, apart from laugh, what else can you do under such circumstances?! Glad you got out of there eventually though!

    You did brilliantly on Sunday, mate; superbly, so very very well done. You put in so much hard work and it really does show here in this post. A marathon, as we know, is a huge undertaking with all kinds of highs and lows and surprises (good and bad!) along the way, as you've so greatly laid out here.

    It's not just you; I too woke up some mornings and thought "10 miles, today? Really?!" but in the end, that feeling of crossing the line makes it all well worth it, doesn't it?

    Thanks for such an entertaining read, Tomas, and again, a massive well done! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Well thank you Sir. I should blame you, you know. Had it not been for YOUR idea with the "ultimate challenge ticket", I might never have bought one, so thank you!

    Hope you're on your way home from Croydon, it's a long, long drive, so take it easy.

    Congratulations also to you, and you're absolutely right. The feeling when you cross that line (or in my case the feeling an hour or so later when my mini melt down went away) definitely makes it worth the effort.

  • Such a great post Tomas. It's been a privilege to share the highs and lows of your extraordinary journey on here and on Connect. Both you and Miles_Yonder get full marks for triumphing over adversity in you quest to become marathon runners. Anyone who has ever watched the London marathon on telly knows that finishing is a massive achievement on the day, but very few people understand the truly heroic commitment it takes to actually get there in the first place. All those miles, week in week out, whatever the weather, to get to the point where you're ready to line up on race day. So very very well done. Massive kudos to you, my friend, for a job bl**dy well done :) :) xx

  • Thank you very, very much AM, that's very kind of you. It's a job well done (and well bragged about as well *lol*; that's one of the perks). I look forward to see how much of my dedication I can maintain now that the nights are drawing in and the temperatures dropping. Still, it would be nice to think this whole thing results in more than a piece of bling and a pretty t-shirt.

  • Oh Tomas, what a great write up. I've been saving it until I had time to read it properly, and it was worth the wait. You are an absolute star! I've enjoyed being part of your journey and reading your run reports as you went along too. I'm so proud of you for finding a way round your injury and not giving up. All the while too, you've found the time to support us lesser runners, your words on my little runs have meant so much. You are an inspiration, now please stop it before I find myself signing up for a marathon! xxx

  • You know you want to, Curly ;-) And your words have been a constant source of inspiration and support. Couldn't have done it without!