This is more of a retrospective post, looking at how I managed to do the London Marathon on April 26th, 2015.
The London Marathon was my first, and currently only marathon that I’ve ever done. It holds a special milestone in my life, given all the issues I had gone through to get to the stage where I could actually complete a full marathon.
You can see a post that I wrote back in 2013, I stated that I was planning to run “marathons” and to become a “healthier” person – so it had always been something I’d wanted to do [read my weight loss journey from 2010 to 2013]:
I’ve had quite a bit get in the way of being able to achieve running a full marathon (such as early stages of arthritis due to a break I had earlier in life and genuinely being quite overweight), so there have been a few obstacles in the way. I’ve been smarter about how/where I run and what I wear – and that has solved quite a few issues.
Insanely, I ran the London Marathon with a cast on my foot as I had a hairline fracture on the 2nd metatarsal a couple of weeks leading up to the race day, which is I’ll go into more detail below.
What distances did I do for training?
I have only been “properly” logging my runs since 2015 to date and I’ve logged 2521.9km / 1567m of running in total – mostly outdoor running. Prior to the London Marathon, I’d been training for six months, and logged around 394km / 244.82m. There is no certain amount you need to run, but I think it’s fair to say that you need to do some long distance running if you want a competitive time and get away without injury.
During my training for the London Marathon I can see from the data I’ve got that I ran these longer distances prior to the marathon:
However, as I am going to tell you, over-training yourself and doing too much distance can be troublesome.
I was running to work every day, with my laptop and change of clothes on me, which was only a 5K run to work, but it was having enough of an impact that by the time I was doing the longer runs, my feet were feeling the stress of that – especially as I was running on hard pavement to work and carrying heavy belongings.
You can see below that in 2015 alone I logged 1,167km:
I think it was the run I’d done on April 12th, 2015 that was what ensued below and was almost the final blow:
After I’d done a 26.16km run on April 12th, 2 weeks before the London Marathon, I was feeling pain in my foot. I initially though it was normal pain after running that distance, as that had been the longest distance I’d run and still the 2nd farthest distance I have run in my life.
So about a week later, I was still feeling pain, and concerned that I had a marathon coming up, I thought it would be best to get it checked out. I actually ran to hospital (2.57km / 1.6m) just fine and came out with crutches which is the funny part of it all. I walked into A&E, and they gave me an x-ray, and about a few hours later, I was walking out of A&E with a cast on:
I’d gone through the x-ray with the doctor, who was unable to confirm for sure if there was a hairline fracture, but he suspected that there was based on what he could see in the x-ray. He showed me the x-ray, and you can see a very faint line going down my 2nd metatarsal, which is where the pain was coming from. The radiologists then examined the x-rays thoroughly and told me on the Monday (race week), that there was a hairline fracture.
At this point my foot was still in a cast, and I had stopped running completely and my movement was obviously restricted with the cast and with being on crutches. I’d asked how long I would need this cast on for, and the response was 2-3 weeks. This is where you get to see the stubborn side of me.
I ran the marathon still…
A couple days before the London Marathon, I picked up a knife and cut the cast off. My data shows that I did a few small runs, ranging from 2-5K runs to ensure that I still was good to run and that I felt comfortable. I actually felt no issues and the pain that I had before had subsided – after a week or so of having the cast on.
I felt good and I felt that I could do it. I think if had still been feeling pain, I would have not done the race at all and I would have deferred to the year after. It’s just that when you have spent so much time, and put all your hope into doing a marathon, especially as an ambition you have had from a younger age, I felt I had no choice but to do the marathon, and so I did.
So, the London Marathon…
Fortunately, all went well, and I was more than able to do the London Marathon as well as being able to achieve a respectable time.
I did feel pain at 37km / 23 miles which is where I briefly stopped at a medical tent and where I took ibuprofen.
Crossing the finish line
Crossing the finish line was pretty surreal. I was all emotional, as what I had gone through to get this stage had pretty much felt like it had come to end when I stepped over the line and crossed over. As you can see from the picture above, you can see a nice shiny medal and a proud sister. At this point I was in quite a bit of pain and moving was somewhat difficult.
What was my time? See below:
What am I up to these days?
I used to use the Nike+ running app until I switched over to Strava, which I am preferring these days – and have moved all of my runs via Run Gap completely into Strava. I now have a Garmin and that’s how I am tracking my runs these days.
I’ve toned down on my running by quite some margin due to injury, and also laziness, but in 2020, I am looking to make a come back. I’ve already started a blog post detailing and recording my weight, distance, gym attendance, and intensity/effort levels.
I didn’t do too much running in 2018, and focused more on weights and going to the gym in that year, and then sort of in 2019, it was a hybrid of running and going to the gym. I intend to follow a similar path as 2019 – as I want to work on strength training as well as cardiovascular exercises – and I am currently on 12km in total so far for 2020:
Hope you enjoyed the read and feel free to get in contact if there are any questions I can answer. 🙂