After months of training (and weeks of faffage preparing what to take etc) I finished my first marathon at the weekend.
First rookie error-I forgot to turn my garmin on to get a gps signal before crossing the start line. This was after waiting around about 20 minutes after the starting gun fired as well!! So I ran for just over a mile before I finally got a signal and then in my excitement made the second rookie error of not looking where I was going and nearly tripping on a pothole in the road.
All went ok after this though and I settled into a steady pace getting to the halfway point in just over 2 hours. The next little problem was my running belt falling off around mile 15. Arrghh, I had visions of having to carry it in my hand for rest of the run or trying to store some gel in my small pocket and dumping it but I somehow managed to fix it (albeit upside down).
Around mile 19 I got some lucozade from the drink station. It was very warm, I was flagging a bit and I forgot to sip slowly and took some big swings instead. I think this might be the reason I started getting a stitch after about another mile. This is when Laura came to the rescue with her words from the c25k! Deep breaths, exhale slowly and slow right down. It worked (thanks Laura 👍) Unfortunately I did have slow right for a few miles. I managed to not have walk any of it but this bit was a slow jog. The 25 mile marker magically gave me a second wind though and I picked up the pace for the final mile. I finished in just under 4 hours 30 minutes, but this was much more a learning experience that about going for a time. Thanks for the marathon advice on here folks, it all helped 👍