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I’m a marathon runner. Sort of. This was not the race I trained for, not the race I expected, not the result I wanted. After 13 weeks of trouble free training, which seemed to go really quite well, after my last long run I felt a twinge in my back. The next morning I woke up unable to put weight on my right foot without agonising pain. A visit to A&E left me with the knowledge that I had aggravated my piriformis and that it was pressing on my sciatic nerve. I was signed off running for a month.

I turned up at the start not having run a step for three weeks. Stupidly I couldn’t quite let go of my sub4 dream, so my plan was to try and run at even pace 5:40 kms – start with 10k see how I was getting on and take it from there. The first 10k were pretty good, by ten miles though I realised my Garmin was clocking up miles quicker than we were covering them on the course, so although I was ok on my watch, I was off pace on the course. I tried to pick up the pace a bit over the next 5k, but at about the 20k mark, my hip and right leg were aching again. I can do pain, so carried on until the half way point, which I reached in 2:01. Sadly I knew at that point I wasn’t in good enough shape to run the second half quicker than the first. It took a few km to process this, but at the 25km mark I decided to take the pace down to prevent being out injured for weeks again.

My race was put in perspective when at about 30km I saw my good friend Robin, who is much quicker than me, had pulled up. We chatted a while and tried to get Robin moving again, but his calf had cramped completely. It didn’t need a decision, you don’t leave a friend behind, so we brought it home with a power walk.

So there we go. First marathon. Rubbish time. You’ve heard the excuses, but the truth is on the day I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t fit enough and had an unreal expectation. London Marathon, we have unfinished business. In 2020 I’m coming for you.

In other news … it may not be pretty … but I have my first of 6 🌟 3 years from today I want the set.