However the temporary bit is not as temporary as I’d hoped for!!
However back to the start of my Brighton PB marathon weekend, I will try and be brief! Saturday morning the weather looked quite ominous, by the time I had enjoyed a lie in and made my way to the Expo (trying to avoid the alluring shops in The Lanes) the sky was extremely black…..no sitting on the beach with an ice cream today then! The Expo had certainly grown since last year and after collecting my running number and kitbag I turned into a true running geek! Long conversations on the different types of running socks available, the pros and cons of certain gels, Newton running shoes versus Brooks Cadence, I was in running bore heaven!! My credit card was working overtime, including entering Brighton Marathon 2014 at the discounted rate (they get you before you can say never again!). I then met up with fellow Harriers Mark and Jane who were similarly enjoying being running geeks and we went for a carb loading lunch to talk about running a bit more!! After lunch the rain was biblical and with the lure of the shops in The Lanes as shelter I decided that I could do my gentle Saturday run as a brisk walk around the shops!! By 4pm I was back at the flat, feet up, drying out and setting out all my kit ready for Sunday. Nerves started to set in, so more pasta, an early night and a surprisingly good night’s sleep of 8 hours, only waking up once! Marathon morning had finally arrived!! So it was porridge, final kit check, bus and a little walk to the start. The morning had gone to plan and I was there for 7.30am and no queues this early for the loos! The weather was slightly overcast, no wind, the odd very short rain shower, so perfect running conditions. So after the loo, luggage abandonment, the loo and then the loo again I was in the red pen at the race start, nerves jangling as I still wasn’t sure how my left hip was going to feel (it had started to hurt the final taper week, typical!). Then before I could worry anymore, the gun went off and 2 minutes later I was across the line!
The first mile is around Preston Park and uphill so ensures you keep your pace in check, my hip hurt and my legs felt heavy so it didn’t bode well. Even with all this I seemed to be holding my pace of between 8.40 – 8.50 minute miling and had to slow down a few times. So even though everything hurt it hadn’t affected my pace but mentally it was horrible. After about 10 miles everything seemed to settle down and I started to relax a little and enjoy the camaraderie. I had to have a giggle running up the hill to Ovingdean where on the left there is a large expanse of grass with the occasional clump of bushes, a female runner had decided to take a comfort break behind one of these bushes, so those running directly in front of her could not see her but the thousands running up the hill could! The course loops back so you get to see those in front at some points and those behind you at other times. I got to glimpse the front running Kenyans who make it look so effortless and the guys dressed as donkeys at the back, who make it a hundred times harder than it is. The crowd support was amazing as ever and as you headed back to the seafront the crowds and noise increased, so with this and knowing I was being tracked by some friends on the Brighton Marathon App my speed increased and I crossed the halfway point in 1hr 54m 51s, so on track for a PB……if I could keep the pace up!
Up until mile 20 I maintained the pace but I could feel my legs getting heavier and heavier and had to push more than ever. The temperature was increasing and just before mile 20 I had to refill my bottle for the 2nd time with Gatorade, plus I was still taking water from every station. At this point it’s the horrible part of the course, the power station, fortunately word has got around about the gloominess of this section and the crowd support has increased from being non-existent a few years ago, so it was not as traumatic as before but my pace had dropped to just over 9 minute miling and however much I pushed, shouted at myself, ate gels, repeated my mantra I could not go faster. I had however worked out that as long as my pace did not drop below 10 minute miling I would get my PB, so the last 6 miles was just a repeated mantra of ‘Pain is temporary, pride is forever’, head up and listening to the crowd shouting support and willing you on. Then finally I could see the finish line and I could have cried, the crowds by now were massive and the noise deafening, thank you the Brighton marathon supporters willing me to the finish line! I crossed the line with my arms in the air, stopped, stopped my watch and near enough cried. Everything hurt but I had my PB by nearly 3 minutes; 3 hours 53 mins 24 secs. I had run 26.46 miles with an average pace of 8:49, no wonder everything hurt so much!
I hobbled though; medal, space blanket, water, Gatorade, free beer voucher, banana, goody bag, t-shirt, bag collection and then to the beach meeting up with Mark and Jane. This year they had a whole beach party set-up; a big screen to watch the finish line, music, beer tent, food stalls and deck chairs! Cider has never tasted so good! It was a great end to a fantastic marathon; sitting in the sun, enjoying a drink and soaking up the atmosphere. Well all good until I had to move/hobble homewards, so thank you so much to the couple who tipped me off about the lift that goes from the beach to the promenade instead of having to negotiate the endless steps!!!
Two days on I am still hobbling and my legs feel the heaviest they ever have after a marathon, plus last night I found an enormous blister on the ball of my foot that I hadn’t noticed until then! However with some rest, some more rest and a sports massage I should be fit enough to start training again in a few weeks…..bring on the Berlin Marathon!
Good luck to everyone running marathons this weekend, this time next week it will all be over!
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