Manchester Marathon 2019
“Don’t let your time ruin your time”
Every marathon creates its own unique set of memories, and it’s a time where I tend to reflect afterwards what I have learnt and how I feel. I love the marathon as it’s a real test for me and an event where I get to challenge myself.
I heard something very good at the start of the Manchester marathon. Vasos Alexander (the sports guy off Virgin radio who works with Chris Evans) was being interviewed and he said “Dont let your time ruin your time” i.e. we are all so lucky to run and just enjoy and embrace the experience, if you get your desired time then great but if not, enjoy it anyway.
My aim for this marathon was to try and run 3 hours 15. I had trained very hard for this and felt it was definitely possible, given my PB of 3hrs 18. I was determined to also go into this without any excuses, I was injury free, my training had gone well and the weather on the day was perfect. The only thing I needed to remember was to not roll the dice (James Williamson 😊) and go out and run steady and to my plan. I did this and everything went well till mile 20, which as we all know is where the marathon begins!!
I thought I would feel quite strong and able to push on at this point, but the opposite seemed to happen and the last 6 miles ended up being really tough.
What I learnt though is that I don’t give up and don’t give in. Everyone around me was stopping for a bit of a walk, especially at the drinks stations, however , I said to myself “You haven’t trained this hard to stop, you must keep going” and I did, for 6 miles I dug in and kept moving forward. I know in the past I’d have stopped. If I’d have stopped I’d have felt annoyed with myself and I’d have felt I’d let myself down. I have done this in the past, but I know now that I am stronger and I have a better mental approach that kept me going. I knew at mile 22 when the 3.15 pacer easily ran past me, that my goal time was shot, but I told myself that if I wanted a time I would at least be pleased with that I had to keep going and I did and came in at 3hrs 23.
As with any marathon I learnt a lot about myself and, yes I did enjoy it. It was a great weekend with lots of fellow Harriers there and friends I have made through running and I am proud of what I did. Our club has so many great runners in it and this showed with everyone’s performance on Sunday, Chris Peck leading us all home, and then some phenomenal runs from John McKenna, Luke Staddon, Dave Newby, Harriett Irving, Sam Allwood, Philly Staddon and George Lyle, just incredible performances all round. I turned 50 last year and my time on Sunday qualifies me for Boston, which I might try next year.
This was my 13th marathon and when I started my ambition was always to get under 3hrs 30. 5 years ago I did that for the first time, running Brighton in 3.29. Since then I have done 3.24, 3,18. 3.20 and now 3.23, so I know if I stay focussed on something it will happen and once I nail it, there will be no looking back. I always want to challenge myself and I am realistic that 3.15 is going to be a challenge for me, but you need to set yourself big challenging goals and that’s what I will continue to do.
My message to everyone is this, never give up on your goals, if you commit to it and believe in it then you will do it. You have to train hard and long and the hard work will pay off over time, it’s a marathon not a sprint after all!! Next stop for me now is the New York marathon in November this year and I will be back and focussed as ever on that…….