Tuesday, 24 April 2018


The day finally arrived and it was a scorcher!!   The hottest London Marathon on record and my early morning bed head pretty much summed it up.

I can't say I had the best sleep which is hardly surprising, such was my excitement but I forced the free sample of porridge down me from the goody bag the previous day, stuffed a banana in for good measure and finally forced a piece of toast in just to make sure.  It was only 06:30 but I had to last until at least 1030 before I was likely to cross the start line.

Here is the evidence of my arrival at the Red Start area.

To avoid the 26.2 mile queue for the toilets, I decided to trial out the Female Urinals and a P-Mate.

I followed the instructions, marvelled at the ability to walk into a lovely peaceful area that did not stink of pee or poo and was feeling ever so smug about even having a little privacy to use the following cardboard contraption.

And it worked!!!   I was so in shock however at peeing upright that I neglected to control my flow and point the funnel area down enough, resulting in a lovely warm feeling in my pants and shorts which looked and felt really attractive.     On reflection, I should have gone to the toilet again before leaving the house, as my full bladder would have needed a bucket size cup to have held the weekend of "topping" up liquids which I had successfully managed.     

The upside was that I took a good handful of the free things and will certainly practice again as they really were such a welcome alternative to the dreaded queue. 

To counteract any potential chafing as a result of early moisture in that area, I slathered on some good old Vaseline and then headed off to my starting pen in Section 6. 

The atmosphere was incredible, the sunshine was relentless and the temperature was already near 19/20 before we even started......and I finally did at 10:32.   I WAS ON MY WAY!

Early on even- my trusty stalkers back at home were monitoring my every step!

The crowds were awesome and I don't think there was a minute where someone did not shout out my name and provide encouragement.....honestly - I felt like a celebrity ALL the way around the course and for many parts, the music and party atmosphere really did make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.   Going over Tower Bridge in particular was noteworthy as I was pretty much able to run straight down the middle and take in shouts and whoops from either side - plus I knew I was nearly half way there.

I was over the moon to see my wonderful family at the 18 mile mark and they handed out my trusty bananas which were a planned godsend as I do not work well on gels.....I will say no more but it would need more than a P-Mate to assist in that crisis

I saw them again at the 21 mile mark managed to stop and give each of them a hug and a kiss.   This was a normal feature of the run for so many and it was so heartwarming to see how humans gain strength from this simple and effective form of love and support. 

The mileage between 22-24 were certainly brutal as the warmth continued to take it out of my legs.  I regularly sipped water when I felt the need and found after the generous offers of jelly babies and sweets from the crowd that I perked up a bit for the last 2km towards the Mall.   

One of the memorable moments was hearing someone shout out my maiden name along the Embankment and I turned to recognise an old school friend who now runs for Fulham Running Club.  Many thanks Rich! - it was great to see you and seeing a home face really spurred me on :)

And I did it!!   

I cannot describe how exhilarating this event was. From start to finish I basically had a ball and felt like I was at rave on times!    Coming over the line and realising that everything I had trained for had culminated in this achievement and I was quite emotional, especially as I had run the race in memory  of my Uncle.   

I have smashed my fundraising target for St David's Hospice Care and cannot thank everyone enough for their generosity and support over the last 4 months.

I have also discovered something else.......I want to do ANOTHER MARATHON!   

Cheers Peeps - hope you have enjoyed my little adventure.   I will be back :)💪

Monday, 23 April 2018

Collecting the Race number!

Like the Von Trappe family, we headed off  bright and early to the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London to go and collect the coveted Race Number and timing chip. 

I felt like a child in Willy Wonka's Factory - all those lovely things to try, browse and buy - my poor suffering family smiling in confusion at how I could enjoy such "STUFF" to look at.    Loads of really interesting "other" marathon destinations to choose in the future, bits to eat and drink and the usual merchandise to purchase and keep the little ones happy :)

My youngest however had a nasty shock when she knocked back a beetroot shot thinking it was  a blackcurrant juice....I cannot post a picture as it would be unfair and cruel as the poor thing was NOT HAPPY!  Needless to say she would have blended well into a vampire party as a result.

After speaking to my friend J9 who called to wish me well on Friday, I bought a Visor which made me feel rather American and be wielding a golf club, but dear God, how much would I value that purchase with what I now know was to come.   A brilliant piece of kit at a reasonable £15.

However, my highlight of the morning was meeting up with my Ab Guru - the man himself......... 
Mr Joe Wicks!   Considering the amount of people who were keen to have the obligatory pose with the man himself, he really was very down to earth and personable - pretty much as on his Body Coach TV series.

I thanked him for his 10 min Ab sessions which I have been doing regularly, as it really has helped to strengthen the areas I have previously always neglected.   I am convinced it has helped me in avoiding the risk of picking up major injuries as part of my marathon training.

As you can see - I was a bit pleased with myself and even managed a cheeky "cwtch" of his torso!

A brilliant start to a fantastic weekend. 😀

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Preparation for runner #48396

Well - have most of my stuff ready and packed for my weekend away.

I popped to see my buddy Julie for a bit of last minute massage work on my calves....booff!

Beautiful weather today but the thought of running 26.2 miles in it is not particulately appealing but hopefully the temp gauge will come down by Sunday.   Seriously, the weather has gone from the ridiculous to the sublime and it still would not surprise me if there was another ICE warning!

I was getting my daps out ready for the bag tonight and this little fella ran out over them...For many, this is enough to run, but I carefully removed the little lovely outside..at arms length with a slight shiver.

I cannot put into words how excited I am about limbering up and getting ready to finally put all the training into practice and get this challenge done.     Careful water intake will be essential along the route and running slower in the heat but I am READY!!   Lets DO THIS!!

I am #48396 should anyone wish to follow me on the Spectator app that you can download from the VLM website. 

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Last Sunday training run

The last Sunday run before the big one has been completed....IN THE BLOODY RAIN!

It was positively tropical yesterday by comparison but such is life.

I had planned to go for a longer, 60 min run at a steady pace with some faster miles but on Friday, during the end of a morning run, I experienced a rather nasty pain at the bottom of my left shin.

Bloody typical that literally a week before the mega one, I might have the onset of a pain issue rather than a niggle/ache one.

Anyway, given the area a massage with my thumb tip (oouucch), slapped on my ice pack throughout the weekend and eaten a few Ibuprofen and it appears to have helped.   Fingers crossed its just a matter of REST REST REST this week before I head off to the Big Smoke. 

CANNOT WAIT ........its nearly here!!!!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Tick tock tick tock!

I cannot believe that race day is approaching so quickly!   Sunday will be my last "run" run  and then I will be pretty much relaxing for the remainder of next week.

Typically,  whilst I have avoided all the nasty bugs and flu through the winter period, I have since last week (blaming swimming with the children!) picked up a really irritating dry cough that is really bothering my sleep.

I purchased a basic cough remedy from Lloyds Pharmacy today and was amazed after swigging it at my desk in work this afternoon that it contains ethanol along with all the really nasty E-numbers.   As expected, it has done little to alleviate the symptoms but at the very least it could help me stay awake if I was able to swig it around London on the 22nd.

Did an interval training session with two club members from Parc Bryn Bach yesterday afternoon around the Beechwood in Llangattock and whilst it was hard work, I have since felt really energised. So much easier to run with others who are better than you as it raises your desire to keep up - big thanks to Sian and Phil for the encouragement!

Right - am off to have another Tumeric tea in an attempt to rid this pesky cough before bed...wish me luck.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Fundraising update

Last night I held a Sweetie Cocktails evening in the Book-ish Loft with the help of the lovely Adele Nozdar who kindly gave up her time to provide us with an entertaining recount of her national "research" tour of traditional sweetie making in the UK, which she undertook a few years ago.

I had bought the book for my Dad a few years ago as not only is he the biggest sweet demon in Wales, but I had previously enjoyed an evening of cocktails with Adele and felt I just had to do it again - this time with the aim of raising a few extra £'s for St David's Hospice.

The book is available in Bookish and all other good booksellers and it really does provide a nostalgic dip into the past, along with much to look forward to whilst recreating the old delights in your kitchen (possibly with the aid of dentures and a few new fillings but its all about moderation!)

There were 14 of us in total and we experienced the "Parma Violet"; Pineapple Cube and Kola Kube  concoctions and finally a slam shot of Turkish Delight topped with a Giant Chocolate Button.  My frayed muscle endings thoroughly enjoyed the sugar surge to the system and with the anecdotes of Adele's tour provided in her inimitable humorous style,  a thoroughly "sweet" evening was had by all.

We also managed to raise over £200 towards my fundraising target which I am overjoyed to report I have now exceeded! 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Tapering.....and a new watch!

I must be honest, I am using this term with a sort of embarrassed look as it makes me sound like some sort of elite athlete and I definitely AM not!

I have however looked at the plans and listened to those who have had plenty of experience of running marathons and will admit that part of me is over the moon at the knowledge that I don't have to fit another long run in before the 22nd April.

SO - I am now "tapering".....did some interval work earlier and left a lung somewhere in a hedge but must say that the quicker shorter bursts were an interesting change to the general plod of late.

My trusty Forerunner 15 was no longer keeping its charge and threatening to dismiss my training record around the 22 mile mark (the thought of this happening in London was terrifying as everyone knows that if you don't upload to Strava, the run never took place...) so I have treated myself to a upgrade ready for the big day and am now in possession of the Forerunner 35. 

As usual, my geek interest is not remotely bothered about what the watch can potentially do but at least the new screen layout means that I can pace myself a little better....and I like the colour which daughter #2 says goes better with my leggings!