With less than 2 weeks to go until the big day, I’m now going into extreme tapering mode! Brighton Marathon a few days ago was, in a way, my last long training run for London. What a training run it was! Who could have predicted such high temperatures at the beginning of April?
After being lucky enough to have my name pulled out of the hat for a London Marathon club place I waited until after Christmas before starting my marathon training in earnest. I ran two marathons and three ultras in 2016 as well as numerous other events over just about every race distance out there so I felt I had a reasonable basis on which to build my training. I’ve gradually increased my mileage and done a few winter/spring races. I’ve attended several of the Tuesday night sessions at Ageas and generally everything has gone well for me apart from a couple of small setbacks when I had a cold that I couldn’t shift and a knee injury which thankfully healed very quickly. Thank you to everyone who has accompanied me on my training runs and also to the club coaches and run leaders. Before I received my London entry I had already entered the Brighton Marathon so I am hoping to get a 2 for 1 from my training programme when it comes to crossing the finishing line!
In case anyone is interested in my running history, I started running in the mid 1980’s. My first marathon was the Snowdonia Marathon in 1986 – not the easiest of courses for your first one but I loved it and I was hooked from then on! I ran many marathons in the '80s including the New York Marathon in 1988 on my 30th birthday (3:41) and my fastest marathon was Berlin in 1989 (3:36).
I have actually run the London Marathon 3 times before - the first time was 30 years ago in 1987 and then again in ’88 and ’89. I was successful in the ballot in three consecutive years – much easier to get an entry in the early days. But those were all BC! And no, I don’t mean Before Christ (I’m old but not that old!) Nor do I mean Before Children (although it was!) What I mean is Before Chips! Some of you youngsters probably don’t realise that there was a time when micro-chips didn’t exist. If you were running a race it was a case of watching the race clock at the start and memorising the lapsed time as you crossed the start line and then deducting that time from your official finish time. No GPS in those days. No pace or split times on your Garmin to guide you during the race. I still have my training diaries from my original races and my London times back then were 4:07, 3:52 and 3:48. A London PB each time! I’m not expecting another one this year!
I have chosen Crohn’s and Colitis UK as my charity for the London Marathon. My son suffers from Crohn’s Disease so I have first hand knowledge of the effects of this awful disease. Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are two forms of IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), not to be confused with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). On two occasions my son has lost three and a half stone in as many weeks. One year he spent the whole Christmas season in hospital. He takes several tablets daily and attends hospital every 8 weeks for an intravenous infusion to keep him well. Crohn’s Disease is lifelong. There is no cure. I am hoping that by fundraising for this charity I can contribute to research to find a cure and also help to provide high quality care and support for sufferers. For more information on Crohn’s and Colitis please go to https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk or if you would like to sponsor me I have a fundraising page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=JulieWard3&faId=809866&isTeam=false
It’s taken me a long time to really get back into running – I truly admire all you people who manage a full time job, a young family and marathon training. I didn’t manage to get back into it until my children were grown up and I joined HERC. I owe a great deal to this club and its wonderful members. I have received so much support and made some wonderful friendships since joining the club 3 years ago. Thank you everyone!
I am excited to be doing the London Marathon this year and proud to be representing the club on the day – look out for me in our great club’s colours of red, white and blue!