In case you missed the announcement on my Instagram… I’m running the 2018 Virgin London Marathon! I can’t quite believe it – this is a race I’ve had my heart set on for years now, entering the ballot a grand total (I think) of 7 times! I decided this year had to be my year to do it so, rather than leave my fate in the hands of the ballot, I applied for a select few charities I would be proud to run for. To my absolute delight, The Royal British Legion accepted my application and offered me a place. I’m so excited to be running for them, and can’t wait to wear my poppy vest on race day.
If you’d like to sponsor me to help me reach my fundraising target of £2,500, you can find my JustGiving page here: George Does VLM. I really do appreciate each and every donation, and no amount is too small!
VLM Minus 16 Weeks
So, onto the training… I’m lucky to be receiving coaching from the awesome Kerry McCarthy. Kerry has run a ridiculous 44 marathons and writes features for Runner’s World UK, so I know I’m in good hands when it comes to my training and I’m excited to see what he has in store for me.
New Years’ Day. I was supposed to run the Serpentine NYD 10k but, after drinking FAR too much whiskey the night before, I woke up not just too late to get to the race, but after the race had actually started!! Facepalm or WHAT. So, having committed to doing Run Every Day January, I headed out for a 1 mile leg loosener late that evening.
Kerry had me do a 5k time trial for my second run of the week. The idea was to do a mile warmup and then go ALL OUT for 5k. It was miserable outside with Storm Eleanor brewing and the out-and-back route was in a headwind for the entire first half. I was convinced I could get under 23 minutes, after running 7:20 pace at the Movember run in November, but came in at 23:35. I shouldn’t have been disappointed given the conditions, but I was.
Today’s run was a 6 mile progression run, starting at 9:15 min/mile and getting faster by 15 seconds each mile. I managed to stick mostly to plan – going a little faster than the prescribed paces but still getting quicker each mile – until the last mile had me walking because I needed to pee! I completed my feedback on my training plan and swiftly got a congratulatory WhatsApp from Kerry for not actually pissing myself haha – thanks Kerry!
Thursday was a planned rest day, which meant a mile run for RED January, but an afternoon physio appointment convinced me that this wasn’t the best idea. The pain I’d started to experience towards the end of my Advent Running run streak was shin splints and, with my history of stress fractures, it just didn’t make sense to jeopardise my marathon training for a month-long challenge.
Battersea Park RunThrough 10k… this was in the diary as a social race to catch up with friends and kick off the medal haul in style (in case you don’t know, RunThrough medals are ace!). Kerry planned for me to run 9 miles in total by tagging a couple of laps on to the end of the race, and he told me to aim for a 6/10 RPE (rate of perceived exertion). I ran with Ian and we gradually got quicker and quicker, finishing just 30 seconds over my PB! Although this was faster than planned, I felt pretty good the whole way round, maybe pushing up to a 7-8/10 towards the end.
A few of us followed up with an epic post-run brunch – surely everyone knows that a fry up and pancakes are the perfect post-race fuel?!
A well-deserved rest day. My ITB started to ache towards the end of the run yesterday so the time off my feet was definitely needed!
Training by Numbers
Miles run: 20.7
Medals earned: 1
Times nearly pissed myself: 1
Fundraising total so far: £395
Follow me on Strava to see my training progress in more detail, and check out my Instagram for more training updates – including my stories where I document even more of my training, diet and general life!