So, I’ve totally been neglecting this blog since the beginning of this year… I can’t quite figure out why but its partly because maybe I am too busy living to blog about it or just that its been summer so I’ve been outdoors instead of sat behind a computer. However, winter is here so time to get this blog back in action. There are also some events in your life that are so massive that its impossible not to blog about. On of those events was the Edinburgh Marathon which I ran on the 26th of May
So, I didn’t really get very far on logging training updates… actually I only put one update here. But to be honest, training up to the Edinburgh marathon was not nearly as eventful or traumatic as training was for the Cape Town Marathon which I ran towards the end of last year – now Billie’s flew off, there wasn’t any major sickness, etc. It was pretty smooth sailing… I was increasing my distance progressively without losing too much in terms of speed. I even finally managed to sub 2hrs 30 on the half marathon at safari with a time of 2 hours 25 minutes 3 seconds.
Only slightly negative thing was that the month before I was due to run in Edinburgh, my knees started to ache (but now I know this came from cycling on a bike to small for me rather than from running…phew).
Anyways, so training for Edinburgh went pretty smoothly and I felt confident that I could definitely make an improvement and sub 6 hours. (Lol)
So we traveled up to Edinburgh by train on the Friday before the race. Most of Friday and Saturday, I spent carbo-loading and lying about in Princes Street Gardens while my parents did the whole touristy thing. Saturday night, I went on a search for pasta and found that every Italian-ish restaurant had a mile-long-queue around the block. So I ended doing a DIY jobbie – which wasn’t too shoddy
When Sunday morning finally arrived it wasn’t the early start that I am used to. There were two starts for the Edinburgh Marathon – one of London Road for the professional people which started at 9.50am and then on London Road for the rest of the crazies which set of at 10am. Within the two start points there were different groups…I was in purple, the very very last group to cross the start line. I joined the crowds to start my race and there were literally millions of runners there (even with 40% not pitching up because of the 18 degree heatwave ?!?! )
We were waiting at the start for what seemed like an eternity. So when the gun went off I was eager to get running (I ran my first and fastest km in 5.5 minutes according to my snazzy new Nike Sportswatch – not the way to run kiddies ). The route took us around Arthur’s Seat and out of Edinburgh city centre. The first 10km of the race didn’t feel as easy as I ran it at Cape Town but I crossed the 10k timing mat in hr 8 minutes, which was 2 minutes ahead of my target. Once we hit the coast the route was really really pretty and we got a cool breeze coming off the sea which was awesome.
The hardest thing about the Edinburgh marathon route is that you pass the sort of finish area before you get to the half way mark and then you don’t turn around till after 30km mark. So physcologically it is really hard as you just keep thinking how much further AWAY from the finish line will the send me !!! Ahhh !!! 30km mark was when my trusty Nike Sportswatch decided to give (my fault for now charging it properly) but at least it got me over half way. That turnaround point was pretty cool as we got to run around the grounds of a castle (like a sweaty princess).
After 30km (18 ish miles) things started to get tough. I had to do maths to work out how many kms there were left because all the markers were in miles and each mile seemed to go on FOREVER !!! I ran steadily from about mile 18 to mile 21 and met a cool guy who ran the Boston Marathon and got cut-off early at around about the 20 mile mark…so he was running Edinburgh about 6 weeks later to finish the job. (Writing this about 4 weeks after the marathon and having lost all my marathon fitness, I can’t quite get how he did this).
After about mile 21km I started getting pretty bad cramps in my calf muscles. First time they started up my dad was around to help me and give me coke for extra energy (coke is my secret weapon). The second time, I luckily had some very kind randoms help me … too sweet. The last 5 miles were really vibey, people were really cheering us on and despite the cramps there wasn’t much chance to stop and start walking when the people with loudspeakers were telling you to keep moving
Finishing the Edinburgh marathon wasn’t quite as amazing as finishing my first marathon in Cape Town when I had all my running buddies there to support cheer me in. This time round I couldn’t even see my Mum as the whole area was packed. When I can across the finish line the clock read 5 hours 45 mins…and although this was a good 19 mins faster than I had run in Cape Town, I was really hoping that my extra training and avoiding the toilet would have let me take at least 30 mins off my time. It wasn’t until we got back to the apartment that I realised that the 5.45 wasn’t my actually time because of the staggered starts… because I was in the last start pen my final finish time turned out to 5hrs 28 mins and 2 secs…which is 36 mins faster…what a PB and a happy bunny I was
Running in Edinburgh was such a different vibe to the Cape Town Marathon. I’ve promised myself marathons are only going to get better from hear on out…so I am aiming for London 2014… pretty please !!
- Around 27,000 runners expected to take part in Edinburgh Marathon (local.stv.tv)
- Japhet Koech’s Edinburgh Marathon adventure (guardian.co.uk)