I’ve finished the London Marathon – sort of

19th December 2019

I’ve really got the bug for running the marathon route now and have based this week’s training around this. Running the course has brought a number of positives; it has been a real confidence boost to cover the actual ground that I’ll be running on race day, not least to see how flat most of it is. It has also really freshened up my training and it is invigorating to be running new routes rather than running loops from my house as usual.

On Tuesday I skipped the club run, the last of the year unfortunately, to rest my legs between VLM route practices. Instead I took a spin class, with the same instructor that runs my Sunday morning class. As I’ve said before he is incredibly popular and when I booked his class the night before I was tenth on the waiting list. Come class time though Christmas parties must have taken their toll as the class was only half full at best. It was a good session and I worked hard but the music he played was a real horror show (Baywatch theme and Phil Collins!), I won’t be adding any of those to my running play list anytime soon.

On Wednesday I brought my running gear back into work in order to tackle the final section of the marathon course from Tower Bridge to The Mall. I had some reservations about this as I didn’t want to affect the ‘magic’ of the day but the reality is I’ve run much of this section many times in the past. A few years ago I was working near St Paul’s Cathedral and I would regularly join the Sweatshop running group as they headed along the Embankment to Big Ben and back. Also, I appreciate the reality check this has given me in terms of the finish line. I had in mind that passing Tower Bridge for the last time and having just (just!) 6k to go would bring a sense of job done but depending how the various underpasses and bridge junctions along Upper and Lower Thames Street are tackled this stretch could be quite challenging, not to mention that the turn at Westminster Bridge still leaves a solid mile to the finish line so a reminder that it ain’t done till it’s done is welcome.

The run itself was good and not as busy as when I’ve run it in summer but it was still packed around Parliament Square. I ran there and back and held a good pace despite the crowds but after three days of work my legs are feeling a little tired. On the return leg I held to the Thames Path which took me onto the cobblestones beside the Tower of London, blimey they were horrible to run on. Is my memory correct and did a section around Cutty Sark used to be cobbled? I hope those days are long gone.

Distance covered 13.3km

I’m going to take Thursday as an active rest day. I’ve worked my legs pretty hard for three solid days so tonight I’m going to try and get in the pool session I missed on Monday. With luck I will hit the 1k mark and this will help my legs recover. Friday will be the last working day of the year before the office closes for the holidays and we will be having a team lunch before heading our separate ways. On Saturday I should be able to get a parkrun in to round off the week nicely.

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